If you had been there, you would have thought I found gold when I discovered an old handmade dollhouse in a second hand shop last year. It had real shingles, an attic, and even some built-ins like a toilet paper dispenser. It’s the little things that make me happy.
After hauling it home, I spent countless evening hours repainting it by flood lamps in the garage. The things we do for our kids, no?
Meanwhile, I was on the hunt for natural wooden dolls, and was faced with pretty severe sticker shock when I finally found them. $10 for a miniature doll?! I finally found an affordable Melissa & Doug Wooden Family Doll Set and some Wooden People that are great for painting or keeping plain (as we have).
But like any sane person with a Martha Stewart streak, I set off to make some of my own, and you can too!
Everything can be purchased at JoAnn Fabrics (or similar fabric/craft store)
- Pipe Cleaner(s)
- Craft Felt
- Embroidery Floss and Needle
- Wooden Bead with pre-painted face. If they don’t have these, you could paint faces on plain beads with acrylic paints or paint pens.
- Doll hair
- Hot Glue Gun
- The most time-consuming part of this was stitching up the clothes, but all-in-all, this was a fairly quick project.
I bent a pipe cleaner (chenille stem) into the shape you see here, and wrapped it with embroidery floss. I then tied off the floss ends so that they don’t come loose.
I made some clothes with craft felt. If you’re a Project Runway fan like I am, this is your time to shine (as I clearly am). The blue felt is about to become a pair of pants.
I inserted the body into the pants, and then stitched the sides up with a blanket stitch. If you’ve never done a blanket stitch before, once your get going it’s really simple. And kind of fun. Here’s my favorite tutorial.
I cut another piece of felt for a shirt, and then stitched the seams shut.
I cut out another shape that would become a hat, glued hair to the head, and then glued the hat on top of that. Finally, the head was glued onto pipe cleaner “neck.”
Cute and bendable. Inexpensive, simple, and rewarding! If you can handle doing this all over again, make a family of dolls to inhabit your mini home.
What a fantastic idea! I’m putting it on my project list!
Fabulous. It’ll go on my “when I’m feeling super-duper crafty” list!
Very ingenious. I got some furniture that came with figures (a surprise) but they may need some homemade “relatives.” Thanks!
Since you can buy beads with faces, there must be a market for making dollhouse size dolls?! Who knew!
Jillian, Chelsea, and Scott: I’d love to see what you come up with!
Cute! It’s so fun to make dolls from pipe cleaners, my 4 year old has enjoyed helping to populate her doll house. We seem to make mostly fairies. 🙂
I just saw your doll post…so funny! My daughter would love to make pipe cleaner fairies!
They are wonderful, Rachelle, now if only I could put in an order for a small family 🙂
Hi Christie — once I get a little more time on my hands, I’d be happy to send you a family!
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