DIY Craft: Sew Your Own Doll Pillow
These simple instructions to sew your own doll pillow provide a cheaper alternative to expensive doll accessories. When your children's dolls seem to require as many accessories as an actual child, it's amazing how quickly the costs add up. This do-it-yourself craft is a perfect first-sewing-project that will add sentimental value to the item as well.
My school-aged daughter is focused on the 18-inch, lifelike dolls that are so popular, so we planned the pillow to that scale. My daughter was involved in every step of the process while making her doll's pillow, learning to make it as her first real project on the sewing machine (with hands-on help from me). I constructed a similar one for her little sister's doll.
I would prefer a remnant of new, organic cotton for this project, but I often resort to conventionally grown cotton since it's frequently all I have available. Another green and frugal source is a piece of adult cotton clothing from your closet that no one wears, which would probably supply enough fabric for multiple doll pillows. You need less than a half-yard for this project, even a third of a yard would do; so if you must buy new fabric, you might want to check the discounted remnant basket at your fabric store.
Here's what you need:
- Remnant of cotton fabric for two 9"x7" pieces, coordinating thread
- Polyester fiberfill or cotton stuffing
- Sewing machine, machine and hand needles, shears, seam ripper, ruler, paper
1. Measure and cut a 9" by 7" paper pattern, then cut two layers of cotton fabric this size. For larger dolls or a more generously sized pillow, you may want to increase these dimensions by an inch.
2. Pin fabric right sides together, leaving a 3" opening in one long side.
3. Stitch on the sewing machine, using a 4/8" or half-inch seam, keeping that 3" opening. Stitch again a 3/8" reinforcement. Trim corners and all around the pillow to reduce bulk, then turn right-side out. Gently use seam ripper to pull outside corners into points.
4. Fill pillow with polyester fiberfill or cotton stuffing. Even young kids love helping with this part.
5. Optional: add a tablespoon or two of homemade lavender potpourri for a calming scent. This is the same thing we've used in handcrafted lavender sachets.
6. Close the pillow with a whip stitch (this is the sewing part that most children can help with, even if they aren't ready to stitch yet on the machine).
While you may not want to make every doll accessory, this is one case when homemade is even better than store-bought!
Anne Brock is a wife and mother of two who enjoys sewing, gardening and hiking with her family. She's a Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families blogger and Stonyfield Yo-Getter ambassador. Brock has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri with a focus on broadcasting. She spent her early professional years producing television news programs, and she now enjoys blogging about simple living and green family issues at FlourSackMama.com, as well as public speaking.
What types of things do you like to sew?