Sunday, September 18, 2011

Doll shoes with a purpose, you have to see these and make some other little girls dreams come true!

I happened upon a fantastic doll shoe shop on Etsy that does more for shoes and sandals for our dolls then any other shop I know.. The designer and creator of the shop and shoes is Dena of Dena's Doll Designs
More remarkable then the shoes and the prices she charges for her designs is what Dena does with the money she makes from selling her doll shoes on Etsy. Dena uses her doll shop as a project her "doll clothes ministry" as she calls it an ALL of her proceeds go to buy dolls for girls who would otherwise never afford them." There is something special about a girl and her doll--they form a lifelong bond--especially if it is a much-dreamed of doll! I am excited to announce that I am getting close to my first donation and am working on a fabulous wardrobe to go along with the doll"

Dena shared with me some of her back ground information and her is her story in her own words...

"I've been sewing doll clothes since I was about five years old. It is the medium through which I learned to sew and I've always held a fondness for it. I am one of those people who do a million crafts (everything from colored pencil portraits to stained glass to making dollhouse miniatures to quilting to cross-stitch, you ge the idea!) and I've found my free time severely limited since I've had children. When my oldest was about a year, a girl at church approached me and asked if I'd teach her how to sew. We started with bean bags and pillows but she was really interested in doll clothes. Her dolls were "cold" as winter was approaching and they had no long pants or coats to wear. We fixed them up, and a ministry idea was hatched.

I had another child and therefore no time, but once he started to get close to a year old I found myself wanting a creative outlet and my doll clothes ministry idea was hatched late one night as I was waiting on the Lord. I had planned to make some doll clothes and buy American Girl dolls to go with them to give away to children (like my friend from church) who badly wanted dolls but whose parents could never afford them. God layed it on my heart that I could make a few extra things, sell them, and use the money to buy even more dolls for girls. Little did I know what I was getting myself in to! Welcome to Dena's Doll Designs on Etsy.

I've always been one to say "I bet I could do that!" and right away I realized that shoes and socks were a problem. I began researching how to make doll shoes and found very little out there. I combined some techniques I saw as well as many I just gleaned from my crafty background and ended up with a pretty realistic-looking sandal. I began experimenting with different designs and my Etsy site quickly moved from clothes and a few shoes to shoes and a few clothes.

My little friend from church has moved on, but she'll be getting a suprise package in September of a new winter outfit or two for her doll, and I am working on some other sets of clothes to pair with dolls I plan to purchase soon. I am working on hand-picking a few deserving girls through the school district's homeless coordinator, some teacher friends, and the social services department. It's just my little way of giving back and being creative in the process.

My children are still young (one and three) so I don't have a ton of time to work, but I do have lots of ideas. Stay tuned this fall and winter for boots and other shoes. I'll know I've really arrived when I can make a realistic pair of running shoes!"

I can not wait to get my shoes, I love knowing that the purchase I have made is going to such a good cause and one I believe in strongly. Growing up my parents were foster parents and we had more then 40 children through our doors, watching them bond with a toy or a doll, was a great step in their recovery and brought them such comfort.
I would like to think we all do what we can to give back where we can, to do small or large acts of kindness in our own way. Doing what we can to make our communities that much better. I hope this story and shop inspires you to do random acts of kindness in your own lives. I also hope you will visit Dena's shop and remember your purchases go a long way to help some very special people. If you would like to make your own doll shoes, Dena has a pattern for sale you can purchase here at
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at


  1. Such an inspiring story. It gives me some ideas about giving back, especially with the Christmas season around the corner. Thanks for the article!

  2. This is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing Karen.

  3. Fabric high heels are normally flimsy and tacky looking. Another more authentic method is to use polymer clay. This method will allow you to shape your doll's shoes to a perfect fit and be made in whatever style and color you wish.