How to make your own Worry Dolls that are safe for children

“That’s awesome! Whoever made that must be a real art fanatic…” GG

DHL have made a mistake. They must have. They asked my Mum to craft. My Mum is allergic to craft. She once made a bumble bee out of a toilet roll and some tissue paper. It looked like a Chelsea goalie on a very bad day in the mud at Stamford Bridge. But it is no mistake, Mummy has been asked to take part in the DHL Chinese Whispers Crafty Blogger challenge (stop sniggering, I heard that).

Chinese Whispers

The chain began with Stylonylon, who was given a secret theme and asked to send us (second in the chain) a crafted item. She sent us this stunning dreamcatcher:

Home-crafted Dreamcatcher for the DHL Chinese Whispers Crafty Blogger campaign

I panicked. No way was Mummy going to replicate that level of finesse with a bit of wool and a few pipecleaners! Dramatic action was required, and once the Bug and I had stopped arguing over who has the worst dreams and therefore needs this in their bedroom, I got down to searching Pinterest for ideas.

Now as it happens, I struggle to doze off when my head hits the pillow. My brain sees any kind of physical down-time as an opportunity to strategise and get creative. Often I get a bit stressed about things that have happened during the day, or on the TV 🙂 So I have a set of worry dolls. I chat to them every night, stick them under my pillow, and they look after my worries so I don’t have to.

Worry Dolls - DHL Crafty Blogger challenge

Lately the Bug has struggled a bit in the sleep department, which is a bit of a change from the norm. His class has been mixed up on his return to the new school year, and he has lost his 2 closest friends to another class. Whilst that may well see him knuckle down and improve his writing, it’s not easy on a 6 year old, and he has become somewhat anxious instead of that happy little guy he normally is. So we’ve been considering a set of worry dolls for him too. The problem is, worry dolls are usually tiny, and small children tend to put stuff in their mouths – you get my gist…

Make your own giant Worry Dolls

Armed with our £30 voucher for Hobbycraft that DHL had kindly sent us, we headed off shopping. We actually spent £90 and came back with lots of Decopatch items – that stuff is COOL! But that’s another story. Anyway, here’s what we needed for our worry dolls.

Things you need to make worry dolls

  • Wooden pegs
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Assorted coloured thread or yarn
  • Clear glue

To be ultra-safe for a very small child, it would probably be best to leave out the pipe cleaners. Make sure you use a non-toxic glue too.

How to make worry dolls

These really couldn’t be any simpler. We simply wrapped half a pipe cleaner around our peg, anchoring some embroidery thread underneath it with a dab of glue. Then we wrapped the thread, changing the colour here and there, and fixing with glue when necessary. We used ceramic/fabric pens to mark our dolls features, and decorated with dazzle dots and stick on gems.

Now we’re not traditionalists, so these worry dolls are only very loosely based on their Guatemalan counterparts – the sentiment’s the same, but we couldn’t resist alternative personas. So here you have, in order…

Soldier boy, Romeo (see the heart?), Disco Doll (hand on hip), and Bumble Bee.

How to make your own Worry Dolls that are safe for children

Kids often find it hard to get to sleep at night, or show signs of anxiety. Worry dolls are a fabulous way of helping children unwind at the end of a day, and offload their problems till morning, helping them to sleep. Even better, they're really easy to make, and a fun craft activity for your kids. Click through to find out how.

*Disclosure: we were given £30 of vouchers to take part in the DHL Chinese Whispers Crafty Blogger Challenge. It was an incredibly simple process to package and label our craft, and DHL couldn’t have been more helpful about collection times.


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