You probably have lots of old clothes around, things you cannot bear to part with. Perhaps, your deceased grandmother's pajamas, or the little socks worn by your baby daughter. It is very difficult to part with certain items of clothing, but you can't wear them, so what should you do with them? They take up space, and they just sit in your closet.
The answer is simple: make rag dolls out of them. This way, you can turn these items into a work of art, and you will have a nice story to tell about each doll and where the fabric from the doll came from. Your other relatives may even recognize certain fabrics and get sentimental.
Making these dolls is simple. All you need are some scissors, fabric, needle, thread, old newspaper, and a pillow. These dolls don't have to be perfect works of art, it's okay if your stitching shows, it might even be better.
It is also okay if you make mistakes, perhaps one arm is longer than another. This will add character to your doll. You can make them in any shape you'd like. Perhaps you'd like there to be a square head, instead of a circle. This is your doll, so you can do whatever you'd like.
The first step in making your doll is to draw an outline of it on a page of newspaper. This will be your pattern. You can work with this guide. You should then cut your fabric in the same outline. It does not have to be one full fabric, you can patch a bunch of different fabrics together.
Make sure when you cut your fabric, you cut two identical pieces. This is so that you can sew them together and stuff them with the stuffing from an old pillow. If you'd like to be more advanced, you can draw individual parts of the doll on the newspaper.
Perhaps the arms will be one fabric and the legs will be another. Let your imagination guide you. And if you make mistakes, it's okay. Again, it adds to the character of the doll. The face of the doll is the fun part. You can draw the face in using fabric paint, or just sew some buttons for eyes.
Here are the simple steps to assemble your doll:
1. Cut out two identical shapes, whether they be the whole body, or individual body parts.
2. Put the fabric pieces right sides together and pin the edges with sewing pins.
3. Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew along the edges, leaving a gap a couple of inches wide.
4. Turn the fabric inside out. Stuff the doll with old pillow stuffing. Using a needle and thread, sew the opening closed. If you created separate body parts, sew them together now using needle and thread.
5. Add in fun details like hair (use old yard that you thread through the head), clothing (make it easy and use old doll clothes) or anything else that you can think of.
6. Add a note somewhere on the doll of the date that you created it.
Above all else, remember that this is a fun project but also a sentimental one. If you have children, involve them in the process and the decision making. Turn it into a family activity that will produce keepsakes you will cherish for years to come.