This was one of my favorite crafts from my childhood. We always had yarn lying around the house, and so I would make yarn doll after yarn doll after yarn doll. I’m not actually sure I played with them ever; I just really liked making them. Wrapping the yarn is kinda therapeutic, after all…
Anyway, if you’re looking for something to keep the kids entertained for a while, I’ve gotcha covered. Yarn dolls take about 20-30 minutes to make and only use three things that I’d bet a lot of money you already have: yarn, cardboard, and scissors. This is a great use for scraps of yarn. There’s no requirement that your doll’s arms and body must match…
You can add wiggle eyes and decorate these guys any way you’d like, so they’re a ton of fun. That’s why I liked them – I could make give them any hair style, color, or shape I could think of.
Here’s a super simple one!
To start, cut a rectangular piece of cardboard. Mine’s the side of a popcorn box – I also like to use cereal boxes if I make dolls that are bigger. That’s another one of the beauties of this project. Your doll can be as large or as small as you want.
Once you’ve got your cardboard, wrap your yard around the board long ways. You’ll need to wrap quite a few times since this is going to form the body of your doll.
Once you’ve got a nice thick wrap, cut the yarn. Now cut a smaller piece of yarn and slip it under your wraps at the top and tie it with an overhand knot. This is going to form the head of your doll. At this point, you can slide the yarn off the cardboard.
Now you’re going to cut another short piece of yarn from your skein and bunch the top together and tie it off like this:
Yay! Our doll has a head! Now cut across the bottom so that the ends are free and there are no more loops. Also, if you want to make ghosts for Halloween, you can stop right here. You’ve arrived 🙂
If you’re not making a ghost, then you’ll need to make arms. This time you’re going to wrap your yarn short ways across the cardboard. You’ll want to wrap it less as well. You can experiment to see what works best.
Before you slide the arms off the cardboard, cut two small pieces and tie each end just like you did for the head. Slide your yarn off the cardboard, and grab your body. Flip half the body’s yarn over the doll’s head, then place the arms in between the two yarn sections. It will look like this:
Then flip the yarn back down, and tie another small piece just below where the arms hit.
Now your doll has a torso and arms! You can leave your dolls hands like this, or tie two small pieces just below the ends of the arms and cut across the loops on both sides.
If you’re making a doll with a dress, you’re done. If you want to give your doll a pair of pants, just split the remaining yarn down the middle and tie it together near the “feet.”
And that’s how to make a yarn doll! You can use hot glue to add a mouth and eyes, you can wrap other colored yarn around the body to make clothes, or anything else your heart desires. I like giving my girl dolls hair, so here’s how that one works.
I wrap a contrasting color around my cardboard long ways. Unlike before, though, I snip it on either side so I have two sets of yarn.
One half of the yarn gets poked through the center of the dolls head like this:
The second half gets laid over the top. Then I take two short pieces and tie the top and bottom together on both sides of the head (think pigtails).
Then you can braid or style the hair any way you like. These are so fun and simple, and I love how much creativity they can inspire!
How did you decorate your yarn doll? Leave a comment and let us know!
We're the Homans - Diane, Dustin, Alex, and Faith (not pictured - she's really new!). We love blogging deliciously simple recipes and kid-friendly crafts. Thanks for stopping by!Learn More ->