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Make Elf Dolls Out of Felt and Beads

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A Wonderful Project For Kids

When I was young, my mom came up with a way to make little elf dolls using felt, beads, pipe cleaner, thread, and a little glue. They have star-shaped bodies, scarves and hats wrapped around their heads. My friend and I loved picking out different color felts to create their outfits. I pretended they were a species of tiny people; I called them flinders, monkels, and yiams, and in my imagination they lived in the sea, the mountains, and the forests. They had names like Kiwi, and I would quiz myself to see if I could remember all the names I'd given them. In short, these simple dolls allowed me hours of fun and creativity, both making them and playing with them.

The dolls are simple to make. The materials you'll need can be found at crafts stores. If you think your children can handle a needle and thread, then they can help you make them. It's an enjoyable crafts project and a nice way to spend time together.

Materials Needed

  • felt, various colors
  • beads (about 2 cm in diameter for the heads; 1 cm for hands/feet)
  • pipe cleaners
  • scissors
  • fabric glue
  • needle and thread

Step 1: Make a Pattern

If you want to make more than one elf doll, it will be easier if you make a pattern on some sturdy paper. Use the picture as a guide, and cut out the body and hat patterns. Sizes may vary, but the doll's body should be about 3 in. tall and 2 1/2 in. wide.

Tip: The measurements on the patterns are approximate. To make the hat the right size, wrap the felt around the bead that you will use as the head and measure the circumference.


Step 2: Make the Pipe Cleaner Frame

Use pipe cleaners to make the frame, or "skeleton" of the doll. First, make a cross with two pipe cleaners. Wrap one around the other with the ends sticking out as arms. Do the same thing for the legs, and trim the "tailbone" at the bottom. It's okay to leave the arms, legs, and neck long. You can trim them at the end after gluing on the beads.

Tip: If you want the dolls to be pliable and poseable, consider using copper wire for the frame. Use a long bead for the body underneath the felt, and wrap the wire around the head, hands, and feet beads to hold them in place.


Step 3: Sew the Felt Body Around the Frame

Fold the felt body in half along the dotted line in the pattern. Make sure the pipe cleaner neck sticks through the hole in the felt. Position the arms and legs so they come out of the sleeves and pants legs.

Using thread, preferably in the same color as the felt, use a basic in-and-out stitch around the body, going from the arm to leg on both sides, and stitching in the gap between the legs. Stitch right up to the pipe cleaners so the arms and legs will stay in place. Knot the thread when you finish sewing the body.

Step 4: Glue on the Head, Hands, and Feet

Apply some glue to the pipe cleaners sticking out of the felt body. Slide on the beads for the head, hands, and feet, and wait for them to dry into place. Trim the excess pipe cleaners with scissors.

Tip: Some beads have faces painted on them. You can either leave the faces plain, or draw them in with markers.

Step 5: Add the Hat

Take the hat you cut out from the pattern, and roll it so the edges of the triangle meet, so it looks like a witch's hat. Use the same stitch as before, starting at the base of the hat and working your way up to the tip.

Apply some glue around the doll's head and slide the hat down so it covers about half of the face. Let it dry.

Let your dolls enjoy Barbie furniture!

Let your dolls enjoy Barbie furniture!

Step 6: Make the Scarf

Cut a long, narrow strip of fabric for the scarf. Wrap it around the doll's neck, and use fabric glue to keep it in place.

Tip: You can use the same color scarf as the hat, or mix the colors up however you like!

Standing assistance required!

Standing assistance required!

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sandy on December 17, 2011:

are there more pics of construction or a video out there somewhere? i'm confused :(

Browland (author) from Georgia on March 29, 2010:

I agree! I hope the instructions help!

Abbie Marshall from The Coast of Northern New England on March 29, 2010:

Wow, very sweet. My oldest spent some time at a Waldorf inspired preschool and loved playing with little guys like this. I never thought to make them myself though - I always figured they were too hard! I think this would be a lot of fun. Thanks for posting the instructions. Free crafting instructions rock!!

debbie on March 28, 2010:


Browland (author) from Georgia on March 28, 2010:

Thanks, everyone! I agree, it's a fun activity that doesn't cost much, and kids will get a kick out of it.

Faye Constantino from Florida on March 28, 2010:

These are adorable, and something I could manage. My grandchildren will love them, and I can actually afford the materials! This is great!

Congratulations on the Hubnugget nomination, again!

shazwellyn on March 27, 2010:

Well done again! This is such a neat idea especially when times are hard financially! Great hub!

Sage Williams on March 26, 2010:

Oh, I just love these little guys. Thanks so much for a wonderful hub. Very informative and easy to follow directions. A definite book marker! Thanks a billion and Congratulations on being nominated again for a HubNugget.

YAHOOOOO!!! You are very creative. Keep up the good working and keep sharing.


Browland (author) from Georgia on March 26, 2010:

Wow, I'm doubly honored! LOL. Thanks ripplemaker

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 26, 2010:

Browland! Gosh, two hubs for the Hubnuggets! That is super fantastic news! Yipppeee...this is a double celebration! Now this means you doubly invite people to vote for this hub and your other hub...hahahahha To elf dolls and the Hubnuggets!

To vote, follow me:

Browland (author) from Georgia on February 27, 2010:

Thanks! It made me happy and warm inside pulling them out to take pictures.

ladyjane1 from Texas on February 27, 2010:

Very cute I love them.

RTalloni on February 26, 2010:

These are adorable! Thanks for the pattern!

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