Updated date:

Toilet Roll Doll: Restore and Repurpose Dolls

Laura likes retro, vintage, old things. Choosing to preserve or repurpose is her dilemma - can't change your mind once started.

Shopping or Buying One is Limiting - Why Not Design and Make Your Own?

Usually made as crochet or knit. I think the furry doll is a creative change. If you want to buy a tissue roll/ toilet roll doll you can search places like eBay, Etsy, and other site which sell crafts, or dolls, or vintage things.

Usually made as crochet or knit. I think the furry doll is a creative change. If you want to buy a tissue roll/ toilet roll doll you can search places like eBay, Etsy, and other site which sell crafts, or dolls, or vintage things.

Did Your Grandmother Have Dolls in her Bathroom?

I remember these from my Grandmother's house, in the bathroom. She knitted her own from patterns that have disappeared along with most of her stuff after her death years ago. I don't know how to knit (I learned to crochet on my own) but it would have been nice to have some of her old knitting patterns. Sometimes I see interesting or unusual patterns in the thrift store but I don't buy them. I don't knit after all.

Sold on Etsy Once Upon a Time - Would you make a creepy doll or a pretty one?

Not the usual toilet roll doll. But, proof that something old can be made new, and creepy.

Not the usual toilet roll doll. But, proof that something old can be made new, and creepy.

The History of the Toilet Roll Dolly

There isn't a lot of history to the dolls. In the 1960's they began appearing in North America and likely various Common Wealth and European locations too. I can only vouch for those I saw in Canada, mainly Ontario.

I expect the idea came along when there was extra yarn, some time for a new project, maybe a broken doll and the idea was born. Pretty up your bathroom. In the 1960's there were other home made fashions in the bathroom. I can think of toilet seat covers, something I haven't seen a big return on with all the vintage and retro ideas. You could co-ordinate your doll's dress with your pretty toilet seat cover, the bathroom floor rug and anything else already decorating the bathroom. Maybe that was how she really got started. Not only could you add more home made crafts, more colour and keep that broken doll around for a reason but you could ... make it all shades of pink matching.

There was likely some idea about modestly hiding that unsightly naked toilet roll too.

Specifications for Making Your Own Toilet Roll Doll Cosie

I have yet to see a vintage pattern for those old toilet roll cover dolls. That's how I started writing about them today. I'm seeing what I can turn up online.

I can find an endless supply of the little dolls at thrift stores. They are abandoned by children everywhere, so it would be a good way to recycle/ repurpose some of them. You can pick and choose from weird blue hair colour to a weird blue skin colour and the standard human shades of brown colours too.

The only thing that matters about the doll is her height and width. She can't stand too tall and tip over inside the toilet roll. She also needs to be the right width to fit through the centre of the cardboard roll from about the waist down. Mainly her legs need to be inside the roll as the skirt of her dress covers the toilet paper roll - that leaves her above the roll from the waist up.

Free Toilet Roll Cosie Patterns

The last pattern is an update on the vintage dolls. This one can be made with children, from paper and crayons. Simple and faster for those who don't want to buy one.

HelenMay with Video Instructions for A Crochet Toilet Roll Doll

Buy a Pattern and Design your Own Doll (Crochet and Knit)

Buy a vintage crochet pattern and design your own toilet doll with your choice of colours and accessories.

Buy a vintage crochet pattern and design your own toilet doll with your choice of colours and accessories.

This one has a very full skirt. You could have a couple of spare rolls under there, cleverly disguised.

This one has a very full skirt. You could have a couple of spare rolls under there, cleverly disguised.

This one is a knit pattern. Most of the patterns I find are crochet. So, here's one for the knitters to get to work on.

This one is a knit pattern. Most of the patterns I find are crochet. So, here's one for the knitters to get to work on.

What do you Call your Toilet Roll Doll?

I guess you could properly call them toilet roll cosies, or toilet roll toppers too. I never found out what my Grandmother actually called hers. I always enjoyed seeing them though. She never made one for me, that I can remember. Maybe she just thought they weren't really anything special. But, they were.

Toilet Roll Dolls Help Themselves to Chocolate

Toilet Roll Dolls Perform Some Juggling

Comments

Laura Brown (author) from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on October 14, 2020:

Glad you are busy making them with orders for more. Crafts are a good home business. Letting you be creative and make money for more supplies to create more. :)

Carolyn D. on August 02, 2020:

Thank you so much for sharing this!! I make all kinds of the Vintage Dolls..Bed Dolls, Toilet paper Cozies, Air freshener Dolls Etc..But its sad to say a lot of the Dolls are becoming Obsolete. Especially the 13 inch Fibre Craft dolls & Toilet Cover dolls they produced. They no longer make them i am told. No demand for them they say. But people love them even today. I myself have a waiting list for bed Dolls and Toilet Cozies. Thankfully i have managed to accumalate enough Dolls to finish out my orders, but don't know if there will be more after these. So get your stock built up if you want to make these Beautiful Ladies for awhile!!

Jacqueline Richards on April 08, 2019:

Please can you tell me where to buy the 20cm dolls for the toilet roll holders (knitted)

Debra Cregger on October 02, 2018:

I have small dolls and made toleil paper covers. I just used roll of paper and cover it. Sold them a few years ago. I starting to see them again.

Barbara on December 31, 2016:

I would love to see some knitted patterns for these toilet roll holders

I cannot crochet thanks

sharon on May 28, 2015:

I am looking for somewhere to buy the dolls. Can you help me please. Many thanks Shaz

Mrs blake on March 12, 2015:

where can I buy the dolls

michele smith on January 25, 2015:

You can convert knitting patterns to crochet patterns they have conversion charts I've not tried it before

Laura Brown (author) from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on September 14, 2013:

There are several patterns listed in the post above. Free patterns.

luke on September 11, 2013:

The stiches you talking about is not understood and we want patterns not only pictures

Laura Brown (author) from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2013:

@PegKnits - It could go either way with the legs. If the doll had legs they were handy to stick through the centre of the toilet roll. If there weren't legs the skirt would have to be a tighter fit to keep the doll from falling off.

PegKnits on April 02, 2013:

As I remember, these dolls had not legs to worry about- they were just the top 1/2 of a doll.

Glad someone appreciates them. It's a lost art that can stay lost for me.

Laura Brown (author) from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on January 28, 2013:

That's when I used to see them too. Pretty rare now, but they are still out there.

DommaLeigh on January 28, 2013:

oh my god I haven't seen one of those since I was a child!

Laura Brown (author) from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on January 19, 2013:

Funny how seldom I see them now. They were such a cute idea.

Better Living on January 19, 2013:

lol...I love those old bathroom companions. ;)

Laura Brown (author) from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on January 03, 2013:

It's amazing what you can find when you get looking for something unique and interesting.

kerrie on January 01, 2013:

They look useful I loved them eating chocolate it was halareus :-)