Llama Llama Rag Doll

Eli has been loving the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney lately. So do I. Between the rhythm, rhyme and delightful illustrations they are a joy to read out loud. Which is good because Eli wants me to do so again, and again and again.

In the stories Llama Llama is never without his little rag doll. I thought it would be fun to make Eli his own version.

Illustration detail from Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.

Kinda cute, right?

So here is how I did it.

First I sketched out some pattern pieces. If people express an interest and if I can figure out how to make and attach a pdf file I might be able to make this pattern available to others who’d like to make this but don’t feel comfortable sketching patterns. (Since I don’t feel comfortable doing technological things, that’s a bit of a big IF… but it’s good to make myself learn new skills so I could at least try.)

Then while my wonderful husband followed Eli around Barnes & Noble, I sat in the cafe, retraced the pattern pieces onto printer paper and cut them out. These pieces were pinned to a linen napkin before I cut them out leaving about 1/4″ for seam allowance. I got all on the pieces I needed from one linen napkin. I used a different pink linen napkin for the insides of the ears and some bleached black t-shirt material for the bottoms of the feet, but if I had wanted the doll all one color I would have been able to get those pieces from the one napkin too.

I wanted this project to be completely handmade so everything was hand stitched together.

I also wanted all of the materials to be natural and all things I already had on hand, so instead of using polyester fiberfill or going out and purchasing cotton stuffing I cut leftover scraps of cotton and wool fabric into thin strips to use to stuff the doll. I really like how this resulted in a heavier doll. It just feels good and solid (but not hard) in your hands. It is slightly lumpy, but I like that aspect too as it underscores the “handmade” quality.

The arms were sewn into the side seams of the body, and the ears into the side seams of the head, but the legs and neck and head were sewn and stuffed and then sewn onto the sewn and stuffed body.

Here’s a shot of the head being attached to the neck.

I debated on whether or not to use these buttons for the eyes or to paint on eyes to make it look more like the llama doll in the book. In the end I opted for the metal buttons in keeping with natural materials only decision I’d made earlier. I can always easily change them later, if I find wooden buttons I like better or if I decide to go ahead with the paint after all. These look cute enough for me now though.

Not only did using different fabric for the bottoms of the feet allow for a change in color, but I like how the knit stretches to balloon out a bit. I couldn’t resist adding the belly button.

I used the sewn edge of the napkin to cut small lengths to use for the tail.

Eli likes his little llama and immediately had to “match” it to the illustration in the book.

Llama Llama, nighty night…

 Thanks for stopping by!


Update: Here are links to download the pattern…

Here’s where I’m linking up.


Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday, Threading My Way


Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful RisingSarahndipities ,

Everything Under the MoonThe Cure for the Common Monday


At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkiethe space between,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects


Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy TotsWhimsy Wednesday


Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsAnything Goes Linky Party,


Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805Pencilled Daydream


The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal


  1. June 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    That is absolutely adorable! And it is so clever of you to figure out how to make it from scratch!

    • June 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks! I was wondering how it would turn out as I pretty much just winged it. I was pretty pleased with the result this time.

  2. adohrenwend said,

    June 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Kawaii! The linen totally makes it!

    • June 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you… It wouldn’t have had quite the same look in another fabric. And “kawaii” is just about my favorite of the few Japanese words I know. 🙂

  3. June 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Sweet! Hoping for that pdf file. If you have Word, you can scroll down in the save screen to “save as pdf”. I believe there are some free pdf converters online too where you “print” to a pdf file.

    • June 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks. I appreciate the pdf advice too. Unfortunately, I am so lame that I don’t understand much of it. I’ll call my brother this afternoon. He’s the techno guru of the family. I swear he stole all of the family techy genes so there were none left over for me.

    • June 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

      Sorry it took so long, but the Llama Llama rag doll pattern is now included in my post.

  4. Kristy said,

    June 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    So cute! My kids love “Llama Llama,” too. I’d love the PDF pattern if you figure it out!

    • June 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll start bugging my brother to help me figure out the posting of the pattern.

    • June 18, 2012 at 8:01 am

      I finally got the llama Llama rag doll pattern posted. It’s not a pdf but hopefully it will work for you.

  5. Sandra :) said,

    June 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Awwwwwwwwwwww I saw him @ Sew Cute Tuesdays linky party and came for a peek – he is SOOO adorable! Your son is a lucky little guy!

  6. June 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Karen, I love reading about your adventures in craftiness!

  7. June 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    What a great idea! My daughter and I love that book, too. Your little llama is very cute.

  8. Inder said,

    June 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Adorable! 🙂

  9. Foodler Kids said,

    June 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    This is super cute! We love the llama llama books!

  10. ReStitch Me said,

    June 6, 2012 at 9:10 am

    So cute…with tons of personality! Great job!

  11. Lydia said,

    June 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Found you through Frugally Sustainable, This doll is great! I love that you took the time to make your own pattern. The first doll I made for my daughter was inspired by a book too. It’s a crocodile, but I just found a pattern online.

    • June 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I’m curious… which book did you make your crocodile for?

      • Lydia said,

        June 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm

        It’s called Cuddly Calum and was sent to us by Australian relatives. Mr. Cuddles is the crocodile that Calum loves to cuddle. I think it’s part of an alphabet series.

  12. Hilary said,

    June 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I love it. We like Llama llama at our house too.

  13. June 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    OMGosh!! I ❤ it!!! We read a lot of Llama Llama here!!

  14. Jennifer said,

    June 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    wow!! this is super cute! my son LOVES llama llama too — and the two books you have up there in the first pic are his favorites! I love this idea – I never thought to make him his own rag doll! I’d love to see a pattern if you’re up for it and it’s not too much trouble! 🙂

    • June 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      I’m glad you like it! I’m going to try to get the pattern up in the next few days. I’ll let you know when I do. If it is not too much trouble, I’d love to see yours when you make it.

      • Jennifer said,

        June 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm

        Awesome! Looking forward to it!! 🙂

    • June 18, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Hi Jennifer! The Llama Llama rag doll pattern is finally available on my post. Thanks for asking for it (and for waiting patiently!)

      • Jennifer said,

        June 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm

        Sorry I’m late on this response – thanks so much for sharing the pattern! I’ll definitely let you know once I complete it! Thanks again!!

      • June 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm

        You’re welcome! 🙂

  15. June 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Love your llama llama!!! Just wanted to let you know that I am nominating you for the “versatile blogger award” 🙂

  16. June 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    So adorable! I don’t have kids so I’ve never heard of these books, but your version looks pretty darn close to the illustration. Great project! Thanks so much for sharing at Etcetorize this week~

  17. June 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I love those books. So cute! New follower from lines across. Love for you to follow back when you get a chance 😉

    • June 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Thanks. I checked out and really enjoy you blog! I’ll be looking forward to seeing more of your posts there in the future. 🙂

  18. The Sisters said,

    June 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Oh my gosh! This is cute! Nicely done! Thanks for linking up with us on “Strut Your Stuff Saturday!” We hope to see you next week! -The Sisters

  19. Kellye said,

    June 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Adorable! Absolutely love it, and would love to see a pattern file for it.

  20. amy said,

    June 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Ohhhh! That is SO fantastic! Little crafter is in love with Llama Llama…I could read some of those books in my sleep! You did an incredible job! Pleeease let me know if and when you post a pattern. Thanks for sharing at Shine on Fridays.

    • June 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Hi Amy! I’ve posted the Llama Llama rag doll pattern now. Come on by if you find you have time for a new project!

  21. nefermiw said,

    June 15, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Looks great! I actually like the button eyes very much. I have been thinking about trying to sew a stuffed toy for my daughter and have been planning to try and create a pattern from one of my old stuffed toys, so seeing you wing it with such success makes me confident that I can too. :o)

    • June 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

      I was surprised at how easily this came together. I thought it would be a lot more awkward to get the various pieces to line up in the actual sewing, but there was no problem. I now have the pattern piece as a pdf file and just need to figure out how to post it on the blog, so if you wanted to make this I should have the pattern here soon! But maybe you also like the challenge of figuring the puzzle out for yourself!

  22. Maysem said,

    June 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    That is absolutely adorable! I love rag dolls because of their natural look. I think it was a smart idea to go all natural with it. I also love that you even stuffed it with what you had on hand. Each detail gives the doll character.. and unique! I hope llama llama is able to stick around to be passed on to Eli’s children… how cute would that be:)

    • June 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      I know this mama would be pleased if it lasted through to grandchildren! But if he plays with it so much if falls apart, I guess I’d be happy about that too. 🙂

  23. Oster's Mom said,

    June 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    This is amazing! You are so talented. I am not a creative person by any means. I am positive that my llama doll would look like an aardvark. Wow!

  24. June 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    […] particularly loved and are contributing to general clutter. And I’m making an attempt to make many of his new toys myself. (Also here and here.) For those that we buy, I’m being more conscious in making decisions in […]

  25. Davina said,

    June 27, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Love this!!!! It would also go well with the book “Is Your Mama a Llama?”. I amy have to try it!

    • June 27, 2012 at 11:04 am

      I plan to pick up Is Your mama a Llama? next time we go to the library. If you make this I’d love to see it!

  26. korrale said,

    July 7, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Too cute. James loves the Llama Llama books too. I might just have to make him.

    • July 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      We just got Is Your Mama a Llama? from the library. The connection works well with that book as well. If you do make this I would recommend that you stuff it with t-shirt strips as I did. Eli really gravitates toward this doll and I think part of it is that the unique weight it has really appeals to him.

  27. Pam said,

    October 27, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Fabulous idea to make your own Llama Llama the same as the character in the book, Karen. Not only is it a great way to encourage ‘Reading’, the toy is just so cute and is sure to be well loved.

    • October 27, 2012 at 7:47 am

      Thank you! It’s been quite a few months now since I made it and it has turned out to be one of the toys he returns to periodically and really loves, even though his interests have now moved on to other books and characters.

  28. Pam said,

    November 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Karen, I’ve featured your Llama Llama Rag Doll today…

    • November 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

      Wow! Thank you so much! I’ve just been spending my son’s nap time going through your linky list of boy’s clothing. You have some really great stuff on your site and I’m so glad I found it the other day. 🙂

  29. Rett said,

    December 28, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Thank you Lord for Pinterest! I have searched to no avail for a pattern of this very Llama. Decided that what the hay, check Pinterest! My son is also named Eli and he adores Red Pajama! I hope to have him one made today or tomorrow. He will be thrilled! BTW. I love that you made by hand.

    • December 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

      This comment made my day! I am so glad you were able to put the pattern to use. I’d love to see your Llama Llama when he’s done. Are you going to make the red pajamas as well?

  30. April 24, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    […] time Folk Haven readers may remember this post  from almost two years ago where I shared a llama rag doll I was inspired to make for Eli. I […]

  31. Doris said,

    October 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Love your Fuzzy Llama pattern! You’ve put together just what we need for my grandsons. Thank you for being so creative.

    • October 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment Doris! I’d love to see a photo of any llamas you might make. 🙂

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