NEW: Knitting dolls. Coming Soon: A 12" boy doll (my first try at sewing a boy!).
Note: The dolls aren't for sale; I just want to encourage others to craft them, and offer ideas for making them. Serious Waldorf artisans would call some of my dolls not in the Waldorf-style, because not all of them have been made from all-natural materials.
I first saw photos of Waldorf-style dolls years and years ago as a child, in holiday issues of a children's catalog. I thought they were very pretty, but a little pricey.
In the spring of 2003, I found out about a company called Magic Cabin that sells supplies for making your own Waldorf-style dolls, and I knew I had to have one! Feeling silly for wanting a rag doll, I was happy to read that their age recommendation is "2 to 102!" Magic Cabin is also the only source I know of that sells all the unique supplies needed for making Waldorf-style dolls.
This type of doll is special in that it uses only natural materials, such as cotton for the "skin" and inside head-stringing, and wool for the hair and stuffing. The wool takes on warmth as the doll is held. The most "unique" thing about the doll is the way the head is assembled. It's assembled from the inside out, rather from the outside in! In sewing other dolls, you would usually sew a head shape first, then stuff it. With these types of dolls, however, you wrap wool stuffing around and around itself, forming a perfect ball, then shape it with the help of cotton string and material tubing ("stockinette"). I've never seen rag dolls before that have such perfectly shaped faces, without visible seams.
I don't know much of the history of Waldorf-style dolls. However, I've put photos (fuzzy, though!) of them online, because I have been disappointed at the lack of photos of these dolls available to look at online. Unfortunately, the dolls have to be seen in person to understand what makes them so special!
This is Caroline. I created this doll around April or May of 2003, using a kit from Magic Cabin. I made her hair fully-rooted so that it can go in pony-tails, pig-tails, etc.
Caroline fits in 18" American Girl doll clothing (as pictured above) and looks especially cute in a plain off-white flannel nightgown I made using Kirsten's clothing patterns. I finally got "official" Waldorf clothes for her in Christmas of 2003 and like those best, but American Girl clothes work pretty well. I didn't really care for the outfit pattern that the doll pattern came with (it's shown on this page, under "Annabelle").

9" Pippi is the next doll I made. You can probably tell who she is supposed to be, from her hairstyle (or is it the name that gives it away?). I had some leftover dyed cotton jersey from another doll company, and some leftover wool from the kit I used to make Caroline. Pippi is pretty much made from all-natural materials. I didn't have stockinette for the head, so I used cotton gauze (this didn't work very well--I've since found something that does work well, and I'll letcha know later on!). I didn't have any string, so I used yarn. But, for the most part, she's an all-natural doll. Her hair is made from a very hole-y 100% wool sweater, that I cut apart and took strand by strand to fully root. Pippi's little monkey friend sits on her shoulder. He is made of felt and stuffed with something pretty interesting--see the other doll description below!

This fall-themed fairy is 14" and is based on a doll a company sells. Because of that I won't list her name or anything. I wanted to see if I could do as well as real dollmakers. She was too much work and didn't turn out as nicely. If you want this doll, buy it from them, because it's hard to make! ;) (Especially the jointed elbows and knees!) I had some leftover wool and was able to make her head pretty much the right way with wool and cotton string (using, however, a nylon stocking--shhh...this is a great secret--if you can't find cotton stockinette, nylons work really well). Her body stuffing, however, is another story! My rabbit sheds like no other rabbit I've ever had. Over the time I have owned her I decided to save her fur, and that maybe some day it would come in handy. Can you guess what the fairy's body is stuffed with? I later found out through doing some Internet research that one of the Waldorf doll's well-known makers originally stuffed dolls with reindeer fur, and of course now the dolls are stuffed with sheep "fur", so it helped me not feel so strange. The cotton skin was hand-dyed using Rit--tan and sunkissed orange in equal amounts. The jersey was only 80% cotton, so I was fortunate it dyed so evenly.

I've never been happy with our family's Christmas angel. It's very old and made of paper-mache. Around October 2003 I realized I probably had enough leftover cotton jersey from my fairy doll to make an 8" Waldorf-style doll for our tree. The doll is made of non-natural materials, including polyester stuffing and the jersey mentioned above that's only 80% cotton. Her shiny golden wings are rayon--how ghastly! Her one redeeming quality is that she does have 100% wool yarn hair. No other yarn works or looks as nicely as 100% wool does. I joke about the dolls not being completely of natural materials, but the 100% natural ones are the most special. Polyester and rayon just don't sound or feel as nice as wool and cotton! Making the doll's head using polyester stuffing was really difficult, and it didn't turn out completely spherical. Making the angel was a lesson in why wool stuffing is used!

The next doll I made was Clara, a 16" baby doll, in late 2003. This kit is available from Magic Cabin, and is really sweet! I don't like the clothing pattern that the doll came with (the clothes just didn't turn out very cute, but I didn't choose very cute material to start with), so the clothing is made by Kathe Kruse doll company, and the cute doll socks were given to me by a friend. The lamb is not homemade.

This doll is Annabelle--she's my mom's and "lives" on my parents' bed. My mom chose the skin-tone, hair, and eye color as well as the clothing fabrics, and from that, I made the doll for her for Christmas 2003. She has since realized she should have chosen a darker skin-tone for a dark-haired doll; I nick-named her the vampire doll. She's the same style and size doll as blonde Caroline. The clothing she has on is made from the official pattern from Magic Cabin.

The following are miniature Waldorf dolls, also called "seasonal table" or "nature table" dolls, which I began making in December of 2003. The concept behind the dolls is to place them on a table, along with nature items collected from outdoors. For example, a gnome or dwarf might be displayed among gourds and fall leaves. The nicest thing about the dolls is their price--I try to just use scrap items, so they're free (other than having to get chenille stems for the wire armature). Unlike the other dolls on this page, they're totally poseable, so they can hug flower stems, sit, or hold things in their hands. I don't create the feet correctly--the feet are supposed to be made out of clay so that the dolls can be posed in a standing position. I prefer cloth feet or bare feet, but the drawback is that the dolls I make can only sit (or stand if leaning against something). At the right you can see a size comparison that shows a miniature doll next to the well-known 18" American Girl dolls. Although I haven't made any for such a purpose, a miniature Waldorf would make a nice little rag doll for an American Girl. The bad thing about the dolls is how long they take to make! They're so small that they look easy to make, but they take hours and hours, and I have yet to make one from beginning to end in less than a couple of days. (If you're still looking for the miniature doll in the photo of the American Girl at right, she's hanging from a tassle.)
This is the first miniature doll I made; she's a prototype of what I'm making for friends for Christmas. The dolls will represent friends, and the clothing or something they hold will be applicable to them. (For example, my mom's doll is holding a baby, a farming friend is getting a doll wearing fabric with a farming motif, and my friend who likes to knit is getting a doll that's knitting--she's already told me I'm getting a scarf! ;)) I decided to make the other dolls a little larger than this one, though (she's only 3 1/2"). After making this doll I took a l-o-o-ong break from making mini dolls because of how much time and hand-sewing is involved (not my strong point)! The little animals are made from a process called "felting," where chenille stems are wrapped with wool roving and then agitated in soapy water. You can get this kit from Magic Cabin--it's really fun, too!
The next doll I made is my first above-mentioned Christmas gift...although I decided to give it to my mom for Mother's Day, if that makes sense! ;) I took a long break--not making this one until March 2004! Unfortunately, I wrapped it up before taking a photo. The doll is a redhead (5") holding a baby that is wearing a yellow sleeper (the baby represents both my brother and me). I'll try to get a photo online after Mother's Day.
This is (finally!) my first attempt at a "nature table" doll that has a purpose/season! She's Daisy, with hair that's wild (like a wildflower) and is 100% wool "rescued" from a knit winter hat, a green dress to represent the stem, and a daisy "hat." I adapted the pattern so that she could be barefoot. Her theme is spring. Unfortunately, her lips didn't show up in the photo, but she has light pink lips.
My summer-themed doll is a blue mermaid. This one was hard to make since I had to veer far away from the pattern. The blue tail is fabric that is somewhat like a hologram--it looks like water/waves! I originally wanted to put faux pearls in her hair, but I couldn't really figure out how to do that since the holes in the pearls weren't big enough. (I settled for a pearl necklace, but it wasn't "on" in the photo)) I made two of these so I could give one away to a friend, but I kept the one that turned out better! ;)
Oh! I should also mention something important for people who like to have dolls with a lot of clothes: The clothes on the dolls are on permanently. For example, the hands are connected to the sleeves. This only applies to the mini dolls--the larger ones at the top of the page can have "wardrobes".
These two knitting dolls are done with rooted hair, as were the daisy and the mermaid above. The farm girl is done the more traditional way, where the hair is in a fixed style. I think doing fully rooted hair makes the dolls' hair too thick for their size...these dolls really show why! But at the same time it's a nice way to do hair so that it can be styled.
A knitting doll is easier to make than it looks. I finally figured out how to do this after first trying to knit with toothpicks--hee hee! First, begin by taking two round toothpicks and gluing a tiny glass pony bead to one end on each, to look like knitting needles. Set them aside to try. Cast on about five or six stitches to real (though thin) knitting needles, and knit for a while until you have achieved the length you want. Then, take one of the toothpick "knitting needles" and knit onto it. Leave some length of yarn, then roll a tiny little ball of yarn to be left hanging from the knitting. Put the other toothpick "knitting needle" through the first loop, so that the needles form an "X." Strengthen the knitting and miniature yarn ball by putting clear-drying craft glue on them. Make sure you glue the two needles together. From there, all you do is make a normal doll, then use thread to secure the knitting into her hands (remember that, for most people, the needle with the knitted section will go in the left hand). This would look so cute with a white-haired granny doll and a long length of knitting!
These dolls are so addicting! They don't show up quite as cute in photos as they are in person. I have ideas for ones I want to make next, such as Uncle Sam for the Fourth of July, and a gnome/elf for the fall. However, next I need to concentrate on making them as Christmas gifts.

Here's the clearest photo I have of a Waldorf doll (Caroline):

I hope this offered you some insight into what these dolls look like and are like. I hope you may want to join the family of Waldorf-style doll-makers, too!