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Sunday, November 25, 2007

How to Make a Kokeshi Doll Ornament

Here's an easy ornament you can make for Christmas. This was inspired by a kokeshi doll (Japanese wooden doll). This mini kokeshi doll ornament is made out of a wooden clothes pin. Directions Below

Supplies :
wooden clothes pins (I get mine at the dollar store)
hobby saw
gloss varnish
acrylic paint
paint brush
sand paper
micron 005 black pen
push pin

1.I start with a wooden clothes pin like this one. Saw off where the red line is ( your doll will stand on it's own this way. Sand away any rough edges.

2. Draw face and outline of kimono on the clothes pin with black marker (refer to picture).

3. Paint the front and back side of clothes pin (refer to picture). Let dry.

4. Paint one coat of gloss varnish over the whole clothes pin. Let dry.

5. With a push pin make a hole at the top, center of clothes pin ( I just twist the pin and apply pressure to create the hole, easy to do). You could drill it if you wanted to.

6. Bend wire into an upside down "U" and push into the hole (refer to picture). Reinforce with a little glue.

Here's a picture of a real kokeshi doll (this is a traditional one). I recommend looking at some kokeshi dolls online for inspiration.


Unknown said...

Very cute ornaments! I will have to look up some kokeshi doll examples... Thank you for the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful. I lived in Japan for 5 years and I have a large collection of Kokeshi, but I never thought of putting them on my tree :D

even-star said...

I remember making these in school. I think my mum still hangs them on the christmas tree!

zakkalife said...

thanks for the comments

Anonymous said...

This is so cute I've always wanted a small kokeshi charm so I can use for a necklace and this is perfect!!!
I was wondering doesn't a hole show since it's a pin???

zakkalife said...

Yes it shows a slot on the sides, since it's a clothes pin. If you are making pendants, I would cut off both prongs completely. Then there wont be a hole. Hope this helps

Anonymous said...

I'd have to say that it's definately a 'creative' clothes pin kokeshi! nice job

zakkalife said...

thanks hotbertaa!

Deborah Babin said...

I have looked at your blog all morning...you are very creative in a refreshingly simple way. I have enjoyed many things you have demonstrated. Your generosity is fabulous. Thanks a lot!

Please check out my blog too.

My work is NOT simple, I would like to aspire to that.

I am writing an article and would like to use the term "Zakka"; I think it may be a catalyst for the article. Is this a term that is open and not copyrighted? I am assuming it isn't but I want to be sure.

Please let me know:
or 1sunnydeb@gmail.com

Debbie Babin

ZenCrafter said...

Your mini kokeshi is beautiful! I like how easy it is to make. I'll have to try it. You are just so good at finding creative uses for everyday objects! I'm so inspired!

And thanks for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog!

Unknown said...

i too want to thank you for sharing. your work always makes me smile!

in answer to your question, i NEVER throw out ornaments. they're special to me. i enjoy making or giving or getting them - in any way shape or form

Billie said...

Thank you for sharing. I love Kokeshi dolls, your ornaments are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

i LOVE your kokeshi doll ornaments! in response to your question - i don't throw away ornaments unless they are broken, but i do GIVE AWAY some that i think others would like. its fun to give someone an ornament that would probably be meaningful to them...i always put the date somewhere on each ornament.
as for your kokeshi dolls - i am so jazzed about them that i want to make that a project i do with my daughter! looks like so much fun and can be unique! we will have to make one for each family member and put their name on it (we are japanese american and we have LOTS of family members....so it will be a project to give for NEXT CHRISTMAS!)
since i sell kokeshi doll purses on my website, it will be fun to use some of the ornaments as photo props!
thanks for your GREAT crafts and generosity - look forward to seeing all of your blog soon!

teeny said...

i'm confused. are the openings of the cloths pin on the sides when you are all done? do you turn the unpainted clothes pin and the face is above the solid part? i thought perhaps you wrapped paper around the clothes pin to make it all solid.


zakkalife said...


Yes, the clothespin openings are on the sides. If you don't like the way that looks you can saw that part off. Your kokeshi doll will just turn out a little shorter. You can also purchase wood peg people at the craft store to paint.

Unknown said...

I really love your creation. I would love to make this Kokeshi doll ornament. I can't buy this type of clothes peg in Malaysia. Can you help me to buy this?
My email is amycheah750@gmail.com

K-Sue said...

Today (years after you posted this) I pinned this idea - thanks for sharing.

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