DIY Tutorial: Dol Go Ims

While many modern dolsang table display do not showcase go-ims anymore, I find that many moms like to use them to add personalization to their event decor. Following is a go im DIY tutorial, one of many tutorials to come. it's actually updated from one that i wrote a while back on the Meli & Angi blog, but with some new materials suggestions.

Photo: Elizabeth + RIch

Photo: Elizabeth + RIch

There are a variety of materials used to make go-ims. You can always find alternatives so don’t fret if you are missing one or two of the items below. We made three different types - 1) mentos, 2) rice puffs / red beans, and 3) M&Ms.


  • Bounty paper towel roll
  • 8.5 x 11" printer paper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Mentos OR Rice puffs w/Red beans OR M&Ms

Go-im bases

The go-im bases are rolls of paper towels covered them with plain printer paper. Wrap it tight around the bounty plastic and tape down so the roll stays sturdy.

If you want to show your child's Korean name, a character/zodiac animal, or "chook dol," scale the image onto 8.5"x11" printer paper and glue over it. Below is our template for "chook dol." Print "fit to page" if you plan to make this go-im.

Note: If you want to keep the go-ims for posterity, you'll probably never get to use the paper towels underneath, but they do hold up very well for years.

An alternative to paper towel rolls are cardboard cylinders/tubing from Home Depot or other supply stores, but the paper towels are a manageable size and probably something you already have in your home. You can also make go-ims in different heights to add a nice variety to the display. To make a shorter one, just use a roll of toilet tissue or an old coffee tin.

gol-im template.jpg

Gluing the puffs/candy

Everything needs to be glued on with a 

hot glue gun 

because it won't stick with any other glue. Elmers is too wet and will soak through the rice puffs & paper. Glue stick is too weak to hold the heavy candies. Heavy duty glue dots are an option, but you'd need A LOT to cover the whole roll.

Go Ims made from M&Ms and rice puffs / red beans  Photo: Chris Son

Go Ims made from M&Ms and rice puffs / red beans

Photo: Chris Son

Rice Puffs & Red Beans

First glue on the red beans along the outline and Korean characters

To fill in the characters and outlining, I used Korean rice puffs which look like little rice krispies. (You can find these at any Korean supermarket). 

For the nose in the tiger go-im above, I used a pink Mentos cut in half. (You can also use a pink jelly bean or other little pink candy).

Note: These go-ims took a very long time because the little rice puffs are so tiny. However, I prefer the way the rice puffs look. Several people have borrowed my go-im with the rice puffs afterwards so I feel like the time put in was well worth it.

As an alternative to the rice puffs, you can use black and white goya beans. If you are short on time, this is a better option because they take up more surface area. You can also spray paint the goya beans to match your party colors.

Candy go-ims

I used Mentos and M&Ms come in various colors and since there is a candy shell, you don't have to worry about the glue melting through to the center. The candies were glued on freehand since they fit together like puzzle pieces. However, if you want to make a pattern like flowers or diagonals, you can draw guidelines on the paper before gluing.

Tip: If you are going to use Mentos, be sure to use only the chewy mint candy (NOT gum) because the Mentos gum has a different shape and is not as smooth and round like the mints.

As an alternative to Mentos, M&Ms and spray painted goya beans, you can also use beads (from your local craft store).

I hope this post has been helpful for all the DIY moms out there. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or post a comment here.

Happy crafting!