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Knot Doll

Knot Doll made by Susan Claus

Make a Knot Doll for yourself !

These charming dolls designed by Susan Claus, with directions reproduced here with her kind permission, are made with scraps of cloth, and need no sewing! Play things like this, constructed simply and quickly of rope or fabric have been made for hundreds of years. They are the perfect activity for a rainy day, or an afternoon in the shade of your favorite tree.

Follow the directions below, or click here to download a copy to print out.

Materials you will need:

  • Light colored muslin:
    • one piece 32" x 5" for the head and body
    • one piece 12" x 3" for the arms
  • A bit of stuffing or cotton balls, about the size of a walnut to stuff the head
  • Pieces of contrasting fabric
    • one piece 12" x 7" for the petticoat (colonial name for the skirt)
    • one piece 5" x 4" for the apron
    • one piece 1 1/4" x 12" for the bodice
    • one triangle 8" x 4" x 4" for the kerchief
    • one triangle 8" x 4" x 4" for the shawl

    To make the doll:

    Knot Doll in progress Find the center of the 32" x 5" piece of cloth. Wad up the stuffing into a tight ball and place it in the center of the fabric. Fold the fabric into thirds lengthwise, trapping the stuffing ball in the center. Tie a granny knot in the muslin to make the dolls head. Tie a second knot under the head to make a neck.

    Take the 12" x 3" piece of muslin and fold it into thirds lengthwise. Tie knots at either end to make hands. Center this between the two "tails" of the big piece of muslin under the head. This makes the doll's arms. Tie a third knot in the bigger piece to hold the arms in place. Tie two or three more granny knots to form the body. The remaining fabric will become the doll's legs. Knot the ends to make feet.

    Now add the doll's clothes:

    Knot Doll Wrap the 12" x 7" piece loosely around the doll's torso to cover down to the doll's ankles. If this "petticoat" is too long, fold it over at the top to let the feet show. Place the 5" x 4" piece on top of the petticoat for an apron. Center the 12" x 1 1/4" piece on teh doll's waist on top of the petticoat and apron, and tie in the back.

    Wrap one of the triangle pieces over the doll's shoulders for a shawl, and tuck the ends into the "bodice". Tie the other triangle onto the doll's head to make a kerchief.

    This doll does not really need a face, but if you choose to add one, two dots for eyes and a dot for the mouth will suffice

    As always, if you have any questions, just e-mail the Museum
    We will get back to you within the day.

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