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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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!


  5. 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)

  6. 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!

  7. 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,


  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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!

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

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  13. 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 […]

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  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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?

  20. stefani said,

    on november 19th, 2010 at 1:30 am

    i like it

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. volsul said,

    on januari 3rd, 2011 at 7:39 pm

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

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

  25. 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 🙂

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

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