Introduction: Zombie Dolls

Picture of Zombie Dolls

Want to come to my house for Halloween? Disturbing dolls await your arrival!

Dolls are the ultimate in creepiness in my opinion. I didn’t have dolls when I was little and have seen too many shows and movies with horrid attacking dolls to make me love them in any way. My grandmother, on the other hand, collected and cherished dolls. When I say collected, I mean she literally had hundreds. She mounted shelves high up on the walls around the perimeter of every room in her house and hoarded dolls on them to overlook every move or action that occurred in the room. I know her intention was not for them to be disturbing, however, I always felt like those hundreds of eyes were watching me waiting to make their move!

It was strangely satisfying to make these dolls into the horrible monsters I already felt that they were! Especially considering they are actual dolls salvaged from my grandmother’s collection!

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

Assuming you already have dolls to work with this will be a very inexpensive Halloween project. I spent about $9 total on items necessary to give the dolls their makeovers.


  • dolls (My dolls are about 15-18 inches tall with porcelain heads, arms, and legs.) I bet you could find similar dolls at garage sales or thrift store pretty cheap.
  • cheap face paint
  • fake blood
  • white spray paint
  • scissors
  • fire starter
  • plastic bag
  • old box or drop cloth

I suggest finding a place outside to work on the dolls. Not sure about your rules, but playing with fire and using spray paint aren't allowed in my house!

Step 2: Spray Paint

Picture of Spray Paint

Remove any clothing the doll may have on and set aside.

Wrap the dolls hair in a plastic bag to avoid getting paint on it. Place the doll on a drop cloth or in an old box and spray paint the face, arms, and legs. Set aside to dry.

While the paint is drying, tatter the clothing. I cut holes and slits in the dress and cut some portions completely off. Then I spray painted the dress to mute the colors slightly and make it look more ragged.

Step 3: Paint the Face

Picture of Paint the Face

Now that the spray paint is dry, unwrap the hair and apply make-up.

Using black and gray face paint, darken around the eyes and lips. Dab with your ring finger to blend the colors. Why the ring finger? I was told several years ago that the ring finger is the weakest and will blend make-up the best, but feel free to use whatever finger you want!

Darken the sides of the cheeks and under the chin to narrow and mature the face. Adding red face paint in a thin layer over black and gray and blending well will make a bruising effect. Do this where ever you would like the doll to look bruised.

Add red to the lips.

Add a red line of face paint to the neck to make it look sliced and bleeding.

Add black and gray sparingly to the arms and legs to dirty them; and red to the hands.

Step 4: Get Her Together

Picture of Get Her Together

Dress the doll in her newly tattered clothing. Assess how she looks. I chose to burn her hair and clothes a bit. Feel free to torch parts of your doll also, if you so desire! I used a basic fire starter and lit the dress on fire in a few places to char it. Be careful not to let the entire piece go up in flames. Then I smeared face paint in every color on the fabric to make it look even more dirty.

Add fake blood to any areas desired. I liked the look of it in the corners of the eyes, mouth, on holes in the clothes, on the neck slice, and on the hands.

Repeat the entire process for as many dolls as you would like to make! Stage them for a Halloween fright!


TonyaMD (author)2017-10-24

Hiw do u get them to stau standing ans the wind not knock them down?

wold630 (author)TonyaMD2017-10-24

They are on doll stands. ;)

lclaiborne (author)2017-10-19

Fantastic! Brilliant use of dolls.If you have a stash of them... This really is wonderful, and beautifully executed.

But, fire starter is petroleum based and easy to spill and get into trouble with. Seems either a kitchen torch, the thing you toast the top of creme brulee with? Or a bbq lighter would give more control. If you really need accelerant alcohol will evaporate if not burned, petroleum distillates are forever... The burning is a great touch though.

Debrabird64 made it! (author)2017-08-20

This was awesome, great instructions, and my daughter in law and I had a blast!, thanks

wold630 (author)Debrabird642017-08-21

OMG! I love them all. You are all set for Halloween!

Carlylane12 (author)2017-01-06

This is SO cool, i want to try this someday!

joylee1964 made it! (author)2016-10-27

I just got mine made. I forgot to take before photos but I do have after shots.

wold630 (author)joylee19642016-10-27

OMG!! The one with the teddy bear is sooo good and creepy! I love them! Thanks for sharing and I hope they really scare some people. :)

joylee1964 (author)wold6302016-10-27

Thank you. I really enjoyed making them.

mid_life_crisis (author)2016-10-24

Grandmother's dolls? Please tell us you checked to make sure none of them were collectible first.

wold630 (author)mid_life_crisis2016-10-24

They were definitely collectible. But don't worry, hundreds of them didn't make it into my hands!!

Eh Lie Us! (author)2016-10-21

Jiminy Crispies! In defiance of god and man and all things holy those are some twisted looking dolls.

TeresaM7 (author)2016-10-21

Oh, my! Definitely time for a trip to Goodwill. This is better than those dang expensive ones you can buy pre-made. Thank you!

SimonK1 (author)2016-10-21

This must be what would happen if Little Mix ever did Thriller.

Seandersonk (author)2016-10-21

And I think my neighbors will hate me :)

Seandersonk (author)2016-10-21

This is fantastic. I need to go to the thrift store and find some dolls!

ThirdEarthDesign (author)2016-10-12

Chucky, eat your heart out! That is truly terrifying.

MotherDuderior (author)2016-10-10

These remind me of the creepy af dolls in the Barbabella movie! Love this so much

CraftAndu (author)2016-10-10

This is so scary!

studleylee (author)2016-10-08


AbleApril (author)2016-10-08

Awesome. The best of the 3 R's is "re-use"! Glad to see these heirlooms finally getting some love! I'll think twice before turning my nose up at any free dolls that cross my path.

bekathwia (author)2016-10-08

Ahhh creepy cuuuute!

TheCoffeeDude (author)2016-10-08

I am so tempted to make a bunch of these and pose them around the neighborhood this Halloween.

Gursimran Singh 425 (author)2016-10-07

OMG! These look horrible enough to scare me (I just watched annabelle) Your art is really appreciable :-)

nell137 (author)2016-10-07

These look great! I made a display a few years ago with 2 zombie dolls eating a third (tore her stomach open & used caulking for the guts!) Then my husband knocked it over & broke the porcelain dolls :(

wold630 (author)nell1372016-10-07

That sounds awesome! I would have loved to see it all set up.

ZombieWorkshop (author)2016-10-07

Perfect to replace the gnomes in the garden

wold630 (author)ZombieWorkshop2016-10-07


About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator, and Etsy shop owner. I also can't stop ... More »
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