How to Make Button Dolls

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Button dolls are simple, rustic, and filled with history
Button dolls are simple, rustic, and filled with history (Image: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Button dolls have been around since colonial days, when women would make dolls for their children out of leftover or mismatched buttons. They can still be made today out of buttons, although they are not often used as toys, but instead as decoration or novelty items.

Things You'll Need

  • Buttons
  • Needle
  • Thread

Choosing Buttons

Sort through your buttons. Sort by size and color. Children can help you out if you wish; just make sure that they are sorting correctly.

Find a large decorative button for the top of the head so it will look like a hat.

Choose large pink, white or brown buttons for the face and smaller buttons in the same color for the neck and hands.

Decide what color you want the shirt to be. If you do not have enough buttons in the same color, consider choosing a couple of colors and making a multi-colored shirt.

Pick a solid color for the pants part of the body, including the legs. Brown, black or blue is good for this. You will need some bigger buttons for the waist and hip area, then smaller buttons to make up the legs.

Two or three small black or brown buttons work well for shoes at the very bottom.

Putting the doll together

Use a long needle and a very long piece of thread.

Thread your needle through the buttons starting at the top of the right leg, down to the shoe then back up through the other hole in the button.

Tie off the thread but do not cut it. Repeat the process with the left leg, tying it off at the top as well. You now should have two legs connected by the thread at the hip area.

Thread the needle through the buttons up the right side of the body. When you get to where the right arm would be, add it in.

Go all the way out to the hand, then back in to the body through the other hole.

Tie off the thread but do not cut it.

Repeat with the left arm, going out to the hand and back to the body.

Put the neck buttons on top of the body, then add on the head buttons. Thread the needles up one side all the way to the top of the head. Go through the top button several times to secure it properly.

Go back down the opposite side of the head, neck and body. Go down through one leg all the way to the bottom and tie it off at the bottom of the shoe button.You should now have thread going through all the holes in all of the buttons.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are making a girl doll, simply use graduated sizes of buttons to make a skirt and make shorter legs under the skirt.

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