Hands add-on for Cloth Characters


Add hands to your 11″ Ballyhoo cloth character doll! These hands have little fingers that can be wired with pipe cleaners and posed in any position.  See below for details and skill level…

  • Take your cloth character to the next level with these articulated hands.
  • Each finger can be wired and posed as you please.  You can even add magnets to help your cloth character hold items or grab onto things for endless poses.
  • People will be amazed at your art doll skills!
  • Easily stitched out in the hoop using stretch fabric.  Then you cut out, turn and stuff/wire each hand,  and attach to the doll.  (refer to instructions tab above)

All designs are digital downloads for embroidery machines.  Files will be available immediately after purchase on a download page.

What’s included with this design?

    • hands in-the-hoop design file to fit medium and large cloth characters
    • NOTE: there are NO hands for the small cloth characters

Skill level: ADVANCED – due to fussy cutting of small parts, and turning of tiny tubes (basically requires small hemostats and a bit of practice.  Ambitious beginners should not be afraid!  The video tutorial can help put you on the right track!  This in-the-hoop design is much easier than stitching doll hands on a regular sewing machine.)

Be sure to check the tabs above for more info like Instructions, Supplies, and Specs!

Hoop Sizes


Supplies Needed

These are the recommended tools and materials for this machine embroidery project


1. embroidery machine with files loaded
2. sharp fabric scissors
3. small embroidery scissors
4. hemostats or turning tubes for turning & stuffing small areas (refer to video for help)
5. machine needle (embroidery or stretch needles work fine)


1. Stretchy fabrics:
• 2 pieces 5″ x 5″ skin tone jersey for hands front & back

2. tear-away stabilizer
3. embroidery thread & bobbin thread (in colors to blend with fabric)
4. pipe cleaners to stuff the fingers, or stuffing

5. (optional) Tape (electrical tape is preferred) to attach hand to doll armature
5. fabric glue or hand needle and thread to attach hands to doll arms


PDF documents included in your download:

    • color/stitch order guide with template
    • License file (defines how many finished products you may sell of this design)

Your downloaded .ZIP file will include multiple sizes and machine formats in case you upgrade your machine to a bigger hoop or different brand, you’ll still be able to use these designs! 

  • These 9 formats are included: DST, EXP, HUS, JEF, PES, SHV, VIP, VP3, XXX

Size charts

  • medium hands fit the medium cloth character and are stitched in 4×4 hoop
  • large hands fit the large cloth character and are stitched in 5×7 hoop

Max purchase quantity = 1

The graphic below shows design measurements, stitch counts, number of threads, and more.


Instructions & Videos

There are three videos of the hand-making process.  These are (mostly) not edited or sped-up, so you can see the process in real-time with lots of explanations at each step.

The first video covers the stitching and cutting:


The second video covers the turning and wiring:


The third video shows you how to attach the hand to the body (at the end of this video, there are instructions for attaching the hand with no wiring)



If you already know what you’re doing but need a refresher – Here’s a quick summary of the instructions…

  1. STITCH COLOR 1 onto tear-away stabilizer to create the placement outline in your hoop.  Note the arrow for the direction of stretch in your fabric.
  2. Place 2 pieces of stretch jersey to cover the placement outline, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, and be sure to cover the entire placement outline.  You may tape this in place if you prefer, but the jersey fabric on stabilizer tends to stay in place by itself.
  3. STITCH COLOR 2 which creates the seams for your doll hands.  These stitches are very small and tight (1.5mm) and also double-stitched for a very strong seam when machine tension is properly adjusted.
  4. Keep the project in the hoop and tear away the hands from the stabilizer.  (this is easier while still in the hoop with tension)  There may be some jump threads to trim in order to remove the hands.
  5. Remove all the stabilizer from the hands.  Be sure no large bits are left in the seams to hinder the turning process.  Tweezers or small hemostats might help get the tiny bits.
  6. Cut out the hands with sharp scissors and a very narrow seam allowance of about 1/8″ or 3mm.
  7.  Use small hemostats or turning tubes to turn each finger inside-out so it’s inside the palm.  Then pull the fingers out and turn the rest of the hand inside-out.
  8. Use pipe cleaners to wire the hands or stuff with tiny wads of polyfil.
  9. (optional) Use electrical tape to attach the pipe cleaner “bones” of the wrist to the wire armature in your doll if using an armature.
  10. Pull the doll arm “sleeve” over the hand, turning the raw edge of the sleeve under, and glue or hand-stitch in place.
  11. Repeat on the other side of the doll for the 2nd hand.