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Monday, February 23, 2015

Clothespin Dolls

how to make clothespin dolls, clothes pin dolls
My niece Hadley loves little people - little Minnie Mouse, little Fisher Price people, little ceramic figures - if she can hold one in each hand - she loves them!  So I started thinking about how I could make some little people for her.  I was in the midst of researching peg dolls, when I came across clothespin dolls wrapped in embroidery thread and fell in love with them.
I went to Hobby Lobby and discovered they have clothespins, wooden balls and clothespin stands.  BUT then I got home and found the wooden balls don't fit on the clothespins, so I went to Michaels and found what I needed.
For this project you'll need:
wooden clothespins
wooden balls that fit with the clothespins
clothespin stands (optional)
various colors of embroidery floss
paint (flesh color and eye color)
paint brushes
hot glue gun

The first thing I did was to paint the wooden balls with my peachy paint color.  They are awkward to paint, but come out pretty good.  I tried dipping one into paint and that ended up too thick and uneven.

Then I hot glued a dot at the back of the doll and started wrapping. 

Stripes are easy to do and add visual interest to the dolls clothing.

The face details were all an experiment.  I think I ended up using one dot from a q-tip as the eye color and one dot from a toothpick in the center.  As you see below, I tried different colors and techniques.  For the cheek color, I used a dry paint brush and dabbed off most of the excess before painting.  The smiles were done by toothpicks.

This was my fancy paint palette.

Then I hot glued the head to the body.

Then I added hair.
To make curly or wavy hair, you get the embroidery thread wet (dip it in water and then squeeze it out) and then wrap it around something (for the tight blond curls, I used a wooden dowel rod I had and for the red waves I used a candlestick) and then let it dry overnight.
For the men's hair, I just cut tiny pieces of embroidery thread and put them in a pile, then hot glued an area on the top of the head and dipped it into the pile of thread.
I actually modeled these dolls after my niece, her parents and myself, so for those that know my family - below is me, Hadley, Lance and Jordan!

As I hoped, Hadley loved playing with them!



  1. they are beautiful job the dolls are wonderful - I love the curls - I have done the same thing and baked them in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes to get curls - yours are absolutely lovely dolls.




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