I took a small break from making my Waldorf dolls today, as it is about to be my daughter Cecily Rose’s 3rd birthday!
Cecily was our very first girl after having 5 little boys, so she is pretty precious to us. Her favourite things are dolls, tiny things, and the colour pink. I knew that she would adore a tiny bendy doll that could be able to change outfits and have teensy tiny accessories. I’m pretty happy with how this little princess fairy doll turned out!
There are a lot of bendy doll tutorials out there, but most of them involved no clothing or clothing that was sewn on, and could not be removed. I decided to change that. Here is how I made this one!
Materials list: 2 and a half pipe cleaners (cotton is best), wool felt, wooden bead, embroidery floss, glue. My favorite place to buy wool felt is Bear Dance Crafts, and sweet amazing Natalie also said she would throw in some cotton pipe cleaners with a felt order from my readers – so tell her I sent you!
First, you will need pipe cleaners and wooden beads. I used cotton pipe cleaners, as I find them much nicer to work with, however you can use any type of pipe cleaner you have on hand. For this tiny doll, who measures about 2.5″ tall, I used a wooden bead with a 1/2″ diameter. I started by cutting 1/3 of the pipe cleaner off to use as the arms, and the remaining 2/3 folded in half for the legs.
Push the folded piece through your wooden bead, forming a loop.
Then take embroidery floss and chop it so that you have three small bundles to use as the hair. One skein of floss was used in its entirety for this little doll’s hair.
I chose light yellow because my sweet Cessa is a blonde girl. But any colour would be beautiful! Once you have your chunks (to the length you want), slide them through the loop at the top of the head so that they are even on both sides. In the photo below I had only placed 2/3 of my hair through (the remaining was pushed through afterwards), and I didn’t quite have it even yet.
Once it is all through, pull the legs downward, forcing the loop to pull down into the hole (it won’t go all the way in, but will secure the hair down). Then tie a few of the hair strands over the pipe cleaner to hide it.
You can then trim your hair to the desired length (mine at the time was layered and needed a good trim. Then you can pull the hair up and out of the way and begin by wrapping the arm piece of pipe cleaner around the body. One time is enough as it will be further secured with your embroidery floss wrapping. Then you can begin wrapping the body in your skin coloured floss.
Wrap down each arm, then fold the pipe cleaner in on itself slightly and wrap where it meets, to form little loop hands. Continue wrapping until you are at the “waist” of the bendy doll.
This is where I swapped colours, as I wanted my fairy to be wearing coral tights. Continue wrapping the legs and do the feet the same way you did the hands.
Once you have the entire thing wrapped, you can tie off the thread. I like to add a teensy spot of glue at the point where I cut the floss off to ensure the floss doesn’t untie.
Next, you will take the bottom most layer of hair and glue it down onto the head bead. I used a thin layer of hot glue since that is what I had on hand.
I then decided to secure the little doll’s hair with small elastic ties into pig tails, as this is the way my Cecily likes to wear her hair best.
Now that the doll base is complete, you will need to make the clothing! I used 100% wool felt, some hot glue, a few gemstones and a bread tie!
The first thing we are going to make is a little shirt, that can be put on and taken off very easily! You will start with a small rectangle.
Check the fit by folding it in half and trimming it as needed. It needs to be big enough for “sleeves” and to come down to the waist.
Next, cut a small neck hole at the top, and two small notches out on either side of the body, to make the space for “sleeves”
Open up your folded piece and cut a slit up one side to the neck hole. You will have something that looks like this, I added a scallop at the bottom of the front of the shirt.
Using a sewing machine, or hand sewing, sew up both sides of the shirt and down the sleeve to enclose the sleeves. Turn it inside out (so the sewn seam is on the inside of the shirt) and press it flat on hot with high steam. The felt will hold its ironed shape. You will end up with a tiny shirt that has a back that opens completely. This will make it very easy for the little hands to get it on, but it will still stay on and hold its shape.
Now its time for the skirt! For the waist of the skirt, I used a bread tie! I simply cut the longer part of the tie to round it off at a nice shape. This will open enough for the skirt to easily go on, but not fall off or down. Cut a piece of felt to cover the tie in a colour of your choice.
I wanted a fairy type skirt, so I cut little petal shapes in various colours. I have 6 of each of coral, butter and cream coloured petals. I ended up only needing 5 of each colour, however it will depend on the size you cut them.
Using a hot glue gun, glue the cover on the bread tie, and then glue the petals along side the edges.
Try it on! I put the skirt over top of the bottom of the shirt, because I thought it looked cuter. You can do whatever you want!
Now it is time for the wings! I used my second cotton pipe cleaner and cut it in half. Each half was formed into a wing shape and then the two wings were lightly twisted together.
Place your wings onto a piece of felt. Using glue (I used hot glue), glue your wings to the felt.
Cut around the wings to remove any extra felt. From the scrap, cut a small circle and a small strip of felt. These will be used to secure the wings to the doll.
I used two clear hair elastics (the little tiny ones) and attached them together. The elastics will go around each arm of the fairy, allowing the wings to come on and off with ease. I then glued the center knot into the center of the little circle I cut.
Glue the dot to the center of the wing, encasing the elastics between the wings and the felt. I then wrapped the strip of felt around the center of the wings to further secure it. It also gave a little spot that will keep the wings slightly away from the dolls body. I glued on some accents at this time.
Taking a third pipe cleaner, I cut a small piece off (that would fit around the head) and twisted it into a circle.
I then glued on some felt, cut it into a crown shape, and added some little crystals.
And that’s it! Easy wasn’t it? You can make a handful of these little ones in an evening, perfect for birthday gifts, new baby gifts or to tuck into an Easter basket!
I plan on making a whole different wardrobe, perhaps even a mermaid tail, for my little girls birthday! As always, if you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post or head over to my facebook page Faith & String and send me a message! I would love to see your finished dolls!