This simple hand stitched felt doll pattern is manageable for even those sewing at a beginner level. These “unpaper” dolls are perfect for a quiet bag and lightweight to take on-the-go in a backpack or purse.
Felt Doll Supply List
Basic Supply List:
- Various colors of craft felt
- Assorted colors of embroidery floss
- Sharp scissors
- Felt doll PDF pattern (linked below)
Suggested Colors of Felt & String
SKIN TONES: tans & browns
HAIR COLORS: brown, black, yellow, orange
BASICS: black & white
HEART & MOUTH: red or pink
Felt Doll Tutorial
Step One: Gather Supplies For The Felt Dolls
Begin by printing off the PDF felt doll pattern and gathering the necessary supplies. Cut out the pattern for the doll body, bodysuit, heart (optional), and whatever hair style(s) you desire.
Step Two: Cut the Felt Pieces
Trace the patterns onto your desired colors of felt and cut them out with sharp scissors.
You will need two body panels, a front and a back. If you’d like to double stack the body before cutting, you may do that, but I recommend cutting all the other pieces one at a time.
For the hair you can select from the 8 available hair templates. Four hair pieces are designed for the front of the doll, and are denoted with a (F) on the pattern. The other four are designed to attach to the back of the doll, and are denoted with a (B) on the pattern.
Step Three: Attach the Bodysuit
Thread your needle with a single strand of white embroidery floss. I like to thread my string through the eye of the needle, and then bring both ends together into a knot. This makes the stitches two strands thick and ensures beginning sewers won’t pull the needle off as they go
Attach the body suit to the front body panel using a running stitch. Beginning from the backside of the body panel (to hide your knots and ends), sew around the entire edge of the workpiece. Tie off and cut your string.
Next, place the felt heart (optional) on top of the white bodysuit and attach with a coordinating color strand of floss.
Step Four: Hair
Begin by threading your needle with a color of string that coordinates with your felt hair pieces. Attach the front hair piece (F) to the top body panel using a running stitch.
Similarly, attach the back hair piece (B) to the back of the back body panel (optional). You do not have to use a back hair piece for short hairstyles, but I like the look of hair on both sides, and it is necessary for longer hairstyles to use a back.
By attaching the hair pieces before sewing the two body panels together, we can hide all the loose string ends and knots inside the body panel “sandwich”.
You can choose to attach the long hairstyles in several ways. Both options are listed below.
Sew the back hair piece onto the body panel following around the circle shape of entire head.
This leaves the bottom section of the hair with the ability to move freely.
Sew along the entire perimeter of the back hair piece, following the curve of the body panel when needed.
This will securely attach the bottom sections of the hair to the body panel.
Step Five: The Face
Using 3 strands of black embroidery floss, tie a french knot to make eyes on the head of your front body panel. You can add other eye details as you desire. Then, add a mouth using 3 strands pink or red embroidery floss. I recommend using a backstitch for the mouth, but you can use whatever you are comfortable with. The more strands you use the more distinct the features will be.
OPTIONAL VARIATION: If you are very new to sewing, you may find it easiest to use a permanent or fabric marker and simply draw a face on your doll.
Step Six: Sew the Felt Doll Body
Finally, it is time to attach the two body pieces! Begin by threading your needle with single strand of floss in a color that coordinates with the color of your body panels. You will need several feet of string to make it all the way around your felt doll.
Starting near the hairline (where it will be easier to hide any final knots), begin by pushing your needle up through the front body panel (so the knot and loose strings will be hidden inside the body panel “sandwich’.).
Stack the two body panels, lining up the edges, and with the “right sides” facing out (The sides you want to be showing at the end of the final project.). All the strings and mechanics should now be hidden as we put the final two pieces together.
Using a running stitch, make your way down around the first arm. Once you reach an area where there is a different color of fabric on the top of your body panel you’ll need to get a bit more “creative” with your stitch.
Still using a running stitch, push your needle up and down through the two layers of the BODY PANELS ONLY. You will have to work along the sides and under the loose edge of your bodysuit or hair pieces. At these places your body colored thread will not show as a topstitch.
Make your way around the remainder of the doll.
Finally, tie off the end of your string, and cut any excess threads. You should be able to hide the knot or tuck extra string in behind one of the hair pieces if you try. If you decide to try the bonus step below, hiding your strings will not need to be much of a concern.
BONUS Step: Hiding The “Skin” in the “Hairline”
This variation takes not additional materials, just a little extra time. If you are OCD and having the skin tone body panel felt showing through at the top of the head is bothering you, this is an easy fix.
Please note that you will not need to apply this variation if you are using only a front hair piece. This modification is intended to “tie” both front and back hair pieces together into a more seamless hairstyle.
Thread Your Needle
Begin by threading 2 or 3 strands of embroidery floss in the same color as what you used for attaching the hair pieces in step four.
Stitch the Hairline
Starting at one end of the hairline, begin sewing a tight whip stitch through all the layers of felt. You want the stitches to be close together for best coverage.
Using a whip stitch will also allow you to cover any long strands or knots from starting your string and from attaching the body pieces in the previous step.
Once you’ve made it around the hairline, tie off your string. You may choose to thread your needle back through a section of the whip stitches (toward the crown of the head) before cutting off to hide any tail strings.
Felt Doll Pattern Download
*for personal or classroom use only.
Once you download the PDF pattern, be sure to print it with settings set to “fill the whole page”. The download is 8.5 x11 inches with margins for printing already built into the download. Print the image at 100%. The bar at the bottom of the pattern is for scale. When printed properly it should be one inch long. Printing to scale assures congruency among patterns. So the doll, clothing, and accessories all fit together properly.
Complete the family with my felt doll child pattern & tutorial
Pin The Pattern So You Never Loose It
This post was updated on April 25, 2023