How doll making can improve your mental health - Studio Seren

How doll making can improve your mental health

In today's busy world, finding ways to improve our mental well-being is essential. Sewing dolls can bring a sense of calm and contentment. There's something soothing and rewarding about crafting something with your own hands. As you immerse yourself in the process of making a doll, you may find that the worries and stresses of everyday life begin to fade away. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why making dolls is good for you

Stress reduction

Making dolls can be relaxing, helping us unwind after a long day or a busy week. It allows us to take a break from the demands of everyday life and enjoy some valuable time just for ourselves, reducing stress and anxiety. As we immerse ourselves in the joy of designing outfits and choosing fabrics, our worries naturally fade away. The repetitive motions of stitching, stuffing, and assembling the doll can have a calming effect on the mind and body

Mindfulness and focus

Making dolls is often compared to therapy or meditation, highlighting the peaceful effects it can bring. When you sew dolls, you enter a state of mindfulness. As you focus on each stitch, your mind becomes fully engaged in the task at hand, allowing you to momentarily let go of any worries or anxieties. Each step requires your full attention and the use of both hands, making multitasking impossible. This immerses you in the process, preventing your mind from wandering.

Threading a needle, stitching with precision, and focusing on the details really helps you stay in the moment. It's amazing how you can become so absorbed in the process, and just like that, your mind naturally starts to calm down. Being completely immersed in making dolls offers a wonderful escape from your worries, providing a therapeutic break that can benefit your mental health

Creative outlet

Sewing dolls offers a creative outlet for self-expression. Every colour you choose, every fabric you use, and all the tiny details you add, contribute to your doll's unique personality. This creative process allows you to tap into your imagination and bring your ideas to life. As you see your doll take shape, you'll experience a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfilment

Sense of accomplishment

Creating a doll is such a rewarding experience! Turning a pile of fabric into a finished doll really lets you see how amazing your skills are and sets your creativity free. It's such a great feeling when you finish and feel that big boost in your self-esteem and confidence. It reminds you of your ability to tackle challenges and create something truly beautiful. I've lost count of the number of people who have made my patterns and told me, "I can't believe I've made such a beautiful doll!" or "I never thought I'd be able to make anything so good!" Making something with your hands makes you feel good! 

Constant learning and improvement

As you set goals to try different doll-making techniques or new patterns, you'll find an ongoing sense of fulfilment. The journey isn't just about the finished doll, but also about the knowledge and growth that comes along the way. This never-ending journey of improvement can be incredibly motivating, encouraging you to expand your skills and explore new crafts for your dolls. You might experiment with adding embroidery to their body or perhaps knitting for them. The excitement of overcoming these challenges not only enhances your doll-making skills, but also builds resilience, patience, and problem-solving abilities that are valuable in all aspects of life. Doll-making always offers something new to learn, keeping it fresh and exciting, greatly contributing to our mental well-being

Social connection

Making dolls can connect you with others and provide a sense of community and social connection. The Studio Seren customer Facebook community (you are invited to join when you order an animal doll sewing pattern) is the perfect example of this! There's a beautiful and uplifting spirit within the group. No matter where people are on their sewing journey, everyone is quick to offer advice, support, and encouragement when someone asks for help. It makes me happy to see how much joy people find in helping others, just as much as when they receive help themselves. And when people share the dolls they've made, it's so heartwarming to witness all the positive comments and the cheers and celebration of each other's creativity. It's a wonderful community to be a part of that has a positive effect on your wellbeing

The gift of giving

Gifting dolls can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience! The act of giving naturally sparks feelings of joy and satisfaction. And when the gift is a doll you've crafted with love and care, the emotional rewards are even greater  

Each stitch of the doll is filled with your love for the person you are making it for. When you give a doll as a gift, you're giving them your time and effort. It's a thoughtful and heartfelt gesture that shows how much you care about them. This act of giving can strengthen relationships and create a sense of closeness and appreciation.

The act of giving can boost your mood and mental well-being. It strengthens positive emotions of self-worth and brings joy and contentment

A sense of purpose 

When you make dolls to support a good cause, it brings so much meaning and fulfilment. Customers have shared heartwarming stories of making dolls to bring comfort and companionship to older adults in care homes. One lady crafts cat and dog dolls for her local animal shelter, helping them raise funds. Knowing that your skills and creativity can have a positive impact on the world gives such a sense of purpose and satisfaction

Problem solving and patience 

Making dolls can sometimes present problems. Whether you've made a mistake that needs unpicking or you are having trouble with your sewing machine, facing these challenges can be good for our mental health. When we work through problems like fixing mistakes or learning new skills, we become stronger and better at solving problems in other parts of our lives too. Making dolls teaches us to be patient and keep trying, even when things don't go as planned. It's wonderful to see the creative solutions people find to fixing their doll-making problems. Here's a wonderful example of this. One of my customers, Sara, had a little mishap while making a doll and accidentally tore a hole in its head. But instead of getting upset, she turned it into a special feature. Sara made a band-aid to sew over the hole in her doll's head and lovingly named him 'boo boo bear'. My daughter, Seren, thought boo boo bear was adorable and chose Sara as the Maker of the Month

Joy and playfulness

Immersing yourself in doll-making can take you back to the innocent days of your childhood. It reignites that spark of creativity and imagination, with each stitch bringing to life a playful world of your own, just like when you used to play with your favourite toys. As you create each doll, you get to see their personalities come to life!

But it's not just about having fun. Doll-making also brings significant mental health benefits. The act of creation is like play therapy, allowing your brain to relax and focus on the creative process. It puts you in a state of flow, where you're completely absorbed and enjoying every moment. And research shows that this state of flow can increase happiness and reduce stress. So, just like children lose themselves in their imaginary play, adults can experience that same joy when making dolls

Playing with dolls supports children's wellbeing

Playing with dolls isn't just a fun pastime for children; it's a great way to support their mental health and well-being. They learn about empathy, understanding, and how to respond to emotions when they take care of and interact with their dolls. Plus, making decisions about their doll's activities helps them feel more independent and confident. It provides a safe space for children to navigate complex feelings and situations. They can have fun role-paying scenarios, finding solutions and expressing themselves through their dolls. It’s amazing how this kind of play helps with emotional regulation, working through anxieties and fears, and building mental resilience. So when you make a child a doll, you are giving them more than just a toy; you are offering them a valuable tool for emotional growth and well-being, with benefits that extend beyond playtime. Just as doll-making offers therapeutic benefits for you, the doll itself becomes an invaluable source of mental health support for the child you are making it for which is a wonderful thing!

Sewing dolls is an incredible way to explore your creativity, focus, and self-expression. It can have a wonderful impact on your mental health, helping to reduce stress and providing a sense of accomplishment. It also promotes mindfulness and opens up opportunities for social connection. So why not give doll-making a try? Not only will it be a fulfilling hobby, but it will also bring you joy and contribute to your overall well-being!

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1 comment

What a special blog post, I agree with everything you said Emma. Doll making is one of the very best hobbies to enjoy!

Donna Baker

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