Posts Tagged ‘dolls’

Dolls Around the World

Monday, November 21st, 2016


A great geography project for kids to understand the cultures of different countries is to make dolls around the world. Why not have your kids look up the traditional costumes of several countries and sew or hot glue those costumes onto dolls?

You will want to collect lots of scraps of cloth. If you do this with a school or homeschool co-op, one child can sign up for each country, and you can have the child research the costume for that one country. Then they can write a speech or report to go with their doll, and present it on a geography day!

I had always wanted to do this project myself and never had the time. When I saw this homemade dolls around the world set at a resale shop, I was overjoyed that I could show my children the costumes of the different countries while decorating my homeschool room colorfully.

If you don’t want to buy so many dolls, you can make dolls out of toilet paper tubes. Just hot glue cloth and beautiful accessories on them, and you can have a less expensive version of the dolls around the world. When I was a teacher in the schools, I assigned a biography for each of my students, and they made a figure of the person beginning with a toilet paper tube. Most of the students’ figures came out gorgeous!

Looking at all these dolls makes me want to travel the world!

How to Set Up an Awesome Doll House

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010


When I was pregnant with my third son, I saw an unfinished doll house at a yard sale. The owners kept going down in their price until they were willing to sell it for $7. I thought that if I ever had a daughter, I would kick myself for passing up this deal, so I bought it. I stored it under the stairs for five years until my daughter was 3 years old. I painted the whole thing an off-white, so that she could play with it right away.


I looked for doll furniture, and my favorite set was Melissa and Doug, although I have to say that as cute as the furniture is, it breaks easily. For example, the refrigerator broke on the first day, and my husband looked at the tiny pin that had come out and said that it could have been constructed better. I love the furniture sets so much, though, that I give them a thumbs up and recommend them for older girls, maybe ages 6 and up.

I gave my daughter one furniture set for each birthday and Christmas, and my mother did the same. When I bought them, they were $20 per room for furniture, and $15 per room for accessories. The accessories are so super cute!! For example, the silverware and plates are real metal, and they are heavy based on their size. They are so well-made that I’m surprised that they are so inexpensive. Yes, oddly, the accessories are more solidly built than the furniture.


After waiting years to collect the furniture for the different rooms, I was ready to make the doll house look more realistic. I started by painting each room to color-coordinate with the furniture I already had. For those of you who like interior decorating, making these rooms look realistic was so fun! (Painting the red wall 4 times was tedious, though, since the paint looked streaked until the 4th coat.)

I chose fabric that looked good for the curtains. I ran thread through the top of the curtain to scrunch it up. Then I ran a line of hot glue above the window. I glued the curtain straight onto the wall above the window opening. It looked really good. I also made a bedspread for the bed that matched the wall and curtains.


Oh, I forgot to mention the floors. I did those after painting the walls, before “hanging” the curtains. I asked an architect from my church if he had any leftover scraps that would make a good hardwood floor for a doll house. Sure enough, he did. I used wood glue to attach each plank to the floor. This was tedious, but I was listening to audios while doing the mindless work, so it wasn’t too bad. After gluing down the wood, I put heavy books on top of it overnight. After letting it dry, I used a clear polyurethane over all the floors to make them shine and seal the wood.

For the bedrooms, I made carpet by getting some cloth and gluing it down with wood glue. Gluing the “carpet” down was easy and fast compared to the wood floors. (Anyone can easily carpet an entire doll house, and it would look quite nice.)


Growing up as a missionary kid, I never had a doll house as nice as this. I would have loved to have something this spectacular. I did eventually have a doll house that looked like a wagon wheel, but I had to make most of my accessories out of paper. What I like most about my daughter’s doll house is the fact that everything looks realistic, even down to the toilet paper roll!

Building a Little City

Friday, May 28th, 2010


Growing up, I loved building little cities for my dolls. I remember having the “Apricot” girl from Strawberry Shortcake land, and my two younger sisters each had a doll. My doll’s head smelled like peaches, and the Strawberry Shortcake doll smelled like strawberries. The Blueberry doll smelled like blueberries. Anyway, I would make a house for each doll, making the furniture out of card stock paper. I even made a piano out of paper once, carefully drawing the black and white keys according to what an actual piano looked like.

I would set up stores. I would make tiny toilet paper rolls by getting scissors and cutting actual toilet paper into tiny strips. Then I would roll up each one, putting a tiny dot of tape to hold each one shut. I made a stack of about a dozen tiny toilet paper rolls, and they looked great at the store in my doll city.

In those stores I made racks to display magazines. Then I went ahead and made tiny magazines with full-color pictures and actual information, written very small.

I would get small containers, and they would become cars, beds, dressers, or anything I wanted. For example, I could glue cloth to a checkbook box and add a pillow, and it became a bed. A car would be a box covered with construction paper, with glued-on wheels.

My sisters and I also played with barbies. We did not have a real dollhouse, so we used four cardboard boxes that were an identical size, two stacked on top of two. The boxes were taped together, and I decorated each room according to what its function was. We used wrapping paper for wall paper. Then I made pictures for the walls and glued them on. I made everything I needed for each room.

Finally when I turned twelve, one of my friends got rid of her wooden doll house at a yard sale. My parents bought that dollhouse, and we finally had a real dollhouse! It was like a round wheel, with rooms that opened around the outer edge. We had to put it on a small table to walk all the way around it and reach all the rooms.

Yard sales soon brought real doll house furniture, cars, doll closets, doll clothes, and shoes. I soon had over twelve pairs of doll shoes to organize in a doll closet. It was fun. I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had. I didn’t have to make things anymore.

Unfortunately, I gave up dolls when I turned thirteen. I just abruptly stopped playing. I had grown up.

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