Making Apple Head Dolls
How to make craft dolls: Create Apple head dolls, with clothes sewn with straight line stitching.
These charming dolls created with apples and scrap fabric, are perfect for rainy day crafting with kids, dressing up for the holidays, or just as a sweet addition to your kitchen.
Materials you will need per doll:
Paring knife, needle nose pliers, scissors, needle, thread, hotglue gun
2 Firm red or green apples
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 gallon water
2 Black beads, apple seeds, or any small round objects for eyes.
Wool, or synthetic doll hair, available in craft stores. Choose gray as these dolls are decidedly elderly in appearance
18 Gauge mechanics wire
scrap of thin ribbon.
Pour water, salt, and lemon juice into bucket, bowl, or other container
Peel apple, leaving stem on.
Soak in water solution for 5 minutes
Carve facial features, using paring knife; start with a U shape to create the nose, then cut smiling slit for mouth, carve out shallow, almond shaped hollows for eyes, and carve in cheek hollows. Make a few slits near eyes and mouth to create wrinkles.
Place back in water solution for another 10 minutes, then using a piece of wire, string through top and bottom of apple, and hang to dry. May take several weeks, it is done when leather and pliable. Alternately, you can cut time by using a food dehydrator. Features may be further shaped by fingers, pinching, and poking during drying time. about half way through drying time insert eyes and allow the natural wrinkles that form to shape around these creating a much more natural appearance.
Peel second apple
soak 15 minutes in water solution
string like first apple and allow to dry.
When both are completely dry, cut wedges from plain apple to form hands, cut fingers by making slits in the wedges. Shape further with fingers if desired.
To Form Body:
Using wire form an X of loops, longer ones at the bottom, for legs, shorter ones at the top for arms, twist middle a few times for extra support. Using needle nose pliers, make sure wires are secured together, and leave a length of 4-5 inches, depending on height of your dried apple head.
Using yarn, and fiberfill, pad the body. Starting with the body, place a bit of the fiberfill, and secure with yarn using a figure eight wrapping motion. continue to fill out torso area, adding more fiberfill, and securing with yarn as needed. Continue filling out the arms and legs in same fashion, until body is as plump as you want it. Do not attach head yet.
To sew clothes.
Make very simple clothing for your dolls. First, measure your doll body across, double this measurement, and add three inches. Then measure from head to foot, again double and add three inches. This will tell you the total amount of fabric you will need.
For both male and female dolls:
Sew tubes of stretchy material for socks, hem at top and close off at bottom.
Make a very basic shirt pattern by drawing two fat T shapes, again using the measurements for around the doll, and then from shoulder to waist, and shoulder completely to end of arm and 1/2 inch beyond. Cut out the patterns from the fabric, and sew together completely around, leaving only the bottom open. sticking end of left over wire through shirt, make certain that shirt sleeve reaches to 1/2 inch beyond end of arm.
Secure head to top of body with wire you left sticking out of body. Secure wire to end of apple stem using needle nose pliers. Using hot glue gun, glue hair to top of doll's head, and arrange.
Cut rectangle from fabric using the measurements from around the waist and to end of leg, plus 3 inches at waist and 1/2 inch at legs Sew up one side to make a tube. Then hem top and bottom, with a 1/4 inch hem. And using a basting stitch, draw top of skirt to make pleats. Slip over doll's legs, tuck shirt in, and hot glue into place.
Cut out a small half circle to make an apron. Hem on all sides, and sew the ribbon on to create tie. Tie to doll's waist.
Cut out triangle for head scarf, hem, arrange on head, tucking triangles on side of head under, and secure in place with hotglue.
For male doll:
Make a pair of pants pattern by drawing two rectangles and cutting a slit the length from the waist to the leg. Sew together leaving waist and legs open. Hem waist and cuffs on to lower body, secure with hot glue.
Cut two thin strips of the felt and, crossing at back, create suspenders. Hotglue in place.
Cut a circle of felt the size of the circumference of the doll head, and another two inches wider. Cut a two inch wide strip the same length as the circumference of the smaller circle, plus 1/2 an inch. Formm into tube, attach larger circle to tube, centering it, attach with hot glue, then attach smaller circle to tube, creating a hat. Glue hat to doll's hair. Slip on socks.
Dolls may be posed, and arranged, over and over again.