November 29, 2011

Pioneer Pillowcase Dolls


I wondered what Christmas was like for the first Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley and did a little research.  Money and resources were scarce so moms showed a bit of ingenuity by making pillowcase dolls for their little girls.

You need:

1 standard pillowcase, frilly or not
1 small bath towel (not the hand towel) or old table cloth or sheet
scrap fabric
optional ribbons and paints and frill

Fold  your towel in half


Roll your scrap of fabric into a ball so it fits into the palm of your hand


Place the ball inside the folded towel……


forming a neck and tie it off with string.


Place this inside your pillow case, at center of top seam and tie off for a neck.


Make a waist line and tie off.  Do it either before of after you put your towel inside the pillowcase.


To form the arms, gather edges at sides down to about 6 inches from the top….

010   011

forming the arm and tie off with string or ribbon at the shoulder.

012   013 

Form a hand and tie off.

014   015

Repeat for the other side.

Gather the waistline and tie off.


Fluff and poof as you desire.  You may want to paint or embroider faces.  You may wish to add laces and flowers.  Make it your own.

I have also made this by rolling the towel.  This method gives the head a different shape.  Play around with it and see what works best for you. Some of the fotos in this tutorial are with the rolling method.  The head is more square (note the above foto).  The  doll in the photo at the top has a rounded head.

For the rolled towel method:
Fold the towel in half lengthwise and roll it up. Tie off a neck and waistline.  The instructions remain the same.



Finished rolled towel doll.

I had more examples of pillowcase dolls, but they didn’t make it on the flash drive.  You can use plain, fancy, patterned, lacy.  You can make a pillowcase from a favorite fabric to make seasonal dolls.  I made some pillowcases from old bed sheets with pretty borders. 

Our Primary girls swooned for these dolls when they saw them and we will be making these at one of the children’s craft tables at our Pioneer Christmas social this weekend.

For more pioneer crafts for children go here. This link will take you to the December 1997 Friend magazine Christmas Pioneer Workshop.

Have fun!  Merry Christmas, my friends!

Teresa, aka Princess Christmas Joy, loves the Christmas season, which begins on September 1 with the trimming of her tree (and stays up until at least April). She believes that the Christmas season is just too lovely to enjoy for only 1 month.  You can find her and the ganglings at Wockenflock Daze.

5 comments - Add a comment below -:

Abby said...

What a cute, simple doll! I think I have a new Christmas gift to make, thank you so much for sharing it.

Veronica said...

Very cute. I made my girls sock monkeys this summer. I really enjoy making toys for my girls. I'll have to give these a try. Very nice.


Jenny Rosengren said...

Just made these with my two girls. They love them! Thanks!

Deila said...

This is a fun little project to do with the kids. thanks

Anonymous said...

Are these patterns ones that anyone can make and sell???

Thank you.