Doll Heads - What can I do?

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I found a bin of these doll heads in a dime store. They were all 25 cents a piece and I really liked the delicate faces. Each package has arms included. I wanted to purchase them all but I restrained myself because other than making pin cushions with them I really don't know what to do with these treasures. I don't want to make dolls. Does anyone have any ideas?
q doll heads what can i do, crafts, repurposing upcycling
q doll heads what can i do, crafts, repurposing upcycling, Sorry for picture quality I m clueless about photography
Sorry for picture quality. I'm clueless about photography.
  47 answers
  • Z Z on Aug 01, 2013
    I have a few of these in a craft bin somewhere around here too. I'd make tassels using their heads as the top of the tassel. I'm not sure about the arms. I suppose you could add them to the upper sides of the tassels for a lady in a dress look tassel.

  • Kimberly C Kimberly C on Aug 01, 2013
    I was also thinking you could adhere a cork to the bottom and make them wine/bottle stoppers, I'm not sure the size is appropriate or not.

  • B.J. B B.J. B on Aug 01, 2013
    I like both the tassel and the bottle top ideas. Thank you. I've never made tassels but I'm going to give it a go. I also have a number of bottles stored away that would be perfect with the doll head corks.

  • Sallie F Arnoult Sallie F Arnoult on Aug 02, 2013
    My grandmother left me a doll with a similar look that was part of a pincushion. The base was a stuffed ball gown. It looks beautiful in my studio which has a shabby, romantic look.

  • Julia F Paul Julia F Paul on Aug 02, 2013
    I use these to make angels.

  • Shelly LaFrance Shelly LaFrance on Aug 02, 2013
    I made angels also, I found a pattern to make christmas ornaments, I glued the head and arms to a large bell, made or bought wings, used feathers, lace, pearls, and anything else I could think of and hot glued everything together. No sewing involved. They made fun gifts that year!

  • PAULA LOVELL PAULA LOVELL on Aug 02, 2013
    Make a dome type tea cozy that looks like a southern belle with a big hooped skirt.

  • Diane Ditzler Diane Ditzler on Aug 03, 2013
    Glue on top of an old spice can! Remember to make a pretty collar for her. So cute.

  • DEBRA MCLAUGHLIN DEBRA MCLAUGHLIN on Aug 03, 2013
    wow,, what a great find.. i used a bunch of them to make angles for my christmas tree..bought losts of wings.. used surger cones i had saved.. lots of lace.. my best friend had stickers "the one wiht the most fabric wins" she has me beat..lol... gave my 5 granddaughters one.. put one on all the ladies gifts i made for christmas.. if you can check pinterest check my page for them.. good luck.. you where in the right place for sure.. wow..debra

  • Jo N Jo N on Aug 03, 2013
    I made pins. I took a shell and painted it. Then hot glued the shell towards the back making a fan sort of look coming from behind the head - this is the hat that looks like it came from the 20's or 30's. I then hot glued a costume jewelry pin on the back. You could dress up yours on the bottom a little to cover the arm holes...maybe a boa look. Good find.

  • Niki Hart Niki Hart on Aug 03, 2013
    Take a look at santos and shrines on Etsy and eBay, there are a lot of uses for them~Have fun!

  • Nancy Hatcher Nancy Hatcher on Aug 03, 2013
    I would take gold & silver colored chain, maybe old necklaces that are broken, and cut a piece long enough to make a necklace. From there you can loop more chain hanging from the necklace, add some beads or interesting bits of old jewelry, etc. The hands would make a fun Halloween decoration. Drip some red nail polish or paint to look like blood and hang them around the house. Or put them in a foam based "graveyard" so they look like zombie hands coming to get you.........RUN! ;-}

  • Xena Nierobisz Xena Nierobisz on Aug 03, 2013
    I am thinking about two things. First ( I am not sure if you sew but...) you can glue your doll to the top of the jar where you can keep buttons or laces. Second use your dolls for vintage shadow boxes. Of course if you like these kinds of crafts :)

  • Sandra G Sandra G on Aug 03, 2013
    Wow lots of fun stuff I think - - I found some old old silk in thrift store - bought old pillow with stuffing - - made beautiiful round gound - and glued doll head on top - neatest pin cushion - and I have made them for several friends - - - such fun we have here learning new stuff - -

  • Wendy K Wendy K on Aug 03, 2013
    I love all the ideas here. I like to put things into collages. I will have to look up the santoes idea.

  • 153091 153091 on Aug 03, 2013
    Lucky you! I use these heads and arms to create Flower Faries. I only use 1 flower and have taught many years how to make them.

  • 153091 153091 on Aug 03, 2013
    I just posted photo of what I do with the head and arms.....I also make beautiful Ribbon Angels with them as well.

  • Itsmeileen Itsmeileen on Aug 03, 2013
    ribbon angels are great tree ornaments. feather fairies or angels are also fun.

  • Rose White Rose White on Aug 03, 2013
    I would group them together on top of a stack of old books and put them under a cloche.

  • B.J. B B.J. B on Aug 03, 2013
    I love these ideas!!! Jan B. do you have the directions for making flower faries, I saw your picture and it is so pretty. I have a cloche which will be the perfect place to put them until I use them, thank you Rose. I'm trying to picture the ribbon angel itsmeileen, do you have a picture? You guys are so creative. Thank you so much.

  • April E April E on Aug 03, 2013
    what about refurbishing a dresses with these for the drawer pulls?

  • B.J. B B.J. B on Aug 03, 2013
    Oh my goodness what a great idea! I have an adorable pink and green room that I've decorated for my granddaughters when they come from out of state. It would look adorable. I need to buy more doll heads! Thank you.

  • Grace Grace on Aug 03, 2013
    I was thinking light pulls (attach to end of string), then I realized how creepy that might look...LOL So then I thought, what about putting the head and arms in a plant, or 'looking over' the rim of a planter? Or anything they could 'climb' over...

  • B.J. B B.J. B on Aug 03, 2013
    Hey Grace, I'm getting the picture. I think the "climb over' ideas is cute! I'm going to have my doll head everywhere.

  • Becky P Becky P on Aug 03, 2013
    all I can think of right now is creepy doll heads for Halloween decorations. lol

  • Debbie Stanley Debbie Stanley on Aug 03, 2013
    I know you said you did not want to make dolls with these, but I wanted to share what I had seen when I was a child. My grandmother used to make "Pillow dolls" out of them back in the sixties. She would make large elaborate ruffled or lace dresses to flow (like a southern belle) over the pillow skirt that the dolls were seated on. She made a pretty penny even back then. Every one loved them.

  • 153091 153091 on Aug 04, 2013
    @B.J.B. I also make pin cushions

  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Aug 04, 2013
    I painted the heads with Glow in the Dark paint, put glitter in the hair, and hung them from my grand-daughters ceiling at different lengths. Of course the heads were literally a penny each at a 'Rumage Sale', so nothing as nice as these.

  • B.J. B B.J. B on Aug 04, 2013
    How creative you are Sia.

  • Steve Mason Steve Mason on Aug 04, 2013
    How about cupboard door handles?

  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Aug 04, 2013
    @B.J. B Thank you! xo

  • Mary C Mary C on Aug 04, 2013
    @Debbie Stanley @hometalk, Randleman, N.C.,,,,, could you please let me know if you have any contacts, friends, ect that still make the pillow dolls....i was so blessed to have one when i was about 15....she was beautiful...i bought her from a lady on the side of the road just past Goldhill, and a bit further down in Lincolton, Albemarle area in N.C.....she was dressed in a southern belle attire, with yellow and green...the pillow was a good size and i would do anything to get another one...when i ask people who sew if they could make one for me, they look at me as though they have never heard of such an item.....oh how i wished i knew how to sew...and would love to be able to buy another one of these...several of them....I hope you get this message..i tried to message you, but it stated that we both must be following each other...so i am following you....please contact me if you can hook me up with someone....thank you! :)

  • Debbie Stanley Debbie Stanley on Aug 04, 2013
    Mary C it could have been my grandmother who made your doll...she lived in Kannapolis, NC. What year was it when you received your doll. Her dolls were big enough to sit in the middle of a full size bed and almost cover the center. Are you on Facebook? if so look me up and we can chat.

  • Tanya L M Tanya L M on Aug 04, 2013
    Lots of patterns out there for angels using just Doll heads etc

  • Danelle Maxwell Danelle Maxwell on Aug 06, 2013
    I would make angels with them using doilies & fabric stiffner. I had searched several yrs. now at craft stores for doll heads like these but can never find them.

  • Hilary Aulando Hilary Aulando on Aug 06, 2013
    Angels for the top of the Christmas tree

  • Madelyn Madelyn on Aug 06, 2013
    I would shoot some spray foam into a clay pot and stick them in it. Cover the foam with paper clay, then I would place silk, paper mache, or porcelain flowers around them and write flower names on the pots. Rose, Violet, Ivy, Daisy, Pansy (some people are actually named pansy). I have a bunch of heads too and that was my plan. Mary, Mary, quite contrary......

  • B.J. B B.J. B on Aug 06, 2013
    OMG I love this idea Madelyn. I must make them for my granddaughters!

  • Mary C Mary C on Aug 07, 2013
    Thank you @ Debbie Stanley...you are just down the road from one of my childhood hometowns....China Grove....I still have 4 brothers and other family members living up there...we lived in Rockwell for a number of years as well...I would love to have anyone who could remake the pillow dolls for me....mine reminded me of "the yellow rose of Texas" and a bit of "Gone with the Wind" style of clothing, ribbons and fabrics...she was so, so pretty....i would make my bed everyday just so i could sit her atop the bed and look at her.....her legs set down in the pillow, but had a flowing gown that came down over the pillow too...and whe had a beautiful bonnet made from the same type of fabric of her gown...and her hands laid gracefully upon the pillow....anyone who would/could make these dolls would certainly make some good money selling them....esp. now that we have all the shabby chic fabrics and more to choose from when creating a new project....thank you again for trying to find out the way of making this and if you do make one, please post it...i will buy one...or two, or several...what a wonderful way to enjoy a doll...she really made my bed look lovely.... :)

    • Debbie Stanley Debbie Stanley on Aug 08, 2013
      @Mary C Mary, I still have family living in that area too. One of my brothers is buried in Landis. His daughter lives in Charlotte, but I have many cousins living around there. I have some dress alterations scheduled over the next few weeks, but I should be able to get started on the doll around labor day. Please keep reminding me. I have a hard time remembering all the irons I have in the fire. LOL! Hope you have a great day!

  • Mary C Mary C on Aug 08, 2013
    I can understand being busy....school is starting back and I teach Kindergarten....I too will be very busy, and it's not an urgent thing,...I am just thankful that someone knows what I am speaking about when I speak of the romantic, southern belle pillow dolls....so please, take your time if you are willing to create these....it's only been a little over 30 years since I had her, so I can wait a bit longer....and again, thank you for trying to bring them back..... :)

  • Connie K Connie K on Aug 18, 2013
    Mary C and Debbie Stanley, Oh, my did this take me back a lot of years. The first of these dolls I can remember had a crotchet dress that was starched and very full. I can't remember what supported her. I remember seeing her in my great-grandmother's home. (that would be early 1950's). Later I saw the doll pillows, and dolls that sat in the center tube of toilet paper. They were made to disguise that extra roll that sat on the back of the commode when you had no storage space. The pillow dolls ofter had skirts with a special workmanship. I don't know what it was called but it was sort of like smocking only much, much larger. Hmmn, I'll have to search to see if I can find out what it was. If anyone finds a photo please post it. I'd certainly love to see one again.

    • See 1 previous
    • Connie K Connie K on Aug 19, 2013
      @Mary C I'll keep my eyes peeled for one of the dolls when I am checking out the various flea markets around here. If I find one, I'll take a photo and post it. Maybe then someone who does sew will at least see what you are describing.

  • Mary C Mary C on Aug 20, 2013
    thank you so much.... :)

  • Starr Durrant Starr Durrant on Oct 16, 2015
    These would be perfect to make Lily Fairies - you can find the project on my page but these would be ideal!! A great find - looking forward to seeing what you make!

  • Carolyn Ball-Hanson Carolyn Ball-Hanson on Nov 08, 2015
    I'd love to make some of these if people will like them.

  • 153091 153091 on Nov 10, 2015
    I have taught several different beauties using this style doll head & arms, Wish I had purchased for .25 cents each! One of favorite..my ribbon angels.

  • The Egg Shell Lady The Egg Shell Lady on Apr 28, 2020

    I have saw people make them as picks inserted into house plants. Like little people peeking out . But, I personally never made them.