Napkin Doll Tutorial — Guest Post by Mark!

Back in October, our family made a Princess and the Pea Play Set as a birthday gift for one of Emily’s friends. For the doll, Mark created a miniature version of his napkin dolls, and I have since received numerous requests for a tutorial on how to make the doll. I must have bugged Mark enough that he agreed to do a guest post here. Please give him a warm welcome!

Have you ever been in a restaurant with small children, and the food is taking forever to arrive? Did you forget things for the kids to play with? Worry not!
  • Take an ordinary cloth napkin, and lay it flat.

  • Roll up one side of the napkin, until you reach the middle.

  • Roll up the opposite side, until you meet the first side in the middle.

  • Take one end….

  • …and fold it over the other, as shown.

  • Spread it out a bit so that the piece in your hands overlaps the rolled portion on the table.

  • Holding the piece you just folded up, pull the inner rolled portion down. Look at the next picture if this is confusing.
  • Those little pieces sticking out there will become the legs.

  • Grab the “arms”, and pull them around to the back of the doll’s body.

  • Now, grab the center of each arm roll and pull it out a bit to lengthen the arms. It should look a little bit like a cinnamon roll.

  • Now that the arms are longer, simply tie them in a knot. Not a full knot, but just like you are starting to tie your shoes.

  • Give the arms a strong tug to straighten them out and…

  • TA-DA!

Wow! Your child will be amazed, and the waitress will ask you for your phone number. Go ahead and give it to her. When the waitress leaves, your wife can (read: will) slap you. Keep the waitress’ number. **ouch!! VALERIE!!**

If your child spills something, just wipe it up with the doll’s head, as it is quite absorbent.


  1. Dear Mark,

    You are so awesome. How can you handle all of that awesomeness? I swear, I can see the awesome-waves flying out of your awesome body.


  2. @Mark

    I completely agree!

  3. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    Dear Mark,

    This tutorial is great. You could, quite possibly, get lucky tonight.


  4. Dear Valerie,

    You bought lottery tickets? AWESOME.


  5. thankyou for this idea, simply and great too!

  6. Mark and Valerie = you crack me up!

    The napkin doll is very cute. How on earth did you ever learn how to do that?

    Now, if I ever take my kids to a restaurant with cloth napkins, I'll be able to keep them occupied.

  7. Great tutorial. (But I didn't think the waitress joke was too funny. Obviously from the comment above from Valerie, it doesn't bother your wife, though. Interesting.)

  8. wow, can you make a napkin action figure or ninja, perhaps?

  9. Yeah!! Thank you Mark for sharing! I can't wait to make one for my little girls!

  10. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    Hooray – finally! :>) I'll be linking!

  11. Note to Jimmie–I can assure you that Mark & Val only have eyes for each other and their comments were just aimed at mocking Tiger "Cheetah" Woods…no worries 🙂

  12. @Jimmie,

    I'm sorry if the joke was lost on you. The idea behind it was that women would find a man who could make napkin dolls absolutely irresistible. Irresistible to the point where she would give him her phone number while the whole family is there.

    I think that it was absurd enough to be taken lightly.

    He can make napkin dolls — so dreamy!! — odds of this happening: 1 in 100 billion.

  13. Although I think this is very cool, is it wrong that I think the doll is a little creepy. LOL… She just stares. Eyeless!

    I didn't even catch the reference to Tiger and I thought it was funny.

    Well done… and your comments to yourself are pretty funny.

  14. Infant Bibliophile says

    Doesn't this make you qualified to work on a cruise ship, if the day job ever falls through?

  15. Thanks for sharing some of your awesomeness! I will have to practice a bit before I can attempt to pull off such feats of awesomeness.

    Seriously, I think this qualifies you for a #1 Dad mug or tie this year under the tree.

  16. Night Owl Mama says

    OMGOSH THis is so clever. Valerie your husband is so talented Does he make nice napkin buddies to talk to during the day when makes comments on your blog. LOL

    PS> woo whoo for getting lucky! U 2 Enjoy

  17. EntertainingMom says

    this is absolutely HILARIOUS! Next time bring the Crayola washable markers with you. You can draw on a cute face and the markers will wash right off when the napkins get sent off to be cleaned!

  18. Just Breathe says

    Love this, great instructions.

  19. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Infant Bibliophile — You have no idea how often we have had that conversation! HA!!!

  20. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    That cruise ship bit cracked me up! You must laugh all the time at your house . . . :>) Linked – thanks!!