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January 15, 2021

3 Crazy Simple Ways You Can Make an Adorable DIY Doll

Do-It-Yourself Dolls


Want to learn how to make a DIY Doll?  Then keep reading below for some fun ideas...

As I've written previously, Dollhouses are for Everyone- including your dolls!

Hobbyists often gloss over the actual dolls when they are busy refining the finer

details of their dollhomes.  Every artist must find the opportunities in their art –

and diy dolls can be a fun way to extend the theme and concepts you're creating.

It doesn't have to be expensive either  there are so many ways to DIY your own

figurine style.  From illustrative paper dolls, to humble rag dolls, and even

imaginative amigurumi, you can make them fit perfectly inside any size model.

After all, someone’s gotta to live in these beautiful homes!

Image of Vintage Norma Paper Dolls
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Vintage Norma Paper Dolls

Paper Dolls

Let’s start with an oldie, but such a goodie! In fact,

vintage paper dolls are considered collectibles.

So often, I write about how we all have memories of things related to dolls and dollhouses. That's because these traditions have ingrained themselves so much into our cultures that they're hard to miss.

Paper dolls are no exception. I even remember my mom recounting childhood memories of her paper dolls

as I punched mine out of a book as a kid.  Paper dolls are illustrated characters made of paper, typically a thicker

cardstock or cardboard for durability.  Many have a triangular, folded bottom so they can stay propped up.

What is even better you can dress them up with other illustrated cutouts.  They have small tabs to keep the clothes on the dolls.  Sometimes double-sided tape is used instead.


Crafting a paper doll
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If you have an artistic hand, making your own paper dolls can be as easy and cheap. Artists can take inspiration from the elaborate vintage sets and create beautiful characters with ink pens and colored pencils. Or you can find free sheets online to print at home.

If you don't have the cardstock paper or ability to draw, there's always many available dolls to find in shops and online. You can use eBay to find vintage sets, Etsy to find hand-drawn sets or even Amazon for bigger branded sets.


Want to Learn How to Art Journal with these Can Can Paper Dolls?  Click HERE Now for an EASY Tutorial!


Image of 3 French Can Can Dancing Paper dolls
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DIY Moulin Rouge French Can Can Paper Dolls 


Rag Dolls


Image of 4 Rag dolls from the book "Make Cloth Dolls"
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Rag dolls from the book "Make Cloth Dolls"

One of the oldest toys, a Rag Doll is precisely as the name suggests. They are dolls made of leftover fabrics, stuffing, and other materials such as yarn or buttons. They are the home-made doll that has comforted children for thousands of years. Remarkably there have been rags dolls found that date back to the first century (AD).

These are easy to make, especially if you have any sewing skills. If you search YouTube for ragdoll tutorials, you'll find hundreds of different styles and ways to make them.  Some people craft them with cut explicitly to size fabrics and details; others create them without even a pair of scissors. However crude or involved, you can find the tutorial right for you and the materials you have at home.

Maybe you don't want to go through the trouble. Like with paper dolls, you can search the web or flea markets for vintage rag dolls. You could find handmade sellers on Etsy (there's plenty of patterns on Etsy too), or a doll manufactured to look like the old ragdolls our grandmothers made.


Crochet Dolls


Pink Crochet doll from NutsyUA shop on Etsy
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Pink Crochet doll from NutsyUA shop on Etsy


Crochet dolls are also known as "amigurumi." Amigurumi is a Japanese art of crocheting (or knitting) stuffed dolls.

Unlike other crochet projects that tend to have a functional purpose, such as blankets and socks, these dolls are all about being cute. They took a while to become popular in the United States, but avid crafters brought the art that dates back to 1185 to the modern marketplaces.

What makes these dolls great is that you can find endless patterns from beginner level to advanced. There are an infinite variety of characters to make. They can be as large as your child's tall dollhouse or small enough to live comfortably in your 1:12 scale home. You can learn how to with websites like YouTube or Skillshare.  You may find community classes locally to pick up the basics with hands-on teaching.  Once you have a few basic stitches down, you'll be able to print or purchase all kinds of patterns online.  You can start by checking out All Free Crochet.


All these dolls can be your next tiny homeowners as they can be made (or bought) in size to fit your dollhouse's scale. By creating your own dolls, you'll have more control over the aesthetic design to make your dollhouse all the more custom. As we find with all doll housing creations- your only limits are your creativity!

Children may find extra delight that the beloved characters they made at home can also enjoy "living" in their very own dolls home. Think of it as another part of the memories made making crafts together. Characters can bring it all together in lively, unforgettable stories (and memories).


BONUS: To help our readers out, we've created a Dolls & Figurines Pinterest board FILLED with tons of doll inspiration, tutorials and patterns - most of them FREE.  Which you all know if my favorite word!  Make sure to follow us on Pinterest for updates, tips & resources as well.

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