Sew a Clothespin Doll

Sew a Clothespin Doll
Sometimes known as peg wooden dolls - clothespin dolls have been around since colonial times. The traditional wooden clothespin peg, with a round knob for a top, (unlike the two-piece spring loaded ones) allow for the round knob head to be painted with minimal facial features and small amounts of fabric, felt, lace, ribbon and beads added to the rest of the wooden pin to represent clothing.

The clothespin doll can be dressed as elaborate or as humble as desired. They can be made as whimsical winged fairies, or dressed in the finest sparkly ball gowns, painted as soldiers, cute little elves, or gnomes, adorned as feathery angels, or swathed in white felt as snow people. The list of clothespin characters to sew tiny clothing for is truly endless.

Simple to make and sew clothes for, there are only a few tips to consider:

Draw facial features on the round knob head with marker or paint.

Paint on hair for the head and paint the body of the clothespin. Yarn hair can be glued on if desired.

Using an awl make a small hole in the top of the head and insert a screw eye.

Simple clothing can be made of fabric scraps and glued on. For example, dresses can be made by cutting a square of fabric with several layers of tulle to pouf out the skirt gathering both together at the top. Glue on. Trim with lace or ribbon to cover where the gathers are glued onto the clothespin. Use a triangle of fabric to make a shawl, crisscross in front and glue on as well. Add fabric or feathered wings for an angel, or a circle of fabric gathered for a bonnet for a pioneer look.

Arms for the wooden doll can be cut from thick felt or use a doubled chenille stem glued to the clothespin and cover with fabric for sleeves.

Thread a length or ribbon or gold cord through the screw eye for hanging.

Enclose a charming vintage poem if given as a potential collectible gift:

The Nicest One.

I’ve got the dearest dolly, and her name is Sally Poll.

She used to be a clothespin fore she got to be a doll.

Aunt Maggie made her for me when I had the whooping cough,

and she marked her face with charcoal, but it’s almost all come off.

Her dress is only gingham, and she hasn’t any hair.

She ain’t a truly beauty, but I tell her not to care.

For I’ve got a great big family of dollies, large and small,

and Sally Polly Clothespin is the nicest doll of all.

Author — Gladys Hyatt, in American Agriculturist.
Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Dec 23, 1897

This most utilitarian of objects, the clothespin, or clothes peg as it once was called, can become an imaginative ornamental doll dressed in a whimsical nod to times now past.

Clothespin Dolls found on

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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