How to make a rag doll (with pictures)

How to make a rag doll (with pictures)
How to make a rag doll (with pictures)

Rag dolls are classics that kids love. They are very easy to make with scraps of fabric or old fabrics that you don't need. You can make it a very simple or much more elaborate model. You can even adjust some details so that the doll is safe for small babies. Whether you decide to make a seamless pattern or a more classic one, you can be sure that your creation will be unique and made with love.


Method 1 of 2: Make a classic rag doll

Make Rag Dolls Step 1

Step 1. Choose how you want your doll to look

Choose to make a human or animal doll. Start with the color of the fabric. Any solid fabric will do, but you might prefer something close to a skin tone. Choose the color of the doll's eyes and hair. If you are making an animal, you will also need to decide on the color of its whiskers.

Traditionally, rag dolls are made from fabric scraps. Try to find enough fabric to recycle, like an old pillowcase, an old t-shirt, or clothes that don't fit anymore

Make Rag Dolls Step 2

Step 2. Draw the outlines of the doll on the fabric

To make the process easier, upload a pattern to a site like, Pinterest, or Then, trace the outline of the pattern on the fabric. Add a margin of about 1 cm all around the perimeter, to allow for seams.

Use tailor's chalk or washable felt to mark the fabric, if you don't want marks left on the final product

Make Rag Dolls Step 3

Step 3. Place a second layer of fabric underneath

Place the correct sides of the fabrics together. Cut out the pattern on the outside line. Make sure to cut both pieces of fabric at the same time.

This step will be easier if you leave the pattern on the fabric

Make Rag Dolls Step 4

Step 4. Put the two pieces together

Pin the fabric. Sew all around the two pieces. Leave an opening to introduce the padding.

Make Rag Dolls Step 5

Step 5. Relax the seams at the curves and corners

Place your scissors between the doll's legs. Cut triangular notches in the seam allowance. Be careful not to cut into the seam itself.

Make Rag Dolls Step 6

Step 6. Turn the doll over to bring out the correct side

To do this, pass the fabric through the opening. Use the eraser side of a pencil to pop out the doll's small limbs.

Make Rag Dolls Step 7

Step 7. Stuff the doll

Use the padding of your choice. You will find polyester padding in DIY stores. For a more natural approach, use cotton balls. If you're really into the green, use yarn or scraps of fabric that you have left over for other projects.

Make Rag Dolls Step 8

Step 8. Fold the edges of the opening inward

Sew the opening to close it. You could do this by hand or by machine.

Make Rag Dolls Step 9

Step 9. Define the arms and legs

Use your pencil or chalk to mark where the legs and arms meet the doll's body. Sew at these marks. Pass your needle through both layers of the fabric. Once you are done, it should have a recess between the limbs and the body.

Make Rag Dolls Step 10

Step 10. Add facial features

Sew on buttons for the eyes and nose. If you are making the doll for a baby or small child, embroider the eyes and nose, to prevent the child from tearing and choking on the buttons. Use red woolen thread or embroidery thread to make the mouth.

Make Rag Dolls Step 11

Step 11. Make the hair

For this step, use woolen thread or string. For a natural hair color, choose black, brown, yellow or orange. If you want to make a punk doll, go for pink, purple or some other original color. To implant the hair, follow the following steps.

  • Decide on the length of the doll's hair. Cut the yarn to twice this length.
  • Place the center of the wire in the center of the head. Pin it in place.
  • Sew the center of the hair to the doll's head. This should make a stripe appear in the middle.
  • Glue or sew the rest of the hair up to where the ears should be.
  • Glue or sew the rest of the hair to the back of the doll's head.
  • For a doll with long hair, make her braids or quilts.
Make Rag Dolls Step 12

Step 12. Make doll clothes

Download free patterns from a DIY site or draw your own patterns by tracing the outlines on a newspaper. Reproduce the pattern of your choice on the fabric. Cut out the garment and sew the different pieces.

You could also make clothes using fabric glue

Make Rag Dolls Step 13

Step 13. Decide what to do with the doll

Give it to a child you know. Add it to the decor of your living room or kitchen. Depending on the colors of the doll and its clothes, you can use it for a party decoration.

Method 2 of 2: Create a seamless rag doll

Make Rag Dolls Step 14

Step 1. Determine what your doll will look like

Choose whether you make her wear a dress, skirt or pants. Choose the color of her skin. You could opt for a natural skin tone or another solid color or even for patterns.

Make Rag Dolls Step 15

Step 2. Measure the fabric

Use a ruler to measure two inches in length in an old piece of fabric. Mark the 5 cm on the fabric with tailor's chalk or washable felt.

Make Rag Dolls Step 16

Step 3. Draw strips of fabric

Cut on the lines you just drew. Divide the fabric into 13 to 18 equal parts. You can do this with your marker or chalk. Cut the fabric into strips.

Make Rag Dolls Step 17

Step 4. Make the head

Roll two strips of fabric into a ball. Take two more strips and fold them over the ball. Tie the bands just under the ball, with a ribbon or elastic.

Make Rag Dolls Step 18

Step 5. Start making the garment

Place two or three strips of fabric over the doll's head. Place the strips lengthwise, in the direction of the body. Make sure the head is in the center of the bands.

Make Rag Dolls Step 19

Step 6. Finish the garment

Tie the long band with a ribbon or rubber band, just below the head. Fold the top part of the strip back, so that the head is visible again.

Make Rag Dolls Step 20

Step 7. Turn the doll over

Repeat steps 5 and 6. Thus, both sides of the doll will be dressed.

Make Rag Dolls Step 21

Step 8. Make the arms

Take two new strips of fabric. Place one on top of the other. Fold the ends in the center of the strips. Twist the strips around themselves to make them thinner. Tuck them into the doll's body, under the rubber elastic band that marks the head.

Make Rag Dolls Step 22

Step 9. Secure the arms in place

Close the area under the arms. To do this, use a ribbon or rubber band. In addition to securing the arms in place, this will shape the waist and chest.

Make Rag Dolls Step 23

Step 10. Make the legs

Divide the area below the waist into two equal parts. Twist each side once, to narrow the pile of strips. Tie each side at the bottom, to reveal the legs, ankles and feet.

Make Rag Dolls Step 24

Step 11. Add facial features

Cut out small circles of blue, green or brown fabric to make the eyes. Use a small piece of red thread to make the mouth. Glue these items on the doll's face.

Make Rag Dolls Step 25

Step 12. Your doll is ready


  • To make your doll symmetrical, trace the outline on a piece of paper, fold the pattern in half in the center and cut it while it is folded in half.
  • This doll is yours, so have fun! If you want to give her crazy colors or weird hair, don't hesitate.

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