Adventures in Waldorf Toy Making: Making Bendy Dolls!

This weekend I learned how to make Bendy Dolls out of pipe cleaners, embroidery floss, and a little felt.  They are truly so easy to make, and there are many wonderful tutorials out there on how to make them.  I am putting links to some of the wonderful tutorials I used at the bottom of the post, but first, I would like to share how I made my first doll!

How to make a waldorf inspired bendy doll

Materials Used:

1 Pipe cleaner
1 skein flesh colored embroidery floss
1 skein light purple embroidery floss
1 skein dark purple embroidery floss
1 skein yellow embroidery floss for hair
1 1 inch wooden bead from craft store
1/4 sheet purple felt
craft paint white, blue and sienna

 1: Using a pair of scissors, cut the pipe cleaner about 1/3 of the way in.  Put the small piece aside, and fold the large piece exactly in half.

2: Using scissors, trim the top of the pipe cleaner at the fold line to get a bit of that extra fuzz off of it.  We want as little bulk as possible so we can squeeze it through the bead.

How to make a waldorf inspired bendy doll

3: Cut some yellow embroidery floss at double the length you want the hair to be.

4: Place the floss in the fold of the pipe cleaners.  Take the wooden bead and slide it up towards the floss.  Pull the bead over the floss as far as it will go.  A tiny bit of the top of the pipe cleaner may protrude, but don’t worry about that now.

How to make a waldorf inspired bendy doll

5: Take the small piece of pipe cleaner and wrap it once around large pipe cleaner just under the head.

6: Using the flesh colored embroidery floss, tie the end of the floss around the body and arms using a slip knot.

7: Begin to wrap the pipe cleaner with floss starting at the “armpit” and working to the “fingers”.  You will need to wrap backwards back to the armpit, then forward toward the fingers stopping about a 1/2 inch from the end.  Folk the wrapped pipe cleaner back onto itself about a 1/2 inch then continue wrapping to the end.  Work your way back one more time.  Now the arm should be covered, and have a “hand”.  Repeat this with the other arm.

Waldorf Bendy Doll Tutorial

8:  Wrap downwards to create the torso stopping just around where you plan to make the legs.  Tie a knot when you reach the end.

9: Take some craft glue and dab a few dots on the wrapped parts of the doll.  Smear it around making sure to get the hands really well.  They tend to unravel without this step.

11: Take both colors of the embroidery floss and tie them to the bottom of the torso.  Then begin to wrap them around one of the lets using the exact same technique as on the arm.  Create a “foot” the same way you created the arm.  Repeat this process on both legs and tie a knot at the end.

12: To make the dress, I suggest using a piece of paper to draw a pattern.  Fold the felt in half and put the neck of the pattern at the fold line and cut out the dress.

13: Sew the dress together using one of the colors of floss (depending on if you want contrast, or a match).  I think I used a sort of blanket stitch, but it wasn’t that good.  Here is a link to a nice blanket stitch tutorial here.

14: You can choose to not add a face, or…

Using the craft paint, or even a gel pen add your face!  Ta-dah!

Pipecleaner doll tutorial

That’s my tutorial.  Remember, this was only my 3rd bendy doll, so I am not any kind of expert on this.

For links to some other great bendy doll tutorials keep reading!

Enchanted Tree House: New Bendy Dolls and Tutorial

Wood and Wire doll tutorial

Little Red and the Pipe cleaner people


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