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How to Prevent Wobbly Amigurumi Heads · Easy Beginner Tips for Crocheting Dolls & Stuffed Animals

Dear my fellow amigurumi enthusiasts,

Have you ever had the issue where your crochet doll's head tilts and looks floppy because it's too big and heavy for the neck to hold up?

If so, I'd love to share with you my quick and easy tips for preventing that from happening!  Below are my four different solutions to keep your amigurumi's head and neck straight and aligned.  

Method #1: Crochet Cylinder

This works well for dolls that have slightly wider necks (at least 10-12 stitches around).  I also recommend this method for dolls that would be played with by children, especially younger children, as it is safest and can be put in the washing machine.  

Here's how to do it!
Crochet a thin and long cylinder that would be inserted into your doll's head/neck/upper torso area.  For my example doll below, she has a neck width of 12 stitches, and my cylinder is 6 stitches around (for about 20 rounds in height).  

In other words, to make the cylinder, I started with a magic ring of 6 single crochets.  Then, I single crocheted around for 20 rounds so that it was nice and long.

Tip: Make sure your cylinder is long enough to go from the doll's head to torso.  The reason for that is because a short cylinder (e.g., one that only goes in the neck to keep the neck rigid and straight) may end up being squished to another part of the doll's body even if it's filled tightly with stuffing.  This is particularly true for dolls that are played with by children, so you'll want to make sure your cylinder is generously long so that it won't slip out of position.  Alternatively, if you crochet a shorter cylinder, you can secure it in place by sewing it with a few stitches in the neck area, so that it's guaranteed to stay there.

Method #2: Pipe Cleaner or Wire 

This is my preferred method for my art dolls with very thin necks!  Some examples include Hana the Hanbok Doll (pictured below) and Little Red Pandora.  

These dolls' necks are only 6 stitches around, so it would be impossible to fit in a crocheted cylinder.  Instead, you can much more easily insert a pipe cleaner or wire! Please note that this is NOT safe for dolls that will be played with.  I recommend this for art dolls for display only.  

Here's how to do it!
Get a pipe cleaner that is the same color (or lighter-colored) than your doll's skin tone.  Fold it in half, then fold it in half again so that it is "quartered".  Fold in the sharp points for safety.  Wedge the pipe cleaner into the doll's head/neck/torso area.  

Method #3: Cookie Sticks 

This is another material that can be used for art dolls with thin necks!  If it's meant to be a doll that will go through the washing machine, you will need to use plastic cookie sticks, and not ones made of paper.  

Here's how to do it!
Insert the cookie stick into the doll's head, neck, and torso area to provide support for a straight neck.

Method #4: Wooden Disposable Chopsticks

I like to use this method for art dolls that have slightly wider necks than the ones above.  The reason for that is because pipe cleaners may not be strong enough for dolls with wider necks (and hence, heavier heads).  Wooden chopsticks will surely provide a lot of strength in making sure dolls with larger heads stay up! 

I used half of a wooden chopstick within my Willow the Woodland Doll's body.  

Here's how to do it!
Cut the chopstick in half (or shorter).  Make it a length so that it will fit at least from halfway in the doll's head and through the neck to halfway into the torso.  I simply use a dull pair of scissors to cut a disposable pair of chopsticks.  Make sure you use sandpaper to smooth out the end that you cut off, so that there are no splints or sharp points.  Like the method above, you'll be inserting the chopstick into the doll's head, neck, and torso area.

If you prefer watching over reading, I have a video of these tips! 

I hope that my quick and easy amigurumi crochet hacks are helpful to you!  If you have a different method, I'd love to hear what you do, and you may share it in the comments below!  

Hope you all have a fun time crafting! 

Warm regards,