How to make nylon needle sculpted baby dolls

Written by fred samsa
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How to make nylon needle sculpted baby dolls
Re-use old nylon stockings to make a sculpted nylon baby doll. (office lady in high heels image by Hao Wang from

Nylon is a wonderfully versatile craft fabric. It is easy to stretch into any number of shapes and forms, and it is quite durable as well. Many people also have a great source of free craft nylon in discarded nylon stockings. If you have an old nylon stocking or two, or another source of nylon material for crafting, you can make your own sculpted baby dolls in an afternoon, using only materials you likely already have lying around the house.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Nylon stockings or other nylon material
  • 7.5 cm (3 inch) needle and coloured thread
  • Transparent nylon monofilament
  • Buttons
  • Yarn
  • Thimble (optional)
  • Fabric scraps or batting stuffing material
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker or paints (optional)

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    The body

  1. 1

    Cut off the bottom of a nylon stocking, about 30 cm (1 foot) above the toe.

  2. 2

    Create your own nylon tube (if you don't have a stocking) by sewing two opposite edges of a piece of nylon fabric together, and then binding the bottom of the resulting cylinder with thread.

  3. 3

    Stuff your stocking or nylon tube with fabric scraps or batting material. Fill the tube so that the nylon just begins to stretch.

  4. 4

    Tie off the top of the tube with a piece of coloured yarn. Select the same colour that you would like to use for your baby doll's hair.

  5. 5

    Tie off the tube about one-third of the distance from the top with thread. Tie the thread tightly to create a sharp crease in the tube -- this will define the doll's head.

  6. 6

    Cut a piece of fabric scrap to fit the doll's circumference, and sew the fabric to the doll's body.

    The face

  1. 1

    Draw the outline of a nose on the doll's face with a sharp pencil or fine-point pen. Thread a 7.5 cm (3 inch) needle with transparent nylon monofilament thread for sculpting.

  2. 2

    Insert the needle into the upper rear of the head (this area will be covered by hair later), guiding the needle out along the upper right part of the nose outline. Push in with a finger on the area just outside the nose outline to create a raised dimension for the nose, and reinsert the needle along the nose outline. Pull the thread just tight enough to hold the dimension you created with your finger.

  3. 3

    Guide the needle out at the upper left of the nose outline, and repeat the process described above. Work your way down the outline of the nose, working each side alternately. Remember to push the fabric into place with a finger, and pull the needle to hold the fabric in place. Tie the thread off behind the doll's head when finished.

  4. 4

    Sew additional pieces of coloured yarn to the top of the doll to serve as hair and to cover any stitches behind the head, and sew buttons on the front of the doll's face to represent eyes.

  5. 5

    Finish your doll by sculpting a mouth, using the process described above for the nose. Alternatively, paint or draw a mouth using fabric markers or paints.

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