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You Can Make a Doll out of Old Raggs

Titia is interested in photography, poetry, family, art, dogs, cats, insects, wildlife, history, war, camping, writing, and the environment.


Easy Rag Dolls for Children

This story is all about my lovely 70 year old Rag Doll and how my mom made this homemade rag doll.

I think these dolls made out of old rags are the most heart warming and precious friend a child can have. My mom used to make rag dolls for us when we were young and up till this very day I still have mine. I don't know exactly when she was made, but I think it must have been shortly after World War II, because I was born in 1944.

I used to tell her all my secrets and she was a great listener. Rag Dolls are easy to make and below you'll find some videos on how to make your own rag doll.

This rag doll has a warm place in my heart and every time I look at her (she's sitting in my bedroom), I know there's still this little girl inside me, who loves rag dolls and want to share her secrets with them.

My Mom Made Me a Pretty Doll

Just after WW2 there was no money to buy toys and certainly no fancy dolls. My Mom was a very handy crafts woman, she could make something from nothing so to speak. She collected every bit of fabric she could lay her hands on and even old clothing she turned into new ones for me and my two sisters.

She made dolls for all of us and I've kept mine all my life.

Rag Doll

Rag Doll

You Decide How Small or How Tall the Doll Will Be

I could draw a pattern of my ragdoll, but it would be useless because I have no possibility for you to download it. However there are lots of patterns for Ragdolls available on the internet that you can use.

My doll has a total length of 42cm (16.54")
Her arms are 15cm (5.91")
Her legs are 18cm (7.09")
Her body length is 15cm (5.91")

I'll show you all the details of my rag doll and then you can decide for yourself how tall or how small your doll is going to be.

Rag Doll Head

Rag Doll Head

Rag Doll Hair

Rag Doll Hair

Rag Doll's eyes

Rag Doll's eyes

Rag Doll Nose

Rag Doll Nose

Rag Doll Mouth

Rag Doll Mouth

Rag Doll body

Rag Doll body

Rag Doll thumb

Rag Doll thumb

Rag Dolls Are Precious

My stuffed dolls and bears

My stuffed dolls and bears

You Can Easily Make Your Own - Your Child Will Love It

Making a rag doll for your child has nothing to do with not having enough money to buy a fancy doll.

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Making a rag doll has to do with Love. It's a personal gift and you can give it its own personality. You can even make a rag doll with your child and you could both put all your love into this doll.

Remember....your rag doll might outlive you, but it will never lose the love you gave it, when you created it.

You Need Love

All you need for your own stuffed toy is:

* rags
* scissors
* stuffing
* needle and thread
* imagination
and a little smile on your face

My old Rag Doll

My old Rag Doll

Ragdoll on my computer

Ragdoll on my computer

Golliwoggs in the UK

Golliwoggs in the UK

Collector's Items - the Golliwogg Books

The "Golliwog or Golliwogg" is a black male character created by Florence Kate Upton in her children's books in the late 19th century. doll made its entrance in the late 19th century. He looked like a ragdoll type and was very popular in the 1960s in the USA as well as in Europe and Australia. It was reproduced by commercial and hobby toy makers and it had a very black skin, white rimmed eyes, clown lips and frizzy hair.

The golliwogg was generally a male doll, though it's known that there were home made female dolls too. Being a male doll, it was considered a suitable toy for young boys.

Due to its appearance, this doll has been the subject of heated debates, whether it should be preserved a cultural artifact or whether it should be retired as a relic of a time when racism against African descents was blatant. Due to the perception of racism, the popularity of the Golliwogg doll has been reduced. They were either taken out of production or their name was changed.

Due to the fact that the word 'wog' was and still is an abusive word, the name "Golly Doll" became more popular.

© 2010 Titia Geertman

Tell me about your rag doll, I'm sure you had one once upon a time in your life

peachy from Home Sweet Home on March 07, 2015:

i want to try sewing this rag doll, looks easy, thanks

Diana Burrell-Shipton from Hubbard, Ohio, USA on February 26, 2015:

She is beautiful !

What a treasure of memories you have here :)

I really liked the poem that you wrote about her.

Ibidii on June 16, 2014:

I had many that my Mom made. I make a lot of dolls now. I have a lens on it. See my lenses for Cloth dolls. Your vintage rag doll looks great. Awesome lens!

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on February 05, 2014:

My sister used to own a Raggedy Ann doll. This lens brought back memories. Thanks!

Carol Houle from Montreal on January 07, 2014:

Love that last poem!

tonyleather on January 06, 2014:

Great lens, ans I loved the inclusion of that these days politically incorrect Golliwog doll! Interesting and informative. Well Done!

June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on January 03, 2014:

This is such a great lens about a wonderful toy that so many of us enjoyed. Currently, I have a wonderful ragdoll -- but he is of the four-footed, furry variety. Its my ragdoll cat, el Gordo. :-)

Takkhis on January 02, 2014:

You have a cute rag doll :)

psiloveyou1 on December 28, 2013:

You have a real treasure there!!!

Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on July 29, 2013:

I had a rag doll named Lulu, that would have been not long after the war too. My mother didn't make Lulu, but she would freshen her up with eyebrow pencil and lipstick, Remembering Mum doing that brought tears to my eyes.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on July 21, 2013:

I loved seeing your Rag Doll and can sure tell that she has been loved and was made with love. Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

DecoratingMom411 on January 20, 2013:

Your rag doll is so adorable. It still looks really good after all this time.

poutine on February 17, 2012:

I had a ragdoll when growing up, my mom made it. It was very precious.

davenjilli lm on December 11, 2011:

I made a rag doll for my oldest daughter many years ago when we had no money..thank you for the memory, I think I will make one for my youngest daughter I am sure she would just love it.

Bob Black from East Midlands, England, UK on November 21, 2011:

I think I had a precious golliwog during WW2 when they were quite common. My daughter had a knitted doll made by a great aunt. She called it Dolly Stayswith because in her child's way of talking "it stays with its clothes on". Great lens!

Darcie French from Abbotsford, BC on November 15, 2011:

What a lovely tribute to rag dolls. My grandmother used to make them, and I made one with my daughter. They are precious.

anonymous on November 15, 2011:

My daughter has a rag doll, an old thing that used to be my husband's precious. it's been well used and loved.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on October 26, 2011:

I remember as a young girl making my own rag dolls for play and of course I also had one of the most famous rag dolls - Raggedy Anne. Thank you so much for this delightful trip down memory lane.

KarenCookieJar on October 22, 2011:

My mom used to make me rag dolls because we couldn't afford to buy dolls, but I didn't care, I loved her dolls. Unfortunately non of them survived with me into adulthood.

anonymous on October 17, 2011:

How very dear, you have me smiling with my own little girl memories! How special that the two of you have spent all these years together, sweet! I know of a lady who taught the second grade and she would make rag dolls for each one of her students that resembled them in some way, it was very special.

Laniann on September 23, 2011:

Isabella is a good name for your rag doll. I enjoyed reading your poetry. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on August 28, 2011:

Your writing always manages to make my heart skip an extra beat. I love the poetry.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on May 01, 2011:

Such a very cute little tale. I do think Isabella would be the name that would suit such an old friend.

Malu Couttolenc on April 14, 2011:

The story of rag doll is so pretty, your poems show how close you are to her and how much you love her. Great idea to post instructions on how to make a rag doll, it could be a love project for girls :)

LolaJones123 on April 13, 2011:

This is great! I've made a few rag dolls myself. They are tons of fun!

Richard from Surrey, United Kingdom on April 12, 2011:

I can tell you have a passion for your rag dolls.

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on April 12, 2011:

Love the story of your special handmade Rag Doll and the lovely poems that tell us about her. I'm a crafter who loves handmade, so really enjoyed this story.

nestboxes on April 12, 2011:

What a great personal way to introduce rag dolls and rag doll crafts

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on April 01, 2011:

I'm lensrolling this to my Crafts from Rags. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

GetSillyProduct on April 01, 2011:

ragdolls are kind of awesome!

TapIn2U on April 01, 2011:

Rag dolls used to scare me when I was little but once I got a Ragged Ann given to me on my 5th birthday by an aunt and I couldn't be separated from it. Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

anonymous on March 22, 2011:

rag dolls are fun to make! Sometimes it is hard to define from rag doll to prim doll nowadays. Great lens! Favorited and lensrolled to hollysdollies

MagnoliaTree on March 20, 2011:

I love rag dolls. I think I had a Ragged Ann, but she wasn't a favorite back then. I have only heard about the Golliwogg doll in the last few years. It's too bad that some things are no longer considered "OK"-- one of my favorite stories while growing up was Little Black Sambo. A wonderful for a child, but now we are supposed to consider it racist! Some things are out of whack! :(

Othercatt on March 18, 2011:

I love rag dolls! My aunt Marilyn used to make them for me and my sisters when we were kids. I bet I still have them, probably stuffed in a bag with all my other childhood dolls. I've always wanted to make them for my daughters, but now they're too old. I guess I'll have to wait for grandkids!


puzzlerpaige on March 18, 2011:

Lovely lens and story. You've got a wonderful sense of humor! I love the caption for the doll looking at the computer screen.

Indigo Janson from UK on March 15, 2011:

Couldn't agree more... love is always the magic ingredient in rag dolls and other home made toys that makes them so special. Your doll is wonderful and it is easy to see why you treasure her.

Indigo Janson from UK on March 15, 2011:

Couldn't agree more... love is always the magic ingredient in rag dolls and other home made toys that makes them so special. Your doll is wonderful and it is easy to see why you treasure her.

anonymous on March 09, 2011:

Very sweetly done, I voted for Isabella for your dear friend.

Kimberly Hiller from Chicago on February 23, 2011:

Great lens. I had made one when I was little because I loved to watch "Raggedy Ann and Andy" and read their story books. Great content and pictures.

Wanda Fitzgerald from Central Florida on February 20, 2011:

I wish I had kept my rag doll from when I was little. It was probably worn out.

Linda Pogue from Missouri on February 16, 2011:

This is an adorable lens. My mom and I made rag dolls for all her grandchildren (including my own children) when they were all very small. I don't think many of the dolls survived the growing years, though. It is very special to keep a rag doll so long. Thumbs up!

pixelposy on February 10, 2011:

Beautiful lens. I love the photos of your rag doll. My mother use to make them.

Pmona LM on February 07, 2011:

I love this lens, it's a very sweet tribute for a very special gift.

kimbesa from USA on February 06, 2011:

Very sweet! Thanks and...**angel blessed**!

BrickHouseFabrics on January 27, 2011:

I still have mine!

Ellen Brundige from California on January 26, 2011:

These are wonderful, and the poems are so sweet. It's wonderful to see these old, loved toys from long ago, still with their stories to tell. And your Mom had a great touch.

My mom used to crotchet dolls for me instead. I had an armadillo, an elephant, a few animals I can't remember, and... a portrait of me!

A wee suggestion: make your wonderful photos of the dolls all the same size, vertically, so the page doesn't jump up and down as the slideshow changes.

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on January 12, 2011:

@mivvy: Ha, nee, breien is niet mijn sterkste kant.

mivvy on January 12, 2011:

Brei je ook truitjes voor ze? Ik brei truitjes etc voor beren barbie en allerlei andere dieren en poppen terwijl ik TV kijk, heerlijk ontspannend

nelabai on January 08, 2011:

Cute and funny at the same time :)

Yourshowman LM on December 15, 2010:

Look So Cute.

Nice Lens. :-)

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