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Japanese Rain Doll

Emi Fukushima shares how to make this Japanese rain doll out of cardboard tubes and paper.

Project by Emi Fukushima.

Materials and Tools"

cardboard tube
solid color paper
black crepe paper
printed, colored Washi paper
1-1/2" wood ball or wood egg
wire mesh
rice or pellets
black pen
embellishments: beads, wire, ribbon, yarn


1. Cut paper tube to desired size: 6" for small doll, 8" for medium size, 11" for large. Note: These instructions are based on a 6" small doll.

2. Cut wire mesh to fit inside the tubing (2" x 6" for small).

3. Scrunch and place the wire mesh inside the tube.

4. Cover the bottom of the tube by cutting a piece of card stock to fit bottom and tape in place.

5. Pour 1/4 cup of uncooked rice or pellets into tube.

6. Place the wooden ball or egg for the head on top of the tube and glue in place.

7. Cut solid color paper to 1" x 4-1/2" for collar.

8. Fold in half and glue this solid paper around neckline over wooden ball and edge of tube.

9. Use one 6" square of printed Washi paper for the body of dress (kimono). Cut another piece of solid color paper to 1-1/2" x 4-1/2" for the front pleat. Glue this solid paper onto the 6" square of printed Washi paper on one corner for the pleat front of dress.

10. Wrap this printed Washi paper with a solid pleat at bottom and glue to tube exposing 1/8" of solid paper at the top for the collar. Fold over pleat.

11. Cut two pieces of the same printed Washi paper (1-1/2" x 6") for the sleeves. Fold in half (1-1/2" x 3") and glue together.

12. Attach the sleeves with glue on both sides of the body.

13. From another printed (contrasting print and color) Washi paper, cut a 5" x 1-1/2" piece for the belt (obi) and wrap and glue around the body/tube.

14. With the same color and design of Washi paper, cut 1-1/2" x 2" and 1/2" x 2-1/2" pieces for bow of obi.

15. Cut another piece 1-1/2" x 2" for the fan. Glue the bow and fan in place.

16. Cut a 3-1/2" piece of black crepe paper for hair. Place the paper around the back of head. Cut another 2" piece to cover the top of head for hair. Glue in place over wood ball.

17. Scrunch the top of hair and tie with ribbon.

18. Embellish the doll with yarn, ribbon, beads, etc.

19. Make eyes with black pen.


    • Wooden ball and egg from Zim's Inc.
    • WireMesh from American Art Clay Co. Inc. (AMACO)
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