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Getting started with Doll Design

When I started to design my very first doll I had absolutely NO idea what to do, how to do it, what materials to use and how to even create a 'style'. Of course when we start to make anything we generally have a few pointers and ideas, creative clues and plans. Mine were as simple as wanting to 'make a doll' and 'vintage style'... that really was it at the very beginning.


In order to grow on that I did a lot of research, looked at other dolls online and tried to wrap my head around how they were constructed. I practised making arms and legs, sewing the shapes and then realising that turning legs and arms was harder than it looks... without a turning tool, that is! Every single step was a slow process of discovery, trial and error.

There was definitely quite a lot of frustration at first as the process was tougher than I imagined but was also so satisfying and fun that I was hooked!.

Eventually I started to form a finished item that I was pleased with. All the many mistakes I had made in the learning process lead me towards something I was really pleased with and that was starting to feel like what I had set out to create.


When I created the Doll Design Workshop (click HERE to find out more) I had to look back and reassess my whole process. I don't tend to work in a linear way and I didn't want to create a set of rigid instructions to show others how to make dolls. I knew it was important to infuse my actual method of discovery and intuition-lead creativity into the process. So I looked back and something that featured heavily in my design and inspiration process was Pinterest. I had used Pinterest to create an idea, a vision of the style of the doll. The board itself was not filled with pictures of other designer dolls but it was about creating a mood. I created a Pinterest board of things like interiors, fashion. You can take a look at a board I recreated that is very similar HERE .

This proved to be a tool for inspiration that I only realised the importance of as I was creating the Doll Design Workshop. More than anything concrete, it helped me create a feeling of the style I wanted to make and lead me towards that goal.

Here are some of my original designs:

What style of doll would you design? Starting by pinning some ideas is easy and fun and can really start to build a picture and give you new ideas about colours and patterns.


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