Saturday, October 27, 2012

How To: Civil War Handkerchief Dolls

My grandmother-in-law gave me one of these adorable little dolls a year or so ago, and this year has asked me to make some of them for her, for Christmas gifts. They are very adorable just on their own, and all the more so because of their fascinating history.

During the Civil War, there was little money to be found for food, let alone toys, so women made dolls for the children out of handkerchiefs. If the handkerchief had belonged to a loved one who had gone off to war, the doll helped to ease the pain of separation.

Also known as church dolls, they provided a quiet toy for a child's amusement, and were silent if dropped.


  • 1 handkerchief or thin napkin 
  • 1 generous handful of stuffing for the head 
  • 1 1/2' of thin satin ribbon (approx.) 
  • 1 paper towel 
  • tape
If you are using an 'old' handkerchief or napkin, be sure to clean them thoroughly and press them first.


Take the stuffing for the head and paper towel.  Roll the stuffing loosely in the paper towel, and tape into a 'tube', then fold down the sides and tape together, then tape down two of the corners a bit, to make a roughly head-shaped ball.  Although this is not strictly necessary, I found it almost impossible to get the head formed right without doing this first.

Arrange the ball near the top edge of the handkerchief, so that you can fold the remaining cloth over it completely with a half inch or so extra below the ball, so as to get tied down at the neck.

Carefully wrap the remaining handkerchief down around the ball, tugging gently as necessary to get it even, but do not pull it down too tight.

Holding the handkerchief in place with one hand, wrap the ribbon around the 'neck' under the ball carefully, in the middle of the ribbon, and tie securely in place.

Pull the short corners out straight, and tuck in the long side to just under the neck, forming the arm.

Using one side of the ribbon, wrap it around the arm piece, and tie in the back.  Be sure to snug it down tightly, then repeat on the other side.

Slip ribbons snugly under the arms to the front.

Tie ribbons securely in the front, then in a nice bow.  If necessary (as it is below), carefully tug the handkerchief to lay neatly between the ribbons.  You are finished!

Feel free to print out the card below if giving the doll as a gift, to share the enchanting history of these simple but ingenious dolls.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Zazzle Four Hour Sale

The Friday Four Hour Sale on Zazzle this week is really fabulous! 50% off phone cases and all bags!  Enter code CASESANDBAGS at checkout, good until 4 pm PST today (Oct. 26).  I just knocked out a good portion of my Christmas list thanks to this fabulous sale.  Keep in mind that there are half a dozen styles of bags you can get the images on, if you like a design but not a particular bag style.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grunge Portrait Addendum

Most of the 'point' of my last post was to share the awesome tutorial by tigers-stock on DeviantArt, then I forgot to include the link!  >.<  I have now fixed that for any future readers, and for those who missed it the first time around that are interested, it can be found here:  Tigers-Stock's Grunge Portrait Tutorial

Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Amazed with my own work!

The impetus to finally start this blog – been meaning to for a while but never got around to it – was when I found the most amazing tutorial on making portraits in the "grunge" style.  I got Adobe Photoshop finally, too, just to try it out...  and I am in love.  With photoshop, with my new artwork.  I used to see people talk about taking 20 or more hours to create an image on the computer, and I just couldn't figure it out...  how could you find 20 hours worth of work to do on a computer?  how could you stay interested and not just lose track?  But...  well...  the first one took about 15 hours, and the second, the knight, took about 20-22.

Take a look!  And if either strikes your fancy, they are available on dozens of items over at my Zazzle store.


Welcome to It's So Purdy!  I will soon, hopefully, be filling you in on various art and crafts, both that I have done, and want to do, showing off and instructional how-to's, or just pictures of 'wow' crafts.

Please be patient as we get all set up!

In the meantime, go take a peek at my Zazzle store!