It is amazing the places that inspiration can take you! I've fallen down the rabbit hole of wooden dolls, starting with Penny the clothespeg doll. She lead on to carving a Hitty from Judy Brown's well constructed kit and blank.
But I wanted to be able to make a wooden doll, one with joints, without using someone else's blank, and with materials I can easily get my hands on. Something a bit more than a clothespeg, but a lot less than carving from a huge block of wood. I don't have a scroll saw, so the doll would have to be small, and preferably made from materials I can get locally (read that as Michael's).
This image shows all the tools and materials used to make this wee wooden doll.
1. A carving glove (thank you, Jenny!) for the hand holding the work, and a thumb guard for the hand holding the knife to keep you safe.
2. Two knives: a Warren whittling knife recommended by Judy Brown (and that came in her Hitty kit), and an Exacto whittling knife with a straight blade.
3. A leather strop to keep the blades sharp
4. A Pin vise for hand drilling 5/16" holes for the jointing
5. A 1"x0.75"x2" block of basswood. This came in a bag of blocks from Michael's. This is the body.
6. Two clothespegs. The prongs of the pegs will make the arms, the head of the peg will make the legs.
7. A 25mm (about 1") wood bead for the head. Make sure there is a hole in the bottom of the bead. I thought 20mm would work, but the head looked too small.
8: 3/16" dowel to peg the head to the body. The only time I needed a power drill was to drill the hole in the top of the neck for pegging the head.
9. 320 grit sand paper backed with duct tape.
10. Waxed linen cord to joint the arms and legs. You could use 20 gauge wire, or 1/8" dowel rods instead. If using the dowel rods you will probably need to use a power drill to drill the jointing holes. And if you use the dowel, the legs and arms will move together.
After all of the pieces are carved to your satisfaction, seal the wood with a matte varnish. I bought mine at Michael's; I think it was the Folk Art brand. Matte will not give you a glossy finish, which I like. Here the pieces are drying; paper clips run through the jointing holes work very nicely for hanging the pieces to dry.
After the first coat of varnish, I sanded the pieces lightly, then gave them another coat. After this coat is dry, paint the face, and socks and shoes if you like. Let all of this dry at least 24 hours, then add another coat of varnish.
You can add an antiquing medium to your work if you like. I think it gives the doll a warmer look. Again, the antiquing medium I bought was from Michael's. I applied it with a soft cotton cloth (cut up undies), then wiped it off immediately. Enough remains to tint the doll a warmer brown. Let this dry for 24 hours, buff, and now you are ready to joint the doll.
I used a waxed linen cord from my macrame jewelry days (geez, at least 30 years) to joint the doll. Tie an overhand knot three times in one end of the cord, thread through the limb, body, limb, then tie another overhand knot as tight against the opposite limb as you can. There will be a bit of give, so the limbs will move freely, and she won't stand on her own real well. But, she sits very nicely :-)