Things You'll Need
- Butcher paper
- Muslin or white bed sheet
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- ¼ yard fabric for hair
- Hot glue gun
- Needle and thread
- Fabric markers
- Blush and make-up brush
- Outfits from the thrift store
Making a life-size doll with your preschooler is a wonderful way to teach her about her body, clothing and the things that make her unique. Your child can help with making the life-size doll pattern so that it is truly in her likeness. Let the whole process be a fun sharing experience. Take your child to a thrift store and let her help you pick out clothes for the life-size doll. Concentrate on clothing with buttons, snaps, zippers and ties for playtime fine-motor-skill practice.
Lay the butcher paper on the floor. Dress your child in shorts and a T-shirt with no shoes. You don't want a lot of bulk interfering with the line of the body. Have your child lie face up on the paper. Position the feet 6 inches apart, the arms 6 inches from the body and the hands palm side down with the fingers together. Draw around the body using a crayon. Have your child draw the details on the face using crayons. Cut out the life-size doll pattern.
Double the muslin or the sheet and pin the life-size doll pattern to it. Cut around the pattern. Place the pattern under one life-size doll piece and trace the facial details onto the fabric using the pencil. Go over the pencil with the fabric paint pens, matching the colors your child used. Allow the paint to dry. Apply blush to the cheeks using a make-up brush.
Place the muslin shape with the face right-side up on a table. Place the other shape on top. Match the edges and pin. Sew a ¼-inch seam allowance around the entire shape. Leave a 4-inch opening on one side of the body. Clip the corners and the curves. Turn the life-size doll right-side out. Stuff the doll firmly and hand sew the opening closed.
Cut ½-inch-wide strips of the hair fabric. Cut the strips into 4-inch lengths for short hair, 6-inch lengths for medium length hair or 8-inch lengths for long hair. Tie each strip with a knot in the middle. Hot glue the knots to the back, top and sides of the head.
Dress your life-size doll in the clothes you got from the thrift store, including shoes and socks.
Based in the Midwest, Cyndee Kromminga has been writing craft and interior design articles for 15 years. Her articles and craft designs have appeared in Crafting Traditions Magazine, Easy Holiday Crafting Series-House of White Birches Newsletter and Country Woman Christmas Books. Kromminga's education is in interior design and she has experience operating a craft and design business for more than 20 years.