I’m busy working on the DIY Doll book, so had a fun time with these little characters today. For a fun non-messy craft that you can do with kids just about anywhere, try pipe cleaner dolls. Not that they even know what a pipe cleaner is — does anyone still call them that? My craft store sells them as “chenille stems” or “Fuzzy Sticks.” The felt scraps and yarn are easy to find, so let’s go!
Fold one pipe cleaner in half. Wrap the ends of another pipe cleaner, then flatten it for the arm section. You’ll need a 1-inch wooden bead for the head.
Slip the arm section inside the first pipe cleaner and twist above and below to secure it. Leave about an inch extended to go inside the bead to hold the head on.
Use a dab of craft glue on the end, then slip the bead in place.
Wrap the bendy body with yarn, making it as thick or thin as you want. Change colors for shirt and pants, or do the body in black if you want to put a dress on. The black will look like tights on the legs. When you get to the feet, bend the wire back about 1/2 inch and fold it to make a foot. That will keep the yarn from sliding off.
When you’re through wrapping, thread the yarn onto a yarn needle and make a couple of stitches into the body to secure the yarn. Clip the yarn and hide the end inside the body.
Make a little hat from felt scraps. One circle for the brim, with a center cut out for the head. The other circle for the cap part, cut a bit out of the circle so it won’t have a thick fold. Apply craft glue to the head, then hold the cap in place till it sticks. Run a bead of glue around the edge of the cap and slide the brim in place. Let dry.
For hair, wrap yarn around your hand about 20 times, then gently slip the loops off, trying to keep them all together in order. Tie the loops together with another piece of yarn. Pull the loops straight and cut through the other end of the loops. Apply craft glue to the doll’s head and press the little wig in place. Hold it there until the glue takes over.
Make simple clothing that can be glued or hand-stitched. Maybe a tiny scarf, too.
It’s fun to make them without faces, but just add some details with fine-tip pens or acrylic paint and a toothpick.