How to Make Rag Doll Hair from a Curtain Tie Back – Heart UpCycling!

How to Turn a Discarded Curtain Tie Back into Rag Doll Hair


Is there anything more satisfying than turning something that no-one wants any more into something unique and lovable again?

Read on for inspiration on how to turn a discarded curtain tie back into hair for an heirloom handmade rag doll.

Handmade dolls make such lovely presents.  They are unique –  one of a kind – you will never find another one the same.  They often become heirloom pieces – handed down from mothers and aunties to daughters through the generations and loved a little more each time they are passed on for the wealth of treasured memories they hold.

Rag Doll Hair Heart UpCycling
Meet Molly!
Rag Doll Hair Heart UpCycling Curtain Tie Back
Hair made from a Curtain Tie Back

Molly was made as a custom order.  Blue eyes, blonde hair and a pink dress were requested, so it was the perfect opportunity to put that discarded curtain tie back to good use.

Molly is based on a pattern used in a previous post – click here for more details.  Everything you need to make a cute rag doll like Molly is included on that post.  In this post, I give a few more tips and tricks on how to create her upcycled hair.

There are also a few extra tips and tricks in this post which you might find helpful if you enjoy making little dolls like this.

Rag Doll Hair Heart UpCycling Meet Molly

How to Make your Rag Doll's Hair

Step by Step Guide

Time Required - At Least 2 Hours

  1. First – unravel your curtain tie-back.  You will be amazed by the lovely wavy thread that comes out of the centre!  You can use the outer silky thread in other projects.  For example – it makes lovely Christmas Angel hair!
  2. Look carefully for any stray threads of a rogue colour – there were grey and orange threads buried in my blonde hair which I had to tweeze out.
  3. Mark the centre of your doll’s head with a pencil circle – just behind the stitch line.  This is where you will place the crown of the hair.
  4. Mark on where you want to place the rest of her hair with faint pencil circles, aiming for an even coverage.
  5. Now, make your hair tresses.  I cut the curtain tie back up into useable lengths and sewed two clumps of yarn together at a time with a straight stitch on the sewing machine.  I ran the machine up and down the length of the yarn five or six times to give a firm hold.
  6. Bunch the crown tress and glue into the circle you have drawn.  You can arrange the crown into the front fringe/top of hairstyle later, when the glue is dry.
  7. Once sewn, the hair tresses can be glued into place along the pencil lines you have made.  The hair then folds over the top to cover the raw edge.  Hi-Tack Craft Glue is great for a project like this – a little goes a very long way.
  8. Leave the glue to dry completely.
  9. Style your doll’s hair as you wish, pinning the tresses into place as you go.
  10. Finally – when the glue is completely dry –  secure all the hair in place using single strands of cotton and a long doll needle.  You will need to make many tiny invisible stitches – thread is the doll equivalent of hairspray!
Rag Doll Hair Heart UpCycling Molly
Molly - ready for her journey to Northampton

Tips and Tricks

The great thing about crafting is that you learn as you go along.  Every time I make up a pattern, I try to improve what I do.

Making Molly was no exception.  This time around, I did as much sewing before cutting as I could.  This really helped to get the body seams neat when you are working on such a small scale.

I also used a heat erasable pen to trace the pattern lines – so much neater than a water soluble pen!

Rag Doll Hair Heart UpCycling!
Sew BEFORE you cut!
Handmade Rag Dolls Heat Erasable Marker Pen
Heat Erasable Marker Pen

Heart UpCycling!

Heart Upcycling Logo

For this project -apart from up cycling the curtain tie back – I also made good use of:

  1. An old pair of pyjamas from the charity shop to make Molly’s pretty pink, rosebud pants.
  2. Donated buttons – Thanks Dawn!
  3. Small remnants from a previous custom order for her little pink dress.


You may also be interested in:

I decorated Molly’s mop of blonde hair with textile flowers.  You can see how to make these by following the link opposite.

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