My older girls made yarn dolls at a pioneer day celebration a couple of years ago. They don't look like much, but they've survived, and continued to be played with, after two years. They've lasted long, in fact, to attract the attention of my younger daughters, who wanted to know where their yarn dolls were.
I understand, that grandmothers have been demonstrating the art of yarn dolls to their grandchildren for generations. I guess I was contented enough watching Saturday morning cartoons, that my grandmother didn't bother making them with me. At least I don't have any memory of them. Luckily for me, they turned out to be as simple to make, as they look.
We picked a card game box, that was about as tall as we wanted our dolls (our box was 6 and 1/2 inches tall - a book, or a piece of cardboard would work equally well), to wrap our yarn around. Before we started wrapping the yarn, we laid one piece of yarn, horizontally across the top of the box.
Then, we wrapped our yarn, loosely, about 40 times around the box.
We slipped the yarn off the box, and tied the horizontal piece, tightly around top of loops, and cut open the bottom of our loops.
We smoothed the yarn together, and tied another piece of string around the whole thing, about an inch down from the top, to form the head of the doll.
We separated out about 15 pieces of yarn, on each side for the arms, and then tied pieces of yarn around each wrist, trimming off the ends, to make the hands.
We tied another piece of string, about an inch below the arms, to form the waist. To make a girl, we left the bottom as it was, suggesting a skirt. To make a boy, we separated out legs, and tied them at the ankles.
Finally, we switched to a different color of yarn for the hair. We wrapped it around the width of our box for girls hair, and around our fingers, for boys hair. Instead of placing a piece of yarn horizontally under the loops, like we did for the body, we used a yarn needle, to pass it under the knot on the top of the head.
Then, after we removed our hair loops from the box, we cut the bottom of the loops open, and laid them across the head, using our sewed in piece of yarn to tie the hair on with.
Our girl's hair has a little wave to it, because the yarn had been previously crocheted, and then unwound.
For the boy, we trimmed the hair quite short.
These dolls can be fancied up with faces, and clothes. My girls were content with the simple version, but I found a few sites such as Making Friends, AOK Corral, and Craftstylish, that have some pretty nifty adaptations, if you're interested.
It's great to be a homeschooler.