Washi ningyo doll

Last September for my niece’s wedding, I made her a washi ningyo doll cake topper. I took a bunch of photos as I made the dolls, so I decided to put them here as a simple tutorial. I didn’t measure things as I went along. I just eyeballed everything.

Here’s what you’ll need:
• Japanese washi paper
• Black crepe craft paper (for hair)
• plain colored origami paper
• cardboard
• wooden clothespin doll and stand
• small styrofoam ball
• wood skewer
• white paint or white panty hose
• wire
• scissors
• glue

First I started by covering the styrofoam ball with white organza. I couldn’t find any cheap white panty hose (I wasn’t going to pay $5.99 so I could cut up a new pair). then I put the wood skewer through the bottom of the ball, and stuck it into the clothespin base. (the clothespin is upside down in the base) I wanted a thin neck, so I didn’t use the clothespin bead head. Then I cut out some black crepe paper into two pieces. One piece was for the bangs, and the longer piece was for the back of the hair. I also added a little bone/bow looking thing at the top of her head.
* Sorry, my photos are reversed. You’ll have to look at them from right to left.

Then I took some cardboard and rolled it up. I wrapped it tightly around the clothespin base and squished it flat at the top to form shoulders. Next, I cut out a piece at the neckline so that I could put a collar on.

I cut a long strip of washi paper and added a strip of light pink and a strip of darker pink at the edges. This will form the collar.

I attached the collar around the skewer, slipping it inside the notches I cut out of the cardboard.

Next, I cut out a rectangle of washi paper. I folded it in half vertically, and rounded the inside lower corner. I cut a notch out of the open end. I added some light pink accents at the ends and at the bottom. The upper left area in the second photo is going to get attached to the doll. I made 2 of these arms.

I attached the arms to the doll on the back, under the hair.

Next, I cut another piece of washi paper for the skirt. I glued a solid pink paper to the corner to show the inside of the kimono.

I glued the skirt to the bottom part of the cardboard body. You can still see a white area in the middle that isn’t covered yet. That’s where the obi goes.

I cut a strip of a different washi paper and folded the top and bottom edges in.

Then I glued the obi on. Voila! The doll is just about finished.

I made a tiny bouquet of lilies out of 1/2″ origami paper. I put a wire through the center of each flower, then I wrapped the wires together with a white ribbon.

I attached the bouquet to her “hand” with some wire.

I didn’t like the purple obi that I originally put on her, so I swapped it out for a dark pink obi. I think this one compliments her dress better. I cut another piece of the pink paper out, and made a round loop and attached it to the back of the obi. I also changed out the blue “ribbon” I originally had in her hair. I was going to put her in the blue but I decided that I liked the boy doll in the blue better. 😀 Then I went through the same process to make the boy doll.

Lastly, I used foam double sided tape on the bottom of the wooden stands and attached it to a glass coaster. Done!

P.S. The groom is holding a HUGE diamond ring. 😉


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ginger Mayerson
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 18:14:51

    You could totally give the clothespin dolls lady a run for her money with these.


  2. Trackback: Washi dolls | mistresreyes
  3. thecheetoslover
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 07:17:00

    these are one of the best wash dolls yet! i’ve been trying to find some for 8 year old sophia here, she’s gonna love these!


  4. Yuni Tenri
    Feb 21, 2014 @ 03:41:53

    best tutorial for washi doll I find so far, thank you so much! for the tutorial (y)


  5. nirmala
    Jan 13, 2015 @ 14:06:08

    very pretty


  6. Mr WashiSan
    Feb 01, 2015 @ 15:00:50



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