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How to Make a Heritage Doll

Updated on June 6, 2016

Making a Heritage Doll

 Everyone has different reasons for wanting to make a heritage doll.  For my son, it was a school project.  For others you may want to celebrate your heritage with this learning and fun tool with your children.  You may find they make great holiday gift ideas.  Some may even want to stretch beyond their own heritage and create dolls from around the world to display.

The first thing you need to do is research.  Look up images online on a search engine to find pictures of traditional outfits worn by the particular group you are looking for.  The picture I have shown is a heritage doll for Sweden.  As this is the largest portion of our family's ancestry.

Traditional Swedish Dress
Traditional Swedish Dress | Source

What you need:

  • 1 clothes pin (not the kind with the spring)
  • various pieces of scrap material (the dolls are small, you don't need much)
  • scissors
  • permanent markers (for the face)
  • hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • small beading (optional)
  • string or yarn for the hair (we used fake hair from a colored hair clip we didn't need)
  • the picture/image you are designing your doll after (for inspiration)

Steps for making your doll:

  1.  Start by trimming the first scrap of fabric to the size you need. Fit it around the doll and measure enough extra fabric to overlap where the glue will be placed.
  2. Glue the base fabric around the clothes pin, allow it time to dry.
  3. Layer your additional fabrics over your base fabric to achieve the desired "traditional" outfit.
  4. Draw a face on your doll.
  5. Take 2 strips of fabric from your base/starter fabric and roll them into tight rolls.  Glue the rolls to make the arms. 
  6. Once the arms are dry, glue them onto the doll.
  7. Place a generous amount of hot glue to the top of your doll's head and carefully (and quickly) apply the yarn, string, or other "hair" you have chosen.
  8. Add any embellishments you like/need to make the doll complete.  Beading, hats, feathers...

You did it!

 Now your doll is complete and ready to be showcased! 

This is a wonderful way for children to gain interest in their heritage.  It opens up a window for questions and conversations. 


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    • profile image

      girl 123 5 years ago

      This is a great project for your family

    • drcrischasse profile image

      drcrischasse 7 years ago from NH/Foxboro

      I just printed this out for my wife and I to do. Awesome idea.

    • Mom Kat profile image

      Mom Kat 7 years ago from USA

      I'm one of those terrible parents who limits the amount of TV, movies, and video game time. There is nothing wrong with playing outside, playing games together, doing crafts and projects... good old fashion family time.

    • DaveMS profile image

      DaveMS 7 years ago from Overland Park, Kansas

      I bet making dolls like this can be a great way to get the family to come together without having the TV on. You can have discussions and grow closer as you work. This is great stuff!

    • vydyulashashi profile image

      vydyulashashi 7 years ago from Hyderabad,India

      wow..wonderful guide

      god bless u and ur wonderful family