Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Handmade Dolls from Upcycled Materials

handmade doll
Dolls create special magic for children and adults, especially when those dolls are lovingly made by hand. The writers on Squidoo share their secrets to doll-making success with projects for a Tin Can Man, a Lalaloopsy Rag Doll, a Japanese bottle doll and doll clothes made from a sock.

Dolls were a memorable part of my childhood. My Dad Was an International Traveler when I was a kid and he brought me a doll from every country he visited. My mom taught me to sew and one of our favorite mother-daughter sewing projects was a set of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy rag dolls.

When I was selected as the Recycler Contributor on Squidoo, I wasn't too sure what to do about a logo for The Recycler Network's social media channels. I grabbed an assortment of recycled and upcycled items found around my home, arranged those items artfully on the kitchen counter and started shooting pictures.

One of the items I grabbed was a doll that my aunt had made for me many years ago. She's only 6 inches tall but she's 100% recycled. From her button arms and legs to her hand-me-down dress, her sock stuffed body and her yarn scrap hair. She begged to be the mascot for The Recycler Network.

If the traditional rag doll is more to your liking, chibikitty shows us How to make a Lalaloopsy Rag Doll and even supplies a free pattern to make it even easier to create your own rag doll.

Until next time, share the love and give the gift of a handmade doll!


Posted by Coletta Teske
Coletta Teske

About This Contributor

Coletta Teske writes reviews on books, business management, writing, crafting, cooking, and gardening. She is also an avid recycler and shares her tips on recycling. She delights in upcycling an old object, recycling or transforming discarded items into a new treasure.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. The Recycler mascot is truly the perfect choice! I wasn't a "doll" kid, baseball was more my thing, but Raggedy Ann and Andy and any cloth dolls I loved. My mom made us all sock dolls when we were kids. Oh, those tin can dolls of Peggy's are delightfully done! Off to play with all the other dolls you share. (Yes, I'm enjoying my second childhood, ha!)

  2. Good for you, Ruthi! Enjoy your second childhood. Aren't those tin can dolls adorable! You should make a sock doll and write a lens.

    1. Hey, I'm doing good stepping out of my comfort zone these days, so who knows... I just might make myself a reading doll!

  3. What fun ideas for doll-making! As a crafter, I love finding new ideas for re-using and using-up my craft supplies. Dolls are ideal, especially with young grandgirls!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed these tutorials. It is so much fun making dolls and, with a little creativity, the patterns can be changed to make a rag toy for a young grandboy!

  4. The dolls from my childhood are some of my most treasured possessions, especially the handmade dolls. I love the ideas featured here and turning what would otherwise be considered trash into treasures.

    1. Thank you, Cynthia! The doll projects featured in this post are so easy to make and they are perfect projects for families to do together.

  5. I make dolls also! Great ideas here Colleta


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