My seven year old daughter has trouble getting to sleep, not always, but enough to look into ways of helping her. Together we read Silly Billy by Anthony Browne, it’s about a boy who has trouble sleeping because he is a bit of a worrier. His grandma gives him a set of worry dolls (remember those from the 90s?!), and explains to him that he should tell them his worries each night before bedtime so he can get to sleep while they do all the worrying for him! After a little bit of research I came up with my own version. I tried to keep as close to the original as I could, using scraps of cardboard, fabric and thread and they turned out great (well as great as could be!) and my daughter loves them. Below, I have tried to explain my method, but we also made a little video too which is probably easier to understand. Here goes…

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  • Cardboard (I used a piece of shoe box)
  • Scraps of fabrics
  • Soft wire
  • Washi tape
  • Scraps of felt
  • Embroidery threads
  • PVA glue
  • Nylon tights
  • Toy stuffing or cotton wool
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie pens

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1. Cut a piece of cardboard, about 1cm wide and 8cm long.

2. Cut a piece of wire about 10cm long, and wrap Washi tape all around it. This piece of wire will become the arms of the worry doll.

3. To start making the doll’s body and head, fold your cardboard piece in two. Cut a little rectangle of nylon from the tights, add a little bit of stuffing and attach it to the folded cardboard by wrapping the wire ‘arms’ around it.

4. Now wrap a small rectangle of fabric around the doll’s body and secure it by wrapping embroidery thread around the doll.

5. Cut and glue a small square of felt around the head and use another piece of thread to secure it, like a headband 🙂

6. Trim the body and arms to size.

7. Draw on a face with a Sharpie (or other permanent) pen.

8. Repeat all of the above until you have an adequate amount of dolls! That will depend how much of a worrier you’ve got on your hands…



Styling: Clementine Larvor
Video & photography: Emma Scott-Child