An insertable wire skeleton is an easy way to make any cloth-bodied doll poseable. Placed inside the doll before stuffing and finishing, the skeleton frame may then be bent into a variety of poses. Florist wire wrapped in foam or batting is inserted into the doll's body like a real skeleton, giving stiffness and support to the doll before it is stuffed, decorated and dressed.
Measure the proportions of your doll, including the arm length from hand to hand, the body length from the middle of the head to the crotch, and the leg length from hip to foot. These measurements will be used to customise your skeleton.
Cut lengths of florist wire to match the arm span width, the length of each leg and twice the length of the body, as previously measured.
Fold the body wire over double, so it becomes an inverted V shape. At the two points of the V shape, attach the leg wires by twisting the ends together. Tuck wires tightly to prevent sharp edges.
Lay the arm wire across the torso wire in a cross shape, so that the arm wire would be sitting level with the doll's shoulders. Use the doll body as a reference. Cross wrap the arm wire to secure the piece in place, creating a stick figure-like shape.
Fold over the tips of the wire ends at the feet and hands, and bind tightly in foam strips or cotton batting. This prevents the wire from damaging the cloth on the doll's body.
Insert the skeleton through the largest opening in the doll body. Straighten and position the wire so that the top of the skeleton extends into the head of the doll, making a bendable neck, with each arm and leg in the correct area of the doll body.
Stuff the doll with your choice of stuffing until the doll body is full. Sew holes closed with needle and thread. Dress and decorate the doll according to taste.
If florist wire is unavailable, use pipe cleaners or a covered wire that is a similar gauge.
Use care when working with the sharp ends of cut wire to avoid injury.
Tips and warnings
- If florist wire is unavailable, use pipe cleaners or a covered wire that is a similar gauge.
- Use care when working with the sharp ends of cut wire to avoid injury.
Things you need
- Pre-made, unstuffed doll body
- Measuring tape
- Florist wire
- Soft foam strips or thin cotton batting
- Stuffing, such as polyfill or cotton wool
- Needle and thread
- Wire snips