Make your own worry dolls with this fun kids craft activity

There is a Mayan legend that states…
“When a person can not sleep well due to worries, they tell the worries to a worry doll. They then put the doll under their pillow and during the night the worry doll worries in the persons place, allowing them to sleep well and awake refreshed”.

I love the idea that craft can be used to help children with anxiety about sleeping so we decided to make our own (not so traditional) worry dolls using wooden paddle pop sticks, yarn and felt.


  • Paddle pop sticks
  • Cardboard
  • Felt fabric
  • Coloured yarn
  • PVA glue
  • Polyester filling
  • Sewing needle and thread
  • Wooden beads (optional)
  • Pom poms (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Fabric (optional)


Begin by gluing the paddle pop sticks together to make the body of the doll. Then add a small rectangle of cardboard each side to strengthen the body.

Wooden sticks used to make a DIY worry doll children's craft activity

Now cut two pieces of felt fabric in a 'key hole' shape to form the head of your doll. Stitch around the edge of the head using blanket stitch to join the two layers of felt together.

felt and yarn worry dolls kids craft activity

Stuff the head with polyester filling and insert your paddle pop stick body.

make your own worry dolls

Now begin wrapping yarn around the doll to make the body. Wrap the yarn in a cross pattern around the body and arms.

children's craft to make worry dolls

To change colour, cut the end of the yarn you are using then continue wrapping with the new colour securing the end of the previous yarn under the new wrapped yarn. Once you have finished wrapping tie a knot to secure the ends of yarn.

yarn wrapped worry doll children's craft

To make the hair, wrap yarn around your hand or a piece of cardboard. Remove the bundle of yarn from your hand and tie around the middle. Then cut the looped ends of yarn to make the hair.

How to make your own Guatemalan worry doll

Now sew on the hair and features like the eyes, nose and mouth. You can also add other decorations like ribbons and pom poms.

Made your own non-traditional Gautemalan worry dolls

You could also make clothes for your doll using fabric. Cut a long rectangle of fabric with a hole in the middle. Put the hole over the dolls head and secure the dress around the waist with yarn or a ribbon. You could make a skirt by wrapping a strip of fabric around the doll and securing it with a yarn belt.

How to make your own worry dolls

Cute home made worry dolls for children

Non-traditional worry dolls craft activity


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