How To Give A £1 Charity Shop Dolly A Makeover

How To Give A £1 Charity Shop Dolly A Makeover

We’ve been having a huge toy clear out over the last few months.

It’s been a pretty slow process but anything that hasn’t been played with for over six months, or ever for that matter (about 80% of our toys) have been taken to the charity shop.

I’m not against toys, I’m all for anything that keeps kids entertained and makes life easier but Cherry is very selective about what she likes to play with, in fact this will give you an idea.. the other week she found an empty plastic ball that came apart in the middle (the ones that come out of those £1 toy machines), she spent the next few days clinging onto it and even started to fill it up with ‘treasure’. Her treasure consisted of a ring pull and a squashed bottle cap that she found on the street.

She played with that for longer than she has ever played with any actual toy so I know that she doesn’t really need a lot of them. I’m more than happy to buy her the occasional thing that she really wants but there is no point in her having boxes full of toys that she never plays with, we just don’t have the room.

We do love going into charity shops and if she ever finds something she loves then I buy it for her and then when she gets bored of it give it back again. It means she gets the excitement of new toys without me wasting much money or having toys scattered everywhere.

Tiger is at the age where he has really started enjoying playing with toys, especially tractors / cars / trains / anything with wheels so he has a selection of those.

He also loves dolls, he cuddles them and kisses them which is adorable. I have no idea why dolls are seen as a girl’s toy, surely caring for things is something we want boys to do too?!

I spotted this doll in a charity shop last week for £1 but he was looking a bit worse for wear so I decided to give him a makeover.


I started by re-stuffing him, you can buy bags of the stuffing in craft shops for next to nothing. I did it by making little cuts in his back and arms then sewing up after.

Then I made him some clothes.

Note that I am a total beginner when it comes to sewing which is why I haven’t put this on my craft blog, I couldn’t give instructions as I literally just cut around the doll then stitched it together fixing mistakes as I went along but it did kind of work so no matter what your sewing skills it is possible to make clothes for dolls!

I also made him a little cap. I cut the shape out of cardboard then glued the material on and used string to tie it around his head.




This was my first attempt and I had to hand sew plus I only had a small amount of material so I had to cut it in weird ways.

I’m looking forward to giving it another go when I have my new sewing machine.

It does make me happy to see him looking all doll like again though and Tiger loves his new ‘bubba’.

And next time you see a sad lifeless doll in a charity shop why not take it home and give it a makeover?!


  1. julie

    26 August

    sweet doll , and lovely outfit all he needs is a bottle of milk . My boys are older now but when they were little they all had a dolls buggy and a doll one of mine who is now 11 years loved his dolls so much he would cry if he couldn’t have one at car boots , he ended up with quite a collection and outgrew them when he started school.I think it is good for boys to show a caring side and think it wrong to stereotype , which is mainly down to advertising . my 3 year old daughter loves dolls but also loves cars and has a garage .

  2. LauraCYMFT

    26 August

    He looks great. I love his car dungarees and cap!

  3. Fiona

    26 August

    Ah, this is lovely. I would never think to re-stuff a charity shop toy. & I love the outfit! I need to make some new clothes for Ebony’s dolly, but I hate setting up the sewing machine… Maybe for Christmas x

  4. Susan Mann

    26 August

    Love this, you’ve done a fab job. I’ll need to learn how to do this. xx

  5. Notmyyearoff

    26 August

    That’s such a cool outfit. He looks much more trendy now in that!

  6. Polly

    26 August

    you did a great job! he looks so much happier now 🙂

  7. Oh we really need to have a toy amnesty. I think my kids would actually play with toys better and for longer if they only had a few. They get so attached to them even when they don’t play with them!
    I really like your idea of using the charity shops a bit like a toy library and it’s all for a good cause. You did a brilliant job on the makeover!

  8. Donna

    26 August

    Dolls completely freak me out BUT you made him look pretty cute, for a freaky doll!! x

  9. fritha

    27 August

    we also need a toy clear out! I think it’s harder for us as my mum passed down 70% of Wilf’s toys so I feel I HAVE to keep them. What I really need to do is find some better storage! I love that you gave this dolly new life! I had two dollies as a little girl and they look so freaky now, both have lost their eyelashes and hair and stuffing..I should try and fix them up a bit (although they may be past saving!) x

  10. Kelly Finn

    27 August

    Oh wow he’s super cute! His clothes are adorable, I love how you just winged it! I’ve made a few bits with no patten, totally made up as you go along. We need to do a toy clear out too, this has reminded me. *gulps*

  11. Carie

    29 August

    Oh he looks fabulous – very smart in his new clothes (and for the record that’s how I made dolls clothes when I was little so it’s definitely the way to go!). We had a big toy declutter in the spring and it made a real difference to what the girls actually play with – they can see what they’ve got if the volume isn’t overwhelming!

  12. Laura

    29 August

    I totally agree – I think whatever is not played with needs to go as it’s so easy to have mountains of stuff that is not actually offering you anything but a headache – I am all for keeping things that my little man does play with but there is so much he simply doesn’t and could be put to good use somewhere else. I love this makeover on the doll and think it’s a great example of how toys don’t need to be expensive at all to have fun

    Laura x

  13. Laurenne

    5 November

    I love this, and feel it should be some sort of a campaign – save a sad looking doll today haha! He looks very cute now, good job.

    I totally agree on the toy thing, we are working on this too. Mine are the same they only really have a couple of things they love, the rest could go. We buy mainly from charity shops and car boots and I find letting them buy a piece of crap when we go to the car boot sometimes is helpful as it lets me shop for things, but as we hardly spend anything on them we just donate them to the charity shop when they don’t play with them so we cycle their toys that way. I think this works well because things like puzzles they get bored of once they’ve done them a few times anyway I find. I’m quite bad with soft toys though, the kids aren’t bothered but I get all attached hahaha, need to be better with that!

    • Jessica Cherry

      6 November

      Haha it would be a great campaign! Or linky, hmm I might actually do that!

      I find our house is just so small that I can’t handle the toys everywhere, Cherry is really into little things like Lego and there are always bits of it everywhere! Haha I’m brutal even with cuddle toys, in fact I keep nearly chucking out my childhood teddy but then I save it at the last minute so I can’t be that mean 😉 xx

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *