Frankly, The Folksy Magazine

My Essential Kit – Robyn Wilson, Rose Lullaby Dolls

by Emily. Average Reading Time: about 2 minutes.


We all love a good rummage around other peoples things & so every few weeks, here at Frankly we delve into the precious tool boxes of our favourite Folksy makers. Today it’s the turn of Robyn Wilson from Rose Lullaby Dolls to reveal the top ten crafting tools she cannot live without.

Although these items are all very important for making my puppets and dolls, really the way I work is all about making what I can with what I’ve got, where I am. I love using my imagination to turn humble materials that everyone has lying around into something beautiful.

1. Bamboo skewers. These form the backbone to my puppet dolls. For bigger puppets I use bamboo canes. Bamboo’s a great material, really strong but also flexible. I used to use twigs I collected in the park but one sad day my daughter stopped having a daytime nap so I didn’t have as long to wander around the park in search of good twigs.

2 Masking tape. I go through ALOT of masking tape. All of my puppet dolls and finger puppets are sculpted using it. I buy it from the little hardware store on my high street and often wonder what they think of me – the woman with the rowdy children who buys 5 rolls of masking tape a week….

3. Tissue paper. I use lots of pink and ivory tissue paper to layer up and then sometimes stain with tea to create my puppet dolls’ skin tones. I love tissue paper, it’s so much kinder than paint, you can keep adding colours until you get it right and it never goes mud coloured.

4 PVA glue. Wonderful stuff. I use it to seal my papercuts, glue the tissue paper on my puppet dolls, and to make their eyes by rubbing some around in ink until it’s picked up the colour and turned into a little rubbery blob.

5 Scalpel. I have a sharp one for paper cutting, and a blunt one for cutting up the blobs of pva into little puppet eyes, and cutting out puppet mouths.

6 Scissors. It’s taken a few years, but my husband has now learnt the important lesson that I am the only person who is allowed to touch my fabric scissors!

7 Glue gun. I love my glue gun. I actually have three, in varying sizes. How anyone lives without a glue gun, I simply can’t imagine!

8 Cutting mat. for cutting, and generally stopping me from totally destroying our dining table!

9 Needles – the one in my sewing machine and the ones in my sewing box. I love my trusty Elna.

10 My fabric stash. I have an awful lot of fabric that has built up over the years. By day I’m a theatrical costume designer and always keep any left over bits of fabric, so I have lots and lots of small pieces of gorgeous fabrics, perfect for luxurious puppet and doll clothes. I’m also a sucker for a liberty print.


Thanks to Robyn Wilson for letting us rummage around her essential kit. You can browse and buy her gorgeous dolls at Rose Lullaby Dolls.