Revamping an old doll or making a new one almost always requires a doll wig. While you can buy doll wigs, making your own doll wigs allows for creativity and a one-of-a-kind doll creation. Merino wool roving can allow you to create a doll wig for a boy doll, a fairy doll, a gnome or an old man or woman. This natural material is quite easy to dye and can be sculpted or styled to create the look you desire.
Wrap the doll's head in a plastic bag and tape securely into place. Measure the doll from ear to ear and front hairline to nape.
Cut a rectangle of wool felt slightly larger than the doll's head measurements. Soak the felt in lukewarm water and press out the excess. Place the felt on the doll's head, pinching out the excess and securing with small bulldog clips. Allow to dry completely. Remove, cut away excess fabric and stitch seams where the fabric is removed to make a wig form for your doll.
Prepare your merino wool roving. Dye the roving if desired using acid or food dyes and allow to dry (see Resources). Separate your dry roving into long strips of loose fibres rather than larger clumps or rope-like sections.
Use a serrated knife to roughly cut a block of foam to the size and shape of your doll's head. Place the felt wig form for your roving doll wig onto this foam ball.
Lay strips of wool roving onto the doll wig form. Determine whether you want the hair to have a part or not and the general style. Hold a felting needle firmly by the bent, unbarbed end and push the felting needle through each piece of roving, through the felt and into the foam ball. Pull the felting needle back and out and repeat to attach the wool roving to the felt (the foam serves as a support for the wig base and nothing more). Secure each section at one end of the wool roving strip to form a rooted wig or secure at a central point on the head to form a parted hair style for your merino wool doll wig.
Continue securing wool roving to the felt wig base with a felting needle until the base is fully covered. Hand stitch the wool felt to the doll's head with a doll sewing needle and matching thread, or use glue to attach your doll wig to a plastic or porcelain doll. Trim the roving into the desired shape and style. Use your fingers to form the hair style and secure the style by felting lightly as necessary.
Felting needles are barbed, so you can attach the wool roving to the felt without sewing. Practice needle felting with spare roving and felt before working on your doll wig to get the hang of it.
Felting needles hurt! Be careful when using them.
Tips and warnings
- Felting needles are barbed, so you can attach the wool roving to the felt without sewing.
- Practice needle felting with spare roving and felt before working on your doll wig to get the hang of it.
- Felting needles hurt! Be careful when using them.