Sunday, 12 October 2014

TUTORIAL How I make my Handkerchief Church Dolls

When I was little my Mum boiled hankies in a saucepan to clean them......ugh !   Maybe paper tissues were an expensive luxury with six children. 
 Church Dolls have been made for centuries by mothers wanting to  pacify young children in Church.  They were taken out of Mother's pocket when the Sermon started and didn't make a noise if they were dropped.
I have been asked many times how I make my Church Dolls so I have taken step by step photos of how I made this little lady
1 Handkerchief               Lace edging                   1 Doily               Elastic Band    
Red and Blue Biros         Stuffing                            Ribbon           

I drew a simple face about an inch above the centre of a handkerchief.  I experimented using different Marker Pens but they bled sideways into the fabric. I found using a Biro worked best and it won't easily wash out if the dolly needs to be washed  Some people embroider the face on but I am just too lazy !
I sewed some pretty lace along the bottom edge turning the ends under to stop them fraying
I squeezed a small handful of Stuffing into a ball. I placed the stuffing behind the face to make a small head. I then tied an Elastic Band around my dolly's neck to keep the Stuffing in place.
The handkerchief was then knotted to make arms.  I simply held the right top corner and made one overhand knot  
I repeated this on the left giving my Dolly two arms
 I placed a Doily in position around my dolly's face. 
Back of dolly. I adjusted the Doily until it was smooth and even. I tied a Ribbon tightly around my dolly's neck to secure everything. Then I cut off the Elastic Band. I sewed a few little stitches along the top of the bonnet to secure it.  I am sending this Dolly to my young Niece who is unwell at the moment. 
Cheerio for now.   Marion x


  1. She is delightful! I love dolls! I pack dozens of shoe boxes filled with gifts for kids in need. This little doll would be perfect to add! Pinning this so I can find it when I get some hankies.

    1. It is very kind of you to fill boxes with gifts for children in need Cheryl. These little dolls weigh very little and can be made very quickly. Take care. Marion x

  2. Hi Marion, How are you? I love your doll, and the tutorial is good to.
    best wishes Julie.C

    p.s I have moved back to blogger now. x

    1. Thank you Julie. So pleased to hear that you are back with Blogger. Marion x

  3. Such a sweet project! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your tutorial:

  4. Ομορφη,και απλή κατασκευή.
    Μου αρέσει που δεν κάνει θόρυβο,
    την παίρνει το μωρό αγκαλιά και εχει θαλπωρή. ..
    Ευχαριστούμε. .!

  5. My mom had these for me...and yup...taken out during church! Thank you for the sweet memories.

    1. Thank you for your feedback Terrie. Happy memories last forever. Take care now. Marion x

  6. mom's name was Marian ;)

    1. I wonder if my name will ever come back in fashion ! I work with a Marilyn and a Miriam.

  7. In your photos, the handkerchief looks 'delicate', not like a man's handkerchief. Please tell me what kind of fabric the handkerchief's are made of or where you buy yours? This doll is perfect. I'll make some to give away, but I also want one for myself :)