We have a friend who has been going through a lot lately, and I was trying to think of a way to cheer her up. I’ve made her a few things, like her pillowcase that goes along on every trip to the hospital. But this time, I really wanted to make her laugh.
Not long ago, we were walking through downtown Bend, Oregon and I spotted a Dammit Doll in a window. These little tension-relievers have been around longer than I have, but I hadn’t seen one in years. If you’re not familiar with them, a Dammit Doll is not particularly attractive (who wants to take out their aggressions on something cute?) but otherwise pretty simple. In fact, many have a folk-art look to them. There’s also a poem explaining their use, which varies a bit from doll to doll. The basic idea is, grab it by the legs and smack it against the wall. Kind of like punching a pillow.
To make one, you’ll need this pattern, pieced together by matching the dotted line and sides, a piece of fabric, fusible fleece (if your fabric is thick you can skip it), a button, some craft thread and stuffing.
Iron the fleece onto the back of each fabric piece. Using the pattern as a guide, sew on the button for one eye, an X for the other and the mouth using craft thread.
Pin the two fabric pieces with right sides together. Stitch a 1/4” seam around the edge, leaving 2” open on one side. Clip all corners. Tell me this photo doesn’t look like some kind of gingerbread man gone wrong.
Turn him right side out. Stuff the doll through the opening in the side, using a stick to push the stuffing into the legs, arms and head.
Hand stitch the opening closed.
If you like your Dammit Doll bald, you’re done, but I like a little 80’s rock star hair whipping around. Cut 6” pieces of craft thread, stitch them through the top of the head at the seam about 1/4” apart, and tie knots.
Trim, braid or just give it a shake.
This is the poem I went with:
Whenever things don’t go so well,
And you want to hit the wall and yell
Grab your little dammit doll
It really doesn’t hurt at all
Just grasp it firmly by the legs
And find a place to slam it
And as you whack the stuffing out
Yell “Dammit, dammit, dammit!”
I hope you’ll forgive my venture into PG language territory, but my friend loves this doll. So much, in fact, she’s asked me to make one for a friend of hers. He may be ugly, but he brought joy to someone in pain, so I think he’s doing his job pretty well.