Waldorf Doll Hair Tutorial

Posted on november 3rd, 2008 in tutorial,waldorf dolls by Meike

A Waldorf Doll Hair Tutorial – Or: how to make Lina’s hair. :)


What you need:

– Yarn in the desired hair colour. This can be any yarn you like, from sock yarn to DK weight yarn to mohair. It all depends on the size of your doll, and the desired look. For Lina, I used Dream in Color Smooshy.
– Tissue paper
– Painter’s tape
– Sewing thread in (preferably) the colour of the yarn you’re using for the hair
– A sewing machine
– A CD cover or book to wrap the yarn around

How it’s done:

Wrap as much yarn as you need to cover the head (from forehead to halfway down the back of the head) around a CD cover or book (depending on the length you’d like the final wig to be). Make sure all threads of yarn are neatly arranged. A bit of overlap is okay, but there shouldn’t be any big gaps.

Secure the yarn with painter’s tape on both sides of your CD cover or book. You should have an opening of about 1 inch (approximately 2.5 cm) in the middle.

NB: I use painter’s tape instead of sellotape, because it’s less adhesive and thus can be removed more easily later on.

Once the yarn has been securely taped together, cut it at the bottom end. Gently remove the yarn from your CD cover or book and lay it down on a piece of tissue paper. You should end up with something like this:

Cover it with another piece of tissue paper and pin it together, like this:

NB: you don’t necessarily need to cover all yarn with tissue paper. A smaller piece will do the job just as well – just make sure the two bits of painter’s tape and the gap in the middle are well covered and won’t slide away when you’re sewing!

Transfer the whole package to your sewing machine and make sure the pressure of the machine’s foot is very low, or you’ll shred the whole thing to bits and your machine will eat the yarn! Not pretty, I can tell you from bitter experience. 😉

Gently sew up and down the middle a few times. I find three times usually does the trick. You want to use a sewing thread that’s more or less the same colour as your yarn. (For clarity’s sake, I’ve used a contrasting colour in this tutorial.) If all goes well, you’ll end up with something like this:

Next step: take out the pins and very, very gently remove the tissue paper! Don’t rip it, because then you’ll probably end up taking half of the seam you’ve just made with you. Then, ever so gently remove the tape as well. When you’re done, pat yourself on the shoulder because…

Voila! You’ve just made your first layer of hair! :)

Pin the hair to your doll’s head like so:

Threading a long doll needle with a string of yarn, backstitch your layer securely into place in the middle. Go back and forth a few times. It’ll look like this:

Next, stitch it into place all around the head, starting at the eye line, like this:

The end result should look something like this:

First layer done!!

For a very full head of hair, repeat this process for one more layer, but omit the stitching to the side of the head; just stitch down in the middle.

OR you can skip this second layer and go straight ahead to the final bit:

The side part. For this, I made two small packages of yarn:

One will once more cover the head, one will form the side part. They’re both the same length as the previous layer(s). For the smaller layer, which will go to the front of the head, you’ll have to make sure the painter’s tape is to the side instead of in the middle. (A good way to decide where to sew it, is to quickly tack it to the head and mark the place where you’ll want the side part to be.) Cover with tissue paper and sew both packages on the machine like you did before.

Pin both layers to the head like this:

The bigger one pinned down in the middle, the smaller one to the side.

Front view:

Stitch both to the head with yarn, removing the pins as you go. Do a few stitches to secure the front hair to the right (the part you didn’t sew on the machine) side of the head. This is to keep the hair from falling into your poor doll’s eyes all the time. 😉

Tie a bow to one side, trim the hair so it’s neat and tidy (or don’t, if you like a wild and tousled look), and…

Hurray! Your Waldorf doll now has hair like Lina’s!

Saturday August 15, 2009: I’ve made a separate explanatory tutorial on how to cover the back of the head. You’ll find it here:

Waldorf doll hair: centre back seam clarified

I hope this tutorial was helpful! If there’s anything that’s still unclear, please don’t hesitate to let me know; any comments you may have will be much appreciated. I can be reached at meike {AT} starrysheep.com, or you can just leave a comment here at my weblog.

Happy dollmaking!

© Meike, November 2008.

**Feel free to link to this tutorial , but please do not upload it to your own site / duplicate it in print. **

78 Responses to 'Waldorf Doll Hair Tutorial'

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  1. dottyspots said,

    on november 3rd, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Wonderful Meike! And pleased now I’ve added your blog to my RSS feeds :)

  2. Nicole said,

    on november 3rd, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Wow! How interesting to read all about this process, I hope someday to attempt to make a Waldorf doll. Thanks for sharing this tutorial! I loooove Lina’s hair! : )

  3. Jurga said,

    on november 4th, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! :) Wonderful tutorial! :)

  4. Linda said,

    on november 5th, 2008 at 6:56 am

    tedious work, you must love what you do!

  5. Meike said,

    on november 5th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Not tedious at all, Linda. :) And yes, I love what I do! More than anything in the world.

  6. Julia said,

    on november 6th, 2008 at 8:00 am

    So incredibly inspiring. I am almost ready to start thinking about making my first doll and I love the Lina hair! Thank you so much for posting this! :)

  7. Katherine said,

    on november 6th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    This is my fave hairstyle! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Linda said,

    on november 6th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Fabulous Tutorial!!! Thank-you so much! I love Lina’s hair! I’ll have to try this with some wool roving too. :) :) :)

  9. germandolls said,

    on november 13th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I love the looks of this doll! She is so very sweet! Great tutorial. I may try this on one of my dolls soon!

  10. diana said,

    on november 20th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    perhaps you could post a pic of the back of the head after you’ve backstitched down the centre seam? Mine splits leaving the back of the head bare.

  11. Meike said,

    on november 21st, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Hello Diana,

    Unfortunately, I cannot take a picture right now, as Lina is staying with a friend of mine at the moment! I can however try to explain it to you.

    What I always do is make sure there’s plenty of yarn at the back, perhaps even a bit more than at the front. I stitch it down until about three quarters of the back of the head is covered and then finger comb it, spreading it out so centre seam isn’t visible anymore. If you do that for all layers, you should end up with a full head of hair. Please let me know if this helps! Also, did you stitch down the first layer all around the head? That should also solve your problem.

  12. Hallie said,

    on november 24th, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    You are a life saver!!!! I just made my first doll last night but was frantic to figure out the hair!!!Thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!!

  13. Meike said,

    on november 28th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    You’re most welcome Hallie! I’d love to see a picture of your finished doll. :)

  14. Cheryl said,

    on januari 26th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I absolutely adore Lina’s hair, and I’m finally working on a doll for my daughter. I’ve made the “packages,” but I’m worried if I use the yarn to sew it on, it might tear the skin fabric. Was that a problem with your yarn?

  15. Meike said,

    on januari 27th, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Cheryl,

    If you’re afraid you’ll tear the skin fabric, by all means use embroidery thread or sewing thread! My yarn was pretty thin, so I didn’t have that problem, but you could easily subsitute it. Good luck!!

  16. Chrissy said,

    on februari 3rd, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Love this tutorial! I’ll be linking over in the morning!

  17. on februari 3rd, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    […] in doll-making and want to learn about making yarn wigs for your creations, be sure to check out this tutorial at Crafty Sheep. And be sure to check out the comments for more […]

  18. Annie said,

    on maart 6th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I love this tutorial, I have been searching everywhere for info on doing a Waldorf doll’s hair…yours is great!! and your dolls look amazing

  19. on april 2nd, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    […] red hair (I love red hair). It was the only yarn in the house and for that I am happy. I used this doll hair tutorial to create […]

  20. on april 20th, 2009 at 12:08 am

    […] What a joy it was to make this dolly and thanks to this free pattern and a great hair tutorial here, she was done without buying any directions.  I purchased some wool roving from a local shop and […]

  21. on april 28th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    […] Yarn hair tutorial from Crafty Sheep […]

  22. Drianis said,

    on april 29th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    OMG, I love you!!! *smash and hug*

  23. Amy Huntley said,

    on mei 4th, 2009 at 6:51 am

    So adorable. I have been wanting to make these dolls for my 3 girls. I have looked everywhere to find a doll pattern I like and I love the hair AND the doll you have made. Do you by chance have the tutorial for the doll too?? I just found your cute blog. I will be following for sure now! Thanks!!

  24. Meike said,

    on mei 6th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Thanks Amy! No, I don’t offer tutorials for the dolls themselves. :) But a good book on how to make them is Maricristin Sealey’s Making Waldorf Dolls.

  25. on mei 20th, 2009 at 5:45 am

    […] Detail here: Waldorf Doll Hair Tutorial by Crafty Sheep […]

  26. Stephanie said,

    on mei 26th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’ll be sure to check back at these steps next time I make a doll.

  27. on mei 28th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    […] now, the last link I’ll leave you with is a great way to give your new doll great hair!  The Waldorf Doll Hair Tutorial is one of the best I have seen!  This will be perfect for the first doll I plan to make for a good […]

  28. on juni 1st, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    […] a tutorial on making waldorf doll hair (but would work for any doll) – i find this to be very helpful with all the pictures but i haven’t tried it. […]

  29. Elisabeth said,

    on juni 10th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I’m using it for my first doll…not a waldorf doll but much easier…but the hair looks great!

  30. Natur-Elle said,

    on juni 20th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Merci pour ce tuto et cette jolie coupe de cheveux. Je ‘my essaye tout à l’heure.

  31. Leigh said,

    on juli 12th, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I used it on a mermaid doll I made for my 4yo and I’m SO happy with how it turned out. And more importantly, my daughter is thrilled! http://sleepytimesewing.blogspot.com/2009/07/little-mermaid.html

  32. Crystal said,

    on juli 18th, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. This was the clearest, easiest tutorial I have seen online :) It is also just the kind of hair I was picturing. Thanks again!

  33. Meike said,

    on juli 19th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I’m glad you’re all happy with my tutorial! I love seeing the finished dolls, thanks for showing them! :)

  34. on juli 22nd, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    […] Rose’s mother didn’t know where to start until she came across some wonderfully easy instructions on a blog called Crafty Sheep! […]

  35. Norma said,

    on juli 23rd, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial.

  36. on augustus 11th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Estou adorando fazer as bonecas.

  37. karina said,

    on augustus 15th, 2009 at 9:12 am

    can i see a back view? how far down the back of her head do you sew? how do you then cover the back parted bit so it looks natural?

  38. Meike said,

    on augustus 15th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Hi there Karina! I’ve been wanting to clarify that bit of my tutorial for a while now, as more people have asked me how to do that particular bit. I’ve finally found the time to sit down and do it! I’ve added a link to the clarification to my tutorial above. Hope it helps!

  39. Alison said,

    on augustus 25th, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Thank you “sew” much for this tutorial! I used it today to make some hair for a sock doll I made for my daughter.

  40. Maja said,

    on september 12th, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Thank you so much! I am very new to doll making and loving it. Your tutorial is great. Will try it on my next doll :-)

  41. Dawn Koetz said,

    on september 22nd, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I know that some one asked you before, but do you have the pattern for this doll. I have be looking at Waldorf dolls and this doll is the cutest one that I have seen and would love to make it for my daughter.

  42. Jenny said,

    on september 24th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks for this tutorial. It is nice for the dolls to have a full head of hair instead of a weird thing going on in the back of the head.

  43. Ana Cléa said,

    on oktober 2nd, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Hello Kate, I’m in love with your dolls are beautiful, I’m from Brazil, I have a crochet blog, I am now starting to sew, love to make this doll for my little daughter, 1 year, you could send me your template? If you can agradeço.Aguardo a return seu.Um abraço.Ana Cléa.Me excuse my English, but translated by google!

  44. Meike said,

    on oktober 4th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Hi Ana (My name is not Kate, it’s Meike, by the way! Kate is one of my blog readers :) ), the best thing you can do is buy a book on making these dolls, for example this one:


    There are several patterns for a doll body to be found online, but what you really need to know is the technique! The head, for example, is not made from a pattern at all, but it’s sculpted from a ball of wool, and that takes quite a bit of practice. There’s a good tutorial on how to do this here:

    Another tutorial is here:


    And if you’d really like to play it safe, I’d recommend getting a kit for your first doll, with all fabric and instructions included.

    I hope this helps, and I hope you’ll be able to translate it! Good luck!

  45. volsul said,

    on oktober 27th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Je suis entrain de coudre ma 1ère poupée d’inspiration STEINER-WALDORF grâce à un kit de la boutique MAROTTE et CIE et j’en profite pour te remercier pour toutes les infos que j’ai trouvé sur ton blog qui m’ont bien aidé pour coudre ce poupon. Il me reste la phase habillage mais celle ci c’est la plus simple !
    J’avoue que cela m’a énormément plu de fabriquer cette poupée pour ma petite fille CARLA qui va avoir 3 ans !

  46. Rose Mary said,

    on november 16th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. I have been researching for awhile, but have not had the courage to attempt the project. Wish me luck!

  47. on december 6th, 2009 at 5:42 am

    […] used the hair tutorial from Crafty Sheepto inspire me for the hair. It was much simpler than what I was originally going to […]

  48. Keenan said,

    on december 8th, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Hello! This is so amazing. I’m making my first doll. Is it reasonable to try this hair or should I do something “easy” first?
    Also, you said any wool. Where can I buy doll hair? I’ve looked around but I was really wanting 100% wool sports weight. Do you have a good place to buy doll hair wool?

  49. Meike said,

    on december 8th, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Hi Keenan, if you’re reasonably comfortable with your sewing machine, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do this! It’s quite easy, really. :) As for the yarn, I don’t have a favourite place to buy my yarn. The yarn I used for my model was Dream in Color Smooshy, which works really well, but isn’t 100% wool I think. There are several online shops that sell “doll hair” yarn, it depends on where you are? I recently found this site: http://clothdollsupply.com/hair.html, but I don’t know if they are any good since I haven’t ordered from them. (I’m in the Netherlands, so I prefer to get my supplies a bit closer to home.) Most online Waldorf supply stores, like Weir Dolls or Dancing Rain Dolls, carry hair wool as well.

  50. farmama said,

    on december 9th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    That is perhaps the cutest doll i have ever seen! Thank you for the tutorial, I will try this hair style on the next doll that I make!

  51. littlemommy said,

    on december 12th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    This was so much easier to do than anticipated. Thank you so much for the great tutorial!

  52. abby said,

    on december 19th, 2009 at 3:16 am

    thankyou heaps for that tutorial!,, much appreciated. just about finished a doll for my little sister for christmas. it was so much fun. thanks once again.

  53. Erin said,

    on januari 12th, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Beautiful! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us! I was just sitting at the computer with a bald doll and a ball of yarn in my lap wondering what on earth to do next…and…voila! There you are! Thank you!!!

  54. Alice said,

    on januari 18th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you so much for the tutorial!

    I just completed the hair of my doll following your tutorial and it looks great! My daughter loves it.

    I just couldn’t sew the hair to the head using the same yarn of the hair. It was too thick, so I had to use a matching buttom thread. But it looks nice!

    Another thing: is there any trick to get rid of the paper between entangled between the thread? That cost me a lot of time!!

    Thanks a bunch!


  55. Kinga said,

    on februari 18th, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Hi Meike,
    I made a waldorf style doll for my daughter but as first I did not have a sewing machine the doll’s hair did not have a long life. i’m so thankful for this tutorial, it helped me a lot!
    Thank you again for sharing this. My daughter is really happy with the new hair and hairstyle!

    Best regards,

    Kinga (from Fishers, IN)

  56. pixie said,

    on februari 20th, 2010 at 2:35 am

    thanks loads for your two hair tuts! I am attempting to make my first from a weir doll kit but I am using a lot of online tutorials to tweak things a bit. I plan to use some crazy yarn from my stash and wanted this style of hair. I still have not finished the head, everything is pinned and I just have to hand-sew the knit fabric on now!

  57. Elba Rodríguez said,

    on maart 22nd, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Hola Meike,

    Muchísimas gracias por tus tutoriales! Son maravillosos y están clarísimos. ERES UNA PERSONA TAN GENEROSA AL COMPARTIR TUS CONOCIMIENTOS CON NOSOTRAS!

    Un abrazo, y nuevamente gracias,


  58. Harriette said,

    on maart 22nd, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Great hair! looks really cute! I was think of doing a little brade in mine!

  59. Renata Cavazzani said,

    on maart 30th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Obrigada, a muito tempo procurava por uma explicação de como montar os cabelos de minhas bonecas. Comecei a pouco a monta-las.
    Obrigada novamente por sua generosidade.

    Renata Cavazzani – Ribeirão Preto – São Paulo – Brasil.

  60. Nina said,

    on april 5th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Hello! Thank you very much for your great tutorial! I made a doll for my firend’s child with this hairstyle. I even used similar yarn. The result makes me very happy :)

  61. Nieves said,

    on mei 26th, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    You have no idea how many times I’ve wondered how to make a doll with her hair in a bob rather than in plaits, now thanks to you I’ve found out how! I am so happy! My dolls are different from yours, but I hope when I finish the one I am making right now and I send you the picture, you’ll think that I made a good job with your tutorial. Thanks ever so much!

  62. on juni 8th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    […] http://starrysheep.com/crafty/?p=103 Hair Tutorial […]

  63. on juni 29th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    […] Head: Moonchild Studios The Body: I followed these photos on flickr The Hair: Crafty Sheep Here’s one other tutorial that I thought was good to look […]

  64. on juli 2nd, 2010 at 8:19 am

    […] a little confusing for me and I really wasn’t digging it. Then a friend directed me to these instructions. I used a similar technique, and the manes came […]

  65. on juli 9th, 2010 at 2:17 am

    […] paint from a vintage Raggedy Ann doll picture I found on Flickr.  I used this tutorial for the hair, and the clothes I just cut a little bit of this and that and went to town, as I always do for my […]

  66. lysazhang said,

    on juli 31st, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Fabulous Tutorial!!! Thank-you so much! I love Lina’s hair! I’ll have to try this with some wool roving too

  67. Aura said,

    on september 3rd, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Thanks so much for posting this tutorial. I am going to try although it will be on a very small scale for a crochet doll I plan to donate. Once I finish the doll, I will be posting a picture in my blog.

  68. Chelsea said,

    on oktober 27th, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Hello, Meike! Can you tell me how many yards of yarn should be purchased to achieve this hair style?

    Thank you!

  69. Meike said,

    on november 14th, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Hi Chelsea, apologies for my late reply! I am sorry, I have no idea how many yards I used! Half a skein of the Dream in Color Smooshy, perhaps?

  70. stefani said,

    on november 19th, 2010 at 1:30 am

    i like it

  71. Pam said,

    on december 13th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Does anyone know how much yarn is needed for this wig? I would love to do this for the doll I am making my daughter.

  72. Pam said,

    on december 13th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I just saw that last comment! Sorry. I am thinking 3.5 oz will be plenty?

  73. volsul said,

    on januari 3rd, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Pour l’année 2011, je vous souhaite de la douceur et du tendre
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    Ce message poétique pour vous souhaiter une bonne année
    Une carte de vœux en poésie, un petit texte pour vous aimez
    Que le Nouvel An, ouvre les portes d’une année nouvelle
    Que premier janvier ouvre votre cœur et votre âme si belle

    Pour l’année 2011, je vous souhaite l’amour et l’amitié
    Pour l’année 2011, je vous présente mes meilleurs vœux
    Mots poétiques et poèmes en vœux de Bonne année
    Amis, Je vous présente mes vœux sincères, soyez heureux

    Pour l’année 2011, je vous souhaite de la douceur et du tendre
    Pour l’année 2011, je vous présente mes vœux de bonheur
    Je vous offre ce poème pour que l’année nouvelle soit douceur
    Que la poésie de la vie soit là du 1er janvier au 31 décembre

  74. on januari 7th, 2011 at 4:34 am

    […] Starry Sheep has a hair tutorial. […]

  75. Andrea said,

    on januari 24th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I’ve been looking for tutorials all over the internet and yours actually seems doable for me (being a not so good a crocheter and a sewing whiz kid).
    You’ve officially saved my mom’s birthday :)

  76. molly said,

    on februari 15th, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Hi! Your doll is BEEutiful! But do you have a suggestion for hand sewing the hair? I do not have a machine.

  77. angie said,

    on februari 23rd, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    cute hair style! I make dolls a lot, but this is a whole new “hip” hairstyle I must try on one of my girls!

  78. on april 7th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    […] http://starrysheep.com/crafty/?p=103 […]