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Nightstand Turned 18″ Doll Closet Tutorial

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Learn how to turn a nightstand into a Doll Closet. This post contains several other 18″ American Girl Doll Tutorials.

nightstand turned American Girl 18" doll closet
This is my second in a series post about recycling/repurposing clothing and other items for use with an American Girl or 18″ Doll. You will also enjoy Mattress & Sheets for a Doll Bunk Bed, an American Girl Doll Hawaiian Muu Muu, 18″ Doll Twister Game, American Girl Doll Candy Corn Dress, or an American Girl Elf on the Shelf Outfit.
 

I was at a garage sale several months ago and I saw 2 wooden nightstands for $5 each. I snatched them up because the were very sturdy and had lots of life left in them. My daughter’s room is not very big so I was not sure what I would do with them at first. After some thought, I decided to turn them into a closet for doll clothes. Here are the instructions for making an inexpensive doll closet.

How to Make a Doll Closet

Step 1– Get an old nightstand with sides and drill a hole in each side for a dowel rod.

Nightstand into Doll Closet drill hole

Glue the dowel rod in place.

Nightstand into Doll Closet put in dowel

Step 2– Prime & paint the closet.

Nightstand into Doll Closet paint 

Step 3– Decorate the knobs. We went through my old earrings and my daughter picked out this pair. I removed the wire and glued them onto the existing knob.

Nightstand into Doll Closet apply fancy knob

Step 4– Hang clothes & fill the drawers!

Nightstand 18" American Girl Doll Closet

I gave the 2nd nightstand (with the dowel already in place) to a friend and she painted it pink to match her daughter’s room and added some wooden knobs (painted white) that she picked up cheap at the store. We both used leftover wall paint for our respective closets.

Nightstand American Girl Doll Closet

Recycle Skorts into 18″ Doll Dress Tutorial

This is another in a series post about recycling/repurposing clothing and other items for use with an American Girl or 18″ Doll.

My daughter has been showing more interest in her American Girl doll lately so I’ve decided to get her another 18″ doll for her birthday. With 2 dolls she’s going to want more doll stuff. I enjoy sewing & craft projects so I’ve decided to make stuff for the dolls myself. I came up with this idea of recycling clothing items into doll clothes when we were assessing my daughter’s clothes the other day. My first project was taking 3 tier knit skorts and turning them into a dress or skirt. No gathering, no pulling through elastic, just a few easy steps!

Step 1– Cut the shorts out of the skorts and then cut up the seam. I was able to get 2 out of these 4T skorts.

Step 2– Sew the edges together. I serged mine and discovered that it’s better to start with the elastic end.

Step 3– Turn inside out and add ribbon for dress ties or just leave it as a skirt for the doll.

This halter style ribbon was stitched on the inside of the elastic so it would be easy to tuck it in and use it as a skirt. Now I need to give a friend of mine an apology as we usually give her my daughter’s hand-me-downs, but now they are all a basket of upcycle ideas!

Top turned into an American Girl Doll Sundress

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about recycling/repurposing clothing
and other items for use with an American Girl or 18″ Doll. Here is a fun clothing upcycle.

I started out with this summery top sized 4T.

I cut down the side seams and came up with these 2 pieces.

Then I surged the seam closed on each.

I cut away some of the fabric on the front piece to create this sundress. Very unique.

I added a white ribbon to the other dress.

This was a fun & easy upcycled project. Have you done anything like this for your dolls?

Doll Fairy Wings Tutorial by Stephanie

In honor of the American Girl Giveaway that starts tomorrow, I’m excited to be guest blogging over here at Diana Rambles with a fun doll fairy wings tutorial!  I am Stephanie, from The TipToe Fairy.  To tell you a little about me…I love cooking, baking crazy cupcake flavors, sewing, and all kinds of craftiness.
 

I have two girls, so we have a rather large collection of American Girl dolls, Waldorf dolls, and lots of other dolls. Buying clothing and accessories for them can get rather expensive, so I prefer to make a lot of them. Making clothes for doll is so much fun! You can let your imagination go wild and make almost anything. I love to make fantasy playwear for my girls’ dolls like mermaid tails, fairy dress, tutus, and fairy wings.

It really is very easy to do without a pattern. Plus, it’s so much cheaper than going to the American Girl store.

This tutorial will show you an easy way to make fairy wings! These fit perfectly on an American Girl doll or other 18-inch dolls. They are also fit well on 15-20 inch sized Waldorf dolls as well. I recommend using cotton wovens for the easiest wings to make. But, if you feel adventurous and aren’t a novice, go with something fun! Since it is important to go with natural fibers for Waldorf dolls, I love to use hemp silk or dupioni silk to make wings. They come out really lovely!

These instructions explain how to make custom-fit wings by measuring and drawing your own wings. This way you can make wings for any size doll.  I have also included a pattern template at the bottom of this tutorial to fit American Girl dolls and other 18 inch dolls.  You can skip step 1 if you are simply using the pattern.

Fairy Wings for Dolls – Tutorial

Materials:
Pattern – get it here
2 fat quarters of the same fabric
1 18 x 21 size HeatnBond lite
1 18 x 21 size of Peltex or Timtex
1/8 inch ribbon or 1/4 inch elastic for attachment to the doll
Ribbons/flowers, etc. for decorating
A thread that closely matches the 2 fat quarters
Glue gun

1. If you are making these wings for any other size doll, you will need to measure for your wings.  If you are making this for an 18-inch doll like American Girl, just print and cut out the pattern.  Measure your doll – first the width and second, the length by measuring diagonal to how far out you want the wings to be. For Amy, her width is 6 inches and length is 7 inches.

2. Take the 2 fat quarters and open them up flat with the wrong side up.  Take the fat quarter size of your fusible webbing (Heat n Bond Lite) and iron it to one of the fabrics.  Then take the fat quarter size of Peltex/Timtex and iron it to the other fabric piece.  Remove the backing for the fusible webbing and put the two fabrics with the fusible webbing facing the Peltex together and iron the fusible webbing to it.

**You don’t have to use the webbing, but I like to because it makes a better bond to together than just using the fleece.

3. If you made the custom wing size, draw out 1 wing.  Then, cut it out.  Take the paper backing you just removed from the fusible webbing, and fold it in half, and trace the wing so that you form a pattern piece with a full set of wings, and cut out.

If you are using the pattern below for your American Girl size doll, then print it and cut it out.  Then, take the paper backing you just removed from the fusible webbing, fold it in half and trace and cut out your full set of wings.

4.  Take your new full set of wings and lightly trace it with a pencil or tailor’s chalk, or invisible marker on one side of the fabric.  If you feel lucky, you can attempt using a small rotary cutter without tracing.  I find this to be hard because of the tight curves.

5.  Cut the wings out, leaving a small 1/4 inch sewing allowance on the edge.  We will cut this off later.

6.  Try to use a thread as close to the color of the wings, it makes for a more professional look.  Using a zigzag stitch, sew a satin stitch around the entire wings, just inside your tracing.

My sewing machine is a Bernina, and I put my stitch width on 0.5 and stitch length on 2. You might need to adjust yours if you have a different machine.

Also, this is a fairly small stitch.  Like applique, you do not want a wide zigzag stitch, it will show flaws.

7. Slowly cut around the entire wings to just at the zigzag. Be very careful not to cut threads. Applique scissors make it easy to get very close.

8. I did not take a picture of sewing the ribbon straps on. Here is a picture of the elastic straps.  I have found through making a lot of these, I prefer the elastic because it requires no ties.  Below method A is the ribbon ties and method B is elastic.

A. RIBBONS: On the front side (the side against the doll’s back that is NOT pictured) attach 1/8 inch ribbons vertically. Measure out approximately 1.5 inches on either side from the middle of the wings.  This will make the ribbons 3 inches apart total.  Make sure your wings are laying vertically up and down, then lay each one out vertically on the wings, too.  Then, attach each one with a small tack stitch, about 1/4 inch long.
 
B. ELASTIC:  Cut two pieces of 1/8 inch approximately 4.5 inches in length.  Measure out approximately 1.5 inches on either side from the middle of the wings.  This will make the elastics 3 inches apart total.  Cross over the raw ends (leave a little extra you can snip off and tack them down with a zigzag stitch about 1/4 inch as shown in the picture.  Then, cut off excess elastic edges.
9.  The fun part!  Now take the glue gun and attach fun stuff to the back of the wings – flowers, ribbons, pretty little felt things, button, etc.  Go wild and make them your own!
And you’re done!!

You can get the pattern to print out HERE on my blog.

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