Stuffing small dolls can be a tricky task. When the arms and legs of small sewn dolls are barely the diameter of a pencil, it can very hard to stuff them. Over the years doll makers have found methods of stuffing dolls that help make this a lot easier. Joann of Raggedy Britches was sweet to share her techniques with us in this tutorial.
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Stuffing Small Dolls
I have been making the 6 inch mini Anne and Andy doll bodies for several years. When I started making these little doll bodies I could not find hemostats, a technique used by some doll makers. And, as you can imagine, stuffing these small arms and legs on these tiny dolls was difficult and time consuming.
With some brainstorming I thought of an idea to try. I ran across a set of 3 funnels my grocery store and it gave me an idea. Sure enough they worked! The largest funnel fit the dolls legs, and held the top of the legs open while I poked in small wads of stuffing. The smallest funnel fit the doll's arms, and held it open while I stuffed it also. This was so simple to do that even my grandchildren were able stuff them for me.
- Small cloth doll body
- Polyfil stuffing
Put the small funnel in the top of the doll's arm as shown.
Pinch off a small wad of stuffing about the size of a quarter.
Make a tight wad of the stuffing and shove it with your fingers as far into the funnel as you can get it.
Then take the dowel and push it through into the arm.
Try to hold the funnel and arm together with the other hand while you push with the dowel cause the sneaky little rascal will jump off before the stuffing goes into the arm. Make sure that you get the stuffing completely to the bottom and smooth looking.
Keep stuffing the arm until it is half way full or as full as you like for it to be, then lay it aside and work on the other one.
Get both of the arms stuffed the same way.
Take the large funnel and do the same to the legs.
I like to stuff mine half way up, but stuff your legs to your liking.
Now that your arms and legs is stuffed, it is time to stuff the head, and I just stuff the head using my fingers. I like to stuff the heads very firmly, and the bodies just slightly less firm.
Now that you have the body pieces all stuffed you can sew them together.