Instructions on Yo-Yo Clown Dolls

Written by linda shepard
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Instructions on Yo-Yo Clown Dolls
Use colourful fabric patterns to create a yo-yo clown doll. (fabrics image by bright from

Yo-yos are fabulous little fabric circles that can be transformed into a variety of objects including coverlets, pillows and tablecloths. One of the more imaginative uses of yo-yos is the clown doll, which was a very popular craft project during the 1940s. Yo-yos are sewn up from quilt fabrics and strung together to create a colourful clown. The lively clowns will enchant all with the merry sounds they make from the jingle bells on the tips of their feet, arms and hat.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 8 fat quarters of quilt fabric in various patterns
  • Compact music disc
  • Salad plate
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Needle, size 9
  • Cotton thread
  • 3 two-hole buttons
  • 5 jingle bells
  • Heavy carpet thread
  • 4 tapestry needles
  • Fabric paint
  • Paintbrush

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    Sew the Yo-yos

  1. 1

    Cut out 66 yo-yo circles of fabric, using the compact disc as a template by tracing around the disc with the pencil.

  2. 2

    Create a yo-yo by holding the wrong side of the fabric circle towards you, folding a 1/4-inch edge forward and sewing small straight stitches around the entire circle edge.

  3. 3

    Pull the thread tight after completing the straight stitches on the folded edge. Knot thread securely.

  4. 4

    Create 66 yo-yos with the same method.

  5. 5

    Make a dinner-plate sized fabric circle to create a yo-yo neck ruffle.

    Assemble the Clown Doll

  1. 1

    String together one jingle bell and 15 yo-yos, with the yo-yo circle loop toward the bell, with the tapestry needle and carpet thread for a clown leg. Leave the needle and thread in place, emerging from the top of the leg. Repeat for the second leg.

  2. 2

    String together the 11 yo-yo clown arms, with a jingle bell at the hand end for each, in the same manner.

  3. 3

    Pass the leg needles through the holes of the button and tie the threads securely. String 13 yo-yos for the clown body, passing both tapestry needles through the yo-yos and through the buttonholes of the second button. Tie threads securely.

  4. 4

    Pass the arm needles through the second button’s holes and tie the threads securely.

  5. 5

    Create a head and pointed hat for the clown doll with white muslin and a contrasting fabric. Cut the muslin into an oval, using the dinner plate as a rough guide. Cut a triangle of contrasting fabric for the pointed hat and sew one edge to the top of the muslin oval.

  6. 6

    Pass all four tapestry needles through the clown neck ruffle and final neck yo-yo. Place the last buttonhole inside the tip of the clown hat and pass all needles through the two holes, the fabric and a jingle bell, bringing the threads back to the wrong side of the head fabric. Tie the threads securely and cut them.

  7. 7

    Sew the back seam of the head and hat together and stuff the head with leftover fabric scraps. Stitch around the head neck and pull tight to gather. Paint eyes, nose and mouth on the clown head.

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