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An Elegant Hankie Doll Ornament
Can Display Your Vintage Handkerchief in Style

Valentine Hankie Doll on Vintage Image Craft
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Hankie Doll image)
A Victorian Hankie Doll was a child's toy, made at home from at-hand materials. A wad of cotton or fabric was wrapped around the bowl of a long-handled wooden spoon. A fancy hankie was draped over it, and the ball was tied off to form a head. Opposing corners of the hankie were tied off to resemble sleeves and hands. Yarn and buttons were added for the hair and face. A doll born of economy and creativity!

We decided to take the humble hankie doll uptown for Valentine's Day.

The elegant lady we chose to "dress up" was a vintage scrap, so popular in Victorian scrapbooking. We scavenged in our collection of antique handkerchiefs and chose a 12-inch square hankie to coordinate with her colors. Then we folded it a dozen times until it looked right. We could have glued everything together, but chose to use double-stick tape to preserve the hankie. We might want to re-dress her for the summer season!

This Valentine Hankie Doll ornament comes with two FREE vintage images and the templates for the heart and back support. Of course, you may need to resize the images to fit your hankie!

Materials for our Valentine Hankie Doll

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  • Vintage images and templates (FREE PDF download). Print the women images on matte photo paper, heavy presentation paper or white card stock. Print the back support and heart templates on plain white paper.
  • Vintage handkerchief (see Tips).
  • Colorful ribbon or cording for hanging, about 16".
  • Double-stick tape or glue, like Aleene's Tacky Glue (see Tips).
  • Foam mounting tape or squares.
  • Scissors or craft knife.
  • Detail or manicure scissors.
  • White paper for templates.
  • Glitter paper. We used AC Cardstock, Raspberry Glitter (see Tips).
  • Cardstock, chipboard or poster board for back support.
  • Lace, ribbon, glitter or other embellishment for the heart backing (optional - see Tips).
  • Self-healing mat (optional).


  1. Valentine Hankie Dall, step 1Cut out the vintage image of the woman of your choice (we provide two). Use detail scissors for the outside cuts, and a craft knife on the interior cuts under her arms.
  2. Cut out the heart template and back support templates. Trace the heart onto glitter paper, or a decorative cardstock, and cut it out. Trace the back support template onto heavy cardstock or chipboard and cut it out.
  3. Iron your handkerchief. Fold the handkerchief into triangular pleats to resemble a dress. There is no right or wrong - just experiment with different folds.We did it this way:
    • Valentine Hankie Doll, step 2Fold the hankie diagonally, offsetting the bottom corners by 1" to  reveal the bottom layer.
    • Valentine Hankie Doll, step 3From the center of the hankie, fold the left corner in, offsetting from the bottom corner by 2". Fold the right corner in the same way.
    • Valentine Hankie Doll, step 4Fold the left side in, again offsetting from the bottom corner by 3". Fold the right side in the same way. You want to end up with a narrow triangle shape, with several layers of symmetrical folds showing.
    • Valentine Hankie Doll, step 5If it is pretty, you're done! If it is lopsided, start over or try something different. Every hankie is unique!
  4. Valentine Hankie Doll, step 6Apply  double-stick tape (or glue) to the back of the woman's torso. Position the torso on top of the folded hankie gown, until it lines up at the waist the way you want it. Press together until adhered. Carefully turn the doll face down.
  5. Valentine Hankie Doll, step 7Apply double-stick tape (or glue) to one side of the entire back support. Position the back support behind the doll's head, torso and gown, tape (glue) side down, and press together until adhered. Depending on the size of your hankie, you may need to trim off some of the bottom or top of the back support so it doesn't show from the front.
  6. Position your hankie doll on the heart so the dress hangs free, and attach the back support to the heart with foam mounting tape, to give it a little dimension. Before you do, decide if you want to embellish the heart with special edging.
  7. Attach the ribbon or cording with tape to the back of the heart with tape or glue. Your hankie doll is ready for Valentine's Day!


  • Hankie Doll photo by Vintage Image Craft
  • A vintage handkerchief, or hankie, is in the eyes of the beholder. It may be a lacy Victorian original, or it may be a 1960s dime-store cheapie. What matters is the size (about 12" x 12"), the colors (to coordinate with the tops of the women's gowns), and the edges, which are best scalloped, embroidered, fringed or otherwise decorative. We had a box of hankies from Martin's grandmother, but we have seen them at rummage sales, thrift stores, church bazaars and on eBay, of course.
  • You'll need to decide if you ever want to use this hankie again. If you want to preserve it, you will assemble your hankie doll with double-stick tape. If you want your hankie doll to be permanent, then assemble it with glue. Aleene's Tacky Glue is good for fabric because it is less likely to bleed through the hankie than regular white glue.
  • Glitter paper is a heavy cardstock, yes, covered with glitter. It comes in every color, but we chose shades of pink and rose, to coordinate with the women and the hankies. You may decide on something different, like gold or silver foil paper, handmade paper, paper doilies, or paper decorated with some technique you've always wanted to try.
  • This hankie doll was born to be embellished. We chose to leave the background hearts rather naked, because we loved the glitter paper. You may wish to embellish the outline of the heart with lace trim, cording, ribbon, glitter, barbed wire, or anything you have that is about 24" long.

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