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Friday, 3 October 2014

Make a wooden spoon doll!

A wooden spoon doll is so easy to make and offers a chance to spend time together with mum (or grandma or a special aunt) – and she might even want to make one with you, too! Why not ask her about the special dolls she had growing up while you are making a wooden spoon doll? And afterwards, she might even bring one of her special dolls out for you to have a look (I think most mums, grandmas and aunts still have at least one doll tucked away in a cupboard - or at least a photo of them playing with one!).

Ask mum for a wooden spoon you can use - it may be one that is no longer good for cooking with, or a cheap one from a discount store (you can pick up wooden spoons in these types of shops for less than $1 each!).

You will also need:

  • Sandpaper - fine grade
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Jar of water for rinsing brushes
  • Plate etc to mix paint on
  • Newspaper to protect the table
  • Pencil
  • Fine tip marker in black and red
  • Eraser
  • Doily, hankie, serviette, fabric scraps etc for a dress
  • Ribbon, lace, buttons
  • Glue
  • Needle and thread

Let's get started!

  • Using some fine grade sandpaper, give the spoon a little rub to smooth the surface (that will make her nicer to play with). 
  • Set up to do some painting: get a jar of water ready, something to mix paint on (an old plastic lid is good for this) and cover the table with newspaper.
  • Mix some acrylic paint to make a skin colour - sometimes you can buy a skin coloured paint. Paint the front of the spoon, let it dry, then turn it over and paint the back of the spoon (that way you make sure you don't accidentally ruin her face because the paint hasn't quite dried properly!).

  • When the paint is dry, you are now ready to make her face. To make it easier, you can download a face template here
  • If you use the template, print it off, trace it onto greaseproof paper using a lead pencil, then place the greaseproof paper template face down onto the wooden spoon and trace over again. This should transfer the template to your wooden spoon.
  • Otherwise, just use a pencil to mark out her face on your wooden spoon.

  • Use a fine-tipped marker to outline her hair and facial features (eyes, mouth, cheeks), rub out the pencil lines and then fill them in with paint or marker. The smaller sections will be easier to do with a marker.
  • From your selection of doilies, hankies, fabric scraps and so on, decide on what her clothes will be made from. We made a dress out of an old doily and then a little 'apron' dress over the top out of the corner of a piece of embroidered linen.
  • To make the dress, cut a circle out of the centre of the doily.
  • Thread a needle with some thread and stitch a running stitch all around the edge of the circle.
  • When you get back to where you started, place your wooden spoon doll inside the hole, draw up both ends (starting and finishing) of the thread, and tie a knot or bow to secure it.

  • Repeat for the 'apron' dress or anything else you want to put over the top of her dress.
  • Or, attach some ribbon or lace with a small stitch or some glue, wrap the lace/ribbon back around to the front and stitch or glue it in place. We stitched around the top of the 'apron' dress just so it could hold up to being transported to workshops and being played with!

  • Finish off with pieces of lace or a button, either glued or stitched in place at the front.

Now, have fun playing with your brand new doll!

Extra tips:

  • Create dolls that represent girls from different nationalities - start with a more local area
  • Make a wooden spoon doll to ‘replace’ an old doll you have chosen to give to a charity
  • Just for mums and 'big people': there is value in a young girl making a doll herself. The doll she makes might represent the feelings she has at the time, it might be a reflection of one of her role-models, and she is able to develop some drawing and fine motor skills at the same time!

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