I’ve been wanting to make a weighted doll for quite some time, but I never actually got around to it because I couldn’t find a doll big enough that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. A friend posted a tutorial on facebook and got a doll from Wal-mart for about $12. So, I decided to give it a try. It happened today because I’ve having a babywearing meeting tomorrow and need to have a demo doll ready in case the toddler didn’t want up in a carrier. Nothing like a deadline to motivate a project!
Here are the steps as I did them:
- Remove the head by snipping the zip tie. Cutting the zip tie off proved to be a challenge. I don’t think I had the correct tool, at least not one small enough. I ended up chopping it off with some specialty pliers.
- Stuff 4 kiddie socks with rocks to use in the arms and legs. (I used river rocks instead of BB’s because they were waaayyyy cheaper!) Stuff a 5th one with a little more for the butt.
- Tie a knot at the top of the socks with some thread to keep the rocks from falling out.
- Insert the socks into the arms, legs and butt. I tried just wiggling the socks down into place . . .that was not working well and do I gave up. I found it was much easier to remove the stuffing from the doll, insert the socks, and then restuff. I didn’t end up needing to add extra stuffing, maybe because the rocks took up more space than the bb’s?
- Weight the head. Here is where I ran into trouble. I bought this expandable spray foam, and filled the head about halfway. An hour later, it seemed to be curing well, so I added a few rocks. Nope. . . they sank to the bottom, and the foam seemed to deflate when the rocks came into contact with it. I shook the head around to make sure the rocks weren’t at the bottom, added some more spray foam, and let it sit for about 2-3 hours. The big that was right neat the opening was dry . . . the rest, not so much. So I just dumped the rocks in, making sure they didn’t sink to the bottom, and then set the heads outside to see if that would help the foam cure better. They were outside for about 3 hours, and still not much drying took place. It has now been 7 hours and it’s still not dry. I don’t think the rocks are going anywhere, but the spray foam is not curing. I’m going to give it till the morning. If it’s not totally dry, I’ll just put a piece of tape at the base of the head and proceed to finish the doll as follows.
- Pull out the old zip tie and insert the new zip tie.
- Place the head back on the doll.
- Situate the head so that the zip tie is right in the groove, then tighten it up, cutting off any excess.
That’s it! A weighted doll. I actually did two because my 3 year old insisted that A) she wanted a big doll (it’s about 20 inches and really looks real!) B) she wanted it weighted. Maybe she’s going to “help” me with the carrier demos? Who knows. Anyway, so now we have two dolls that weigh probably about 4-5 pounds, but it’s dead weight, so it feels more like 8-10 pounds.
We’ll see how well the doll works tomorrow!