Let's Make And Sell A Doll: A Step by Step Guide




1. Get out there and shop for your supplies! You'll need buttons, threads, yarn, and a variety of *fabrics (and other things you'll likely forget because you forgot your list). You might need to visit 2 to 3 stores to find what you need, but you're out early, so you have time!


*When you find the fabrics you want, don't forget to take a number before standing in line to get it cut, lest you be shamed by the elderly woman who was there before you, waiting to get 10 yards of fabric cut to make a Christmas quilt for her 3 year old grandson. (All ten yards of fabric are different, and there's only one person at the cutting counter that day. It's gonna be a while, so text your significant other to complain while you wait.)


2. Are you home yet? Cool. Time to iron all the wrinkles out of the fabrics you just bought. Hopefully you didn't forget the *interlacing, because you'll need to iron that stuff to all your fabrics if you don't want your dolls lumpy in all the wrong places.


*If you forgot interlacing, repeat step 1. Interlacing, like fabric, needs to be cut at the counter, so take a number and text your boo. (Quit your swearing.)


3. If you already have your templates (head, arms, legs, body, etc, etc), start tracing them onto your fabrics! If you don't already have templates, start designing and *experimenting.


*Experimenting may take a while. Especially if it's a custom order for that weird character in the 3rd scene of that obscure 80s movie that you can't really find photos of because they're only shown for, like, 3 seconds. The experiments won't always go right, but they won't always go wrong either. Good luck - I have faith in you!


4. Cut your newly drawn body parts into easily digestible square and rectangular chunks for your sewing machine. Yum.


5. Thread your sewing machine with the appropriate color threads, and get to *sewing all the body parts you just traced.


*Try to keep the straight lines straight, and the round lines round. (It's kinda important.)


6. Cut out all the bits and pieces from the squares and rectangles.


7. Use turny-outty tubes to turn the pieces inside out. (Or outside in...?)


8. Stuff everything with *poly-fil, but don't overstuff or you might bust a seam. (That's fun.) And don't understuff, unless you're making a deflated balloon for a sad, sad clown. (Aw.)


*Spend some time carefully shaping/rounding-out the head unless you want it to look like a cauliflower. Some fabrics just want to be cauliflower, but don't give in.


9. Hand-stitch the head to the body, and then sew on the legs. If there's a skirt or pants involved, sew that on BEFORE the arms or you'll hate yourself.


10. Decorate the face. Use whatever works best for you. Buttons, stitching, paints, markers, pencils, clay... All of the above?


11. Time for hair! So many ways to do it. Let's pick one and do it step-by-step:

  1. Take your yarn and wrap it around and around and around a canvas. (As in a canvas for painting. A book works, too.) The bigger the canvas/book, the longer the hair. Cut the yarn off when you have the desired amount.

  2. Measure and cut a strip of fabric or felt the width of your doll's head.

  3. Sew the yarn onto the strip.

  4. Glue the strip to the top of its head. Proceed to glue all the hair down everywhere else without burning your fingers or getting clumps of glue in your dolls hair. Lol.

  5. *Style hair.


*Keep in mind that even if you don't make dolls for children, it may be given to a child who will pull or brush the doll's hair and maybe sleep with it and/or drag it across the floor. A photo of your disheveled creation will then be taken and shared on social media looking cringe — but the little kid in the photo holding it has a sweet mischievous grin, so it's all good!


12. Time for its close up! You have to take plenty of *photos if you want to sell your doll — but not just any photos. Cool photos. Dramatic photos. Whatever the mood calls for.


*Unfortunately, you have a tiny apartment, cluttered with supplies. So clean up a corner and put up a foam board or two as a backdrop to block your sh*t. Your apartment only has 3 outward facing windows and it's Florida, so it's probably raining and making your tiny apartment dark and gloomy — but it's fine! Turn on ALL your lights, including those unflattering overhead monstrosities. Take