Some form of string or thread doll has been in existence for centuries. Also known as voodoo string dolls and worry dolls, they are enjoying a new popularity. The modern version of the string doll originated in Thailand and spread throughout the world. String dolls can symbolise good things such as love, luck and riches as well as negative things like death and illness. The popular little dolls were banned in China because adults worried that children were taking the dolls' alleged powers too seriously.
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Things you need
- Two Popsicle sticks
- A ball of heavy hemp twine or waxed string
- Fabric scraps
Make the body. Glue two Popsicle sticks together in the shape of a cross. The vertical stick forms the body and head while the horizontal stick makes the arms.
Wrap the string. Wrap the twine around the middle of the cross first to reinforce where it is glued. Don't cut the twine from the ball. Make the doll with one continuous piece of string. Work up to the top of the vertical stick. To define the head, wrap enough layers to make it bigger than the rest of the body. Wrap back down the body, then out one arm and back through the middle and out the other arm and back to the middle. Repeat with the legs. Wrap the twine as many times as you need to in order to make the doll as thick as you would like. When you are finished wrapping, cut the string and glue down the end.
Decorate. Glue on the fabric to dress the doll any way you please. Sew on buttons to make eyes. Glue on rhinestones, small beads, feathers, any type of adornment you please to make the string doll uniquely yours.
Tips and warnings
- A large wooden clothespin, the type that slides over the line rather than clipping to it, can be used as the body. This type of string doll will have legs but no arms and a more defined head.
- Substitute pipe cleaners or twist ties for the body.
- Wind string into a ball and glue to the top of the body to form a head.
- The String Doll Gang manufactured by Kamibashi is a popular line of collectable string dolls.
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