How to make your own BLANK KOKESHI DOLLS

Kokeshi doll blank bodies DIY tutorial

In this tutorial, learn how you can make your own blank kokeshi dolls from spun cotton shapes – a fun and creative DIY project for all ages.

Blank Kokeshi Dolls

Spun cotton shapes are very easy to paint and glue 

Project materials

– Glue gun or tacky glue, both work well.

– The following blank body shapes:

  • Left Kokeshi: one 52x39mm spun cotton body, 1 large spun cotton ball (45mm), 2 small spun cotton balls (15mm)
  • Center Kokeshi: one 72x53mm body for the body, and one 54×55 body for the head
  • Right Kokeshi: one 45x48mm body for the body, and one 54x55mm body for the head

You can also create you own blank Kokeshi dolls by using different shape combinations. Here are a few shapes that work well together:

Kokeshi blank bodies spun cotton

Step by step directions

  1. Choose a combination of blank shapes that you like.
  2. Simply glue them together.
  3. It is now time to get your paintbrushes and paint colors ready :)
How to make a kokeshi doll body

There is a little hole at the bottom of all spun cotton shapes.
Make sure to pour the glue in the hole for a sturdy bond.   

Blank Kokeshi dolls – painting ideas

To paint the blank dolls, I like to use acrylic paint because it dries fast, and it’s easy to work with. However, any paint that works on paper will also work on spun cotton shapes. For your kokeshi dolls to look nice and shiny, you can finish them with a clear coat varnish. Mod podge for example works very well.

You can also check out our “how to paint peg dolls tutorial” for more general painting tips and advice (link).

Kokeshi doll DIY

I like to use acrylic paint

How to paint a kokeshi doll

For facial features, it is easier to use a pen than a brush. 

Kokeshi dolls easy DIY

It helps to use a bamboo stick to hold the shape.

Kokeshi dolls DIY craft ideas

A 16mm half ball is glued on top of the yellow kokeshi.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment, we are always here to help.

Happy crafting!

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