How to Make Curly Doll Hair With Yarn

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If you want your cloth doll to have curly hair, make curly locks with ordinary yarn. The doll will have perfect ringlets that stay in place permanently. Curling the yarn is uncomplicated, but attaching it to the head requires some needlework skills. Choose from a variety of methods for attaching the hair to your doll's head, ranging from simple to more complex.

Curl the Yarn

Curl the yarn before you begin attaching it to the doll's head. Since the yarn gets wet, do not use wool because it will become felted in the process. Acrylic yarn works best.

Things You'll Need

  • 3/8-by-16-inch wooden dowels
  • Acrylic yarn
  • Oven
  • Cookie sheets

Tip

  • If you do not have wooden dowels, knitting needles work just as well.

Step 1

Tie the end of the yarn to a dowel and begin wrapping the yarn tightly in a single layer. Push the yarn up as you wrap so it is packed tightly, but do not overlap it. Tie a knot at the end.

Step 2

Repeat the process, wrapping as many dowels as you need.

Tip

  • For a typical 14-inch doll, you should need approximately 12 dowels of yarn.

Step 3

Run the dowels under hot water until the yarn is completely saturated. Blot them dry with a towel.

Step 4

Place the dowels on a cookie sheet.

Warning

  • Rest the dowels across the cookie sheet so that the tips are touching the rim. Don't allow the dowels to touch the surface of the cookie sheet because the heat will melt the yarn.

Step 5

Bake the yarn in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

Step 6

Remove the dowels from the oven and allow the yarn to cool completely before removing it from the dowels.

Tip

  • Vary the size of the dowels or knitting needles to make tighter or looser curls.

Yarn Loop Rag Doll Hair

This method is the simplest, so it is perfect for those new to the art of doll-making.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Scrap of muslin fabric that matches your doll's face
  • Cardboard
  • Curled yarn
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread to match your yarn hair
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Thread to match your doll's skin

Step 1

Cut a rectangle from cardboard. The width should equal the distance across the top of your doll's head from ear to ear. The length should equal the length you want your doll's hair to be.

Step 2

Wrap a thick layer of your curled yarn around the cardboard, allowing it to overlap. The more you wrap the yarn, the thicker your doll's hair will be.

Tip

  • Don't pull the curly yarn too tightly. When the yarn is released from the board, the curls will tighten up again, making the hair shorter than you intended.

Step 3

Before removing the yarn from the board, secure it in place with blue painter's tape. Apply a length of painter's tape across the yarn near the top of the board on each side.

Step 4

Cut a 2-inch strip of muslin that is as long as the distance across the doll's head from ear to ear. Lay it vertically on your work surface.

Step 5

Cut the loops of yarn open at the bottom of the board. Remove the yarn from the board. Lay the yarn bundle on top of your strip of muslin, so that the strip of muslin is lying between the blue painter's tape.

Step 6

Take the entire bundle with the muslin to the sewing machine. Sew a straight line down the middle of the strip of muslin, attaching the yarn to the muslin. After sewing, remove the painter's tape.

Tip

  • Use thread that matches your doll's hair.

Step 7

With the strip of muslin on the bottom, lay the yarn across your doll's head from ear to ear. Pin it in place.

Step 8

Hand stitch the muslin to the doll's head using thread that matches your doll's skin.

Step 9

Trim the hair that is hanging in front of the doll's face to make bangs.

Crochet a Wig Cap

Those with more advanced needlecraft skills can attempt this process that creates a thicker head of hair that can be styled in different ways.

Things You'll Need

  • Size G crochet hook
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Thread that matches your doll's hair 
  • Curled yarn for hair
  • Uncurled yarn in the same color used for the hair

Step 1

Chain stitch a long chain using uncurled yarn in the same color you used for the curly hair.

Step 2

Beginning at the base of the neck in the back, place the chain on the head in a spiral fashion and secure in place with straight pins. Continue going around in circles until you reach the crown. In the end, it should look like a cap covering the head.

Tip

  • Use pins with large heads so that you can easily see and remove them after sewing.

Step 3

Hand stitch the wig cap to the head securely to the head. Use small stitches and try to sew down every stitch in the chain. Remove the pins as you go.

Step 4

Cut lengths of curled yarn twice the length you want your doll's hair to be.

Step 5

Latch hook the curled yarn to the crochet wig cap. Beginning again at the base of the neck in the back, insert your crochet needle into the first chain stitch.

Step 6

Fold a length of curled yarn in half and hook it onto your crochet hook. Pull the loop through the stitch.

Step 7

Hold the loop in one hand and the two tails in the other. Insert the tails into the loop making a slip knot. Pull the knot closed.

Step 8

Continue latching loops of curled yarn into each chain stitch until the entire head is covered. Trim and style as desired.

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