DIYdiy projects

diy project: natasha’s babydoll coat rack

by Grace Bonney

i’m still plowing through all of the fantastic projects featured as part of the 2008 d*s diy contest and today we’re sharing one of the more controversial piecesnatasha’s babydoll coat rack. you guys seemed to be divided right down the middle between “that totally creeps me out!” and “that is the coolest thing i’ve ever seen” but overall it was definitely a project that generated a lot of discussion- as well as a few emails from manufacturers wanting to talk to natasha. so who knows, maybe we’ll see these babydoll racks in stores some day soon. until then, if you’d like to know how to build your own, natasha has included her full project instructions below. just click here for the full instructions or click “read more” below. thanks, natasha!

Natasha’s Babydoll Coat Rack

What You’ll Need:

-Soft body doll with hard plastic hands and feet (they will have a backing on them)
-Piece of wood, about 2 feet long
-12 screws
-Heavy duty keyhole hangers
-Drywall anchors and screws
-GE Silicone II household glue
-Pen or pencil
-Sand paper
-X-acto knife with chisel like blade (#17)
-Sense of humor


1. Dismember your doll

2. Arrange hands and feet on board in an order you like. Space them evenly apart, marking their positions with a pen or pencil. Set limbs aside.

3. Drill 3 holes per limb. I counter sank the holes so the board would lie flat against the wall. Make sure your holes will not come too close to the edge of the limb, because the screw make poke out of the side of a hand or foot.

4. Position keyhole hanger and mark the spot. Chisel out the wood until the hanger fits snugly and until the drywall screws’ heads fit.

5. Sand your wood a little and paint it. Let dry.

6. Put some glue on limbs. Screw them on. Let dry.

7. Put anchors and screws in your wall and hang up your new coat rack. Hang up your coats and jackets.

Suggested For You


  • This freaked me out the first time I saw it and it STILL freaks me out!!!Sort of gross and disturbing if you think about it. Adult hands -maybe. But baby doll parts?! Freaky. I guess I just don’t have a sense of humor for this one:)

  • This is great! Now you need to find something to make with the torso and head. Halloween is the first thing that comes to my mind. Keep hacking and chopping!

  • I love this DIY, very fun and different. I appreciate that it isn’t completely adorable! It’s great.

  • I love it and it’s on my mental list of projects to do in the future. But then again I grew up in a house where it was not unusual to see doll parts in bowls of of faux fruit.

  • This is WAY creepy! It reminds me of the days when my brother would try to destroy my dolls.

  • not only do I love it, but I’m planning on hanging diapers bags from one we’ll make for our store…. might creep customers out, but we’ll get a kick out of it!

  • i’m a little indifferent about this one. part of me is really into it…and then part of me is a touch creeped. i wonder if it might look a tad less creepy for some of us if the body parts weren’t flesh colored? like the entire piece painted a solid white or something? just a thought…

  • I LOVE THIS! I love it because it is not precious and makes you look twice but not due to shock value or by showing an exploitive image. Creepy to some but funny to me (and I am a mom to 8 month old twins who has a 15 year career working with children!). Very creative.

  • Still CREEPY- but growing on me:)I do have one question though: are these doll parts strong enough to hold a heavy coat or handbag? Just wondering. I can’t remember if my baby dolls had strong limbs or not.

  • First time I saw it, I thought it was disturbing. I STILL think it’s disturbing. Honestly, it probably wouldn’t have affected me so much if you hadn’t shared that the creator of this project was INSPIRED BY AN EPISODE OF DEXTER!!! GROSS!!!! There’s just something soooooo creepy and disturbing about that to me.

  • Come on people, these are PLASTIC baby doll parts, the epitome of modern day toy manufacturing! How is that creepy? No one in their right mind is going to think they are real baby parts. That’s what is so fun about this! And not to mention, with the green movement so huge right now, isn’t this a perfect example of how to give your unwanted junk a new life!? It’s ironic, earth friendly, humorous and cute to boot! Natasha, you rock!

  • I agree with everyone else that this thing just creeps me out. I can hardly look at the pic that it sends shivers down my spine. It’s not the resemblance of baby parts (though they are especially chubby), but that dolls themselves creep me out. Especially dolls that look lifelike.

    However, it is incredibly creative and different. I’d have it solely as a conversation piece, but I’d have to put it somewhere I can’t see it all the time.

  • I love this! And it doesn’t hurt that I’m a huge Dexter fan! I’ve been looking for a coat rack for my kids’ room, and I think this fits the bill. And my 6-year-old daughter will especially love it, considering she loves anything zombie-related and her favorite Barbie has stumps for arms because the dog chewed it up.

  • Ed Gein, Child’s Play movies….do these terms/images come to mind when one looks at this? I’m all for recycling and ‘Going Green’, but not when it comes to putting something on my wall that looks like an autopsy gone wrong. Yes, it’s CREEEEEPY already!

  • In addition to what I posted before, Nice Freddie Krueger like scarf to hang on it. It just adds to what I have already said. Kudos to the creativity, but maybe direct away from fake body parts.

  • Cal- The rack is strong enough for coats and handbags, but not all doll limbs are. I think I got lucky because I found the perfect doll the day I came up with the idea…it must’ve been meant to be. :-) I’ve been looking for another doll since I haven’t found a good one…the limbs are too soft.

  • OMG….it’s TOTALLY a Freddy Krueger scarf! Cut body parts & FK….no wonder it’s so creepy! Interesting idea, yes. Choice of materials…uh, not so much.

  • I would love to see more done with these, maybe painting on a print or a bright solid colour? I love old horror films so this piece is just right!

  • Ha! I love it. I’d make it if it weren’t for the fact that my parents might call me baby murderer or the like

  • I truly love this! I would love to make one and I am going to give it a try…..and I will find something to make with the head………….

  • You get right to the heart of the matter, don’t you- ‘dismember your doll’- lol!

  • I am a little creeped out by the body parts and it may scare the child, however, if you are going to hang it use the head to hang a hat on.

  • Actually, I don’t find this creepy at all! I think this would be awesome for my teenage daughter (they love this sort of thing).

    If they were Barbie Doll parts…now *that* would be creepy!!!


  • Most delicious! But the first heavy coat would tear an unreinforced plastic doll arm right off of a screw. You need a thick bolt or something coming through the plaque and into the baby limb. Fill the limb with some sort of plaster, foam or epoxy that will dry around the bolt. Then it would be strong enough to hang a real baby from it.

  • Yes, when I was selling these last year in my etsy shop, I was using porcelain hands. I filled the hollow arms with two-part epoxy, stuck in a thick bolt, and put the bolt entirely through the base. My bases were recycled wooden cutting boards.

  • I am sorry, I usually do no say things like this , put this in your closet, bedroom, wherever anyone else won’t see it!

  • I have wanted to do this for years, that and just arms (palms up) along the bottom of a mirror for hanging necklaces from. But sheesh, if people think this is scary, they should see the toddlerpedes by Jon Beinart. HIS doll sculptures are really freaky. Very cool if you like this sort of thing.

  • This is a great innovative idea and it’s fantastic that Natasha has been generous enough to share the idea with us so we can make our own. But has Samantha of OneLuckyFish gone too far in using Natasha’s photo to sell on Etsy?
    Does Natasha wish to hold some copyright over her photo? Just thought I should let you know…

  • I love this! What an excellent way to keep those poor doll parts out of a landfill.

  • Hehehe!!! OK, so some of you don’t like doll limbs but take it a step farther and how about dinosaurs tails and heads for a boys room? (Every little boy has a toy box filled with those) Or heads and tails of horses or cows for the cowboy set?
    And at least they didn’t use the doll’s head!

    • Now that’s a great idea! I can see as the arms and legs of dolls could be disturbing . Old instrument parts work as well. ( That’s what I used a while back . Thx for sharing

  • I saw this on theartofdoingstuff.com in her DIY linky party post and have to say I was a little weirded out but totally facinated. I had to check out the link.

    I think I would totally go for these…but would use some krylon paint and paint the whole shabang one solid color. Makes it less creepy and more artistic…

  • A cool addition to this could be to add a shelf mounted on top for extra space and attach the doll’s head in the middle!!

  • Great idea. I have bought dolls for the eyes. Now I have use for the rest of the body. Thanks!

  • I am so making this! If you’ve ever seen any of the “Doonese” skits on SNL, you’ll understand. My sister in law gifted me a set of Doonese Doll Hands last Christmas, so this will make a lovely gift for her this Christmas! We may have started a new tradition now…. every year, a new use for Doll Hands! (It’s ok, I fly my weird flag proud!)

  • How would you mount the arms and legs if they were hollow? I was thinking of filling them with something that would harden around dowels, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what that something would be. Ideas?