Felt Play Dolls and Tutorial Round Up

I've been in need of quiet toys for the kids, and so I decided to make some felt dolls. I was really excited to see that they were really into them. That's not always a given, some toys are hit and miss. But these have been such a big hit, I kind of wish I'd saved them for birthdays. I can see this being a great tool for homeschooling because you can easily add new parts as you're learning about new things.

As usual, there is a wealth of tutorials and ideas around that I really enjoyed perusing. The whole project can be no-sew if you want - which makes such a satisfying quick project. If you want to make a set of dolls, or a felt board, have a look at what I did and some of the great links below.

I made each of the girls a small felt board with a pocket on the back (the link for this tutorial is below!). I can store them face to face, and stuff all their accessories in the pockets. I put all the parts in baggies and drew pictures of some of the parts that are inside - I don't really expect this to last long, but it makes me happy now. :) I think these are great for traveling, but a really big board would be fun, too.

I cut everything from cheap craft felt with sharp scissors. Craft felt can be thin at times, which is really okay for this project, but I did put fusible interfacing on the back of the doll bodies to make them a little sturdier. I used fabric glue for attaching permanent things like hair and bows on dresses.

My template (scroll down) includes a child and an adult size - I've only made the child so far.  I cut out the bodies first, and then used my body template as a guide for the clothing instead of drawing out each garment first. I also threw in some random shapes that I thought I might use as guides, but mostly I just free hand cut everything else.

I made a playground.

The girls love the tea party. They can push the boards together when the dolls want to have a party.

Felt board tutorials:
 - Jennifer Dawn has a great felt board tutorial which is what I used, and I totally recommend. I haven't used a glue gun since college, but making this board reminded me why people love them so much: they're awesome.
 - I also loved this chalk board and felt board pair for a playroom
 - Find more fun ideas like this postman set, at Artful Parent

Doll tutorials:
 - Here is a simple felt doll template by Jennifer Dawn who made the board above.
 - About  has some paper doll templates and lots of clothes that would work nicely.
 - If you use die cutters, this is a really nice set.
 - I loved this doll and her clothes. I thought she was a bit too mature looking for my toddlers, but I love the details on the clothing. I meant to do more of that, and maybe I still will.
 - Another cute felt doll set with some fun details
 - You can use printed fabric for dolls, like Mayamade (with a nice travel board tutorial also).
 - And if you'd rather have a full blown pattern, there are some tidy simple sets for sale  on etsy by Lucky Penny.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing the template for the dolls! I've been trying to draw the shape for a felt doll by hand and I couldn't get the proportions right. This is perfect - just enough detail without being too grown up for my toddler. Thanks!