Saturday, 29 August 2015

My Custom American Girl Doll #44 ~ Michelle ~

My Custom American Girl Doll ~ Michelle ~

 I think it's time I start introducing properly my American Girl dolls collection. Over the past several months I've been rescuing TLC (Tender Loving Care) American Girl dolls with the view to restore, fix, and (some of them) customize them, as it's much cheaper than getting a brand new AG doll or one that is in an excellent condition. Some of those dolls are for my children, but some are just for me :D. Here's one of my favourite custom AG dolls...

Michelle, my custom American Girl doll #44 is one of those "just for me" dolls. She came to us in a semi-bad state with some extra furniture I needed for our AG doll house. I could have restored her hair, but I had a spare Cecile wig waiting for somebody special, and I thought it would be perfect for her!

American Girl #44
So I cleaned her up, gave her Cecile's wig and eye swapped her hazel eyes for brown. Michelle was born!

Custom American Girl Doll #44
Cecile wig and eye swapped brown eyes
Custom American Girl doll Michelle in Grace's sightseeing outfit

Her name inspired by Michael Jackson, as I am a huge lifelong fan, and of course, today would have been his 57th birthday, so Happy Birthday MJ, wherever you are ~ You will Always & Forever be in our hearts!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

American Girl Doll sized mini bulletin board

American Girl Doll sized mini bulletin board

Today I've been making a mini bulletin board for our American Girl doll house. Of course, it can be resized to be suitable for any dolls, not just 18" dolls.

Based on the fabric pattern, I think you can pretty much guess what room it's going to be in....

Supplies for Mini Bulleting Board

I found a pack of 4 self adhesive cork wall tiles 12"x12" in a local shop, and combined it with the fabric, a bit of wadding, and a ribbon, I set to work as follows, but please bear in mind I'm improvising as I've never made a bulleting board before :)

Step 1 Cut the fabric & wadding about 2" larger than the cork board
Cut to size to cover the board

Step 2 Pin or glue the fabric & wadding around the board. I was in luck my boards were self adhesive so the glue was already on the back, but I still pinned it.
Pin it
Step 3 Cut ribbons complementing the colour scheme (I used 4mm grosgrain ribbon in red) and lay it out roughly 2" apart
Ribbons

Step 4. Pin the ribbons on the back of the board, making sure they are taut. I pin all ribbons in one direction, making sure they are spaced evenly, and then in the other, diagonally.


Step 5 Where each ribbon cross, pin a thumb tack in the colour complementing the board fabric (I used red again)
Thumb tacks

Step 6. Pin a little ribbon loop at the top back to help it hang
Hanging loop

Step 7. Step back and admire your very own unique doll sized mini bulletin board:
Finished board

In the next post, we'll be setting up the American Girl doll house room for this mini bulletin board to hang in!





Monday, 24 August 2015

Mini Maryellen American Girl Doll joins the household

Mini Maryellen American Girl Doll joins the household

I pre-ordered a mini Maryellen and mini Josefina AG dolls off Wordery UK a few weeks back and expected them to arrive some time after 28th August. To my complete surprise, they arrived today! Yay! That are so super cute, I just love AG minis:

I've made a custom American Girl doll a few weeks back, to be our Jessie from Toy Story (she was originally MAG #33, with RubyRedGalleria RRG Light Auburn wavy wig, and hazel green eyes). She's currently our stand-in Maryellen, until I decide if I want a big American Girl doll version of her after all :D. Here's a little photo-story of their first meeting: 


 - Hello, I'm mini Maryellen, I'm new around here. And who are you?
- Well, I'm the big Maryellen of course! I'm surprised you had to ask!
-You're NOT Maryellen!!! You're an imposter!!! Look at you!!! You're nothing like me!!! Your hair is all wrong colour, your outfit is nothing like mine...and WHERE are your side bangs ?!?!
Oh, all right then...I'm Jessie....but can't we just pretend for a bit that I'm Maryellen? Pretty Please???
Oh, OK then, but only till 'mum' decides if the REAL Maryellen will join us or not, you can stand in for her till then, I guess...

Then end :)
And just because we had a little free time on a rainy day, the above photo story has now been converted into mini American Girl Stop Motion video:



Thank you for watching! x



Saturday, 22 August 2015

American Girl Doll Size Paris Theme Bunting for Grace's Mini Bakery Room

American Girl Doll Size Paris Themed Mini Bunting for Grace's Mini Bakery Room


Today, I've completed my first ever American Girl (or 18" doll size) mini bunting to go with Grace's mini bakery room in our AG Doll House. So I thought I'd share with you the steps and the final results, in case you're a complete beginner just like me :D

Step 1. Find the fabric that you'd like to use. I found this Paris-themed cotton fabric in a local Hobbycraft UK store. About 0.5m was enough to ensure all unique pictures were included.

The "postcards" design were just big enough for a mini bunting so I 'fussy cut' each picture out (I did not worry about exact measurements but it's about 3 x 4"). Because of the design, I chose to do rectangular bunting rather than the traditional triangles.

Step 1 Fussy Cut your fabric to include the pattern you want on the mini bunting

Step 2. Pin the cut outs onto the backing fabric, right sides together (or good sides facing each other). This is much faster than cutting the backing fabric to match the front of the bunting!
Step 2 Pin the fabrics facing the right sides
Step 3. Sew around each cut out using 1/4" seem allowance leaving a small gap un-sewn to allow for turning the fabric right way out
Step 3 Sew rights sides together leaving a small space for turning


Step 4. Cut out the sewn bunting and trim the corners, Turn inside out and press flat (I just finger pressed)
Step 4. Cut it out
Step 5. Tuck in the seem allowance in the opening and top stitch all the way around, closing the opened gap
Step 5 Top stitch all the way around
Step 6. Space your mini bunting to your liking - I placed them about 1" apart
Step 6 Decide on your mini bunting spacing

Step 7. I know proper bunting is sewn onto a bias tape, but since it's only a doll-sized mini bunting, I decided to just sew it onto a 4mm wide ribbon using a zig zag stitch. The ribbon and tread were in the color matching the fabric theme (red in my case).


And that's it, the American Girl doll-sized mini bunting was finished, ready to hang in our Paris-themed room for our GOTY 2015 American Girl doll Grace Thomas:

Since our AG Doll house is basically an Ikea PAX wardrobe, and Grace's room is at the top, I could just tie the mini bunting around the top screws. You can see the final result of Grace's room aka Little Bakery / La Petite Patisserie in our AG doll house room tour video:

  





Thursday, 13 August 2015

American Girl Doll Caroline Meet Dress Dyed Red

American Girl Doll Caroline Meet Dress Dyed Red

For those of you who are not keen on American Girl Doll Caroline Abbott's pink meet dress, you can always dye it, and the choice of colour is entirely up to you! And if you don't like Marie-Grace's flaps on her meet dress, please read on!

Notice: Do not do it without permission of the owner of the doll's dress :)

We used a fabric dye from a local craft shop, and we chose Dylon "tulip red" fabric dye. We threw in a men's T-shirt and Marie-Grace's meet dress too, just to see what's going to happen.
Dylon "Tulip Red" Fabric Dye


I am amazed how well Caroline's meet dress has dyed, leaving the original ribbon colour intact. To be honest, we still have the pink version, we just dyed the spare dress we had. What do you think of the result?
American Girl Doll Caroline Meet Dress Pink or Red?



Marie-Graces dress, did not dye at all, as expected, with exception of the cotton ribbon trim, which you can see around her neck line. I have removed the front flaps, and added a ribbon as a belt. As usual, I kept an original meet dress intact. I am quite happy with the result too, even though it did not dye, but at least we have an unique dress, instead of two identical ones.
Marie-Grace meet dress - flaps or no flaps?



Thursday, 16 July 2015

American Girl Doll Makeover ~ Custom Kanani

American Girl Doll Makeover ~ Custom Kanani

Last month we rescued a Kanani American Girl Doll requiring TLC (Tender Loving Care). She took a little bit of love and care to restore indeed, but I'm not complaining too much as she was as expensive as a pristine Kanani doll can be :) 

She had a badly cut hair, painted nails, glitter makeup, and a bubble eye. I'm so excited that our TLC Kanani has been given a second chance to be loved again. Here's her makeover video in case you were wondering if she scrubbed up well...and to give you inspiration on how different a custom Kanani American Girl dolls can look :) 

And a bit of a spoiler - she will be eventually one of our "American Girl Dolls as Disney Princesses"... Be sure to comment your favourite one...



Check out our "How-To" videos in the series of restoring/cleaning American Girl dolls:
Many thanks for watching!
Hope it helps if you are considering rescuing a poorly American Girl Doll to give her a second chance to be loved, or to create your own unique custom doll x

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

American Girl Doll as Disney Belle aka Custom Marie Grace

American Girl Doll as Disney Belle aka Custom Marie Grace

You may have seen her before in our AG Dolls as 13 Disney Princesses movie, but now it's her chance to shine on her own :) A quick video explaining how our American Girl Doll Marie-Grace was made to be our custom Belle Princess, a Beauty from the 'Beauty and the Beast' Disney Princess movie...



Her outfit is a pre-loved Build-a-Bear Disney Princess Belle dress, slightly adjusted at the waist. I absolutely love Marie-Grace in yellow!

Many thanks for watching!

P.S. Follow us on Instagram for more dolls pictures: CraftsAdore on Instagram

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Rebecca (BeForever) meets Rebecca (Historical) American Girl Dolls comparison

Rebecca (BeForever) meets Rebecca (Historical) American Girl Dolls comparison


Rebecca (BeForever) was my first ever American Girl doll (not so long ago actually :)). She is one of my favourite dolls. I generally prefer "Josefina" mold American Girl dolls, so naturally, when looking for a doll to customise, I looked for older Rebeccas, preferably in a TLC (tender loving care) state, to restore and customise, as those are typically cheaper than looking for a brand new doll or in a doll in excellent used condition.

So I got this historical Rebecca off eBay, expecting her to be the same as my BeForever Rebecca, as I've read there has been no differences to them other than the meet outfit. Well, that's clearly NOT the case, as you can see in this opening video:


Whether those differences are guaranteed or I just had a one-off variation in production run, I can't tell, but since then I got another historical Rebecca, again to customise. I'll be honest, I only got this one because American Girl dolls on UK eBay are still relatively rare at a good price, and it's more exciting if they come in an American Girl outfit that you don't have yet as a collector :) So this one tempted me because of her outfit (I believe it's Kit's partial school outfit), which I absolutely adore on her...

She's generally in a good condition, just need a little clean up, but what surprised me is how different her eyes were from my BeForever Rebecca (as well as the eyebrows colour), or in fact the other Historical Rebecca (who by the way is completely customised, having been a custom McKenna for awhile...).

I don't know if you can see it clearly on this picture, but their eyes are completely different. My BeForever Rebecca (on the left) has hazel brown eyes, and the historical Rebecca (on the right) has very green hazel eyes.


Again, that could be just a variation in production run of the hazel eyes but it is a very clear difference in real life, and they look and feel like different dolls.

Since I am very much attached to my first ever Rebecca, I am keeping my BeForever Rebecca as she is. But I also fell for the "new" historical Rebecca too, so I decided to keep her. Since I can't justify keeping both as "Rebeccas", one had to be changed, only a little bit though.... 

Everybody, meet the 'new' historical Rebecca:


She's had a little eyeswap done (tutorial on our YouTube channel) and she will become one of our "American Girl Dolls as Disney Princesses" collection. Can you guess which princess she will be?
All revealed below....




Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Disney Princess Anna from Frozen has NOTHING to wear and discovers her TRULY ME style AGSM

Disney Princess Anna from Frozen has NOTHING to wear and discovers her TRULY ME style

Still playing with American Girl dolls. Must really start sewing something, but have absolutely no time. So in the meantime the idea for a stop motion video was born - Anna has nothing to wear - watch it till the end for the twist when she discovers her TRULY ME style :)



Naturally, we had to feature our two favourite custom dolls - Princess Anna and Queen Elsa from Frozen.

This video has been so much fun to make, that we will be making more of those in the future, for sure. Just need to find time as the stop motions are very time consuming but the end result is worth it if it's properly done (we still have a LOT to learn though, it's only our second ever AGSM after all, lol).

If you do watch it, please leave us a comment on our YouTube channel, we always enjoy replying :)

Monday, 4 May 2015

My AG Monopoly

My AG Monopoly

What a better way to spend Bank Holiday afternoon than spend lots of money buying lots of AG dolls WITHOUT actually spending any money at all :)

I got this "My Monopoly" game for my girls for Christmas last year, and it has been lying around unused as we haven't had any idea what to do with it. The game's instructions suggest to pick your favourite places or family memories to make your own Monopoly streets, but that did not appeal to us. Instead, one day, after buying yet another American Girl doll (I know, it's so addictive), I jokingly suggested we make My American Girl Monopoly, where we can all buy the dolls. Not just mummy :)

Don't worry, we play lots of different editions of Monopoly games and I am sure my girls will not grow up to want to buy lots of expensive dolls, just like they won't be buying Trafalgar Square, in real life.



I took the pictures of our favourite American Girl dolls and we made four streets - a GOTY - Girl of the Year dolls street, a Historical / BeForever dolls street, our Custom American Girl Dolls street, and of course, our Disney Princesses street. There are 30 pictures required for the board, and 4 for the tokens, but if you want, you can have different ones on the back, as the board tiles are double-sided/reversible. We've also added cut out letters 'AG' and stuck onto the board to make it look like 'My AG Monopoly'.

Oh, and if you're not familiar with My Monopoly game, it's just like normal Monopoly but you can put your own pictures on the tiles to create the streets and the tokens to make your own unique game. It's available in many toy shops or online shops like Amazon.

        

It's not exactly full on crafting, but still a bit of a "make your own" truly unique monopoly game. The pictures are uploaded to 'my monopoly' website, and you print them onto supplied sticker sheet. The print quality was not brilliant, but still fun enough for us to enjoy the game. And there's enough stickers to make more than one theme / game. I think the My AG Monopoly game is a must for any AG dolls collector!

$400 for a Kanani American Girl Doll, anyone? It's so much easier to accept that high price because it's not a real money you'd be parting with :)

...and if you want to see a little bit more of this American Girl Monopoly, we've made this quick stop motion video where Anna and Elsa, our "Frozen" Disney Custom American Girl dolls explain it all:


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