Rag Doll

Young girls love to play with dolls and they will love to make these simple pioneer rag dolls. It will be just like the one that grandma played with when she was young. But best of all is that you will have a great activity to do together, thus creating a memory that will live on.


1 yard natural muslin

3′ Styrofoam Ball (or wadded-up newspaper or foil)

2 small buttons (for eyes)

Acrylic paint, pale pink

Yarn or craft hair

Small straw hat or bonnet

Scraps of cotton print, lace, and ribbon (for apron)

Buttons, bows, and dried flowers


Tear the muslin into 1′ strips across the grain, from selvage to selvage. Pull off any hanging threads and smooth the strips flat. Cut 9 strips of muslin in half and set them aside.

To make the head, place a strip of muslin over the ball so that the strip is centered. Leave the ends hanging down to form the doll’s body. Cover the entire ball, criss-crossing the strips over the top, until you’ve used all but the short ones you set aside.

Tie the neck tightly with one of the short strips. Divide the body strips in half. Sandwich all but 3 of the short strips horizontally in between the arms. Tie the long body strips together under the arms with a short strip, making a waist. Tie one of the two remaining strips around each arm, about ‘ from the end, to fashion the hands.

Glue on button eyes and dab on a little pink paint for blush on the cheeks. Glue the hair and bonnet or hat onto the head.

To make the apron, tear an 8′ X 6′ piece of cotton fabric. Gather along one.0 of the long edges. Tear strips of fabric to make a sash and straps. Glue the straps across the shoulders and glue the apron to the waist.

Tie the sash around the waist and decorate with buttons, bows, and dried flowers.

(Note: Make a boy doll by separating the legs and tying them at the ankles. Make a pair of overalls out of an old pair of jeans and a fishing pole from a stick and string.)

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