Hollyhock Dolls + Easy How-to

September 26, 2011

When my friend Emily was visiting last week, she taught Maude and Olive how to make hollyhock dolls. Such an adorable little craft! They would be fun to make at a birthday party with a fairy or woodland theme, and they’re perfect for a low-key Sunday afternoon.

Emily’s mother is a naturalist and an artist. She taught Emily all sorts of fun things to make from pretty bits of nature. Wouldn’t it be a treat to spend a day with Emily’s mom and learn some of her secrets?

The how-to is easy. Pick blooms of different sizes, and new buds for the heads.

Remove the fuzzy, pollen-y stamen. Then, use toothpicks to piece the flowers together. We used three flowers to make the skirt pictured. If you have hollyhocks in lots of different colors, you could make a multi-color skirt. Keep scissors nearby in case you need to shorten your toothpicks.

Experiment and see what you come up with. You can use a smaller bloom as a hat, or maybe even use a flower to fashion an umbrella. Emily’s husband, Weston, recommended using two smaller blooms as arms — so cute!

P.S. — I’ve never planted hollyhocks before, but they grow like weeds here at La Cressonnière. They are everywhere! Have you grown them?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marisa September 26, 2011 at 7:20 am

Oh, my daughter would love this! Thank you for sharing!


2 Sara September 26, 2011 at 7:31 am

Oh my goodness, my daughter would love this. Do you have hollyhocks growing there? So jealous if you do. Maybe we could do it with another flower. Thanks for this :)


3 Destri September 26, 2011 at 8:00 am

So sweet :)


4 Allison September 26, 2011 at 8:01 am

love creative ideas like this that just come about when you are playing outside! creating and being outside are two great things especially when mixed together!


5 Deidra September 26, 2011 at 8:09 am

Oh! This takes me back. My cousins and I used to make these all summer long in our back yard. Instead of toothpicks, we’d use prickly stems from our pine trees to ream out the middle. Then we’d have to pick the right bud or flower with a stem that would fit in perfectly. I think I need to plant some holly hocks so my little one can experience these in years to come. Thanks for a walk down memory lane!


6 mom in mendon September 26, 2011 at 8:14 am

GG made these when she was a child and she showed us how when we were young, but we rarely had access to the flowers. I’ve always thought I needed to grow them.


7 Kristen September 26, 2011 at 8:33 am

Oh I love this! We used to make them all the time growing up with my grandma. It brings back such sweet memories. I need to find some to make with my baby girl. Thanks for the reminder.


8 wordplayhouse™ September 26, 2011 at 9:21 am

Oh so pretty. And while you share the beauty of petals, share the parts of them too. A little learning, a little fun. We have a pretty-enough-to-hang-on-your-wall flower part chart printable:



9 Lynnette September 26, 2011 at 10:41 am

Thank you for sharing this! I grew up making these, and had all but forgotten about them. Making a note right now to plant hollyhocks in my yard!


10 Karen Beaver August 11, 2014 at 6:06 am

thank you I remember making these when I was a child now I am a great gramma and will be showing our little girl that will visit soon. The deer munched the first flowers but they came back just in time for the little one to see this,,,


11 Cris September 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

What a nice memory…my grandmother used to make these for me.


12 Jessica September 26, 2011 at 11:03 am

My grandmother used to make these with me when I was a little girl!


13 Emily S. September 26, 2011 at 11:46 am

This was very sweet Gabby. Thanks for sharing this idea and for such a nice tribute to my mother.


14 Laurel J September 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I grow hollyhocks because my great-grandmother, who immigrated from Scotland as a little girl in 1886, grew them in her garden and as a child I found them so engaging. Now my granddaughters and I are all about playing fairyland outside. They are allowed to pick flowers, leaves, bark as needed to make fairy houses. This year for the first time, we made hollyhock dolls.

I’d love to see some pictures of your French hollyhocks. I live in Arizona, so mine bloom in April and May before the intense heat comes.


15 Betsy September 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Memories! Great memories of my gram’s yard, spending summers with her and her beautiful gardens. Hollyhocks were abundant in her yard. My mom taught me how to make these dolls. Thanks for this.


16 Suzanne September 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

My grandma used to make these. Thank you for posting this!


17 Jill September 27, 2011 at 6:25 am

My mother played with hollyhock dolls as a child and taught my daughters to make them. Since we don’t have hollyhocks, we use our Rose of Sharon shrub instead.


18 Ashlea Walter September 27, 2011 at 7:32 am

I’ll have to bookmark this for next year. All our hollyhocks have already made their appearance!

Super cute.


19 julia g blair September 27, 2011 at 8:40 am

I barely remember trying to make Hollyhock dolls. I remember my mother telling
us how she and her sisters loved making these dolls. Just thinking of her and her
lovely sisters as little girls making hollyhock dolls is a blessing of joy and connection.


20 Kathy September 27, 2011 at 11:14 am

This brought back wonderful memories of going to my grandma and grandpa’s house in Indianapolis. They had lots of hollyhocks. My sister and I would make all kinds of pretty dolls. Precious memories.


21 Celeste September 29, 2011 at 1:03 am

My mom grew them. Every summer we would make the hollyhock dolls. I have very fond memories of this and passed it on to my children. You can also take the petals and split the base (the inside is sticky) and clamp them on your earlobes for earrings.

Unfortunately, the deer love them too and so they don’t fair to well in my neck of the woods.


22 jayessjay October 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Oh I haven’t thought about hollyhock dolls in a really long time. My grandmother taught my sister and I how to make them when we were little.


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