Polish wooden reborn Hitty Challenge/Swap
© Tutorial created by Melanie Smith, MelzDolz@aol.com 2006

Hittygirls*** For personal use only, do not copy or share this tutorial with other groups,
boards or clubs without written consent from Melanie Smith melzdolz@aol.com Not to be sold or re-published without permission.

Click Here to See our Finished Reborns!

Disclaimer*** Many of these Polish wooden dolls are adorably dressed and collectible in their own right, so I do not condone destroying a perfectly good doll to make this reborn Hitty, but it is easy to find these dolls with messed up hair, no clothes, broken elastic, etc… and then you are saving a doll and making a new one to love.


I tried to think of a way for nearly everyone and anyone could remake a doll into Hitty, with little need of power tools and low investment of money. I found several of the inexpensive Polish wooden dolls that I thrown in a box some years ago because they were in need of repair. These Polish wooden dolls can be found at thrift stores, antique shops and eBay for as cheap as $5.00. They are made of sturdy wood that is easy to carve & sand if you choose to, also being strung with elastic makes them easy to take apart and re-assemble. You can either carve hair, mold it from clay or similar product, or make a wig from floss, yarn, mohair or other textile. I made one with molded/sculpted hair using Qwikwood epoxy (wood putty), and I am also made one with black floss hair (See TCV’s tutorial link listed below).

My dolls legs had already fallen off because of the old elastic breaking, but if they hadn’t I would have cut elastic to make doll easier to work with while remaking her.
I started by cutting off some of the top of her head since she has a pretty tall egg shaped head, but you can leave it this shape or sand some off if you don’t have access to a saw or are uncomfortable using power tools. After I reshaped her head, I sanded at her waist to give her a waistline to hold her undies up. I also sanded down the hands on one doll and carved thumbs into the other doll.

Next I molded Hitty’s curls onto the back of the dolls head, and used a plastic knife to make the eight rows and divided curls in the back. I also used a small amount of the clay (putty) to fill in the hole that is on the top of all the heads on these dolls. For the molded hair doll, I set her aside propped up in a cap from a spray can, so her hair could dry/cure.

If you are making a textile wig, this is the point where you can make & attach it to her head, arrange curls, etc... See tutorial on a Hitty wig by TCV

My next step is to either carve down (only if you are comfortable with carving) her feet, or you can just sand them and paint Hitty’s stockings, red garters and black boots.

I carved the feet down because on one of the dolls I had mismatched legs with un-matching feet, so I wanted them to be a little more traditional Hitty-ish. For the sake of simplicity and ease for those who don’t carve you can just paint the big red feet black, but you will have to sand them down some for acrylic paint to adhere to the feet. The varnish and red paint used on these dolls is too finished and shiny to just easily paint over without roughing up the surface first.


Since we have now dragged out the paints, it is also time to paint Hitty’s hair and signature front curls if you made molded hair. Set Hitty aside while her hair dries and her feet and stockings also dry.

This doll is strung like the Raikes Hitty’s with a piece of elastic held by a small wooden dowel in the arm & leg holes. I did not remove the arms on my dolls, but if you did, please use the same technique as on the legs.
I doubled over a strand of round elastic (such as you use in waistbands of doll panties & shorts) I made a knot at one end of the doubled over elastic holding this end out while I glued a small piece of dowel (just enough to fill the leg or arm hole & securing the elastic). When the glue had dried thread the elastic through the torso & opposite leg (or arm) pulling the elastic firmly stick another small piece of dowel with a small amount of glue on it into the leg hole, hold this in place for a minute or two then make a knot in the end of the elastic pulling it as close to the leg where the dowel was placed. Cut off loose ends of elastic and check Polish Hitty to make sure she can stand evenly.

Once Hitty is put together and all paint is dry you can give her a quick squirt of clear lacquer to protect the acrylic paints that you used on hair and feet/legs. Once clear coat is dry you can now dress your reborn Hitty.

I did note that Raikes dresses fit her nicely. If you left the original size feet on your new Hitty you will most likely need to make wider leg undies to get them over her larger than normal (for Hitty that is) feet, but Hitty will be pleased with whatever you make her ?

I hope you had fun, and that we rescued some Polish wooden dolls from the scrap pile.

Hittygirls*** For personal use only, do not copy or share this tutorial with other groups, boards or clubs without written consent from Melanie Smith melzdolz@aol.com Not to be sold or re-published without permission.