Make a Clothespin Bride Doll or Cake Topper

  • 01 of 06

    Dress a Clothespin Doll in a Bridal Gown

    Clothespin bridal doll with lace and tulle veil and ribbon gown, next to a heart shaped topiary.
    Clothespin bride doll with a veil and bridal crown. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    Make this clothespeg bride doll dressed in a traditional bridal gown. The dolls are easy to make and customize to suit a special wedding as a cake topper, even matching the dress and hair style of a bride to be. The dolls can be made with or without veils and with a wide range of gown styles using variations of the instructions which follow. Many of the other miniature projects on can be added to displays for bridal dolls. Shown here is the Versailles planter with a topiary heart.   The bride is holding a spray of miniature phalaenopsis orchids and wearing a tiny pearl necklace made from beads. To go with the clothespin bride there is a clothespin groom who can be dressed in a tuxedo or suit, or you can see the instructions below for a kilted groom or a groom in casual shorts.

    For basic instructions on doll parts, or painting the bodies and heads, see:

    How to Make and Dress Clothespin Dolls

    For a wide range of clothespin dolls, male, female and babies, see the following articles:

    South Asian Doll in a Sari

    Nigerian Doll with Gele Headress

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Shaping a Bridal Gown Bodice For a Clothespin Doll from Wired Ribbon

    Shaping the bodice on the front of a bridal gown for a clothespin doll.
    Wired ribbon is wrapped around a clothespin as the bodice for a bridal gown. The wire allows the front of the gown to be shaped. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    Start With a Finished Clothespin and Wire or Pipe Cleaner Arms

    To begin adding a bodice to the wedding gown of your clothespin bride doll, start by making  4 1/4 inch arms following the instructions in the basic clothespin doll tutorial.   The clothespin body for this bride has been sanded and given two coats of a pale pink paint to suit the color of the doll's "bare" arms. Paint your doll to match your chosen skin tone.  Dolls can have interchangeable heads to suit different outfits and storylines if you are making them for dollhouse toys. This doll has been colored to match the 'mother' doll head from the basic instructions. You can see the bride with this head on page 5 of these instructions.

     If you wish the doll to have 'sleeves' or be wearing 'gloves' wrap the arms with the appropriate color of embroidery floss before adding any dress details.

    Shape the Bridal Gown Bodice

    To make an easy shaped bodice, wrap a section of wired ribbon around the doll's body just below the arms. Leave the wire edge on the top of the ribbon. The wire can be bent down into a 'v' shape to create the effect of a doll bust. Glue the ribbon where it overlaps behind the doll. The ribbon should extend below the leg opening on the clothespin.

    You can make a variety of different bridal gown bodices with simple straight or angled wraps of ribbon or lace. If you have some scraps of fabric from the bride's gown, use those! Treat any fabric edges with fray check or a fine bead of white (pva) glue if necessary.

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Make a Full Skirt for a Clothespin Bride

    Making a full skirt for a bride doll made from a clothspin and dowel cap.
    One side of a section of lace ribbon is folded over and gathered to make a full skirt for a clothespin bride doll. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    An easy full skirt for the clothespin bride doll or cake topper can be made by gathering a section of ribbon.  I used a wide lace band, folded over one scalloped edge so that the width of the gathered lace would fit the doll from just above the leg opening of the clothespin to the base of the doll support base pin and gathered the folded edge at the top with a fine line of running stitches.  When you have a section (roughly 4 - 5 inches (10-13 cm)) gathered, check the fit of the skirt around the doll. Gather more lace / ribbon if necessary to get a skirt as full as you wish.

    See next step for fitting the skirt over the bodice.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Assemble the Bodice and Skirt on a Clothespeg Bride Doll

    Bodice and skirt made from lace and ribbon for a clothespin doll.
    Bodice and skirt assembly for a clothespin bride doll which can be used as a cake topper or ornament.

    The next step is the assembly of the bodice and skirt on the clothespeg bride doll. Wrap the gathered ribbon skirt around the doll as shown. Stitch the gathered edge of the skirt together to fit the skirt to the doll and trim the ribbon or lace at the correct angle to make a back seam for the skirt of your gown. Glue (or sew)  the edges of the skirt together at the back of the doll. Leave to dry.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Accessorizing Your Clothespin Bridal Doll

    Clothespin bride doll holding a spray of tiny phalaenopsis orchids.
    A clothespin bride holds a spray of tiny phalaenopsis orchids. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    Here you can see a dowel cap head set on the clothespin bride body. See the basic clothespin doll tutorial for ways of painting the head and hair in a variety of styles. You can also use embroidery thread, ​Mohair or curling ribbon to make hair for these dolls. Before the head was fitted a small string of Japanese Seed Beads (15/0) was set around the doll's neck for a string of pearls.

    As these dolls are just slightly smaller than standard 1:12 dolls' house scale, they can be 'decorated' with standard dollhouse doll accessories.  You can make miniature roses for them to carry in a miniature flower basket, even make simple bridal bouquets.  If you wish to use them for a cake topper, you can make a simple printable arbor from card or photo paper to arch over a bride and groom. 

    See the wide range of miniature plant and flower instructions for decorations to suit your tiny bride.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Make a Tulle Veil and Bridal Crown for a Clothespin Bride Doll

    Assembling a tulle veil and lace bridal crown for a clothespin bride doll.
    Lace crown and gathered tulle for the bridal veil for a clothespin doll. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    To make a veil and bridal crown for your clothespin bride doll, use a piece of fine lace, beaded trim, or Dresden paper trim or punched paper/lace to make a small circlet to fit on the head of your doll. Cut a semi circle of fine tulle (a scrap of silk tulle is best) and trim the narrow edge to a 2 - 3 inch  (5 -8 cm)length. Gather the upper narrow edge with a row of fine stitches.  Stitch or glue the gathered edge of your veil to the bottom of the back of your bridal crown.

    Test fit the crown on the doll and glue in place once you are sure of the fit. (PVA or white glue works fine).  See the photo on the first page for the fit of the veil on the doll.  Trim the veil to length. If you wish you can add a fine edge of narrow silk ribbon or lace to the edge of the veil.