When out shopping with my family at our monthly junk shop days I ran across these old beads. They reminded of those chunky round bead necklaces from the 80's. I remember being a teenager picking out neon green and orange earrings and those necklaces came in every color as well. These beads inspired me to turn them into little doll heads for pincushions. 


Round beads or wooden doll heads 

Tacky Glue/Glue Gun

Yarn or lambs wool for hair wigs

Scraps of fabric 

Cotton or polyester stuffing

Sewing Needle

Doll Needle (extra long needle for jointing)

Embroidery Thread

Cardboard (for template)

Cream, off white, pink felt (for arms)

Black Sharpie

Black Acrylic? Paint

White Acrylic Paint?


Sm. Toothbrush

Assorted Buttons

 Step 1- Trace and cut out your templates. Depending on size of your pincushion you can use cups, lids, or bowls to trace around onto cardboard. You will need a large and small circle for your doll bodies. 

​Step 2- Now trace and cut out fabric

Step 3- You can either hand sew (I used back stitches) or use a sewing machine. Make sure to leave an opening to turn inside out and stuff later. Once you are finished sewing, turn inside out, now fold over twice to iron creases in. This will help with separating your petals later

Step 4- Stuff your circle with the end of a paintbrush, then use the ladder stitch to sew it closed. 

Step 5- Use about 3-4 strands of embroidery thread to sew around circle when you are ready to form your petals. Start in the middle then sew around to other side coming back up through the middle. Continue doing this until you have four separate sides. 

Step 6- Continue sewing around circle to form petals. Take your time when forming petals. If you are off center you will have uneven sides. I did eight petals  but you can stop at four (Step 5) for your pincushion if you like that better.

Step 7- Once you are finished sewing both sides of your body you can connect the two by sewing through the middle and tying off at top, the dolls head will hide the knot later.

Step 8- You can paint on different faces either using the bottom tip of paintbrushes dipped in black paint for eyes, or draw in with a sharpie. Dip a toothpick in white paint to add more details to eyes.

You can draw in other details of your face with sharpie pens.

I left my beads the way they were for a more rustic/folkart look but if you prefer a newer look you can spray paint your beads.

Step 9- Now glue your little doll heads to your pincushion bodies.

Step 10- To make little wigs, just cut several strands of yarn and tie in middle, then glue to tops of heads. I added little bangs to some of my dolls plus used some sheep's wool I had for hair. 

Step 11- Use felt and left over scrap fabric for little arms and tops of arms. You will sew them on from one to the other arm, so arms are string jointed. You will need the doll needle for sewing arms on.

Step 12- Now for my favorite part, the detail work. You can do different hairstyles and add tiny little pom poms. I also had all my little dolls holding something in their hands, like buttons, tiny baskets, and strawberries, like they are helping us out by holding little buttons for us. Hope you have a ton of fun making them and passing them out to all those other crafters in your life. 

Old Beads/Pincushion Dolls