A yarn doll is really quick and easy to make and is a fantastic use for leftover yarn from other projects. I first encountered them many years ago as ‘dammit dolls’. I have included a free printable sheet of the labels to use if you would like ‘dammit dolls’. These make great gifts or craft items to sell. However you can just make them to play with as countless generations have done already. Involve the kids in making them with you!
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What will you need?
Yarn – any material or thickness – selection of colours from Amazon
Labels (for dammit dolls) – Dammit doll labels
Decide on the size of your doll. The one shown in this tutorial is 17cm (6¾ “). I wrapped the yarn 30 times around a piece of card that was 21cm (8¼ “) wide to achieve that size in the end. It was the back off an old A4 writing pad. The more times you wrap it around the fatter your doll will be.
Once you are happy with the amount of times you have wrapped the yarn cut it off the cardboard at either end where it wraps around. This will result in (in my case 60) a bundle of yarn threads.
Take another length of yarn and tie it around the yarn bundle approximately 2.5cm (1″) from one end. This will form the hair of your doll. Allow the long lengths to lie down in the bundle as extra thickness. This will prevent the knot from being pulled and possibly coming undone.
Approximately 2cm (¾“) from the first tie wrap another yarn length round the bundle, pull it tight and fasten it. This will form the head of your yarn doll.
You now need to make the arms for your doll. I wrapped some yarn around a piece of cardboard that was 10cm (4″) wide and wrapped it around 20 times. I must say that I think the arms are too short so I recommend making them a bit longer (perhaps 12.5cm (5″)). As for the doll, cut the yarn off the cardboard at both ends and form a bundle.
Approximately 1.5cm (5/8″) in from each end wrap a length of yarn around the bundle, pull it tight and tie it off. You have now formed the hands. Allow the lengths to join the arms.
Take the yarn doll and split the largest length of yarn into two approximately equal bundles. Insert the arms as close to the head as possible.
Close the long lengths of yarn over the arms and secure with a new piece of yarn wrapped around the bundle directly below the arms, pulled tight and tied off. This forms the body of the doll. Do not worry if you have some straggly bits of yarn; you can tidy them all up at the end.
Now you have a decision to make. If your doll is wearing a skirt then you are now finished so simple go around the doll tidying up all the ends. Ideally all the yarns are the same length. I tidied mine up with a pair of sharp dressmaking scissors. This is a pink doll that I made in this way.
If, however you want your doll to have legs separate the remaining length if yarns into two equal groups. Then for each bundle separate it into 3 equal groups and plait it to form a leg. Approximately 2cm ( ¾”) from the end of the yarn wrap a piece of yarn around the bundle, pull it tight and tie it off. This will hold the plait in place and form the foot. Repeat for the other leg!
Now trim off any straggly ends and you have completed your yarn doll.
You can scale this up or down to make larger or smaller dolls, Experiment with different yarns and different lengths of yarn to make a range of yarn dolls to play with. If you want a dammit doll simply print off a label on thin card, cut it out, punch a hole in it and attach it to the doll using a length of yarn.
If you have any difficulties with lengths of yarn that you have used for tying off not lying flat then use a needle to thread them underneath the knot that you made. This should make them lie flat with the other yarn lengths.
I think they make quirky gifts for all ages but kids really love them so look through your yarn stash and have a go!
If you enjoyed this tutorial then take a look at some of my others:
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