(a wee part of my dolls, and my hubby's monkey, collection)
As I noted in post 1 of this series, my kids would be lost without their Lego and their dolls. They are so important to them and have played a large role in much of our play and education! We wrapped up our posts about Lego. Today and next week, we are talking dolls.
Oh, the glory of dolls! I have been a long time collector (as displayed in the picture at the top of this post). I come from a long line of doll collectors. My mom is one, my grandmothers did, and as far back as we know have also been. My mother-in-law even loves dolls, so my girls get their love of them naturally and from both sides of the family. My husband is always saying, "You know what we need around here? Another doll." LOL! Of course, that is laced with sarcasm. But, as with any toy, it comes with a tag. Again, with some frugality, you can collect dolls, even more costly ones, without breaking the bank.
My girls got their first baby dolls their first Christmas. I made sure of that. And, we slowly added adorable baby dolls to it. For their 5th birthday, they got Bitty Baby. It was pretty simple to get baby items; they are everywhere in any big box store. I did make a few things like diapers and blankets but for the most part that was their birthdays and Christmas for a while. And, then.......
American girl! Oh, how we love American girl! But, I am sure you've seen the price tag for just one doll. Not to mention all the accessories! When my girls first got into them at 10 (which is when they get one as a gift from their grandmother), I knew we could not afford any more for them. And, then I discovered the world of doll patterns (more on that next time). On top of that, as the years passed and pinterest came on the scene, more and more people started DIY stuff for dolls. The rest, as they say, is history. I began making more items and collecting patterns and our accessories grew.
But, the dolls, well, our collection is eclectic when it comes to the 18" dolls. My girls have other American girl dolls all of which they have spent their own money on. Other dolls in their collection have come from Bass Pro Shops, Target, Michaels, off ebay, Life of Faith, Vision Forum, etc. Almost everywhere you turn these days, a store has an 18" doll of some sort and most of affordable and cute. Many of our collection have been gifts to the girls in one form or another. Some we have bought for the sheer pleasure of it. Ebay is a great way to cut costs for expensive dolls. And, goodwill! I have gotten 3 of our collection from there with the biggest repair needing to be a new wig on a doll. It really is easy to build your collection without spending a fortune.
Right now, Target, Walmart, Michaels, and A.C. Moore have the best accessories that don't break the bank. I love alot of American girl's stuff, but it is mostly more than I can afford. We have found many similar items at the above listed stores for a fraction of the cost. Goodwill, again, is a great place to keep an eye out for items. A small decorating bench or chair can easily work for a doll. I have seen doll beds there as well.
The girls also have other types of dolls in their collection that have been fun - porcelain, Madeline, Strawberry Shortcake, Barbies of all shapes and sizes, Ever After High, Disney princesses and fairies - these have all graced our lives from time to time. I have enjoyed watching my girls play with and enjoy dolls as much as I did as a child. We have also used them with school or even movies, but we will save that for next time.
Organizing all these dolls and their accessories have been a job all by itself. But, we do use a similar system as we do with our Lego. Plastic storage containers and drawers have been great for storing plastic dolls and accessories. All the bigger dolls we have shelves or something similar for. My girls have also been given wardrobes for their doll clothes which have added further storage.
Dolls are such fun! And I love the way it keeps them young and their imagination fresh. Even though my big girls are older now, they still treasure and even use their dolls from time to time. Many of the dolls in my collection were from my growing up years. Dolls are truly timeless.
Goodness from around the 'net:
There are a number of great websites that help a girl to create things on their own for their dolls. Here are a couple of my favorites:
www.dolldiaries.com - she isn't as active any longer but she has kept her website up for use by girls all over. She is the queen when it comes to diy doll stuff. Just browse around. There is something for all there.
dolldiaries.com/transformation-from-computer-desk-to-doll-house/ - here is my post on doll diaries website that shows you how we took an old computer desk and turned it into an 18" doll house. you can see many of the DIY that we did to make this happen.
www.brandyshappyhome.com - wow. this spot is full of full DIY as well. i just love her ideas.
www.karenmomofthree.blogpsot.com - if you need to know where to find the latest and other fun finds, hers in the place to be.
www.myfroggystuff.blogspot.com - another wow. if you need any ideas for any other dolls, she has crafts, houses, books, etc. for almost any doll out there. plus she does wonderful reviews of dolls if you want a further peek. she also has 2 youtube channels to keep your juices flowing.
www.realcoake.com/2014/05/60-american-girl-doll-ideas.html - she has compiled an awesome list of crafts from around the 'net.
I also have a pinterest board full of ideas - www.pinterest.com/mamaof6loves/making-dolls-and-clothes/
There are others out there both youtube and the internet if you take a look around.
Come back next week and we will chat about how we have used these both in school and for just plain movie fun!