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Worry Doll

Materials Tools
3 or more Twist ties
20' yarn
PVC ring
Hot Glue

See the String Chapter for more instructions, hints, tips, and ideas.

Worry dolls come from Guatemala. They were made as toys for children. Children would tell their problems to the doll which would make them feel better. Often the dolls were kept in elaborately decorated boxes. Children would often sleep with their dolls.

Have you ever needed a person or animal for a diorama or display? Here is an easy way to make them. Use your imagination, pick the proper color yarn and in no time at all, you have a nice looking person, dog, zebra, lamb, or other four legged animal.

Twist ties or bread wrapper ties are pieces of thin wire covered with paper or plastic. They are about 1/8" wide and come in varying lengths. The ones I use are three to four inches long. I believe they are also used in gardening to hold plants to sticks or trellises. If you do not have access to these, you can use chenilles.

  1. Twist the twist ties together to make the basic shape. You can cut ties shorter if desired.
  2. Worry Doll Frame

  3. Tie yarn to waist of object. Leave some extra so that you can tie the other end to it to complete the project.
  4. Now start wrapping the yarn around the ties. As you wrap, don't go complete to the end of the tie or the yarn will slide off. Leave a little at the end for hands and feet. Wrap the yarn down one leg and back up it. Then down and up the other leg. You will have to make several wraps up and down the torso to make it thick enough. Then go out one arm and back. Then out the other arm and back.
  5. Wrap the yarn back down to where you tied on the yarn and tie the end to the beginning piece of yarn to hold it in place.
  6. To make the head, fold a piece of paper in half and cut out a circle leaving a piece of the fold at the top as a hinge. The two sides are used to cover up both sides of the tie.
  7. Worry Doll

  8. Draw a face on the circle with the fold at the top.
  9. Glue the face to the ties using hot glue.
  10. Decorate with extra yarn for hair, tails, mains, ears, ...

You can position the doll because the wire adds some stiffness.

If you want to give the person a different colored shirt, you can build up the torso with several layers of the same color as the pants, then tie on a different colored piece of yarn and make one more layer for the shirt.

A similar technique is used to make the zebra. Make the base color white (or black) and then go over the whole animal once with the other color leaving gaps between the wraps.

Worry Doll

Copyright © 2002 Vincent Hale