How to Make Fabric Yo-Yo Dolls

Written by louise harding
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You can use yo-yos, long a part of American folk art, in a variety of household and apparel projects. Yo-yo creations include pillow covers, place mats, quilts, various animals and dolls. The traditional art of making yo-yo dolls allows crafters an opportunity to recycle scraps while making something charming. Even children can easily learn to sew yo-yo creations. Use pretty calico scraps for instant appeal. Sewing a yo-yo doll involves lots of repetition.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • (20) 9-inch fabric circles (paper plate size)
  • (88) 5-inch fabric circles
  • (1) 9-inch fabric circle, flesh tone
  • (4) 5-inch fabric circles, flesh tone
  • Yarn
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Large-eye needle
  • Stuffing, approx. 227gr.
  • Scissors
  • Black floss
  • Fabric paint
  • Permanent markers

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  1. 1

    Thread a needle, doubling the thread by tying the ends in a knot.

  2. 2

    Insert the needle into the right side of the fabric ¼ inch from the circle edge. Sew around the circle with a running stitch. Insert the needle into the fabric, pulling the needle until the thread stops at the fabric. Move the needle over ¼ inch from the previous stitch. Reinsert the needle into the fabric, sewing until you reach the starting point again.

  3. 3

    Pull the thread tight, gathering the circle edge so the right side of the fabric is on the Yo-Yo outside. A hole forms in the centre as the fabric folds over itself, creating a double-layered circle. Push the needle through the centre, sewing three secure stitches.This makes one Yo-Yo.

  1. 1

    Cut three 8-inch pieces of yarn. Thread a large-eye needle with one yarn piece. Tie a knot at the end. Thread a 5-inch, flesh-tone yo-yo onto the yarn, pushing it to the knot for a foot.

  2. 2

    Poke the needle through 22 5-inch yo-yos. Thread the yarn through the yo-yos, forming the left leg. Push the yo-yos down the yarn until the leg measures 4 inches. Tie the yarn above the yo-yos into a knot. Then, at the knot, tie the leg yarn to the end of a second piece (body yarn) of 8-inch yarn, leaving half of the leg yarn loose to form the right leg.

  3. 3

    Thread 22 5-inch yo-yos onto the other leg yarn, pushing the yo-yos toward the body yarn knot until the leg measures 4 inches. Thread one flesh-tone, 5-inch, yo-yo on the right leg for that foot. Sew two secure stitches through the last yo-yo. Your doll looks like a Y, with the V section of the Y as the legs and the stem of the Y as the body.

  4. 4

    Thread the needle with the top of the body yarn (the bottom of the body has two finished legs). Push the needle through 20 9-inch yo-yos, forming a body 5 inches long. On the last yo-yo, at the top of the body, sew two secure stitches with the yarn/needle.

  5. 5

    Fold the remaining 8-inch yarn piece in half. Tie the yarn centre around the top of the body yarn between the first and second body yo-yo for arms.

  6. 6

    Thread 22 5-inch yo-yos onto each arm yarn. Thread a flesh-tone, 5-inch yo-yo as the last yo-yo on each arm for hands. Sew two secure stitches with the yarn/needle to the last yo-yo on each arm.

  1. 1

    Push the stuffing into the 9-inch, flesh-tone yo-yo through the hole with your finger until it forms a "ball."

  2. 2

    Sew the bottom of the ball/head onto the yo-yo on the top of the body with needle and thread. Cut excess yarn hanging from any of the parts.

  3. 3

    Use fabric paint, permanent markers or embroidery floss to form a face. Draw two eyes, a nose, if desired, and a mouth. You can draw a sleeping eye easily by forming an upside down letter U. Simple dots will suffice for open eyes.

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