Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

How Penny is Made



Are there days when you would like to wear a tag like this around your neck?  It stands for ” Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet!”  Or maybe tag it on the people around you?  We all require a lot of patience!




 If you are interested in making a clothespin doll like Penny, here’s how….

One body needs:

        – one 1″ wooden bead (for the head)

        – four round wooden clothespins

        – 1/2″ length of a 1/4″ thick wooden dowel (to attach the head)

        – wire for joints (you can use a heavy duty paper clip unbent)




The illustrations above will guide you as to where to cut the clothespins.


One clothespin is cut down its length to provide for two arms, then each are trimmed to 2 1/4″ long.

The two legs are cut with two different lengths to allow for the legs to swing:  3″ on the outside and 2″ on the inside.

The body part is cut 1/4″ below the clothespin head so that the remainder will be thick enough to drill with a 1/4″ drill bit, then trimmed to 2″ long.

The head bead will also need to be drilled to accommodate the 1/4″ dowel.

I use a 1/16″ drill bit to make the holes for the wire hip and shoulder joints.  My wire is 19 gauge steel wire.




Fold over one end of the wire with pliers in a tiny twist, to hold the shoulder and hips, then turn it down flat against the clothespin so they do not stick out.   Be sure and leave all the joints loose so that the limbs will swing freely, remember that once the doll is dressed, it will be harder for the arms to swing past the hips, etc.

This is how I have been attaching the head, using a 1/4″ dowel glued both into the head bead and into the body.



Once the body is assembled, I add the face and paint on details for socks and shoes.

I am on the lookout for fine yarn to use for natural looking hair.  I wrap it to fit over the head at the length I want, then sew a seam with a sewing machine where a part would be on top of the head, and hot glue it into place.  It is fun to trim the length and glue it into a hairdo that fits your doll.  This is the point where you suddenly see a personality looking back at you and you fall in love with what you have created!


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Here is a sample of dolls that I have made, I will be posting soon on how to make clothing!




The dolls are adorable…I would love to learn how to make them!!!!u r so talented Becky..I love the pix of the “family of dolls”.they are so well dressed too..u r a good mommy…hugs, kitty

Your dolls are adorable and I love the message bead idea. Are you going to show how you make the clothing for them ?

Thank you, Ali, you can see how I make the girls’ outfit here, at Dressmaking for Penny: I haven’t done a post yet on the boys’ overalls, they are a bit more complicated to get to fit! But I will in the future. I wish you success!

I have another question. How do you saw Penny s arms ? I’m using a coping saw and it’s very hard to get the arms to come out even .
Thanks : )

Hello Ali,
I use a band saw to cut the clothespins, and that works slick. I understand that a coping saw would be challenging to cut the length of the clothespin. I guess you could try a couple and use the best ones. Sanding them will make them smoother. I’d love to see your doll when you finish, you could put a picture on Penny’s Facebook Page! ~ Becky

How do you split a clothes pin in half for the arms? Sounds dangerous.

Hi Marcy, I have never used a dremel, I’m sorry, I don’t know. But about splitting the clothespin in half, using the band saw, I start at the round end and come toward the split. Then afterwards I cut the arms to length. Yes, its a bit tricky. I wish you well in your crafting! ♥

Could you use a dremel with a cutting wheel?

Your dolls are wonderful & I can see how they would be entertaining for the children. However, I am a pretty old adult and I LOVE them too! I don’t just consider them a toy, but I believe they might be a challenge for me to make.
Thank you I love seeing them!

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