Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Colonial Toys: Handkerchief Doll

We started our history this year with Colonial America and this week we are focusing on Colonial toys. Today we made Handkerchief Dolls. I wasn't sure whether my boys would be interested in making dolls, but they love pretend play so much, they liked the idea of making them and using them like puppets to act out scenes. It is nice, too, to know how to make a toy out of just a few things. Once you know how, you can make them any time you want.
To make a handkerchief doll you need a square of cloth. We used plain white cloth napkins.
Take your square and fold it in half to make a triangle with the point at the bottom.

You will also need something for stuffing. You could use scrap cloth or wool roving. We used  some leftover flannel. Open up your handkerchief triangle.Roll your scrap cloth into a body shape and place it in the handkerchief triangle, and fold the top layer back over the stuffing.

 Grab a bit of the top where you have your stuffing and make a head by tying a little piece of string around to make a neck. If you have older children, you  might be able to twist the material to form the head, but with younger hands, it is easier to tie with string. If you want it to look more old-fashioned, you could use raffia instead.
 The two points of the triangle of the handkerchief forms the arms.  Cross the arms over and tie a knot to keep the doll to stay together.
 Tie knots at the end of the arms to form hands.
Your doll is now finished. You can leave it plain like this...
or you can add a face with a few embroidery stitches or a marker. You can make clothes for your doll out of cloth or paper, if you wish.

Now, you doll is finished!

(Note: Another slightly different version of the Handkerchief Doll can be found at Acorn Pies.)


  1. We did a very similar project when we studied Pennsylvania, and I thought the same thing. The boys all LOVED it. Even the too cool for school 4th grade boys.

  2. The last photo is absolutely sweet. I've always meant to make these but have never done it...lazy me!!

  3. I love that last photo. What child wouldn't love a doll like this.

  4. Love it always wondered how they made them was scared to take mine apart that I could not get her pretty again thank u


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