My Mum used to say that a nice cup of tea could cure all ills. I think she was right. For this project, I used a nice cup of tea to make a natural looking head of curly hair for my latest Tilda doll. What do you call a doll whose hair was made from a cup of tea …?
Come and meet Tina!
Making realistic hair for a doll is always a challenge. Buying authentic Tilda hair costs a fortune and I wanted to find a creative way of making my own, using up-cycled materials if possible.
Using natural fabric dyes is also something I plan to do a lot more of, so I thought I would start with a nice cup of tea. Tea is one of the easiest natural brown fabric dyes you can find. If you enjoy this post, keep reading/subscribe – there will be lots more posts about natural fabric dyes.
Here is the story of how Tina’s pretty natural looking hairdo was created …
I will reserve this post to share with you how I made Tina’s hair. I started by making a nice cup of tea. Well actually – it was a bowl of tea with 2 teabags.
This was the oddment of wool that I started with. It was donated by my sister – thanks Nicky! I don’t think she envisaged me tipping a strong cup of tea all over it before I used it?
I left the wool in its dye bath for a couple of hours then washed it clean under a warm running tap for a few minutes and then wound the wool around the thickest knitting needle I could find.
I then left it to air dry overnight.
By the time the sun came up again the next morning, I had a lovely natural looking soft, light brown hair complete with little ringlets.
The tea had created a lovely range of colours in the wool. Dark brown in the wool that had rested right next to the tea bag; pale brown in the wool that stood proud of the tea but absorbed the colour a little and several nuances of brown in between. Really lovely and very natural looking.
It was time for Tina’s hairdresser appointment …
Tips and Tricks
When I make a Tilda doll’s hair, I usually use large headed pins to create a framework to drape the hair around. They are easier to pull out than normal pins and you don’t risk leaving one buried inside her hair.
I try to get a gentle, natural look to my dolls hairstyles. They need to be firmly fixed, but left with enough give and flounce to look convincingly real. You need to be firm – but very gentle at the same time.
I secured the hair with a fine tipped felting needle and then removed all the pins.
After felting, the hair was secured firmly into place using a single strand of hair coloured cotton thread and tiny hand stitches.
Tina - All finished and ready to go to the Carnival
See you There?!
This year, the Harborne “Green” Village Fete is focussing on being environmentally conscious – a perfect fit with the ethos of Heart Up-Cycling.
Tina New Home - Georgia USA
Tina’s new home is with Judy in Georgia, USA. I am sure she will be very well cared for.
Read more about Tilda Dolls
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A Printable PDF Instruction Sheet for making your own Tilda Doll is available incorporating all the Tips and Tricks of previous posts.
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