Monday, November 24, 2008

Our Humans

My friend Lisa gave me the idea for these adorable clothespin dolls. Her children use them to reinact Bible Stories. I have been wanting to make them for a while, so I enlisted her help one morning after church. Here is Maiden holding her 'human'. That's what she calls them. She spends a lot of time pretending with these dolls. Recently I overheard her and one of her older brothers playing together:
Maiden: "I'm going to tell your husband you did that."
Brother: "No you can't."
Maiden: "Yes I can."
Brother: "No you can't, because I'm a man. I don't have a husband."
Maiden: "Oh."

Here we are just getting started. Lisa is the one in the black jacket.

Here the kids are choosing different colors of felt for the clothing.

Prince Charming...right in the center of it all, as usual. As you can see from the window, a lot of time has elapsed since I started with Lisa. It was a Sunday. Doesn't everyone take a nap on Sundays? Yes, I guess you could say I slept that day away. Enough of my Sunday routine and on to the construction of the dolls:

We used clothespins for the bodies, dowel caps for the heads, and clothespin doll stands to keep them in an upright position.

This is a little blurry but you can still see the construction of the doll. For the arms and hands, we used a piece of tan colored pipe cleaner and folded the ends over to make hands. Hot glue secured everything in place.

For a baby, The King cut one of the clothespins down for me and I made the arms a little shorter. I didn't add a doll stand or a dowel cap for the head.

Before we could put the head (the dowel cap) on the doll, we cut a rectangular piece (approximately 7" x 2") of felt with a small triangular shaped hole in the center and slipped it over the top of the clothespin.

Now that the robe is on, you can add the dowel cap for the head. Next, tie some yarn or DMC floss around the waist.

Here is our adult Jesus and our baby Jesus. We dressed the adult Jesus in cream colored robe and then cut an extra piece of felt in purple for an overlay that can be removed. (When the soldiers mocked Jesus in the book of Mark, they put a purple robe on him.) We need to come up with something for the crown of thorns.

We made 12 disciples (de-cycles as Maiden calls them) 4 ladies, Jesus, and baby Jesus. They are pretty universal. We can play out Old Testament stories as well as ones from the New Testament. We did not add faces to them. I like it that way. It would be hard to act out a story of people crying if we had smiling faces on them.

Here are our ladies up close. The widow who gave her two mites (Luke 21: 1-4) is at the left. We thought the drab colors made her look like she didn't have a lot of money.

Here is Mary holding Baby Jesus. We would like to make up more 'humans' for a Nativity Scene before Christmas. I would also like to purchase some Schleich animals to make our stories a little more realistic. I'm thinking about a rooster, a donkey, some goats and sheep. I found a wooden cross at a craft store that we can attach Jesus to when we do resurrection stories. Lisa's children made a tomb, I think it was made out of a tissue box and paper mache. We may do that a little closer to Easter.

I would like to give my younger children some Arch books for Christmas to help inspire their Bible story reinactments. I am so excited about these little dolls. Does anyone have any other ideas for us to add to our box of 'humans'?

Thanks for the great idea, Lisa!


  1. I love Schleich farm animals but aren't they going to be a bit bigger than the people?

    Great craft! Your peeps look wonderful.

    I take naps on Sunday, too. Unless I spend the time sorting through pictures like yesterday. Then I start out Monday really slowly.


  2. don't forget to get a camel! That was a bit hit in our house when I was a child. My mother had to glue that thing together so many times...

    What do the three wise men look like?

  3. Hi Michelle, I did an Angel tree ornament out of clothspins..same technique as you. I know I did curls for hair and a tiny bit of garland for the halo. I used that crinkly paper ribbon that you unfold. I think maybe you could fashion some sheep using curls of yarn and a clothspin too..let your imagination run wild. Maybe a popscicle manger for baby Jesus! They are very cute human dolls! :)

  4. Oh what a great idea! It looks like a lot of work, though... do you sell them? (tee hee)

  5. Very cute craft. My kids would love to try these, thanks Michelle.

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  6. Michelle-
    I just have to get back to blogging, I love reading yours! I have been so addicted to facebook! I love this idea and can't wait to try it at home!


I love to hear what you have to say.