Voodoo doll pin cushion – DIY tutorial

This creature is perfect for using as a pin cushion. And if you’re in a bad mood, you can also use it as an actual voodoo doll. How handy is this? The design is inspired from actual voodoo dolls, this project is all about giving a shaky handmade look to the doll.

This is a simple project that should take around 2 hours to complete. Here is a step by step tutorial to make this felt voodoo doll / pin cushion.

What you’ll need

What you will need

  • Template provided here
  • A 20×30 cm (8×12’’) piece of light brown felt
  • Small piece of red felt (5×5 cm / 2×2’’ should be more than enough)
  • Red sewing thread matching your red felt
  • Darker brown sewing thread
  • Darker brown embroidery thread
  • Filling

Step 1 – Cut out

Print the template making sure you print it at a 100% ratio (the shape should be about 15 cm / 6’’ high) and cut it out. Cut a double layer of light brown felt around the paper shape, you’ll get two matching dolls shape (see picture 4).

From the red felt, cut out 4 hands /feet pieces (piece #2 in template) and 2 heart pieces (piece #3 in the template).

Picture 4

Step 2 – Stitch the eyes

Pick one of the doll shapes to be your front piece. Take a piece (around 40cm / 16’’) of darker brown embroidery thread and separate two threads. Use them to stitch two eyes: these are just two right angle cross stitches, see example on picture 5.

Picture 5

Step 3 – Stitch the mouth

Hold on to your brown embroidery thread and stitch the mouth: first a single long stitch (see picture 6), and then a series of perpendicular shorter stitches (see picture 7)

Picture 6
Picture 7

Step 4 – Stitch the belly button

The belly button is done with the same brown embroidery thread, this is a smaller right angled cross stitch. See close up on picture 8.

Picture 8

Step 5 – Stitch the hands and feet

Stitch hands and feet on the doll’s arms and legs using an overcast stitch and red sewing thread (see picture 9). The red pieces should be positioned about 0.5 cm (0.2’’) from the shape border. Do not stitch too tight as it could alter the red pieces border. It should look as shown on picture 10. Repeat this step for both hands and both feet.

Picture 9
Picture 10

Step 6 – Stitch the heart

Position the two heart shapes so it looks like a right angled cross and stitch in the same way as the hands and feet (see above). It should look as shown on picture 11.

Picture 11

Step 7 – Secure the shapes

Before you can start sewing the two doll pieces together, you need to secure the two felt pieces together. You can use pins to do so. But due to the size and particular shape of the doll, I prefer a couple of loose stitches that will be removed after the sewing is done. This way the two shapes are sure to match and you don’t have to bother minding the pins.

You can make loose cross stitches as shown on picture 12. There is no need to worry about securing the thread as this will be removed later on. By keeping it loose you’ll make sure it does not leave any mark after it has been taken off.

Picture 12

Step 8 – Stitch the shapes

This is done with darker brown sewing thread and an overcast stitch. Start at the top of one leg and stitch all around the doll shape.

Start from below the top piece to hide the knot inside the doll (see picture 13). Stitches should be about 2mm (0.1’’) apart and 2 mm (0.1’’) from border (see picture 14). Don’t worry if the stitches are not perfectly regular as giving a shaky look to the doll is part of the design.  Stop when you have done all the doll except the side of one leg (see picture 15) and remove the loose stitches use to secure the two pieces together.

Picture 13
Picture 14
Picture 15

Step 9 – Fill in

Add the fill in little bit by little bit. A pencil can help pushing the fill-in and putting it into place see picture 16). You should add enough filling to give shape and firmness to the doll but be careful not to overload as it could damage the stitches.

One there is only one leg left to fill, close it and leave only a small opening to complete the operation (see picture 17).

Picture 16
Picture 17

Step 10 – Finish

Close the remaining opening with the same overcast stitch. You’re done!

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