How to Make Bead Jointed Doll Bodies

Written by michelle norton | 13/05/2017
How to Make Bead Jointed Doll Bodies
Beads can be used for joints to make dolls poseable. (handmade doll with elephant image by Natalia Guseva from

Bead jointed dolls are cloth dolls given bead joints so they can be posed. Similar to resin cast ball jointed dolls, bead jointed dolls allow the joints to move in a realistic manner and stay in the position they are left in. Each cloth doll part is sewn one at a time, and then joined with string sewn into the limbs of the doll. You can add as many beads as there are joints, allowing for any part of the door to be posed.

Draw your doll pattern on the parchment paper using the white marking pencil. You will need a head with neck back and front, as well as a body back and front. Draw tubes for the upper arms and thighs. Draw two sides for the lower arm and hands. The lower arm should be slightly small around than the tube for the upper arm. Draw two sides for the lower legs and feet. Use the ruler to help you draw the parts in sizes that will fit together.

Pin the patterns to the fabric and cut the patterns out of the paper and out of the fabric at the same time.

Remove the pins and pattern paper from the head fabric pieces. Lay the fabric pieces together, inside out.

Sew the head pieces together with the needle and thread with a straight stitch around edge of the head. Leave the neck open. Stitch back the other way so that there are no gaps in the stitches.

Turn the head inside out and fill with stuffing. Sew the neck opening shut so it is flat.

Repeat the last three steps for all body parts. After stuffing, sew flat any ends where the part will join with other parts.

Paint the parts with fabric paints to decorate the doll. Allow the parts to dry completely.

Sew the head to the body by sticking the needle into the bottom part of the neck, through the top of the body and up again through the neck before pulling the needle out. Repeat this all the way around the neck.

Attach beads to the shoulders of the body and the hips by sewing the beads into the body, stringing loosely so that the string will move around the bead. The hip beads should be sewn together with a strand going through both beads so the doll can sit.

Attach the upper arms and thighs to the beads in the same manner. Attach the elbow and knee joint beads to those parts and the lower arms and legs.


You can use a sewing machine at a slow speed to sew the doll together, but you will still need a needle to thread the beads.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use a sewing machine at a slow speed to sew the doll together, but you will still need a needle to thread the beads.

Things you need

  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Cloth
  • Scissors
  • Six beads
  • Parchment paper
  • White marking pencil
  • Stuffing
  • Fabric paint
  • Art brushes
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • String

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