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Thursday, August 16, 2012

make a life sized doll of yourself

Inspired by Steven Caney's book Kid's America, my daughter decided to make a life sized doll. Then my sons decided to make them too. This project took one evening and the following morning to complete - but it seems like the fun just might be starting. These dolls go everywhere with us now. They ride in the car and occupy the driver and passenger seats while we are in the grocery. They sit at the table and eat with us. The are danced with and fought with. So much fun, and so simple to make.

Each kid needed 3 yards of white muslin (this cost us about $10 all together). We traced their bodies gingerbread man style, pinned them up and sewed them on the tracing line (leaving a whole in the head). Then we cut them out and turn them inside out. We filled the hands, feet and head with old pillow fluff and the bulk of the body with newspaper. We put extra stuffing along the belly to make it soft.

My daughter drew her face on with sharpies. The alternative, that the boys took, was to print out a photograph of their faces on fabric and glue them on.
The best part about these dolls is that they can fit into your child's clothes. Dress up is easy and fun.

My daughter sewed yarn hair on to her doll, while my son had me take a picture of the back of his head and print it on fabric so he could glue it on the back of the head. 

This was well worth the work of making the dolls. They are taking creative play to a new level around here!

Here is the link to the book we were inspired by. Despite the horrible cover, it is a gem and I highly recommend having this and all Caney's other books in your library. He takes kids play and design seriously and seems to have so much respect for the process and abilities of children. I am a huge fan.


  1. You are the coolest mother on Earth! Love this.

  2. i can’t believe someone else has that book!!! :D

    love their dolls — love love

  3. I made these with my 3 and 5 year old girls and ours look so strange. The kids think they are simply the greatest! They tie them to their own bodies, sleep with them, throw them off the top bunk, jump on them and dress them up. What fun. Thanks for the inspiration!


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