Old-Fashioned Toys


Spinning Button

To make a button spin, you will need: two pieces of string, each 24″ (61 cm) long, and a 1″ (2.5 cm) or larger round button with two holes.

  1. 1.

    hread each piece of string through a different hole in the button.

  2. 2.

    Line up the ends of the strings on each side of the button and tie them into knots.

  3. 3.

    Slip a middle finger into each end of the string (see illustration).

  4. 4.

    Twirl the button around until the string is tightly wound. Quickly pull the string tight, release it, pull it tight, release it, etc., and watch the button spin.

Yarn Doll

To make a doll, you will need: yarn, a book about 5 3/4″ (14.6 cm) wide and 1″ (2.5 cm) thick, scissors, and contrasting embroidery floss or yarn for eyes.

  1. 1.

    Loosely wrap the yarn around the width of the book sixty times; cut off leftover yarn.

  2. 2.

    Cut a piece of yarn 12″ (31 cm) long, slip it between the spine of the book and the wrapped yarn, then tie it (see illustration). This will be the top of the doll.

  3. 3.

    Carefully slip the yarn off the book and cut the loops at the bottom of the doll.

  4. 4.

    For the head, cut a piece of yarn 11″ (28 cm) long and tightly tie it 1 1/4″ (3.2 cm) below the top of the doll (see illustration).

  5. 5.

    To make the arms, separate one fourth of the yarn into segments on each side of the doll. Cut two short pieces of yarn and tie each segment in the middle. Trim the yarn 1/2″ (1.3 cm) below the tied places, which are now the wrists (see illustration).

  6. 6.

    Tie a piece of yarn around the doll’s waist and trim the ends. The yarn below forms a skirt. Or make pants by splitting the yarn in half and tying each half at the ankles.

  7. 7.

    Make each eye by tying contrasting embroidery floss (twelve strands) or yarn around a strand of yarn in the face and cutting the ends close to the knots.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki