What Exactly Is A Beaded Doll?

What exactly is a beaded doll? It is a doll that it has a beaded skirt. A beaded doll or embroidery doll is a craft item that is made of beads. Bead embroidery is the process of sewing or embellishing a...

A beaded doll or embroidery doll is a craft item that is made of beads. Bead embroidery is the process of sewing or embellishing a surface with beads, says Nichelle Derricks, who has made beaded dolls for eight years and sells them. A beaded doll is a doll with a beaded skirt and plastic head or a fabric doll made out of beads. A beaded doll can be very colorful and ranges in different sizes.


To make a beaded doll skirt, safety pins, wire and snowflake beads are used. The client chooses the colors and strings the beads onto 10 safety pens. The safety pins are then attached to the doll with wire to form a flared skirt. A hat is also made from beads and placed on the doll's head. Different beads are used to create poodle skirts or Christmas tree skirts. It usually takes 20-30 minutes to make a skirt for the dolls. The dolls can be used as ornaments for Christmas trees or can be collected to sit on a mantel as a display.




According to Bead Doll.com, instead of using safety pins, one can also stitch the beads onto a fabric doll to decorate it. If so, there are three basic stitches in dimensional bead embroidery: backstitch, bocche, and couching. "Backstitch, also called bead embroidery, is the most popular one," says Derricks. Couching is typically used for small beads, and bocche, also known as boucle stitch, is good for creating depth and texture, bead doll.com states.

Supplies that are needed for beaded dolls are snowflakes, sunburst or tri beads, safety pins and wire plus the doll. There are a variety of beads and colors to choose from at a local craft store, such as Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or Garden Ridge. Roughly 10 large size safety pins are used for each skirt, and each pin holds about 16 beads. If one wants to buy the supplies separately, then one can buy a large packet of beads for around four dollars. Wire cutters and thin wire on a spool will be needed. When choosing the dolls, there is a wide assortment to choose from: white, African-American, blond, brunette, red hair, long hair and short hair.

If one wants to sew the beads on a fabric doll then the doll, beading needle, thread, beads and a storage kit will be needed. When looking for the doll, one can sew one or buy a blank doll body at a craft store. According to bead doll.com, when creating the face for the doll, mount a mirror as a face and then bead the face. Mirrors may be sewed on using a cab setting stitch. Bead the face anyway you choose with a little imagination.

The needle needed for sewing the beads on is based on personal preference. Use the needles that are labeled golvers, quilting in betweens or beading needles. As a rule of thumb, the larger the number listed on the package is, the smaller the needle is. According to bead doll.com, a size 10 needle is thicker, sturdier, and easier to thread but may not fit through small beads. Size 11 needles are a good, middle choice. Size 12 needles are most common, and are thin, flexible, moderately easy to use, and fit through most beads for several passes. Size 13 needles are very thin and hard to thread, but fit anywhere if one can grasp onto the needle properly; this is typically used for a more experienced beader. The thread used cannot stretch, because it must be strong enough to support what the crafter is doing.

Beaded skirts for the dolls consist of a pattern. Derricks says start with 10 large size safety pins. Then string about 16 beads on each safety pin in the color pattern. Join the large end of the safety pins with wire, putting about three beads between each safety pin. Run wire through the small ends of the safety pins. If one chooses, a hat and gloves that are held onto the doll by wire can be added. "There is no wrong or right way to create these dolls," says Derricks. "Be creative with it and have fun."

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