The traditional tiny, handmade worry doll originates from Guatemala and traces back to a Mayan legend about a princess who was gifted with the ability to solve any problem or worry that a person may have. According to legend, Guatemalan children tell their worries to the worry dolls, placing them under their pillow when they go to bed at night. By morning the dolls have eliminated their worries. Combining parts of this tradition and my love for making peg dolls, I have decided to mix it up a bit and design some modern DIY worry dolls with wood and felt.
While worry dolls are intended to help children identify and let go of their worries before bedtime, I think we can all benefit from not keeping our thoughts and feelings bottled up! Download our free pattern at the end of the post and watch my video tutorial to learn how to make your own set of peg dolls to tell your worries to.
Let your worries slip away
These DIY worry dolls are simple to make and can be a fun craft for kids with a little bit of adult assistance. I like to call these little peg dolls “mini-me dolls” because you can make them look just like you! In my live video, I will show you the steps I took to add hair and face details as well as make her simple felt dress and matching Danish wool slippers. You will also see how I created her sleeves and tights using cotton pipe cleaners and added wood beads to create hands and hair buns.
Once you have made your little peg dolls, simply imagine putting all of your worries into the tiny form. Or, speak your worries aloud to your doll. Imagine the doll sits on a round stump that goes all the way to the center of the earth. When you put all of your worries and concerns into the worry doll, they will flow down the stump, into the earth, and be transformed. You can place the doll under your pillow or beside your bed and greet it when you wake in the morning.
When you’re ready to learn how to make these DIY worry dolls, just gather the tools and materials listed here. Then follow my live tutorial below.
This content uses links from which we may earn a commission. Disclosure.
- Peg Dolls — 5cm
- Small Wood Balls — 8mm
- Medium Wood Balls — 10mm
- Cotton Pipe Cleaners — Jumbo Pack
- Lia Griffith’s Wool Blend Felt — Grey Marble, Sweet Pea, Lavender, Rose Quartz, Plum, and Periwinkle
- Skin Tone Paint — Blick Matte Acrylics in Beige and Brown
- Hair Color Paint — Blick Matte Acrylics in Black, Brown, Copper, and Gold
- Fabric Markers — Brown, Black, Pink, and Red
Every week, we post a free project for you because we believe crafting is therapeutic. For more crafts like this one, browse all of our free projects.