How to… make a Japanese Scoubidou Doll

These are very cute little “Japanese Scoubidou Dolls” that I actually learnt to make in Japan! How cool is that? Scoubidou’s are actually a very basic form of Macrame, so, if you have ever wondered how to macrame or you wanted to give macrame a go, then you may like starting of with Scoubis. 

As to these little Japanese Scouidou Dolls = I actually learnt how to make these about 6 years ago and recently stumbled across one of these cute little ladies and thought “perfect for Red Ted Art”! They are surprisingly easy to make (once you get your head round how to make a basic Scoubidou) and very quick. The Japanese love small and delicate, so these are not a toy – more of a decoration (we have an eclectic, round the world Christmas tree one which these hang). If you wanted to make them into a key chain or similar, you would have to amend the process slightly (I will tell you where).

Materials: Scoubidou string/ cord*, 2 colours approx 50cm & 30cm, a bead that will fit the string doubled up, some black crepe, a small bell (e.g. from a mini Lindt bunny), short piece of gold or similar string, small paper flower (optional)

* Many people make Scoubidou’s out of plastic strings, but you can also get like a thicker shoelace cord – used for cat’s cradles as well. This is the one you want!

Firstly – How to make a Scoubidou:

There are many types of Scoubidous and I do remember making this one as a teenager. For some reason I never learnt the others. But surely one type is enough? Unless you are Scoubidou mad and love making ALL those wonderful things you can make….

how to macrame scoubis how to macrame scoubis

  1. Lay the two pieces of string across each other – with the centres meeting

how to macrame scoubis


2.Lay one string across the next (the red one over the blue)

how to macrame scoubis

3. Take the next and lay it across the “next” (the blue one over the next red), you will see the blue “crossing” the red one twice

how to macrame scoubis

4. Take the 2nd red and lay it across the next blue (the red is crossing two blues)

how to macrame scoubis

5. Take the final blue and lay it across and tuck it under the very first red loop – it will be crossing two reds strings before being tucked under

how to macrame scoubis  how to macrame scoubis

6. Now pull all 4 pieces of string tight. It may help you to put a finger on the middle so they don’t misalign.

how to macrame scoubis

7. Done & repeat as often as you like. You will get a nicely patterned, erm, sausage, called a Scoubidou!

How did you do? Try again if you are not sure and if you don’t have that neat two by two square at the end. It REALLY is EASY once you get the hang of it. Take the time to learn! Bit confusing at first!

How to Make a Japanese Scoubidou Doll

Now you can make a basic Scoubidou. For the doll:

how to make a scoubidou doll

1. Make a Scoubidou about 6-8 knots long (or as long as you want, you just need more cord then)

2. Thread the wooden bead onto the two longer cords – I found it helpful to trim any frayed ends of my Scoubidou string and to “twist” it in

how to make a scoubidou doll

3. Tie the little bell to your string

4. Cut out the crepe into “hair shape” – make sure the basic rectangle is whide enough to wrap around the bead. My bead is about 12mm and my rectangle is about 40mm x 30mm

how to make a scoubidou doll

5. Tie the hair too the head with the bell & string. If you want this to be a more versatile doll – e.g. key ring or on a backpack for a little girl – you need to look into making different hair: maybe glue on some felt or some wool?

how to make a scoubidou doll

6. Tie the shorter pieces (in my case red) into a Reef Knot. Trim the ends & insert the flower!

how to make a scoubidou doll


Aren’t they cute? Have you ever made “Scoubidou People or animals”? Would love to hear what you made!