Today I am going to talk about my favorite American Girl Doll projects.
My sister and I LOVE American Girls! There are so many fun little accessories to play with! There are also so many big toys for purchase. Lea’s Rainforest Hut, Grace’s Bakery, and Maryellen’s Kitchen are just a few. But the problem is that they are extremely expensive, and usually cost more than the dolls themselves. What’s an American Girl to do?
Two years ago, I suggested the idea of a Craft Camp to my super creative aunt, and she organized a fun Summer American Girl Craft Camp. We take fun items that American Girl produces, and add our own flair. Our first year, we made our own versions of Grace’s Bakery, and a camping set. About seven girls attended, including my sister and I. My aunt had designed a simpler version of the bakery, and she helped each girl assemble and staple gun the pieces of wood into a fun bakery! Each girl designed their own bakery name and logo, and we printed it out onto iron-ons and stickers. Everyone painted their bakery, and some added to their roofs a fun shingle scrapbooking paper we had found. We sewed aprons with the logos on them, made banners, signs and bags, and created some adorable doll-sized treats! Pinterest has some great ideas for doll food if you need inspiration.
We also made camping sets that year. We sewed doll tents, crafted s’mores and constructed campfires and lanterns that really light up!
The craft camps were so popular that we did them again the next summer. This time, I had hunted through American Girl catalogues for new doll structures to make. At the beginning of the year, American Girl had come out with the 2017 Girl of the Year, who visits Brazil. They had created a really cool rainforest hut for her, complete with an adjustable bunk bed, a stove and a roof that opens. This piece comes with fun little accessories, and is $395. Yikes! Fortunately, we found a way to make our own.
The basic structure of the hut is mainly a big box with an awning, held up by poles. we made a bunk bed, an adorable little stove, and a chair. For food, our dolls were supplied with shrimp kabobs made of toothpicks, wooden beads, and craft foam, and pineapple beverages. A little bird made of clay added the finish touch.
We also made living room sets so our dolls could prop up their feet, lay back, and chill out on a Saturday afternoon. The girls built and painted a doll couch and sewed a mattress and throw pillows for it. They concocted miniature pizza pies, buckets of popcorn, cups of soda, and candy bars for their dolls to snack on, as well as a TV, and a glass table to hold it.
These craft camps were really fun, because we go to sew, paint, build, and design our own accessories. I love creating fun things like these, and I was thrilled to be building and using a staple gun.I wasn’t making Lea’s Rainforest Hut, I was making the Banana Cabana. We put our own ideas into our projects, and had a great time.
My favorite parts of the craft camps are making the tiny foods, and designing the TV scenes. My aunt bought little picture frames that looked like flatscreen TVs, and gave one to each girl. My sister and I pulled out all of our doll accessories, and the film making began! The girls arranged dolls and accessories and I snapped photos of them. Each girl made three scenes. My aunt printed out the photos, and each girl had her own TV with changeable slides. It was much more fun than if we had just bought the TV American Girl sold. Unlike theirs, our TVs had personalized slides, so that we could choose what shows our dolls were watching that day.
The craft camps were tons of fun, and I hope we keep doing them for a long time!