How to make waldorf dolls

Written by michelle powell-smith
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How to make waldorf dolls
Waldorf doll face (Michelle Powell-Smith)

Waldorf dolls are simple, classic dolls made of natural materials that allow a child's imagination to thrive. Wool stuffing provides a satisfying weight and warmth as the child carries the doll. Cotton interlock skin is available in a variety of skin tones, and natural wool and mohair yarns allow you to create a variety of hairstyles for your Waldorf dolls. The doll body is simple and minimally articulated, speeding up the doll-making process somewhat.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wool batting or roving
  • Tubular gauze or nylon stockings
  • Skin tone cotton interlock
  • Doll-making needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Embroidery floss

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Roll wool roving or strips of wool batting to create a firm ball approximately the size of a baseball for a 16-inch to 18-inch Waldorf doll. Wrap the ball in long strips of batting or roving, arranging them evenly. Allow the ends of these strips to extend several inches below the bottom of the Waldorf doll head form. Insert this wool ball into the tube of gauze or nylon stocking. Tie around both the gauze and wool batting at the base of the Waldorf doll head.

  2. 2

    Cut two lengths of sturdy cotton string, each approximately 24 inches long. Wrap one securely around the head vertically and pull snug. This will create a shape defining the face and the back of the head. Secure a second string and wrap it around the head form horizontally approximately at a point approximately two-thirds of the total height of the head. Use a needle and thread to secure both the head and eye thread together where they intersect.

  3. 3

    Cut each pattern piece for your Waldorf doll out of cotton interlock in the skin tone of your choosing. Cotton velour or cotton jersey will also work for your Waldorf doll skin. Most Waldorf doll patterns include a front and back body piece, arm and leg patterns, and a head pattern piece to be seamed up the back.

  4. 4

    Sew arm and leg pieces together and stuff firmly. Attach to the body pieces and stuff your Waldorf doll body. Allow some additional space in the core of the body for the free ends of the Waldorf doll head. Dolls for older children should be more firmly stuffed than those for a very young child. The only opening remaining in your doll will be at the neck. Fold the edge under neatly and stitch a sturdy running stitch around this edge.

  5. 5

    Seam the head piece and pull snugly over the head form. Insert the head into body. The batting will finish stuffing the body piece and stabilise the head. Pull the running stitch around the neck snug and stitch the head to the body using a doll-making needle and doubled thread. Sew your Waldorf doll head securely into place.

  6. 6

    Use embroidery floss to stitch simple eyes and a mouth onto the Waldorf doll head. Attach hair as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Opt for a velour body or build in tights and clothing for a durable and cute doll for a young child.
  • Waldorf dolls must be carefully spot-cleaned or hand-washed to avoid damage.

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