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Cloth Dolls And Making Cloth Dolls

Updated on June 26, 2014

Making Cloth Dolls

This lens will help you if you are new doll maker, a learner or even a bit more advanced at making cloth dolls.

I am going to help you here with tips on the best books to buy, the best places to find information and shortcuts so you will become a better cloth doll maker sooner:-)

When You Start To Make Dolls...

When you first start Cloth Doll making it's a good idea to give yourself permission to make lots of mistakes. It's like anything you are learning to do, it takes practice and the more time you have to "play" the better dolls you will make.

Luckily there is a huge cloth doll community on the internet so its easy to make friends who will help guide you along the way and you will have great fun as well.

What Are The BEST Colored Pencils To Use ON the Doll Face?

QUESTION: What sorts of coloured pencils are best for drawing the cloth dolls face?

ANSWER: Prismacolor Berol pencils Colored Pencil Gift Sets

are the best by far.They come in hundreds of colors and are especially oily so they work great on fabric. These are available at Hobby Lobby and Quilt shops in Australia & NZ.

Grab Some of These Wonderful Pencils Now.

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core, 72 Pack
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core, 72 Pack

These pencils are the best for your cloth doll faces.


As You Progress....

As you progress you may decide to pay for some wonderful online doll classes.

Most doll designers publish cloth doll patterns. One tip I will give you here is to make sure that the pattern has a rating on it, to show if it is suitable for beginners, intermediate or advanced doll makers.

What Fabric Should I Use?

Here are some of the most asked questions that doll makers send into me about cloth doll making. I hope they will help you.

QUESTION: What fabric should I use to make the body of the doll with?

ANSWER: You can buy all sorts of good quality cotton fabric in flesh colours at quilt shops. If you experiment you will find the ones that you like the best. I tried many and finally decided that I liked using plain old Muslin ( Calico in Australia & NZ). I always tea and coffee dye it before using it. The stronger the mix the darker the shade. As an alternative instead of dying the fabric you can brush on the tea and coffee mixture straight onto the doll. Don't forget to dry it completely though.

Cloth Dolls, I Have a Doll in this Book

Creative Cloth Doll Making: New Approaches for Using Fibers, Beads, Dyes, and Other Exciting Techniques
Creative Cloth Doll Making: New Approaches for Using Fibers, Beads, Dyes, and Other Exciting Techniques

This book is part of a series of 3 cloth doll making books. All three are wonderful and this is probably the best because it is the most general. It reviews making the doll and gives good detail on the formula for placing facial features (there is a book in the series devoted to doll faces but this is enough to get started). The dolls are not all women or even all people, some are characters and are magical. The clothes are colorful, the variety of dolls is large and everything is unusual and fun. There are lots of pictures for inspiration and patterns to do the work. I recommend this book first but I also recommend the entire series (Creative Cloth Doll Faces and Creative Cloth Doll Couture).


3 Easy Steps To Become More Creative

Here are three easy steps to become more creative.

1: Find some quiet time to relax EVERY day! No TV, NO radio blaring in the background. Just you and thought

This gives our brains some time to actually bring some creative thoughts to you. You just don't hear this creative part of you when its too noisy.

If you can sit outside by a stream or fountain this will also help you relax. If you have something you would like to create, just muse on it. Think about it in the quiet and you will be AMAZED at what will start happening for you.

2; Let go of Judgement and Fear.

Do not judge anything you do that is creative. Creative endeavours and art are subjective, so what one person likes, another will hate. If you insist on judging your work then only compare it to your own work. That way you can decide if you are getting better and really, your opinion is the only one that matters. Let go of Fear. It is only as we move through the fear that we have a wonderful feeling of achievement and then we gain more and more confidence within us.

3: Play ( practice)

Find time to play! I don't care how you do it, if you want to be more creative you MUST play. Playing is experimentation. Whether you want to make a doll, a piece of art or do some writing or whatever, you need to give yourself permission to play. You are not aiming to complete anything, to make anything or to actually write anything that makes sense. You just spend an hour or however long you have in the quiet with your supplies and just say WHAT IF?

What if I did that, what would happen, do it and see.

You will come to love this special time with yourself and your creativity.

Have fun.

Cloth Doll Books for You

500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form (500 Series)
500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form (500 Series)

Contemporary and unique, these handmade creations range from representational to abstract, from skillful realism to provocative surrealism—and they’re made from every conceivable material, including beads, gourds, and polymer clay. Juror Akira Blount, a pioneer in the “art doll” movement, incorporates vines, twigs, and carved wood in her fabric dolls; with their expressionless faces and closed eyes, they appear absorbed by inner worlds. Dutch artist Marlaine Verhelst’s porcelain design...

Creative Cloth Doll Faces: Using Paints, Pastels, Fibers, Beading, Collage, and Sculpting Techniques
Creative Cloth Doll Faces: Using Paints, Pastels, Fibers, Beading, Collage, and Sculpting Techniques

The face is the most important feature of a doll -- it is also the most challenging. So it is surprising that there is so little instruction available on creating doll faces. This book fills that void.Author Patti Medaris Culea began her career in art as a portrait painter and she puts that experience to work when creating her doll faces. In this book, she shows readers a simple technique for easily creating faces using her step-by-step approach. She gives her tips for how to divide the...

Designing the Doll: From Concept to Construction
Designing the Doll: From Concept to Construction

An in-depth guide to doll making from concept to "imaginative engineering," this book is for every collector and artist. A gallery of all of the important "art" doll makers today-a record for collectors and inspiration for doll artists. A wide variety of construction methods, the techniques for getting proportions correct, and ideas on how to develop ideas and then construct advanced art figures or dolls are covered. 250 color photos plus over 200 drawings. 160 pages.

Creative Cloth Doll Beading: Designing And Embellishing With Beads
Creative Cloth Doll Beading: Designing And Embellishing With Beads

An illustrated guide to embellishing dolls with beadsBeading, one of the oldest forms of craft, is also a hot new trend and being used in new applications. Beadwork, which has typically been used in fashion, home decoration, and jewelry, is reaching for new horizons and showing up on quilts, journals, knits, crochet, and fiber arts of all kinds. In this book, author Patti Medaris Culea and beading experts Anne Hesse and Laura McCabe illustrate new ways of using variou...

Creative Cloth Doll Making: New Approaches for Using Fibers, Beads, Dyes, and Other Exciting Techniques
Creative Cloth Doll Making: New Approaches for Using Fibers, Beads, Dyes, and Other Exciting Techniques

Though doll making is one of the oldest forms of artistic expression, contemporary artists continue to expand the boundaries of this craft by creating exciting new work that incorporates all types of media. In this book, artists from around the world release their creative forces with glorious abandon as they take three simple doll patterns and turn them into one-of-a-kind works of art featuring hand-dyed fabrics, beads, stamping, colored pencils, and much more. Internationally known cl...


How to Make Sunshine Art Dolls

What About Stuffing?

QUESTION: What is the best sort of stuffing to use?

ANSWER: I find the best is a good polyester stuffing. This Morning Glory stuffing is fabulous and is available at Amazon

How Does An Online Cloth Doll Class Operate?

What are online Classes?

Most Cloth doll online classes are designed to be read on a website.

Usually the doll designer makes the class into lessons or chapters, this way you can make the doll in your own time instead of having to make it all at once.

I always upload all my Cloth Doll lessons at once so that the fast doll makers don't have to wait for the slow ones.

More About Online Classes

My online classes are printable so that if you don't have time to make the doll when you first get the class you can do it months later if you like.

I make sure my classes have step by step instructions and each instruction has at least one photo.

It is the easiest way to make a cloth doll besides being in a real time class with a live teacher. The designer is always available to the students by email and can ask questions.

Once my students have paid for the class, they get sent the URL or website address where they will find the supply list, the actual pattern pieces so they can print them off and the lessons.

Online classes are a fun and very informative process and help you learn the techniques involved in cloth doll making

How to Make Fabric Dolls

Would You Like To Be More Creative?????

Creativity is actually a state of "being". We are all born creative spirits. As you would know if you have ever observed a child in play, children are extremely creative. What happens then between childhood and adulthood which makes some of us feel we have no creativity and we never did????

I don't think that we are encouraged enough to be different, we are taught to conform, to behave, to not get in a mess or be dirty. We stop experimenting and start to believe it is not good to do those things, which in fact, enhance our creativity. We start to lose touch with it.

What about those who just seem to be able to draw, really draw, not abstracts but real drawings. You know, those kids you envy, the ones you wanted to be like

They practice.

Don't you remember they were always drawing,always.

If you practiced all day every day, you would also be able to draw beautifully.

Doesn't that make sense?? Its like every skill we learn. We learn to ride a bike by practicing, we fall off but we get back on again and again and again.

How often did you practice drawing?For hours? For days?

I know I looked at my pitiful efforts and decided I couldn't draw. I was one of the poor failures who just wasn't given the GIFT


Ok lets get you started on the way to becoming a creative spirit again.

Just to start to convince you that you actually have it in you, I want you to think about every day life. How often have you cooked a meal by intuition. NO recipe, you didn't need it did you? No, because you have practiced cooking in the past and know how to do it.

You CREATE a meal.

OK Have you ever thought about what sort of outfit you would like to wear to a special occasion? Yes I bet. You are creating it in your mind.

You have screaming children who want you to tell them a story. You don't have a book but you Make up a story That is creativity.


You are creative in many many ways all through your life.

3 Easy Ways To Deal With All Those Unfinished Cloth Doll Or ArtProjects

Are you one of those Doll Makers or Artists who goes to classes and always comes home with unfinished projects that just sit around? Do you glance at them from time to time only to feel really guilty? Do they clutter up your work space? Are they a constant source of frustration?

Ok I am going to help you. I am a BIG believer that taking action is the way to go with most concerns in life. The longer you do nothing, the more of an energy drain these things become. Even the wrong action is better than none in my opinion. Here's what you need to do.

First answer the following question.

Is this something I want to finish ever?? Be very truthful here.

If the answer is NO! then either throw it out or give it away immediately to someone who might enjoy finishing it.

If the answer is YES! then I can come up with a few very creative ways to deal with it.

Idea 1: If you prefer to finish this project yourself (or a number of projects) but just don't seem to have the time, one way is to bag all the components of the project and instructions into a ziplock bag. Do a separate bag for each project. Get out you diary and choose a day of the week when you can find an hour free. Mark that time as a finish project date with yourself. Even by doing an hour each week you will start to feel like you are really achieving something and you will start to become more motivated.

Idea 2: Another great fun way would be to get a group of arty or doll friends to help. If you each have something unfinished you could round robin them. In other words, say you have 4 friends, each project gets bagged up and sent to the next recipient on your list. Each person has say..3 weeks to work on the project then hand it onto the next person. The last person MUST finish the project and then it arrives back in your hands finished. A good idea then, would be to have an unveiling of all the projects and have a good laugh and a fun time explaining why and how you did each bit of the project.

Idea 3: Another way to deal with these unfinished projects is to put them on ebay and auction them off as "Unfinished Art Mystery Parcels ", what fun this would be! I reckon you would be AMAZED at how many people would actually go for this one.

Whats Been The Most Difficult Thing For You About Making Cloth Dolls?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am just afraid to even start. I have made body parts for one doll and never put it together. It's hard to think about what to dress it up as and how to even begin to do that. ugghh.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Your dolls are gorgeous, Di!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      so happy to read, one of my dolls is in one of these books! lovely lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      lots of great info here, thanks, great lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Super lens, I have made cloth dolls in the past and I seem to be getting back into it again now.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      7 years ago

      This is all you need to start making cloth dolls, or go to the next level. Cool!

    • BestRatedStuff profile image


      7 years ago

      This is such a fun lens, I love cloth dolls and have made a few, but some of the ones you have here are not what I usually see. I really love them. thanks

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice information on craft;thanks for g\haring your information face sculpting treatment in mumbai

    • Laniann profile image


      7 years ago

      You have created some very attractive looking dolls. I enjoyed watching your videos. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      7 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I'd love to have one for me :) These are so Diva-inspired!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Another quality lens.

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a brilliant lens! The most difficult thing for me is finding the time to get started, lol! I want to learn how to make cloth dolls as part of my Realm of MerFaery range, so this lens is a superb starting point for me, thank you! Will be checking back frequently!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Awesome lens and beautiful work on your dolls.Please check out my Our Generation Doll Blog here

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My nieces are going to love this lens, we found a really fun shop that sold these internationally but hard to find here. We also use Beading Supplies to create our own.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      9 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      This is a remarkable lens. Five stars and I'm linking to it from my altered book lens. I love your points about creativity, and I also love your discussion of the craft projects that have been uncompleted for ages. I certainly have a few of those. LOL

    • AlmaStoller profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a really fantastic lens.Alma

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice lense, keep it up !Petermagic of making up review

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      really lovely! my niece would love this!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      very interesting these cloth dolls are beautiful!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      How cute they are!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I enjoy doing this before for my Barbie dolls. :) Fantastic lens!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      Great Lens! I sew but I haven't made any dolls in years. * * * * *Liz

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Excellent information! Great addition to the BIG LENSES Group!

    • teamlane profile image


      10 years ago

      Another good lens DiMcDonald! Keep up the good work. Another blessing by a Squid Angel! 5* :o)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      10 years ago

      These dolls are really beautiful and you've put together a nice resource.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a really great lens! Very informative. I gave you 5 Stars and a Squid Angel Blessing!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i love to make dolls an i am wanting to learn how to sculp faces really good so if any one can give me some tips please do i need all the help i can get thank you sincerely yours tinna

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Di this site is so much fun to browse and so much info given,well done and thank you Jillxx

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      These lens were very helpful. Questions have been answered and I look forward to looing at your web site. Thank you again 5**

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      love cloth dolls,interesting lens

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      these are awesome, more to learn. Great lens indeed. 5*


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