How to Make Worry Dolls for Children

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Things You'll Need

  • Peg-style clothespins

  • Black and pink acrylic paint

  • Bamboo skewers or 1/8-inch diameter dowel rods

  • Embroidery floss or yarn in bright colors

  • Scissors

  • Shallow basin or jar lid

  • White craft glue

  • Watercolor brush

Guatemalan worry dolls are one way to keep the Bogeyman at bay. Tell your problems to one of your worry dolls each night, then place it under your pillow. The dolls disappear, taking your worries with them (Reference 1). Worry dolls are made in sets of six. They are usually very small and made from toothpicks or thin twigs. Using peg-style clothespins makes them easier to wrap.


Step 1

Make a face on the peg of each clothespin using black and pink acrylic paint.


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Step 2

Cut bamboo skewers or 1/8-inch dowel rods into 3-inch lengths to use as arms.


Step 3

Apply white craft glue to the clothespin, beginning where the rounded head meets the shoulders and ending at the waist. Wrap the glued area with bright-colored embroidery floss or yarn, tying the last loop in a knot.


Step 4

Apply craft glue to each bamboo skewer or dowel rod section from end to end, stopping 1/4-inch from one end. Wrap each arm with embroidery floss or yarn, leaving the bare area unwrapped to make hands.


Step 5

Glue arms to each side of the doll. Wrap over both arms and body beginning at the shoulder of your worry doll, for about 1/2 to 3/4 inches. Knot the last loop and poke the knot back under the thread layers using the end of a skewer.


Step 6

Wrap each leg separately if you are making a boy doll. Wrap from waist to feet for girl dolls. Knot the final loop and conceal it as before. Place each doll in a pouch.


If desired, make hair for your girl dolls by braiding several strands of brown, black or yellow yarn. Glue it in place on your doll's head like pigtail braids.


Scout Craft designer Vincent Hale uses twist ties to make the bodies of his worry dolls (Reference 2). He also makes worry doll style animals, such as dogs and burros.


references & resources

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