Tuesday, June 26, 2012


 Have you seen the darling clothespin dolls on etsy? 
I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to them. You can see it HERE. They are so darling, and so expensive. I have made all sorts of other wooden dolls in the past, and have full tutorials for them. 


Click on them, and check them out!

I made these dolls to look like the kind you find on etsy. As far as I am concerned, with wooden dolls and faces, less is more. All I ever add is eyes, and do that by dipping a toothpick in paint. I like them to look simple and not messy, and after all, it is easy to mess up when you have more steps!

Here is a little 4th of July doll!

I love this one, and she'll be going in my daughter's room.

I made this for a friend's front door.
 This is what you need:

 HEAD - Dowel Caps 1 1/4"; (not ball knobs - dowel have a bigger opening, and the clothespin will fit inside)
BUNS - 1/4" dowel caps, and 3/8" round balls. Whatever else you see that you think will work.
BODY - Clothespins with flat feet
BASE - Clothespin base  - round, and hanging near the clothespins
ARMS - Skin color pipe cleaner - (optional - skin color embroidery floss if you choose to wrap the arms. I like #739)
Paint hair, dress top, eyes, legs, and base
Fabric for the dress. You can use this method, or the one I am showing in this tutorial.
Hot Glue and Tacky glue
Triple Thick (varnish - near the craft paint at Hobby Lobby)

Paint the bodice if you want, and don't plan to wrap it in ribbon or fabric.

NOTE - my husband drilled holes for the arms in each one. You don't have to do this, and can glue the arms on, but I like the look of the arm better with a drilled hole.

Paint the head, using instructions in the tutorial above for the Kokeshi doll, or the Indian Princess.

 Fray check the edges of the skirt and top. After it dries, glue it to the clothespin with the tacky glue.

This is Fray Check.

Stick the arms through the hole. If you don't have a hole, make two arm pieces, and glue them to either side with hot glue. Glue the head on with hot glue. I have tried other types of glue for the head, and always go back to the hot glue, because it dries quickly, and doesn't drip like others can.

The last step is to varnish them if you want. I like them varnished, but I also appreciate the look of the natural wood. If you choose to varnish, I recommend, "triple thick." I bought mine at Hobby Lobby. It goes on super thick, and all you need is one coat. It dries to the touch in 10 minutes, and completely in 24 hrs. Don't even bother with the spray varnishes. It is a waste of money.

Here is a little lady with no varnish.

You can give your little lady a sign or something to hold if you want. Here she is with varnish. It just depends on the look you want.

These are so fun, and sure to please anyone you give them to! I have given a few to girlfriends that are my age, and they love them!

Have a Happy and Creative Day!



Wendy said...

These are so darling! I'm afraid if I started making them, it would consume me...but I might try it anyway. I guess you can buy the bases at craft stores also?

shelley said...

good luck on Studio 5 ~ you will be great :)

Carrie said...

Awesome! I saw you on studio 5 today! What a fun project! I'm sure I'll be doing this :)

Unknown said...

I ADORE these! They are just so cute! I am wanting to do these for the crafts at our family reunion. Any tips? Did you use the tacky glue to glue the heads too or did you use hot glue?

Pam said...

I love these! Went right out to buy all the supplies but I can only find 1" dowel caps or 1 1/2" dowel caps. Which would you use. I can't even find them on the internet. Advice please???

restlessrisa said...

Hi Pam, I use 1 1/4" inch dowel caps from Hobby Lobby or here: http://www.craftparts.com/dowels-dowel-rods-dowel-caps-wooden-c-168_172.html

Let me know if you have any other questions :)



lambofHisflock said...

I love these! What a clear tutorial and such CUTE dolls! I shared this on my Operation Christmas Child blog as I know that children around the world would TREASURE these precious little dolls that are the perfect size for the shoeboxes.


Grace's Mom said...

Hi. The dolls are beautiful. One question do you paint face to give it skin color?

restlessrisa said...

I leave them natural.

Eileen Claire said...

Awesome! Thanks for the inspiration.

Unknown said...

when you varnish the dolls do you do it before you dress them.? you don't varnish the dress and arms, too?

restlessrisa said...

You can varnish before or after if you have a steady hand. I never varnish the arms. I put them in last. Have fun! Please send pics if you get a chance!

<3 Risa

restlessrisa said...

Another thing I started doing after this post, is I buy the wrapped floral wire, and paint it skin color. Cut after you paint, and even use a daub of glue if it starts to unravel. This saves so much time.

ABY said...

These are great, but I am not finding any specific sizes or dimensions for the skirts. Can you provide this? I would like to do these as a girl scout project, and don't want to spend time guessing.

ABY said...

These are great, but I am not finding any specific sizes or dimensions for the skirts. Can you provide this? I would like to do these as a girl scout project, and don't want to spend time guessing.

restlessrisa said...

Hi Aby, I don't have the skirt dimensions any more. Sorry. If I make another one in the near future, I will make a pattern and post it. Also... You can just cut a piece of lace, and wrap it around the waist for the skirt. That is super easy, and looks darling! Good luck! Have fun!


goldberie said...

These are beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your detailed list of products--especially the varnish. Your dolls inspire me.

lisa said...

Anyone attempting these in India? I have no idea where you'd get the clothespin bases...Help?? the other material I might attempt at a store that has craft stuff.

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