About



- Hilary Jean Tapper is a dollmaker, illustrator and filmmaker based between Christchurch, New Zealand and Byron Bay, Australia. She is currently studying her Masters in Arts Therapy, teaching dollmaking and creative wellbeing classes, and creating dolls and illustrations which travel across the world. She is a lover of gardens, quietness, long forest wanders, reading, drawing and making little cloth people.

Follow Hilary on instagram @hilaryjeantapper to see her daily creations and inspirations.


"Hilary Jean Tapper works meticulously to handcraft dolls as precious works of art and as well as a means for healing."

Courage Dolls featured in the latest Latitude Magazine - click here to see the article.


The Press & Stuff.co.nz Article

"I woke up one morning and decided to make a doll ... she gave me so much life, and hope. She was just beautiful, it was a creative resurgence in my life."

Full article & video click here



Radio Interview with Rachel Haselden & Hilary Jean Tapper on 'Women's Lives, Women's Stories'

To Listen Click Here



Necessary Traditions Opening Ceremony: PechaKucha Presentation with Hilary Jean Tapper

To listen and watch Hilary's Pechakucha, Click Here


Maker's Magazine Feature, Issue 4: Women

"This doll represents the natural inner beauty of womanhood. She stands for unconditional love and unwavering inner strength. She is made from cotton and wool, natural materials to connect and harmonize her beholder to the planet around her. Her gaze is resolute and simple, she is powerful by being exactly who she is." 



Breathe Magazine, Issue 3

"Created with love, Khadil (pronounced "cuddle") dolls [now Courage Dolls] inspire adventure, imagination and connection with a sustainable way of life. Each unique doll is handcrafted using all natural materials and makes a simple but sweet addition to any home or as a gift to a loved child."



Daphne's Diary, 02/2018

"Two years ago I realised I had lost touch with my hands as my creative expression. I was doing all my art on the computer and was feeling quite stressed as a result! When I read the book, 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron, it woke me up and inspired me to start painting, drawing and sewing again.

I am a seeker of beauty and harmony, and feel that my dolls carry this energy. They are made from beautiful natural materials and made sustainably by hand and a foot-treadle Singer sewing machine. They inspire us to recognize and celebrate our individual natural beauty and empower us to live in harmony with our heart and our planet.

I have spent a lot of time in India and during my travels I witnessed the making of hand-woven and hand-block printed fabrics. I like to use these stunning handmade fabrics for my dolls as they are so unique, and made self-sufficiently by empowered human hands.

I dream of illustrating children's books with stories of self-empowerment, teaching workshops that help us to heal and transform through creating, and will keep creating dolls to inspire girls and women towards their dreams."


Felt Monthly Maker Feature with Hilary Jean Tapper

To read the Feature, Click Here


Dollmaker's Blog Feature

To read the Article, Click Here