Simple Kokeshi Doll Tutorial


Whether you're having a community event or just want to do some quick and easy crafts these kokeshi dolls are sure to bring a smile to your face! Samples also included!

This activity was created by the Japanese American National Museum for Target Free Family Days in conjunction with the Kokeshi: From Folk Art to Art Toy exhibition.

Slides in this album 

Kokeshi Base

To make the base of the Kokeshi Body you will need: 1.) A toilet paper roll (or any cylindrical form) 2.) A round ornament (or a styrofoam ball) 3.) Colorful paper (for clothes!)

Kokeshi How-to: Kokeshi Base
Contributed by: ylkawashima


All you really need in order to put all the pieces together is one tool: a glue gun!!

**Caution: Do not allow young children to handle the glue gun.

Kokeshi How-to: Assembling
Contributed by: ylkawashima

Attaching the Head

Place the hot glue around the rim of one of the ends of the roll. Then, simply press the ornament firmly to the roll and allow it to cool.

Kokeshi How-to: Attaching the Head
Contributed by: ylkawashima


Here are a variety of eyes that you can use for the face of the kokeshi doll. Eyes are the windows to the soul and are very expressive!

Kokeshi How-to: Eyes
Contributed by: ylkawashima

Finishing the Base

To add the base "clothes" for the body wrap the paper around the roll firmly and add a thin strip of glue to the ends. Place the eyes where you would like and hot glue gun them to the head.

Kokeshi How-to: Finishing the Base
Contributed by: ylkawashima

Kokeshi Decorations

You can use feathers, beads, tissue paper, ribbons, buttons, pom-poms, and so much more to make your kokeshi doll your own. Don't feel restricted and let your imagination take you to new heights!

Kokeshi How-to: Kokeshi Decorations
Contributed by: ylkawashima


You don't want your kokeshi doll to be the odd one out!! Give him/her some style and flavor!

Kokeshi Craft Samples
Contributed by: ylkawashima

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ylkawashima — Last modified Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

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