Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Make your doll her own skipping rope! A recycled craft!

The other day I had to replace the laces in my sons shoe and I really did not like the idea of throwing it away. So I decided to make a doll sized skipping and thought I would share with you how to do it.
I used an old shoe lace and some pink yard. I also used two wooden beads I had on hand that looked like handles to me, you can use a drinking straw if you do not have beads you can use. I braided the shoe lace with pink yarn and taped both ends making my own "agglet". The tape makes it really easy to slide the string into the bead. Once throw knot on both ends and you have your own doll sized skipping rope. I used clear elastics to have my doll hold her skipping rope.
**If you are using a straw for the handles you need to have a very thin shoe lace.**
If you can find the beads ( I used wooden ones) you could easily do this as a birthday party craft for dolls.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, May 30, 2011

Something different for Memorial Day

Most of you know that I am a Canadian, living in Canada. While we do not celebrate Memorial day as our American cousins do( we have Remembrance day in November on the 11) I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know about some great programs in your area.
  I think in this day and age we are all a part of the bigger picture and our accountability to each other transcends borders. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about some  great charities and organizations that help families with young girls and families like yours both here in Canada and in the USA. There are several conflicts that governments around the world that have entered into that require the presence of Military Dad's and Moms to leave their families and protect the rights and freedoms our Countries afford us. These dedicated military men and women have families like you and I and their sacrifice and absents are felt very strongly by their loved ones left behind at home.
You may know a military family already or perhaps would like to reach out to families you do not know who have loved ones serving their country.
I met this amazing woman through Etsy her store is called sewcrazyarmywife and she has shared with me the information for the USO and United through Reading programs. Eva aka sewcrazyarmywife also makes amazing outfits for 18 inch dolls and regularly donates to USO charities in her area. To contact the USO directly you can visit
The USO, aside from putting donations to use on site, also have fundraisers, like silent auctions and suchToys and books are always appreciated.

I understand their is another great program called United through Reading, this program  let's deployed soldiers pick a book to read while being dvd recorded and then the book and dvd are sent free of charge to their children. For more information about this program go to http://www.unitedthroughreading.org/
I wanted to highlight these wonderful programs and thought that I would share them with you.

For my Canadian readers much can be done for our military families as well for more information go to

Many girls have 18 inch dolls like the American Girl dolls, Maplelea Dolls, Our Generation or Springfield Dolls. If you happen to find a doll to rescue at your local thrift store or yard sale I would like to challenge you to pick one up, make over the doll and perhaps donate her to your local USO or hold a doll auction at your school or "house of worship"and donate the money to the Charity of your choice.
If you do this please let me know, send me a email and photo so I can feature your story here on my blog.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com
This outfit above  and more available from sewcrazyarmywife's store

To visit sewcrazyarmywife's store click here http://www.etsy.com/shop/sewcrazyarmywife?ref=pr_shop_more

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A great lootbag craft idea I got from Dollarstorecrafts.com

A few months ago I found this amazing site called http://dollarstorecrafts.com/ .
I recommend it  highly! They had a post on how to make your own personal soap party favors. Oliver my middle son had a birthday party recently and this is a craft I made for his party loot bags. Even if you are not crafty you can do this. Now I know this is not exactly a doll craft so forgive me today for this however I will tell you how to make it doll themed shortly!
they are really so easy to make and I love how these turned out. Oliver is really into Mario brothers and games right now so I was thrilled when my sister Bre-Anne found these temporary tattoos at the party store near her. She mailed them out and I picked up soap at the dollar store 2 bars for $1.25 and the tattos where over $5 a package quite steep however you can pick your temporary tattoos fairly inexpensively in just about any theme.
To make the soaps, you apply the tattoo the way you would to skin, then when it has dried, wrap it in cling wrap. *** A tip I learned the hard way, the lighter the soap color the better the tattoo shows up!***
Now how to make it doll theme related.....
The above is a site you can purchase ink jet printer tattoo paper, this means you can make your  own American Girl themed tattoos by getting this paper and cutting and pasting images of your dolls or google images of the dolls in a word document and formatting them  to the size you want and simply print, follow the instructions above and you will have your own doll themed or any theme for that matter soap.

I also made candy on a stick  to hand out at his party I bought 10 bags of candy at the dollar store and put one of each on the stick. They looked great and I think everyone was happy with them.
Oliver enjoying the candy stick after his birthday party!
The candy on a stick is a bamboo stick with ten pieces of candy on it, wrapped in plastic and tied with a twist tie. A big hit and great savings on loot bag candy, ten bags of candy made 20 candy stick treats.

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Doll sized Dental Health! A party store Gem!

I am so excited to share with you this Party store gem. We just had a party store open in our area called Party Packagers. They have an amazing selection of items, and as you know I just love to re purpose found items for dolls and this one made me so happy!!!! This set for $1.99 contained two doll sized tooth brushes, a doll sized tooth paste, soap bottle and two tiny cups (which do not really work. but I will re purpose again for something else.)

 I beyond love these! To get my doll to hold these for the photo I used clear elastics which I got a my local dollar store.
These would make a great accessory for any doll lover. They would also be outstanding in a lootbag as a party favor especially for a sleep over doll themed party!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another great Dollar store Gem! Birth Stone Earrings for Dolls!

I love finding great deals and love it even more when I find great doll themed items for such a great price. At my dollar store I found these "earrings" for dolls they are peel and stick earrings that you can use safely for your dolls.
This is a really great deal because you get 24 pairs of earrings for $1.25. These would make a great addition to any doll wardrobe and would be fantastic in a loot bag. Best part there are two pairs for each month so a pair for you and a pair for your doll. When the gems become less sticky you can add a glue dot so you can reuse them.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy First Birthday to my niece Thea!

Today is a double post, it is my niece Thea's birthday and she has wanted to get her hands on an 18 inch doll like her sister since she was old enough to sit up. This morning I gave her her own Springfield doll, (who's hair I tied back before giving to her). As you can see by the photo she was thrilled,she has not let it go since.
As I baby sit Thea three days a week she is constantly surrounded by dolls here and at home with her Big Sister Laura, so now she has her own. I did give Laura her doll Soccer dolly on her 1st birthday so I have continued the tradition with Thea.
I hope you are having a great day where you are!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com and be sure to check out my weekly  Friday column at http://dolldiaries.com/

Repurpose a curio cabinet for a stylish doll China Cabinet

It is garage sale season where I live and I happened upon this great find for $5. I repurposed it to hold my doll and child sized tea sets. I am so thrilled to have somewhere to display my treasures between uses when my nieces visit.
Even closed I love the way it looks.  I often find great deals like this and I know you can too, You could paint yours to match any decor but I thought I would keep mine the way I bought it.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A doll sized bench 70% at Michaels a great deal!

This was a find I found a while back, this great doll sized bench from Michaels the craft store. I found it a while back for $29.99, I personally think that was way too much to pay for it. So I waited a few weeks and Micheals had it 70% off. Which is a much better price for doll furniture.  It is large enough to snugly fit two 18 inch dolls on. 
This is an a example of another re purposed item that is perfect for dolls. 

My dear friend NickiG from  http://bynickig.blogspot.com/ 
found this great "table" also at Michaels and as you can see this foot stool makes a great table!
I really am thrilled to have this bench and will keep my eyes open at Michaels for more deals like this one.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Make your own wire doll hangers!

This post is from one of my blog followers and friends  the fabulous NikiG, who's blog is
She has made the most fantastic doll hangers using florist wire from the dollar store and push pins! I am always looking for more storage and places to hand the doll clothes I have made. These are perfect!
First on a piece of wood  measure out your "hanger" diameter with a ruller and mark the bottom 7 inches and the sides each 5 inches, place three thumb tacks at the triangle points.

Using the wire cutters and a pair of needle nose pliers wrap your wire around the points leaving enough to make the hook at the top, wrap the wire around the neck of the hanger cut at the length you would like and There you have it your own doll hangers!
I am going to make a bunch of these for my own collection but I think these would make a wonderful  gift to give to someone for their doll. Perhaps a great Christmas gift! I am getting started already!
Thank you NikiG for this fantastic idea!

I made my own from Floral wire I got at the dollar store I used 16 and 18 gauge wire, I think 16 is the best but 18g is easier to mold with your hands. I just drew a 6 inch by 4 inch triangle and molded it with my hands as I did not have a board or thumbtacks handy. I just tried it for fun and now love how this looks. I will buy more wire from the hardware store now as I can get more on a spool for under $10.
I can not wait to make more!

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

A camping set for your doll! A review of the Our Generation camping set.

My fabulous sister Bre-Anne just sent me this camping set for 18 inch dolls that she picked up at Zellers in Quebec. You can buy Our Generation dolls at Target in the USA and Zellers here in Canada. This set is FANTASTIC! Such a great deal. My sister paid $19.99 plus tax for this great set which includes the Tent, sleeping bag, working lamp and cup, kettle,plate and doll food.
My only complaint about this set is it did not come with directions on how to put the tent together.
The tent took me some serious time to put together and was frustrating as I am not a camper and really had no idea how to get this together so I looked at the photos and 30 minutes later the tent was up. (This is why in real life I do not camp)
This tent is perfect for all 18 inch dolls. You can comfortably sit two dolls in this tent and 4 in each corner for a very cozy tent.
I love that the dolls can fit inside and really think they have done a great job creating this camping set.
The lamp really works, the cup and other accessories are a bit small for American Girl dolls hands but the Lamp takes the cake!
The sleeping bag fits with the doll diagonally in the tent and I beyond love this set. You can take it apart and store it flat but after the trouble I went to getting it together mine will stay up for the mean time.
I love this set and totally recommend it for a gift or for your personal collection.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Make your doll a summery tank top with a free pattern from Liberty Jane

I have been sewing doll clothes since October 2010 and my sewing has benefited greatly by the amazing patterns available from Liberty Jane. I am a visual learner and an impatient crafter and the patterns available for sale and for free on Liberty Jane are fast and easy to follow. Photos for almost every step really has given me the confidence to create many great looks for dolls but also the confidence to start and continue this blog. My goal is to purchase every Liberty Jane patter and try them this year. I have bought 4 now and have also enjoyed the free patterns offered on their site. They are perfect for beginners. I love the Tank top the most. 
I made the one in the above photo for a swap on Swap-bot for my partners doll. The tank tops are a great addition to all doll wardrobes.
If you are on facebook I recommend liking Liberty Jane as you will get notifications about their newest patterns and contests.

The patterns on this site are way easier to follow then any other commercial patterns you would buy at the store and you can down load them to your computer print them yourself and use them over and over again.The patterns are so affordable under $4 each.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Scones with Butter Cream icing

I have the good fortune of baking allot and sharing with others so I thought I would share one of my famous scone recipes.
Apple Cinnamon Scones with Butter Cream icing, is a recipe I created for the wedding of Will and Kate. I had actually done the scones for a long time but added the icing and now there is no going back.
Scone recipe
3 cups of all purpose flour
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of apple sauce or other fruit puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 tsps of baking powder
1/3 cup of milk
1/2 cup of shortening ( I use lard really I do) or margarine
1 grated apple or chopped small
In a bowl place the flour, sugars, baking powder,cinnamon and apple. Mix. add your shortening and mix until it is like bread crumbs.Add egg, milk, apple sauce and vanilla mix, mixture should be thick and wet. Scoop spoonfuls on to a cookie sheet in your desired size. Bake until golden brown. about 12-15 minutes at 400F
While the scones are baking make your icing.
Icing Recipe
1/2 cup of margarine or shortening
3 cups of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 tsp of milk
Mix all the above ingredient together if you like a thinner icing add more milk to the mixture.
Once the scones have been removed from the oven place a dollop of icing on top of each scone.

Cinnamon Topping recipe
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp of white sugar
Mix together and sprinkle over the icing topped scones.

Now for Doll sized Treats available on Etsy
These doll sized scones are available from the Etsy shop MinnieKitchen
For only $9. Such a great deal. Check out her shop on Etsy.

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Make your own doll hairstyling cape and hair care kit

I love making things for the dolls that I see in the American Girl doll catalog and putting my own spin on them. I made this hairstyling cape for a birthday gift and put it together with some great dollar store Gems to create my own Hair Care kit for dolls at a fraction of the cost of the one in the AG catalog.
To make the cape I used a scrap of fabric made of acetate which is what the one in the catalog is made out of, you can use any on hand fabric. I also used a package of bias tape to finish the look. I made mine out of a 13X13 inch square cut on the fold  I recommend 10X10 if you are going to make one as mine is a bit long. If you follow the directions bellow you can easily make these for your doll. I used a zig zag stitch for the bias tape.
To finish the neck, I left 12 inches of bias tape on either side to be later used as the ties.
Next I paired it with some great dollar store gems like curlers, a ready made makeup bag and spray bottle for styling (ONLY USE WATER and mist the dolls hair lightly when styling) I tied a matching ribbon on the zipper as the zipper pull and added the cape for a really fun and inexpensive personally made gift. You can add your own wire dollar store brush like the ones I created for the birthday party in a past post to finish this great birthday gift.

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Doll I-pods another Dollar Store Gem Find!

I love dollar stores, how did we ever live with out them? I found these I pod erasers while I was visiting my sister in Montreal, Quebec, they had a great dollar store at her local mall. It was called Dollarama. I found these erasers that easily double as doll accessories for $1 a package. 

These would make a perfect addition to any doll loot bag or party favor and are the perfect accessory for the doll on the go! Dolls can hold these easily with the aide of a flesh tone elastic.
As with all my posts please feel free to leave me a comment or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com
If you have trouble locating this item or any other items in my posts from your local dollar or party stores contact me and I would be happy to source them for you and sell them to you from my Etsy account.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Doll shower caps another great dollar store Gem!

I have had these for a while and thought I would share it with you. My dollar store carries the most adorable "kitchen covers" that are great re-purposed as Shower caps for 18 inch dolls. Modeled aboce by Brianne and Samantha my rescued dolls from Sally Anne thrift store (Salvation Army thrift stores in Canada).
The price is $1.25 for a package of 10 in various sizes. I found them in "Lemon and Cherry" patterned, in the kitchen section of the Dollar store.
They also a great paired with my bath tub which was purchased for me from Zellers here in Canada (you can get them at Target in the USA) thanks to my sister Bre-Anne and Nieces Trinity, Cadence and Hannah for Christmas. For bubbles I used quilting batting in case you are curious. If you are unable to track down these "shower caps" let me know and I would be happy to arrange to send you one through my Etsy store.

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Making Robes for dolls using a great and easy pattern!

I recently did a  fun doll "spa themed" party for a client the client requested doll robes for all the girls dolls in attendance so I set to work using using a pattern I bought from the address below on these fun robes. 
http://www.etsy.com/shop/preciouspatterns .I highly recommend the pattern. It was a very easy pattern and I loved the results. If you are just starting out sewing this is a great pattern to start with and it includes the robe pattern as well as pants, shirt, jacket and skirt for $3.99. If you do not see the pattern there request it from the shop owners and they will re post it, it is an email PDF pattern and there is no shipping you can print and get started right away.

For this pattern I chose fleece material I bought will on my trip from a wonderful store called Jo-Anne's fabric, oh how I wish we had that store here in Canada! I bought pink, green and teal blue to match the ribbon I bought before I left from Michael's the craft store. I also bought extra wide bias tape to complete the trip around the robe.
 These were so much fun to make I am going to make a bunch more for my Etsy shop and for Christmas next year!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me  a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Doll Rescue! I found a Maplelea Doll at the Thrift Store

This makes my day to share with you this great find. On my birthday I went to a few thrift stores with my sister in law Janeen. I was so thrilled to find another 18 inch doll to rescue!

This one is a Maplelea Doll which if you are unfamiliar with  is Canada's version of the American Girl Doll. The Maplelea dolls are $99.99 in the catalog and their are only 5 types of dolls. When I got mine home I was thrilled to discover that I had Brianne, I think this is funny because I have a sister named Bre-Anne who also has blond hair and blue eyes like this doll.
 This doll was only $6.99! Such a savings from the orig. catalog price of $99.99! (Plus shipping)
When I found the doll in the bottom of the toy bin at our local Salvation Army I was over the moon. She was very dirty and needed a good clean and brushing. She does have a stain on her arm that I have not been able to remove but from here on out that is just her birthmark and we will leave it as is. I am thrilled to have found my own Maplelea doll espcially for the price as when I make doll clothes for my clients who have Maplelea Dolls I do not have to worry about borrowing one to fit the close on as they are slightly different in size.

*Dispite being 18 inches tall not all 18 inch dolls are sized the same for clothing. The Maplelea doll has longer thinner arms, legs and feet. I am thrilled with how Brianne turned out and she looks great modeling one of the dresses avalible from my Etsy Store.
This was a wonderful find made even more wonderful by the fact I found her on my birthday!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Doll Skin-care Kit

I was asked to make doll skin-care kits for party favors for a birthday party I recently did. The catalog  price of $18 seems really steep. So I set off to make my own less expensive one and thought I would share it with you. I used broad cloth and a stretchy elastic as a closer, included two baby sized face cloths, a round make up sponge and made a hair band like the one in the catalog out of 12 inches of  1/2 inch Elastic.
I used an over sized birthday card envelope as my pattern. The envelope measured 9 inches by 5.5 inches.

I cut three rectangles this size out of black broad cloth. I folded and ironed one in half. This one is for the pockets. I did a basting stitch along the folded edge. Taking one of the other pieces I placed the raw edge of the piece I sewed for the pocket and matched it with the bottom of the other piece of  broad cloth, then I did a basting stitch along the bottom to secure it. Next I folded it like a book and ironed it. Then I opened it back up and did a basting stitch along the ironed line to create two pockets. I stitched to the top of the pocket and then did a back stitch to secure it. Next I placed the other piece of broad cloth over top with wrong sides facing out. I pinned the elastic to the right hand side just above the pocket. and then stitched on three sides leaving the bottom open. Then I turned it inside out and folded with my fingers the bottom edges in and iron it. Next I stitched a basting stitch along the  now ironed edge and my Skin care case was complete.
To fill the kit I purchased round make up sponges from Shoppers Drug Mart ( like a Wallgreens for my US friends) 12 for $5.00 and I bought baby face clothes at the dollar store $1.25 for 3. I used Elastic from the dollar store also to creat the hair elastic. Start to finish each skin care kit cost about $3.50 to make.
I am also thinking of picking up some iron on flowers to embellish the fronts of the skin-care kits.

 The above is the kit you can get from American Girl for $18
This is what it looks like closed.
The photo above is of the items I put in the skin/hair care kit for the birthday party I did.
I think these made a really cute party favors and am thinking of making some for my Etsy Store. If you have any questions on how to make one of these please let me know!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com