How to make simple handmade toys for babies: “Roll Up Doll”
No. 14 in the 30 Days of Dolls series.
Over the years, I’ve heard so many friends (and fellow teachers) describe their challenge of how to make simple handmade toys for babies, and it’s usually to do with the fact that babies put everything in their mouths. So it seems easier and more hygienic to just give them plastic spoons, plastic bowls, commercial soft toys without buttons or beads, or teething rings to chew on. Things that can be easily thrown into the wash.
So that’s why I love this simple Roll Up doll. She takes very little time to make, and costs almost nothing too. And she is easily replaced should she go by the wayside. My Jack simply adores her! Chewing heaven.
How To Make A Roll Up Doll:
1. For this doll, you’ll need two rectangles of fabric. I used a fine cotton knit in a pinky shade. The rectangles I used were 30 cm by 25 cm. Roll the legs on the long side, on a slight diagonal.
2. Fold the fabric in half. The doll’s legs will look like this.
3. Repeat with the second piece of fabric, except roll it up on the short side to make the ‘arms’.
4. Tie a 40 cm piece of ribbon around the top of the ‘arms’ piece to make a head.
5. Twist the ‘head’ fabric clockwise so that the flat face of the material faces forward.
6. Place the ‘legs’ underneath the arms. Run the two strands of ribbon under the fold of the legs and cross the ribbon diagonally. Tie off the ribbon tightly behind the head.
7. This is what your Roll Up Doll will look like.
8. Add a shirt or shirt-dress by cutting a rectangle of fabric 30 cm by 8 cm with pinking shears so you don’t need to hem it. I used some red cord fabric from my stash.
9. Tie a rope belt around the body to shape the shirt/shirt-dress. As this doll is a toy for babies, I’d suggest using a bit of thread to sew up the joins on the ribbon and rope ties so they are extra secure and won’t come undone during a vigorous chewing session!
As you can see, baby Jack loves to chew her. He also loves to use his newfound strength in his arms to throw the Roll Up Doll forward and back. Such fun to explore new skills!