Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I've been testing out different accessories for the American Girl Dolls that might be fun and somewhat easy for young girls to make.  Here is a little puppy and his doggy bed that I made out of an up cycled TIDE detergent bottle.  I just cut the bottom off, and hot glued fabric bias binding around the rough edges.  I made a little pillow and stuffed it with polyester fiberfil.  I found the little doggy pattern on a german website with all the instructions in german.  But all you really need is the pattern.  The next one I make I think I will shorten the little doggy so he will fit better into the bed.  All in all, I think he would be cute and fun for an American Girl doll lover to play with!  This craft would be too difficult for a child because there is a lot of sewing, but the dog bed might be a possibility.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

American Girl Doll Fire Pit

Today I made a fire pit for an American Girl Doll.  I found a candleholder at Goodwill that I spray painted bronze.  I made the fire out of felt, stitched it up and stuffed it just a little to give it form.  Then, I hot glued pebbles around the fire and added some sticks I found in the yard.  I found this idea on Pinterest.  I think it is the perfect accessory for your dolls to pretend that they are making Smores!

Monday, May 20, 2013

American Girl Doll Knitted Halter Top

I just finished making the "Sunshine Halter" knitted halter top pattern sold by Liberty Jane patterns and designed by 123 Mulberry Street. It was so easy and quick to knit up.  And, it fits the American Girl doll or any 18" doll perfectly!  I changed the pattern slightly by making an I-cord to tie around the neck instead of the braid that was called for.  I picked up this cute yarn at my local Goodwill in a huge bag for only $3.93 for 15 skeins!
Now, I'm off to make another one.............

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BENEATH THE SURFACE - Teen Summer Reading Program 2013

I never quite know how my ideas will turn out.  But, I'll have to say this one turned out exactly how I imagined it.

Our Summer Reading Program at the library starts the end of May.  The theme for the Teen Program is "BENEATH THE SURFACE".  I thought it would be cool to make a mermaid tail looking like it was diving into the water.  It's makes you wonder what she looks like and what IS beneath the surface.

I decided to make my mermaid's tail out of paper mache.

I've found that the easiest thing to use to make paper mache is wallpaper paste and old newspapers.  I bought this paste from Home Depot about 6 years ago and it's still going strong.  It cost about $5. and I imagine if you were to make your own paper mache out of flour and water, you'd have to buy about $5. worth of flour anyway.  It's easy to clean and no mold.

I started by forming the shape I wanted out of chicken wire.  (from Home Depot as well)  I wired the edges together, bunched it together at the top just below where I wanted the fin to start and formed it in the shape I wanted.

Then, I started tearing paper and dipping into the wallpaper paste.  Cover the entire surface with the paper mache and be sure to smooth down the edges.  To quicken the drying process, I sometimes use a hair dryer.

Mermaid tail completely covered with the newspaper paper mache.

I next use Gesso (from Dick Blick) to paint over the newsprint.  The gesso will keep the newsprint from bleeding through your top coat of paint.  It is not mandatory, it just gives you a nice base to start painting on.

Here are the colors I pulled out from my watercolors and acrylics.  I also found this package of glitter from the Dollar Store.  I knew it would come in handy sometime.

And here it is after I completed painting the tail.  It has glitter sprinkled on it randomly and just glistens.  I used mostly watercolor paint.  I rubbed slightly to blend the colors and when I did, I noticed that the outline of the chicken wire started to show through.  That was perfect, because it looks like scales.  Yea for surprises!!

I painted a little sign to  add to the top of the bookcases "Beneath the Surface" out of scrap cardboard.
I hope you'll try paper mache sometime.  It is so much fun and it is a very cost efficient way to make props for the library!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Today I made Saige an Artist's Smock.  The American Girl Store sells accessories for Saige which include an easel, canvases, paints and brushes but NO smock.  So, I figured every artist needs a smock........and a tie-dyed kerchief.............and a palette..........with paint dabs.   These are now in my new etsy shop, IT'S A DOLL'S WORLD.   

I read the two Saige books last week and I have to admit that I really liked them!  They are sweet stories about family, girls' relationships and growing up.  Saige lives in New Mexico.  When I was in 4th grade we were assigned to write about a state.  I chose New Mexico.  I even got a letter back from the governor at that time!  Saige loves to paint and has a close relationship with her grandmother.  I am a pastel and watercolor painter as well.   So I have enjoyed making clothes and accessories for Saige.  Check out some of my creations.............

I tie-dyed this fabric sheet in 1995 while living in Denver.  I made roman shades out of it at the time.  I still have some of the left over fabric............I knew it would come in handy sometime.

Saige's paint palette is made out of craft foam.  I just dabbed some paint on to look like she has been painting.

The paint brush and the box of paints actually belong to a set I bought for my daughter's doll, Samantha, about 20 years ago.

I decided to splatter some paint on one of the artist smocks that I made.  I think it looks more realistic.

I found the easel and small canvas at Joann's

Here is a trio of skinny jeans I made using a Liberty Jane pattern.  I used denim with spandex.  I love how they turned out!  They have four working pockets, mock fly, elastic in the waist and fit the dolls so cute!

Here's a little top I made using a SchoolHouse pattern.  It is such a simple pattern that it would be a great choice to use to teach your daughter how to sew.  I love the little ruffle on the bottom and it fits perfectly!  It closes in the back with velcro and has matching capris if you want to make them as well.