Tutorial: Wind-Up Doll Costume

Blogger: Deanna Mackin

Wind-Up Doll Costume

I have always found something so magical about getting dressed up for Halloween.  I have fond memories of imagining costume ideas that my mom would sew for me.  This year, I wanted to keep the tradition alive by creating a handmade costume for my daughter.  With just a few craft supplies and the perfect dress we created a vintage wind-up doll costume! I immediately knew that I had to use the Glasgow dress pattern because it is the ideal base for so many creative costumes and holiday looks!  It is the sweetest little pattern with a bodice bow that adds a whimsical touch.  In a few easy steps, you can create a wind-up doll key that can be added to any dress pattern that has a skirt placket.  


Supplies Needed: 

Cardboard box

Cardboard tube (paper towel roll)

Exacto knife or scissors

Hot glue gun 

Marker or pen

Two different sized circular objects

Knit fabric strip 2” (5 cm) x width of fabric

Metallic color spray paint


Start by tracing the circular objects onto a piece of cardboard to create the key head.  I used a 5.5” (14 cm) cereal bowl and a 2.5” (6.3 cm) metal washer.  Trace the larger circles first, overlapping them slightly in the center.  Place the smaller circle inside the larger one and trace.


Line up the cardboard tube at the center of the key head base.  Trace on either side of it to extend straight down approximately 5” (12.7 cm).  Cut out the shape. 


Slide the straight piece into the cardboard tube.  Draw a line 1/2” (1.3 cm) up from each side of the tube and make a small cut/slit along those lines.  The cardboard tube will now fit tight into the key head.  Cut off the bottom of the tube if needed to create the desired length. 


At the bottom of the tube, make small 1/2”(1.3 cm) cuts around the circumference of the circle approximately 1/2” (1.3 cm) apart. Fold each flap to splay them out.  This part will attach to the base.  

To create the base, cut out a 3” x 4” (7.6 cm x 10 cm) rectangle out of cardboard.  Round the corners if desired. Cut a straight line 1/2” (1.3 cm) in from each of the short sides, 2” (5 cm) in height.  Place hot glue along the bottom of the key tube and glue in the middle of the base, ensuring that the key head is placed vertically and parallel to the shorter base sides.  Spray the entire key and base with spray paint, using several coats if needed. 


Thread the fabric down through the front of the base and back up through the other side.  Wrap the fabric around the child and tie in the front with a knot or small bow.  Alternatively, wide elastic can be used and sewn at the appropriate length.  The key will be placed in the hole created by the dress placket.  


Fabrics: Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids from Hawthorne Supply Co.


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