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How to Make Rice Baby Dolls

By Emily Jeren ; Updated April 18, 2017
Make Rice Baby Dolls

For centuries people have been filling various types of fabric with rice to create dolls for children. Even today with an array of dolls available in department stores, these charming handmade dolls stand out, offering affordable construction costs and a one-of-a-kind creation that your child will love. Your child can even get in on the fun of helping you make their own rice baby doll.

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Using a pencil gently draw the desired outline of your doll onto the sheet of tissue paper. A simple outline design---such as rounded hands and feet rather than detailed fingers and toes---works best and will be easiest to sew.

Cut out the doll outline that you drew on the tissue paper with scissors.

Fold your fabric in half and pin each corner with sewing pins to keep the fabric together. Lay the fabric on a flat service.

Pin the tissue paper doll cut-out on top of the fabric using sewing pins. Make sure the cut-out is securely pinned to avoid any slippage.

Trace the tissue paper cut-out outline onto the fabric using a fabric pencil. Once you are finished remove the pinned tissue paper cut-out from the fabric along with the pins used to secure the cut-out.

Carefully cut the fabric using the fabric pencil markings as your guide. When you are done cutting you will have two fabric doll cut-outs.

Align the fabric cut-outs evenly and pin with sewing pins to keep them together. Make sure that the front side of the fabric for each cut-out is facing inward where you can't see it---front side against front side.

Sew the two fabric cut-outs together using your sewing machine by sewing around the edge. The type of stitch used is up to you, as long as the stitches are close together. Don't worry if your stitches aren't aesthetically pleasing---they won't be seen when you're done with the doll. Sew all around the edge of your doll leaving a 1- to 2-inch section open. Remove all of the sewing pins from the fabric.

Turn the fabric right side out by reaching into the opening, grabbing a piece of the fabric and pulling it out through the opening gently.

Pour the rice slowly into the opening in the fabric until the entire doll is filled to your desired plumpness. Then pin the opening in the fabric shut with several sewing pins placed about a half inch below the stitch line.

Using your sewing machine sew the opening in the fabric shut by sewing along the outer edge. Be sure that the sewing pins are secured away from where you will be sewing (at least a half inch below the stitch line). When you are done remove the pins.

Customize your new rice baby doll by painting facial features and clothes onto the fabric using fabric paint of your choice and a paint brush. Let dry overnight before allowing your child to play with the doll.

Things You Will Need

  • uncooked rice (1 large bag)
  • fabric (1/2 yard)
  • sewing machine with standard needle
  • standard sewing thread (color matching fabric)
  • scissors
  • tissue paper (1 sheet)
  • sewing pins
  • pencil
  • fabric pencil
  • fabric paint (optional)
  • paint brush (optional)


If your children are old enough that choking isn't a concern, you can sew buttons on the face of the doll to create eyes. Doll clothes can be used to dress up the doll.


Do not let children use the sewing machine or scissors, do this part yourself. Be careful when handling the sewing pins to avoid poking yourself. Do not machine wash the doll. Spot clean and air dry when needed. If you use fabric paint to decorate your doll, make sure the fabric paint is non-toxic and safe for children.

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About the Author

Splitting her time between the East Coast and the West Coast, Emily Jeren has been writing professionally for over 6 years. Jeren spent 4 years in hotel management before transitioning to professional travel ghost writing for various travel websites. In addition to travel, she also specializes in writing entertainment and style related articles.

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