It is getting close to Valentines day and my kids are itching to get started on some crafts to give friends and family. These little pocket dolls are sweet and quick to make, even for little ones. They make great birthday gifts too, or teacher gifts. My personal favorite is to pair them with a matching handmade receiving blanket as a new baby gift!
I also happen to have TWO of these cute little valentines day pocket dolls already completed, so I would love to give them away to my followers! Comment on this post if you would like to win one, and I’ll randomly draw a name for a winner on February 8th 2015 !
But even if you don’t win one, it is super easy to make one for yourself too! So lets get started!
Step 1: start by cutting out a piece of paper that is approximately 5″ wide by 8.5″ tall. Fold it down the center, and then open the paper back up.
Step 2: cut the paper so that you have two pieces, one that is 5″ high and one that is 3.5″ high. The larger piece will become the template for your pocket doll’s body, and the smaller piece will become the template for the doll’s hat.
Step 3: you will draw a body style onto the paper, using the centerfold as the center of the doll. I drew a simple shape, with small triangle arms and an extended neck. This “neck” will be folded down to attach the head. Feel free to go with the flow here! Any shape of body would be neat!
Step 4: you will want to draw a line to form a triangle for the hat, with the centerfold being the center of the hat. I wanted these to be little gnome style pocket dolls. You can do any shape of hat you would like depending on the style of doll you want to create!
Step 5: Cut out your shapes and open them up! You can already see how cute this is going to be! Well, that hat seems a little enormous, but trust me, once it is wrapped around that squishy head it will be perfect!
Step 6: Now it’s time to get out your fabric choices! I chose three different fabrics in the same theme and colour scheme. These are three amazing prints from the “Out to Sea” collection by Michael Miller. Aren’t the narwhals so cute?
Step 7: Now you can lay out and cut out your fabric so that you have two body pieces and one hat piece for each doll you want to create. It is good to have pressed the fabric before cutting so it is easier to work with.
Step 8: Place the body fabric right sides together and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave the top open for your head! My kids love doing this part since they get to help with the sewing machine. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can just hand stitch around the edge too.
Step 9: Once you have sewn the body, turn it inside out. Also sew along the line you drew on the hat piece to make a cone shaped hat! Super easy. Find something that is small but not sharp to something to poke out the corners, such as a chopstick or unsharpened pencil, so that your arms and point of your hat are fully “out”.
Step 10: Now it is time to make your head. You will start by rolling a small strip of wool to form a firm ball. This ball should be only slightly smaller than the size you want your finished head to be. Once you have your ball, take a square piece of wool and cover the ball, gathering it at the bottom of the ball forming a neck. Tie the head at the neck part with craft string or dental floss.
Step 11: Trace around your head shape onto a piece of skin fabric, which is actually a knit fabric in skin tone shades. Don’t have skin? No problem! You can use a t-shirt or check out Natalie at Bear Dance Crafts! She is amazing and has lots of wool and skin for your dollmaking needs.
Step 12: Using a short tight zig zag or a lightning bolt (stretch stitch) sew the skin fabric and then turn it inside out. It will look like a keyhole and be fairly tight.
Step 13: Pull the skin fabric over top of your head ball! Make sure you pull it nice and smooth. Then re-tie around the neck with a piece of craft string.
Step 14: Time for the hat! Simply pull the hat onto the head to make sure it fits. It should, but you can always adjust your head size (or make a slightly larger hat) if your head ended up too small or too large. At this point you will stitch the hat onto the head. I do a ladder stitch, and go around at least three times. Click here to see a short you tube video about how to do a ladder stitch!
Step 15: Once your hat is firmly attached it is time turn the body inside out and stuff it chubby with wool. Make sure to get some wool into the arm triangles using your chopstick! And lets take a moment to really look at how ADORABLE that little octopus is. Really. Time for an interesting octopus fact! My eleven year old informs me that octopi can change the color of their entire body in just three-tenths of a second. If only I could do that with my fabric selection lol!
Step 16: Grab the head you created and stick that cute little head into your body! Stitch the head securely on. I use a ladder stitch here as well, and also go around at least 3 times. Nothing worse than your little one snuggling a doll and its head popping off!
Step 17: At this point you want to pull the area at the armpit of the doll inwards. Secure a knot with your thread at one side of the doll, right below the armpit area.
Step 18: Go straight through the doll, and come out at the same level on the other side. You will then go back and forth a few times doing this, trying to use the same spaces. Finally tie off the thread at one end and snip it.
You have a pocket doll! It is now that I use a beeswax crayon to add a sweet blush on the dolls cheeks. These little pocket dolls are perfect new baby gifts, or even dollhouse dolls. They are simple, warm and natural and only take about 20 minutes to completion.
I hope you enjoy them!