Hey, guys – it’s Katie here! It’s been a good little while, hasn’t it? Well, today I’m here to share one of my favorite handmade ideas for kiddos. Are you familiar with Matchbox Dolls? They are exactly what they sound like: dolls in matchboxes. These dolls are some of the quickest and easiest gifts to give to young ones when you’re looking for something with a lot of heart. I’ve made these for young ones in my life for years (even before I had kids) and they are a hit every time!
-3-4 different fabrics for doll body, inner ears, sleep sack, and pillow
-Poly-fil or cotton stuffing and chopstick
-needle and thread
-craft glue or tape
-doll template (Download Matchbox Bunny Template)
-paper of your choice for outside of matchbox
Are we ready to get started? Great! First, download and print out the doll template. Use the pattern to cut out your doll fabric. You will need two pieces because we are going to sew them together!
Once your fabric has been cut, grab your needle and thread and begin whipstitching around the outside of the doll body. (Here is an example of whipstitch if you need a refresher.) Before you finish sewing all the way around, use your chopstick to stuff the body. Close it up, and let’s begin the next step!
Moving on to the ears, cut out ears from the same fabric you used for the body. Cut out two additional ear pieces using the contrasting fabric and place them on top of the first ear pieces. I like to use a little craft glue on this step so the ears are a little bit easier to sew. Plus, an added bonus is that it keeps your fabric from fraying if you use cotton quilting fabric like I did. Let your glue dry. Then whipstitch all the way around one ear. Sew it to the front of the doll, as shown above. Repeat on the other ear.
Now, let’s give this little bunny a face! If you know how to French knot, this is your time to shine! If not, no worries! Just use your embroidery floss or yarn to sew in some eyes for this doll. Once you have that out of the way, use a contrasting thread to sew a small “x” below the eyes for the nose/mouth area.
It’s time to work on some accessories! Let’s start with the bed. Cut your “bed” fabric from the template and lay flat. Either with a sewing machine or the needle and thread in your hand, fold the two outside edges in and stitch in place. Make sure the pattern on your fabric is face down and you are folding into the wrong side.
After you have the edges hemmed, pick up your fabric piece and fold in half, wrong side out. Sew the edges together with your machine or hand, making sure to leave the top open. Now, flip it right-side out and you’ve got yourself a sleeping bag!
The pillow comes together in a very similar manner. Cut your fabric for the pillow and fold in half, placing the right sides together (the wrong side will be facing out). Sew the top and bottom, leaving the side open. Flip right-side out, fill with stuffing, and hand stitch it closed.
The last step is gluing or taping decorative paper to the outside of the matchbox! Now, let’s assemble everything!
It’s so fun and easy to customize these little dolls. Adding skirts or bow ties or tiny shoes are all ways to make it something extra special. Hey, you could even leave the ears out of this pattern and turn it into a doll, or switch up the type of animal for your matchbox. The possibilities are endless! Happy stitching! xo. Katie
Credits//Author and Photography: Katie Shelton. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.