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Because the world off doll making is perfect for recycling, not only your treasured tiny pieces of fabric but also anything you might find around the house, here are a couple of ideas to create with what you have on hand. Be creative, try things and have some fun!

First you will need a doll pattern. You can find mine here, but you’re welcome to use the one you have or create one from scratch.


To make a doll you mostly need a body fabric. An old sheet, a shirt, any medium weight fabric should do. This means not too rigid and not too fragile. For this tutorial I choose a  kitchen towel, used and with lots of stains but also a nice texture. To diminish the look of stains, and to give my doll a bit more depth I stained the fabric with tea.

If you don’t have fill at home, you can always open up a pillow (be careful not to use one filled with down, it will fly everywhere and is not the best to fill out a doll). If you can’t find a willing pillow, try shredding an old towel or use small pieces of fabric. Just know the more dense the fill is, the longer it will take to dry if washed (if you’re making a doll for a child it will need a bath eventually).

My doll pattern calls for an embroidered face. If you don’t have embroidery floss, a doubled sewing thread will do just as well. For a simpler embroidered face or to watch a video to help you out at this step, you can go here. You could also use paint or applied felt to create the face of your doll.


If you follow the instructions in the pattern, you can make hair with a recycled sweater or felt. You can even use the same technique with any fabric if you’re not afraid of fraying. For this tutorial I decided to try out yarn hair with some left over. There’s lots of ways to do yarn hair on a doll, I chose an easy and fast solution that works well with yarn that has a bit of fluff.


For the clothing, anything goes. Go through your drawers and cut out the clothing you don’t wear anymore. My doll is wearing a one piece made out of an old t-shirt, the pattern is coming real soon (and it’s free!).

  1. Choose you materials

  2. Follow the instructions on the pattern to sew the body

  3. In a bowl, infuse some black tea, the quantity depends on how dark you want your doll to be ( i filled my tea ball to the maximum, and added as less water as possible for the fabric to be submerged)

  4. Take out the tea and put in the fabric, leave it for at least 3 hours

  5. Take the fabric out, rinse it and dry it (since mine was an old kitchen towel, I wasn’t afraid to put it in the dryer, after 3 hours I couldn’t wait much longer to continue this doll)

  6. Keep following the instructions to complete your doll up to the hair part

  7. Wrap your yarn around a book, the number of turns depends on your yarn and the hairstyle you want for your doll

  8. Remove the yarn from the book and attach it together at one end with sewing thread

  9. But the opposite side of the attach

  10. Place the hair on you dolls head, a bit on the forehead and fix it in the center

  11. I also fixed a couple of strands at the bottom of the head so I wouldn’t see the scalp of my doll when she moves

  12. Cut the hair to the desired length, and a couple of strands around her face

  13. Et voilà!

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