Spud says (the blog)

Old-Fashioned Yarn Dolls

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

My daughter started making yarn dolls last summer after seeing one somewhere or other. Now we have yarn dolls hanging around the house in various spots and I love them. I thought I would remind you of or pass on this fun little project today. It is perfect when you have a tiny bit of yarn left over from a project that isn’t really enough to be knit up into something else.

Yarn dolls kind of remind of scarecrows in a funny way which is perfect for this time of year. They could also make a great yarn-y ornament for your Christmas tree. Your yarn dolls could be cute tied on the top of a smartly wrapped present or on a gift bag handle. That would add a handmade touch and a little character to any gift. Better yet if you are a yarn shop owner, yarn dolls in Spud & Chloë sprinkled around the shop or in an eye-catching display of some sort would be a fun way to show off our mod color spread to your customers! Cute.

Let’s get creative and have a little yarn doll fun.

Colors in the Spud & Chloë Sweater yarn from left to right are as follows: Firefly, Pollen, Ice Cream, Splash, Moonlight and Grass. Make a doll yourself or grab a nearby child (the willing and crafty type) and let’s make a yarn doll together. It only takes a few minutes to start spreading the smiles. My daughter helped me make this bunch of dolls up today.

We made our yarn dolls out of Spud & Chloë Sweater, but you could use Fine or Outer, too. The dolls would end up different sizes which would be fun. A tiny doll out of Fine would be wonderful. I’ll try that next.

I use my Pom Tree set at 3 inches (in the photo it is set at 1 inch) but a piece of cardboard cut to 3 inches in width would work just as well. You need a scissors and a yarn needle, too. You can order a Pom Tree here. I have no affiliation of any sort with Alice (the inventor and seller of the Pom Tree), I just think it is a really cool tool.

Now the Pom Tree is set at 3 inches between the dowels. Wrap your yarn around the dowels about 100 times. This doesn’t matter so much to be exact. For example, for the yarn doll in the Splash colorway I just used up the rest of the yarn I had.


With a length of yarn, tie a knot tightly toward the top to make the head of the doll. If you are using a Pom Tree you will now slide the doll off of the dowels. If you are using cardboard you will slide the wrapped yarn off before tying off the head.

Now take another cut length of yarn, about 8 inches long, and thread the end on a yarn needle.

Pull the length of yarn on the yarn needle through the center of the head and tie it tightly with a knot at the top of the head. This length is the hanging loop so tie the ends into a knot.

Cut the loops at the bottom.

By the way, if this doll was made in Ice Cream it would look like a ghost right now. You could glue on a couple of tiny google eyes and have an instant and easy Halloween decoration!

I don’t count the strands to make the arms, I just separate 3  groups of strands to form the two arms and the body. You can just eyeball it. It’s just a yarn doll for goodness sakes:)

Cut another length of yarn and tie it tightly around the body of the doll to make a waist.

With two more cut lengths, tie the arms to make wrists. Trim all of the ends from the ties or any strays to make things even. Now, one version of the yarn doll is left with a skirt like the one above.

The other version has the skirt divided into two parts and then tied again at the ankles to make legs. We made both kinds of dolls.

So nothing too serious today, just a little yarn doll fun to share with you. This is a good project to get even really young kids involved with yarn. Even if the little ones can’t tie they could pick colors, wrap the yarn, put a finger down to hold the yarn while you are tying knots in various spots and of course, all kids love to hang the finished yarn dolls around the house.

One trick I have for tying the knots tightly is to wrap the yarn under twice instead of just once before pulling it up tight for the knots. This makes it hold better. Give it a try!

Have fun.

One more quick thing, the Ravelry link for the Outsider Mittens is here if you want to check it out.

18 Responses to “Old-Fashioned Yarn Dolls”

  1. October 26, 2009 at 7:28 am Terri says:

    Cute! I have lots of those bits of left over yarn. What a great way to use them up. I love the idea of using these to decorate a gift or even as ornaments.

  2. October 26, 2009 at 8:47 am Becky says:

    Fun! What a great picture of the Collector too!

  3. October 26, 2009 at 9:40 am anne widtfeldt says:

    Glad you are coming to Minneapolis. Looking forward to seeing you at Needlework Unlimited on November 13th. The Collector is really the blog star. She is amazing and talented like her Mom.

  4. October 26, 2009 at 10:05 am Terrie says:

    These are adorable! I remember having some of these as Christmas tree decorations when I was a kid…they had life saver rolls for bodies :D

  5. October 26, 2009 at 12:33 pm Rachel says:

    I remember these from childhood. Christmas time we would make them for the tree in white.

    Thanks Susan!

  6. October 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm Maureen says:

    I absolutely forgot about these little dolls until I read your blog tonight…I love them! I want to send some yarn and directions to a little person who lives on the other side of the world…but I was unable to print them. I also tried the tutorial link but received only blank pages from my printer. Are you able to please “fix” this problem for me…I would be most grateful!

    Thank you so much for your on-going inspiration, yarn “fun”, and generosity..enjoy your time with your beaufitul children!

  7. November 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm Robbin says:

    Bring on the Life Saver dolls!!!

  8. August 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm Bill says:

    Can I buy some from you? How much do you charge?

    Regards~ Bill

    • August 9, 2010 at 7:57 am sanderson says:

      Sorry, not for sale.

  9. June 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm Laura says:

    Thanks for sharing! Found you via Pinterest. Will be doing these tomorrow. I have tons of “extra” yarn!

  10. November 1, 2011 at 7:17 am Sue says:

    This brought back memories. My mom taught me how to make these when i was little and I did this for a 4H project and got a blue ribbon for my demonstration on it!!! This was almost 30 years ago. Thanks for taking me back.

  11. November 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm massaranduba says:

    So not really on the same topic as your post, but I found this today and I just can’t resist sharing. Mrs. Agathe’s dishwasher quit working so she called a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told him, “I’ll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I’ll mail you the check. Oh, and by the way…don’t worry about my Doberman. He won’t bother you. But, whatever you do, do NOT under ANY circumstances talk to my parrot!” When the repairman arrived at Mrs. Agathe’s apartment the next day, he discovered the biggest and meanest looking Doberman he had ever seen. But just as she had said, the dog simply laid there on the carpet, watching the repairman go about his business. However, the whole time the parrot drove him nuts with his incessant cursing, yelling and name-calling. Finally the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled, “Shut up, you stupid ugly bird!” To which the parrot replied, “Get him, Spike!”

  12. December 11, 2011 at 1:32 am Virginia says:

    These are great, made one for my niece who is just two. I was just wondering if I could dress them, with little clothes from a hobbie store. I am going to go hunting.

  13. October 26, 2009 at 10:33 am Cheryl says:

    That’s what I was going to tell her! You can make the little bodies out of Lifesavers…just made some for our bazaar! Cute!

  14. October 26, 2009 at 11:04 am sanderson says:

    I want to see one of those with the lifesavers for the body. I vaguely remember these from childhood. How do those work?

    I remember every year getting the book of lifesavers for Christmas. I thought it was the best thing ever! Too funny.

  15. October 27, 2009 at 2:34 pm sanderson says:

    Did you try to copy and paste this in your word program? That may be the easiest way to print out the post. That’s what I do when I want to print from a blog.

    Hope it works.