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How to Make Your Own Wish Doll

For the month of February, we are talking about how art work is heart work! Our team has seen first-hand the incredible way that creating a piece of art can bring healing to a child who has been exploited, or anyone who has been through a traumatic experience. One of our favorite art therapy projects from the past year is the Wish Doll! Some of the girls at the Touch A Life Care Center in Ghana created these simple fabric dolls and tucked a wish inside to hold close to their heart.

These dolls are very simple to make and can be customized in so many ways. This is a fun project for Valentine’s Day to show someone how much you care, or to keep for yourself as a reminder of your dreams and wishes! You can even host a Wish Doll Party to share this art experience and the Touch A Life story.


  • Wish Doll Supplies1 piece of fabric, 18″ x 9″
  • 1 piece of fabric, 8″ x 4″
  • Yarn for doll body
  • Yarn or string for doll hair
  • 2-3 cotton balls
  • Fabric or hot glue
  • Buttons, beads, or ribbons for decoration
  • A wish written on a small piece of paper


Wish Doll Step One

Step 1: Forming the head

Step 1: Take your larger piece of fabric and fold it in half so it is a 9″ x 9″ square. Place your cotton balls in the center of the fold under the fabric and gather the fabric at the base of the cotton balls to form the head.

Step 2: Begin wrapping yarn at the base of head to secure the cotton balls and gather the fabric. Stop after about one inch and insert your folded wish (as small as you can fold it!). Continue wrapping yarn around the fabric and the wish until you have created a torso for your doll. Tie the yarn at the back to secure. 

Step 2: Inserting your wish

Step 2: Inserting your wish

Step 3: Take your smaller piece of fabric and roll it lengthwise into a tube shape. Lay the fabric tube over the top of your doll’s torso to create arms. Use more yarn to secure the arms to the doll – we used a criss-cross pattern. Tie the yarn at the back of the doll when you are finished. 

Step 4: Now is time to decorate your doll! To create hair, wrap yarn around your hand 10-12 times, then slip off the loops, cut on one end, and tie the lengths of yarn in the center with a smaller piece of yarn. Glue the hair to the head, then glue (or sew!) any buttons or beads you would like onto your doll. 

Step 3: Adding the arms

Step 3: Adding the arms


When your doll is finished, we’d love to see it! Send your photo to, or share it with us on Facebook or Instagram by using #TALwishdoll and tagging @touchalife.




Step 4: Hair and decoration

Step 4: Hair and decoration







  • Courtney says:

    I work for an after-school program that is looking for a project to do and I enjoyed the idea of the wish dolls and was wondering if the kiddos I work with were to make some of these dolls as an activity if there was a way to send these dolls (if the students were to make a lot of them over a few weeks) that we could send them to donate? I have a feeling that these students will make a lot of these dolls, but I’m not sure yet. I want to purpose the idea to have a club for students to make these dolls, but the last piece that I can’t figure out is how to donate them somewhere. Thanks for the help in advance.

    • Touch A Life says:

      Hi Courtney! Thanks so much for wanting to donate wish dolls that your students make. We would suggest donating them to a local children’s hospital or shelter since our kids in Ghana have already made their own dolls. Let us know how it turns out – we’d love to share the story!

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