How to Make Worry Dolls

If you’d have told me 5 years ago that not only would I be writing about worry dolls, but that I’d be raving about them, I’d have questioned your sanity!!
But here I am, and I can’t shout about them loudly enough. They seem to possess some weirdly magical powers that can help children struggling with all kinds of stress, anxieties and sleep problems in these strange, scary times.

What are Worry Dolls?

worry dolls


They’re a set of (usually 6), tiny little dolls that you tell your worries to before you go to bed. Say a worry to each doll and then place each one underneath your pillow. The dolls relieve you of the stress for the night, allowing you to sleep. You get the worries back the next morning, but little by little these worries become less and less with each night of stress free sleep.

The concept is similar to the wonderful book, The Huge Bag Of Worries by Virginia Ironside. A small girl has a bag where she keeps her worries, and as time goes on the bag gets bigger and bigger until she can barely carry it. She meets an elderly lady who sits down with her and empties the bag out. She discovers that a lot of the worries weren’t even hers, and other worries were from so long ago that they weren’t even relevant anymore. After the old lady helps the small girl get rid of the unnecessary worries, she is able to carry the bag with ease.
The motto of the story being – sometimes the worries we think we have, are actually spent or unnecessary!! And if your children can voice their worries, it can give you the opportunity to talk to them, and possibly alleviate some of their worries.

How To Make Worry Dolls

fingers holding clothes peg worry dolls

There are lots of different designs made out of different materials so here’s a few suggestions:

  • Matchsticks, toothpicks, sticks, clothes pegs or pipe cleaners (for the body)
  • Plastic or wooden beads (for the head)
  • Coloured yarn or wool
  • Scissors
  • Glue


pipe cleaner worry doll

Bend pipe cleaners to make hands, feet and head. You can twist different coloured pipe cleaner to make clothes.

Draw faces on clothes pegs and either draw on clothes or stick material or wool on with hot glue. You can make hair out of wool too.

clothes pegs worry dolls

Here’s a great tutorial on how to make worry dolls out of matchsicks by Mrs Power Moore


The original Guatemalan worry dolls are super tiny and do tend to get lost easily so for tiny little hands, you can always make them a bit bigger.

I hope worry dolls work as well for you, as they did for me and mine.

Images by my little poppies,

tiny fry  


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