Upcycle clothespins and wood beads into adorable homemade Christmas ornaments. Make one for each member of your family!
Read step by step instructions after the video.

Miniature dolls made from wood clothespins are an easy Christmas craft that will look right at home on your Christmas tree or mantel. Fashion small doll ornaments out of clothes pins and wood beads in different sizes, then dress the dolls in homemade fuzzy felt clothing and accessorize them in their winter finest—pipe cleaner scarves and earmuffs. The outfit options are endless, which makes this the perfect snow day project. Help kids paint, cut and glue these DIY Christmas ornaments. We love the idea of creating a doll ornament family that matches each member of your own family! 

  • Working time 1 hr
  • Start to finish 1 hr
  • Difficulty Kind of Hard

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Assemble Doll

Before you can design your doll's winter wear, you'll need a doll. Use a hot glue gun to adhere a wooden dowel cap to the top of a large clothespin. This dowel cap will be the head of the clothespin doll. To make the doll's arms, hot glue a chenille stem (commonly known as craft pipe cleaners) to the back of the doll. Each end of the chenille stem should be able to wrap around the body of the doll. Leave them long — don't trim the chenille stem arms quite yet. Before you can paint the doll, apply decoupage to the head to prevent the paint from bleeding. While you wait for the decoupage to dry, add on the doll's' hands by sliding a wooden bead up the ends of the chenille stems. When the beads are in place, trim the stem ends so there is no chenille stem peaking through. A wire cutter might come in handy for a clean cut!

Step 2

Paint Detailing

All of the painted details on our dolls are done by hand. You can use a paint marker for finer details like the mouth and eyes, or you can dip the end of a toothpick in acrylic paint and use it to apply the features. Paint your dolls to look any way you like. If your clothespin dolls won't be wearing hats, you can also paint on the hairstyle of your choice. For pigtails, a bun, or other raised hairstyles, paint smaller wooden beads in the hair colors you want to use. Set these beads aside; you'll add the hair at the end of the project. Don't forget to paint on shoes for your doll! 

wooden peg dolls with DIY felt clothing
Step 3

Make the Clothing

To dress your dolls, trace the downloadable clothing patterns onto sheets of wool felt, then carefully cut them out. Attach the felt clothes to each clothespin using crafts glue; after wrapping each felt garment into place, use glue to hold the pieces together. Hold the felt in place until the glue starts to dry. To make the dolls' accessories, get creative with chenille stems! Our favorite accessory idea is a simple scarf that fashionably hides where the head and body meet. To make the scarf, just wrap a chenille stem around the doll's neck a few times.

Get the free patterns!
Homemade wood bead Christmas ornaments as DIY Christmas gifts
Step 4

Finish the Ornament

When your doll is painted and dressed, turn it into an ornament! Twist a screw-eye hook into the top of the head before adding any accessories or hair beads. Twisting in the screw eye first ensures you'll be able to hang your clothespin doll on your Christmas tree. Once you've attached the screw, it's time to give your doll a new 'do! To add a fun hairstyle, hot-glue on the painted beads you set aside earlier. You can make pigtails, topknots, or a side pony—just place the hair beads wherever you want them! Make earmuffs by gluing a piece of chenille stem across the doll's head and adding a mini pom pom on either end, or experiment with other hairstyles and materials. Once all pieces are attached and dry, loop a piece of baker's twine through the screw eye, knot it, and your ornament is ready to hang on the tree! 

    Comments (2)

    How difficult was this project?
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    December 11, 2018
    Please SPELL out what a dowel cap is and whether it's available at Home Depot and similar stores or must come from a craft store. You also need to specify that these are not spring-loaded clothes pins.
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    October 19, 2018
    Too many cutting details not provided!

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