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How to Make a Rag Doll

Rag dolls are old-time favorites of children. They're super easy to make from spare pieces of fabric or unwanted older fabric that would otherwise be thrown out. You can make them as simple or as complex as you like. You can even adjust certain details to be safe for the youngest babies. You can make something unique and from the heart.

Things You'll Need

Cloth scraps
Buttons or embroidery floss
Tailor's chalk or washable marker
Straight pins
Cotton, polyester, or scrap yarn for stuffing
Sewing needle
Ribbon or rubber band
Fabric glue

Make a Rag Doll Step 1

1. Choose how you want your doll to look.

Choose a human or an animal. Start with the fabric color. Any plain fabric will do, but you might want to choose something approximately skin-colored. Decide on the color of the hair and eyes. If you're making an animal, you should also decide on whisker color. Traditionally, rag dolls were made from scraps of fabric (rags). Try to find enough fabric to recycle from a pillowcase, an old shirt, or clothes that don't fit.

Make a Rag Doll Step 2

2. Draw the outline for your doll on a cloth. To make things easier, download free templates from websites like AllFreeSewing.com, Pinterest, or AllCrafts.net. Then, trace the outline onto the fabric. Add some extra width (half an inch to 5/8") all around the outside of your outline for a seam allowance. Use tailor's chalk or washable pencil to mark the fabric if you don't want leftover marks showing through.

Ragdoll pattern

To make a rag doll, start by cutting out 2 patterns from your chosen fabric and pinning 1 pattern on top of the other. Then, stitch around the outline, but make sure to leave a small space for the stuffing. Next, turn the doll inside out by pulling the fabric through the opening, then put in the stuffing and sew the stitches for the arm and leg joints. Afterwards, use string, yarn, and buttons to make the hair and facial features, and sew them onto your doll.

One way to get your doll the same shape on both sides is to trace the outline on paper, fold this pattern in half down the middle, and cut it while it is folded in half. This doll is your own, so have fun with it. If you want crazy colors or crazy hair, make your doll that way.

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