DIY: Customize Your Own Cut and Sew Doll

JUN 10, 2014 updated May 14, 2021

Talented designer Natitys (Eloisa) visits the blog today to share some of her sweet cut & sew doll templates with you. She’ll show you how to customize the patterns to make your own unique doll, and upload your file for printing. These templates make a quick, simple and personalized project that fits perfectly onto just a fat quarter of fabric. 

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Eloisa: I think handmade dolls are one best gifts anyone could receive, especially when your doll is designed just for you! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to change colors of the skin, hair, outfits and add accessories to these pre-designed doll patterns so you can add detail and personalization that’s all your own!

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Versions of my cut & sew dolls, Lili and Sylvie made up in Silky Faille fabric. For an even cozier alternative, select Fleece.


Step 1: Click on the doll of your choice to save the file. There are 4 doll templates to choose from: Sylvie, Oriana, Simon, and Lili. 

  SilviePreview

Download Sylvie here

Orianapreview

Download Oriana here

Simonpreview

Download Simon here

  Lilipreview

Download Lili here

  Dolls4

STEP 2: Log into your Spoonflower account. If you do not have a Spoonflower account, you will need to register.

STEP 3: Hover your mouse over DESIGN, and a drop down menu will appear. Click UPLOAD.

STEP 4: A small pop-up window will appear, click CHOOSE FILE, then find and select your downloaded file.

STEP 5: Click Open, then confirm your copyright. Click UPLOAD FILE. This will take a few seconds, a new screen will appear, with the doll design uploaded into your account!

TIP: Make sure you tweak both the repeat and the fabric type and size you would like. For this tutorial, we will be working with one fat quarter of fabric, and, since these dolls fit into a fat quarter of any of our fabrics, and select the centered repeat for this project. Select the type of fabric you would like. In the photos of the sewn up dolls, I used Kona Cotton for Oriana and Simon, and Silky Faille for Lili and Sylvie.

Now, we are ready to customize our cut & sew doll! The next screen will show you a preview of what your doll will look like so far, and will provide you with tools to personalize the design.

STEP 6: You will find the button to change the colors of your design on the left side of the design page as shown below. Click CHANGE COLORS.

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STEP 7: Leave the color selection number as is. Colors will appear on the bottom of the screen, and you will be able to edit each color individually.

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STEP 8: Every time you click on a color, you will be taken to a new screen with the old color, a space for a color code and a color map. You can select a new color to replace a color by clicking on the color from the map, or, by entering the hex code of the color on the space (make sure you include the # symbol  before the number). Learn a little bit about printing colors with Spoonflower here.

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STEP 9: You can repeat this for each color you would like to replace, in this tutorial, we changed Sylvie’s hair to black.

STEP 10: When you have made all the colors changes you’d like, click SAVE.

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Adding details with Picmonkey: This is an independent application that has been added to the Spoonflower website to facilitate changes to images online for free, without the need to download any design software to your computer. For this tutorial, we will use Picmonkey to add some details to Sylvie.

Simonoriana

STEP 11: It’s time to accessorize your cut & sew doll with PicMonkey. Click EDIT WITH PICMONKEY on the left hand side of the screen, and you and your file will be transfered to the Picmonkey site while you make your edits.

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Before editing your image in PicMonkey you will be asked about sizing, click CANCEL.

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STEP 12: On the PicMonkey website, you will see the original design, plus a menu on the left hand side of the screen. There are numerous options to make changes to your files on this screen and you should really find some time to play and test all of them with this and every one of your files, it is a lot of fun! For this tutorial, we will be using the OVERLAY TOOL (it looks like a butterfly).

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STEP 13: In the OVERLAY TOOL option, you will see several designs to choose from. You can add a flower to your doll’s hair, maybe a mustache to your plushie’s face, etc. PicMonkey has different graphics to choose from, and they vary from time to time, it is always fun to look at what’s available and play with your design from there! When you chose a graphic, it appears in the center of your image, you can change the size and color.

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STEP 14: This is a closer look at the overlays, the circle on the top allows you to rotate it, the circles on each corner will allow you to re-size it, and the four way arrows will allow you to drag it. The color map that appears allows you to change the color. Change the colors to your taste!

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STEP 15: Once you are done with all your overlays, you will click on MERGE OVERLAYS and then SAVE. You will then be transferred back to the Spoonflower website with your edited file. Notice that the file’s name has also changed to: the name of the file plus “-ed” and/or “ch” which stands for edited and changed.

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STEP 16: Make sure you are under the product you would like {fabric, decals, gift wrap}. For this project, you can use one fat quarter of any material you would like! Simon and Oriana are made with Kona Cotton, Sylvie and Lili are made with Silky Faille.

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Once you’re ready, just click “add to cart” and your order will be sent to Spoonflower’s printers where it will be custom printed on demand and shipped out to you. Once you receive them, just cut out your dolls, pin them together (right sides facing) sew around the edges (leave a few inches unsewn) turn them right sides out then stuff with filling, and sew the hole back up.

Dollssitting

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! We’d love to see photos of your custom cut & sew dolls– share with us and the Spoonflower community!

+Eloisa

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    • Hi Linda,

      An entry-level sewing machine would do the trick for this project! I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

      Best Regards,
      -Meredith F.
      Spoonflower

    • Meredith

      Hi Connie,

      While we haven’t tried these specific dolls on Minky you can see an example of a Minky plushie here!

  • Hi, I would love some input on fabric choices. I can’t decide between minky or fleece. Which would be a better option for a durable, yet soft cuddly doll? Thanks! -Julie

    • Hi Julie,
      Either of these fabrics would be a great option! The Minky is a little slippery so you’ll want to use lots of pins before sewing.

    • Hi Verónica,
      You can download the dolls by selecting the file for the specific doll labeled “Download Oriana here”. You can also shop existing doll designs in Eloisa’s Spoonflower shop here. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask! – Meredith

    • Hi Melissa,
      These dolls are approximately 11″ wide and 18″ tall!
      -Meredith from Spoonflower

  • Hello say if you don’t have a laptop but you would like to customise a doll how would you go about that.

    • Hi Belinda,

      You could always paint a doll by hand or use an ipad if you like! The method will just be different from the instructions here, as you may not be able to use Picmonkey.

  • Carla Redondo de Castillo

    OMG!
    First of all the design is beautiful!
    Second the tutorial is great, I feel more confident now using spoonflower thanks to your tutorial
    Third, these are such a beautiful gift for my daughters!

  • Hello I am a total sewing novice. Stumbled on this site as I am looking for easy cut and sew patterns for my daughters’ birthdays…so silly question, how are these printed? Do you have to have a special material fabric printing machine? Thanks!

  • Hi! I am trying to make the changes and it keeps changing the eye color and hair color at the same time. How do I fix this? Thank you!

  • This would make for very cute custom christmas gifts. What a great idea! I love that they are customizable.

  • Just ordered the doll pattern – my first Spoonflower purchase! Excited to see how it turns out.

  • Hi, Carol! A fat quarter fabric size is large enough to fit one of these cut&sew doll patterns. In this tutorial, Eloisa shows photos of her dolls printed on Kona Cotton ($11/fat quarter) and on Silky Faille ($13/fat quarter). You can view prices per yard on each of our printable fabric types on this page: http://www.spoonflower.com/spoonflower_fabrics. Once you’ve uploaded your customized doll pattern, you can preview the design on any of our fabric types using the drop down menu and see the fat quarter pricing for each one.