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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Sunday, 28 September 2014
A great kid-friendly craft, using beautiful all natural materials.
Perfect for making and giving!

It's time to round up your smaller playsilks..
go on...
we'll wait....

OK. Got 'em? Great!

If you don't have any smaller playsilks, we have you covered! 
You can purchase your own KIT for this craft in the Etsy Shop: Cuddle Doll Kit.
And lots of other silkies, too!

This tutorial is based on the traditional 'Handkerchief Dolly' or 'Church Doll'.
These dollies have been made by moms and grandmothers for generations... a few simple knots and/or ties and they could make a wee dolly to keep the little ones busy during all day long church meetings and services.
Simple, quiet and full of imaginative potential.
They have also been known as 'Plantation Dollies' and, when a sweet mama put a little cube of sugar into the head for her child to suck on, 'Sugar Babies'.  The tradition goes back at least as far as the American Revolution in North America ~ although I bet it has been happening pretty much forever!

Here's what you need:
* ONE square silk (or other lightweight fabric) ~ we used 11" and 21" for our demo
* Small length of thread or ribbon
* scissors
* needle (if you want to make the head more secure/ the silk a permanent doll)
* enough wool, cotton batting or other stuffing to make the head
1) Fold your silk square into quarters to find the middle (or eye it up!). 
For young children, you may want to lightly press the folded up silk, so that when you open it there is a clear center point (as pictured in purple).
Take enough wool to make the head, and roll it in your hands to make a soft ball.
The rolling will help the wool fibers catch and hold the shape.
Place the ball in the center of your silk.

2) Fold the silk in half, making a triangle.
Gather up the silk, holding closed at the newly formed neck.
For little hands, they may find it easiest to grasp the ball, through the silk, in the center of their palm and close their fingers, gathering in the silk as they do so.  A pair of adult hands can then pinch the neck for them and hand it back.

3) Using your thread, yarn, ribbon... tie a provisional knot to hold the neck closed.
If you want to make the silk into a more permanent dolly, you may choose to throw a couple of stitches through the fabric to secure it. If you think you may want to re-use the silk, simply tie it off and trim the ends OR add a decorative bow (age 3+ only).
4) Now it is time to make the hands.
Shake out your dolly so that the corners of the triangle match up neatly.
Tie a knot at the end of each 'arm'.
If you want to untie the silk later for play, keep the knots light.  
Silk knots tend to slide tighter and tighter with wear.
And now you have a sweet little silk dolly all ready to hug and love ♥
Further Suggestions:
  • Make a big and a small dolly for mother and baby.
  • Have a toddler make their own dolly.
  • A great craft for big brother or sister to make for the littles.
  • Stocking stuffer?
  • Birthday party activity (we can make you a party sized set of kits!)
  • Sweet gifts to donate to a Senior's Home (many older folks take comfort in hugging a dolly)
  • Tuck one in your bag for times when you need a 'Church Dolly' to save the day!
  • Kits available at Beneath the Rowan Tree.
Have fun!
Feel free to share your finished projects with BTRT on Pinterest or Instagram.
Follow us on Facebook, too.
It is a joy to share crafty projects with you ~if you do share or make this craft, please give credit to Beneath the Rowan Tree as a courtesy in return. Thank you! ♥♥


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