How to make worry dolls

Worry dolls are traditionally used to offer comfort in times of stress. You confide your worries to the doll, place it under your pillow, and sleep on it, and the doll is said to take the worries away. Encourage the maker to confide any concerns they may have to their new doll.

Two smiling worry dolls made of wool and buttons

This guide is part of our Sense Arts, Sport & Wellbeing programme. This activity can be done at a time that suits you, either in your own space or in an educational setting.

Who is this for?

This is a wellbeing activity for people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities and can be enjoyed by anyone.

Why does this make a difference?

This is a sensory crafting activity that supports wellbeing and relaxation, and helps people learn by engaging with nature and using their senses to connect with their surroundings, exploring textures and touch while supporting independent choice.

Wool, lolly pop sticks, a marker, scissors and buttons

How to do this activity

What you’ll need

  • Large lolly sticks or strips of card
  • Scraps of yarn or similar
  • Small buttons
  • Permanent marker
  • Glue
Wrapping green yarn around a lollypop stick

Step 1

First, decide what colour hair and clothing your doll will have. Then, begin giving your doll clothes by winding the chosen colour around the bottom of the lolly stick, starting from close to the bottom. Trap the loose end of the thread against the stick and wrap over it.
Continuing to wrap the lollypop sticks in yarn

Step 2

Continue wrapping the yarn around the stick until you get to where the face will be, and glue the thread down. Leave a gap, then use the same method to make your worry doll’s hair. If covering the top is tricky, use more glue.
Drawing faces on the little worry dolls

Step 3

Draw on a face with a marker and glue some buttons down the front, and enjoy your new worry doll.