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!

See Dressmaking for Penny



I have been looking for a farthing doll for my 5 year old granddaughter, but how much more fun to make your dolls with her. Thank you, Susan Yanda

What is better than a bendie doll and a clothespin doll? A clothespin doll that can move!!!!! What a deal this is!!!!! You have found the absolutely best way to make a small beautiful wooden doll……Thank You!

Hi..thank you so much for sharing your measurements.. l had made these dolls back in the 80’s and dressed them as pioneer kids.. l made a hundred to sell at our annual church fair.. everyone of them sold l would love to make them again.. hubby has just bought me a dremel and a hobby scroll saw. I turn 70 in April and still love to craft

Hi Penny, thank you so much for your pattern, I love your dolls very nicely made. You mentioned that you were looking for fine doll hair I used to make dolls & used wool roving for their hair you can even wet it wrap on knitting needle let dry & you have curls.
thanks again

Wool roving on a doll will soon be discovered by moths–which lay eggs that hatch–and eat the wool.

Penny, I love the dolls! To take something so flat and bring it alive with motion, with just a bit more effort, makes the difference between a cute little doll to a great doll! My 4 granddaughters will love these! Thanks!

These are brilliant. And adorable

Oh how sweet and simple ! A folk doll anyone can make. My creative juices are now flowing so I must away to try one for myself ! Thank you

Lorraine Richmond

thank you for the instructions, these dolls are so cute.

Where can I get the wooden heads to put on clothespins

Gloria, where I live 1 inch wooden beads can be bought at Michaels Stores, or other craft supply places, maybe even Walmart or Home Dept. Best wishes on making your dolls!

I love these dolls. It is just what I would love ve to make for my granddaughter. Thank you so much.

I’m so glad to hear that, Caroline, I wish you well in creating your little doll!

Hi. I have made so many of these dolls in the past few years, always a big hit.

What do you cut the clothespins with?

Hi Patricia, I use our bandsaw to cut the clothespins. That’s the easy way! 🙂

Brenda Brightmore

Hi Patricia, My husband made hundreds of these little dolls using a treadle operated fretsaw, the wooden bead heads were bought from Fred Aldous craft supplies in Manchester. I sold them at doll fairs in the 1980s and 90s along with a pattern for clothes, they were very popular.

How kind you are to share the precious articulated clothespin doll with us all! Thank you! This looks very fun to make. You craft and share countless wonderful things! You are very selfless. Your dolls are perfect…I love tiny dolls very much. God bless and keep you and all your loved ones happy and well!

Merry Christmas I am a hairdresser. They sell at Sally’s human hair on a weave that you could make a wig.

Carol Meadows

What is the total height/length of a Penny doll? I looked and looked but couldn’t find that stated anywhere! Thank you!

Hi Carol, my Penny doll measures just shy of 5 1/2 inches. She fits well into a 1 inch to 1 foot scale of miniatures. Thank you for your interest! ♥

San Juana De Los Reyes

Love your doll, I made similar doll mostly wire 3inch an imitation of Raggedy Ann. I will definitely will try your methode. Moving body part wow amazing.

Thank you so much for sharing all the details. I want to make one for my precious granddaughter.

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