Thursday, October 22, 2009

How to Make a Handkerchief Doll

I have been trying to figure out how to make a handkerchief doll for a while. When reading directions for them, I never could get good looking results. I'm happy with this interpretation, which I figured out last night.

If you don't have your grandmother's handkerchief handy, you could use a square piece of very thin fabric measuring 15" square. That is how I made the handkerchief doll you see above. She is stuffed with a plain handkerchief, and I left the edges raw. Or you could collect some vintage handkerchiefs. Some of them have beautiful color patterns on them.

Fold your handkerchief in half diagonally and tie little knots in the ends of the arms for hands.

Grab something handy for stuffing. I used some tissue, but best of all would be some wool roving. I formed a head shape in one end, and let the rest of the tissue flare out into a rough body shape.

Flop the handkerchief back down and give the head a neck with a little twist.

Cross the arms in front of the doll.

Turn the doll over.

Tie the arms together on this side with an overhand knot. You could stop now. This doll looks like she is wearing a nightgown or a ballgown. Keep going if you want a little doll in a bunting.

Fold the long dress up and tuck the corner into the knot under the neck. You may have to loosen the knot a little bit.

This is what it looks like now.

Flop it back over. I like this side to be the front because it has a little more form.

Next time you have a restless child sitting in your lap in the doctor's waiting room, whip out your handy handkerchief, and make a toy for her. She'll think you are magic!


Farmama said...

What a good idea! I love this handkerchief doll!

5orangepotatoes said...

LOVE! Gonna have the girls do this, they could follow your directions too. Thanks!


gardenmama said...

Yes, this certainly is magical!
My kids would love this, I think I may make a few with some play silks!
It is incredible how children take to simple mama-made toys. I just made a few tiny felt gnomes stuffed with wool roving so very basic and their morning has been filled with play with these new friends! Thank you for always sharing such wonderful ideas Beth!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to use this with my Girl SCout troop of 8 year olds. We are doing badge called Folk Art, and this fits right in with the toys section. Thanks so much for posting this. Michelle

Ticia said...

I'm going to use this for our Pennsylvania study.

kewkew said...

Found this over at Ticia's blog. Can't wait to try it.

carmel said...

Thank you. That's what I've been looking for. YOu could also tie a ribbon at the neck.

Cheryl in WV said...

So glad to find this. My hubby's grandma use to make these for me when I was 5 and sat with her in church. Little did she know that I would grow up to marry her oldest grandson! Now I can make one of my own with her old hankie in her memory.