Friday, 18 December 2015

American Girl Doll Eye Swap Tutorials

American Girl Doll Eye Swap Tutorials

In addition to our original "American Girl Eye Swap" Tutorial, we've made a series of separate eye swaps tutorials - each one showing each of 8 different face molds.

American Girl Doll Eye Swap Tutorials - Eye Swapping Different Face Molds

All our American Girl Doll Face molds eye swap tutorials can be found here:
❤ Classic Mold ❤ video tutorial (which is the main tutorial - you MUST watch this one first!)
❤ Addy Mold ❤ video tutorial
❤ Asian / JLY 4 Mold ❤ video tutorial
❤ Josefina Mold ❤ video tutorial
❤ Kaya Mold ❤ video tutorial
❤ Jess Mold ❤ video tutorial
❤ Sonali Mold ❤ video tutorial
❤ Marie-Grace Mold ❤ video tutorial

In each one I perform an eyeswap on that particular mold. Some face molds are easier and some are harder, so I recommend to watch them all to make your own judgment!

American Girl Doll Eye Swap Tutorials - what can go wrong

Eyeswapping is a great skill to have if you want to create your own unique doll BUT there are lots of things that can go wrong. To support this series of videos, we've added a quick info video on what can potentially go wrong when attempting to eye swap an American Girl doll


American Girl Doll Eye Swap Tutorials - Top Tips

Before we begin please remember that customizing your American Girl doll whether it’s eye swapping or wig swapping will invalidate your guarantee with the American Girl doll and they will most likely refuse to accept any doll to their Doll Hospital if they have been customized.

I'm an adult doll collector, and I do all the eyeswaps and customisations, and I want to share with you the dos and don’ts of eyeswapping as it has become increasingly popular amongst the American Girl doll collectors

First of all, it’s NOT for younger children – American Girl dolls are expensive and I would not want to encourage anyone to try it on their brand new doll. Besides, you need at least 2 dolls to swap eyes with.

It is cheaper to find a doll in bad condition, to use her eyes, rather than look for just the eyes. On the other hand, unexperienced 'eye swappers' are more likely to ruin the eyes during the popping out process, so it may be easier to acquire the eyes by themselves, already 'popped out'.

Tip 1 Hot Hot Hot

Since the eyeswapping American Girl Doll uses hot water, wear gloves that can protect from heat. The doll's head will get REALLY got - I use a washing up glove on the hand I'm holding the hot head with, but the other hand I have free, so I can hold the eye.

Tip 2 Dolls with Holes

For dolls with pierced ears, cover the ear holes with a duck tape, to stop the water from coming out through the holes. I'd recommend you take the earrings out as they'll get VERY got, but put them back on after the eyeswap is finished, because the earrings holes can get smaller as the vinyl cools down.



Older dolls may also have holes in the top of the head, which you may not see, if the wig is still on, or even broken eye sockets – (you could test it by pouring the cold water in first ) so to avoid the hot water leaking out of the head during the heating up time – use a bag (a freezer food bag or a sandwich bag is best) – stuff it in the head, and pour the water into that bag. But do note that the heating time may need to be increased by an extra minute or so, depending on the thickness of the bag.  


(whilst I hear people use a hair drier to heat up a doll, I've never done that so I cannot comment or recommend it)

Tip 3 Heating Time Varies

The heating time will vary depending on the type of the mold and the vinyl – some older dolls require longer time and some shorter, and some require multiple reheats, and the vinyl cools down much faster than others. 

Any doll with neck rim like on the photo below will be guaranteed to be an older doll (from around 2000-2005, I can't tell for sure) that has harder vinyl that takes longer to heat up and cools down faster - so I recommend NOT to eyeswap that one if you're a complete beginner!


I would say newer / more recent dolls are easiest to eyeswap - anything from about 2009 onwards as the vinyl is lighter/thinner and more easy to work with.

So as a general rule, I heat up the head for 2.5 minutes at a time, then try and see if the eyes pop out – if the eye does not come out easily within 10-20 seconds, then don’t continue to struggle - reheat the head again with water inside the head (remember the bag tip – it may take longer if you use a bag!) and try again. 

I never heat the head longer than 2.5 minutes at a time if the eyes are still in (I may reheat it longer when it's time to put the eyes back in - it's safer without eyes in). 

The eyes will be VERY hot if you heat the head multiple times, so I take the eyes apart into their 3 parts immediately after we take the eyes out, to help them cool down faster. 

Sometimes the second (or even third time) you need to heat up, it only needs an extra minute, rather than 2.5, depending how soft the head still is. You need to use your judgment – if you’re struggling to get out the eye within 10-20 second maximum then do NOT struggle – stop and reheat again. 

And if the eye moved out of place – as in it gone/flipped backward – use the nail tool to push it back properly IMMEDIATELY – this is because if the plastic “front” eye is in contact with the hot vinyl even for a short few seconds it WILL melt – it needs to be “protected” from the heat in it’s plastic & metal casing.

Tip 4 Time is precious but don't panic

From the time you pour out the water out of the head, to when you start doing your popping in/out of the eyes, don’t dawdle – have all your tools ready in advance – time is precious, as with every second the head will cool down more – making it harder to do the swap = but on the other hand don’t panic – you can always reheat & try again!

Tip 5 Melted eyes

There’s not much you can do with completely melted eyes, where the backing “fell off” and the plastic eyes are misshapen – if it’s only a little bit melted the eye can be still used but you may need to use a craft knife to cut off a little bit of misshapen plastic if it stops the eye from closing. Best advice to avoid melted eyes in the first place is NOT to struggle taking them out – reheat the head until it’s soft enough to pop the eyes out straight without much struggle. The worst face mold that can cause melted eyes is Addy's mold so make sure you watch that one!!

Tip 6 The Right Tools

DO NOT use any other methods of heating up like microwave – the eyes have metal parts in them and you WILL melt the eyes. I also do not use hair driers for the fear of melting the eyes or the eye lashes. I ONLY  use the hot water method. The water will not “seep out” out out of the sockets – they are solid “enclosures” – only once I have seen broken eye sockets though…and used a bag as shown above.

Tools you use are very important – I have 3 different length wooden spoons to hand, and a nail tool – I don’t use anything else but I have seen people using knifes (gasp), embossing tools and so on – but anything that YOU find comfortable to hold is fine. 

The reason why I have 3 different lengths spoons is because some molds have different socket positions – Addy’s mold in particular, has very deeply situated eye sockets and you need extra long wide handle to be able to reach it to push the eyes out – some easier face molds like Classic one, I use a shorter spoon.

I use the short nail tool as it’s the short and comfortable to grip, and you need to have it close to the eye so it doesn't “slip about” and scratch whilst you position the eyes into place. 

It is not GUARANTEED that you won’t scratch the eye lids – most likely. on your first go, you will – and even most experience eye swappers will scratch the eye lids sometimes – or the paint on the older dolls will just chip off more easily during eye swap – it’s not the end of the word – most customizers are just so happy with the completed eye swap, they don’t care and it doesn't bother them, or you could retouch the scratch with some acrylic paint – there’s tutorial on that on our channel too.

Tip 7 Wonky eyes

In the ideal word, the eyes would just pop in straight back, you push them down, and they are perfectly aligned. Whilst it can happen (and more experienced eyeswappers can do that :) ), chances are it won’t happen for most of us. 

Personally I found Josefina & Kaya mold the easiest, where the eyes seem to pop and be adjusted more easily then in other molds. The second easiest is classic mold. Other molds may take longer to adjust. The trick is to try to push it in at this angle, horizontally to the nose, and if it isn't and you have too much adjusting to perform (i.e. the eye is wonky / way out of line), you'd be better off popping it out and reheat and try again. Always let the eye to cool down between eyeswaps.

In my tutorials, you’d see me adjusting the eyes whilst the head is on the table – this is so you can see it on the camera. In real life I hold the head upright, up to my eye level – it’s so much easier to actually see what you’re doing!

So remember: If the eyes are TOO wonky, it’s better to take them out and try putting them again more straight (which basically means start the eyeswap from scratch) – that’s because the more you push it around, the more chances of the eyes coming apart from it’s backing inside the socket.

Tip 8 Face molds are different

Some Face molds are easier than others. If it’s your first time learning to eyeswap, firstly use a doll that you don’t mind ruining, and learn by just popping the eyes in and putting them back in. The best ones to learn on are Josefina mod, Kaya and Classic, in that order. The worst ones to try on are any Asian molds – Jess, Jly 4 . The hardest is Addy mold and I do not recommend her for complete beginners! When I say some molds are "similar" to Josefina mold, I don't mean they look the same - I mean that in terms of eye swapping / eye sockets they are very similar.

Tip 9 Broken Eyes

Do not let the eye “fly out” across the room or on the floor. It may break – the eye consists of 3 separate parts, which meant to come apart, plus the metal back weight which is glued on to the plastic part – The plastic part – i.e. the actual eye, is the most vulnerable and easily ruined by the heat.  If it’s in it’s plastic and metal casing, it’s protected during the heating up process, but if in direct contact with heat, it will melt within a few seconds! 

If the eye 'flies across the room' when popping out, you can break / have crack in the eye or worse break the tiny plastic “rods” that help the eye rest on the plastic casing and “rock” / open & close. There are ways to fix it – you can use a very small seed bead for example to glue it on in place of the missing rod, but you may find that they eye will not “shut” anymore. 



The 3-parts – metal, plastic backing and the eye, meant to come apart, and I usually take them apart immediately after popping the eyes out for two reasons – first to let the eye cool down faster, and two – to check if the plastic casing has not been misshapen during the pushing out – if so, put JUST the plastic backing part ( it is typically black, but I have seen white or pink too) into hot water for 1 minute, and then use back of the wooden spoon to flatten it – if not flat, the eye will not “close” properly. 

Sometimes the eye rattle too much sideways – that may be because the little plastic pin inside the backing was flatten accidentally – it needs to be straight up so make sure you don’t accidentally flatten it with the spoon if you’re trying to fix the backing!

Sometimes 3-parts of the eyes “fall apart” during the putting back in stage – it helps then to glue them in place together around the metal rim to the plastic backing – you need to let the glue dry completely (I use the glue pictured above).

If the eyes are broken/beyond repair then you'd need to look for another pair - eBay, Facebook groups, forums etc are a place to look for. Sometimes maybe you have one eye left that it's a good one - you can sell/donate/exchange it - somebody else may be in need of one eye - you never know!.

Tip 10 Pop the Eyes Back in - They WILL go in!

I always wear kitchen glove when doing eye swap on the hand I hold the dolls head, but not the one I use to push the eye in – as it helps control the eye direction better, but saves my other hand from burning as the head is HOT HOT HOT! 

The doll’s head needs to be squished, to get the eye in, and not the correct angle of the way the eye has to go in. The important thing to remember at that stage is NOT TO PANIC – that eye have gone in before therefore it WILL go in again – there’s no particular rush, but normally it’s up to 20 seconds before the head is too ‘cold’ and too hard, to get the eye in. 

So your priority is to get the both eyes in, and then to do final adjustments as you have at least 1-2 minute to do adjustments before the head is too cold. 

Or if you prefer, put one eye in, adjust, and then reheat the head again for the second eye. What you must NOT do, is to reheat the head if the eye is not adjusted at least to have NO plastic eyeball in contact with the vinyl. 

Remember: the timings are approximate – some older dolls have harder vinyl that cools down much faster so there’s less time to adjust the eyes completely, and will need an extra 1 minute to reheat to complete the eye adjustment. Just don’t panic-  panic ruins eyes!

To adjust the eyes, you push in on the metal part in the direction you want it to go – I usually go one on each side of the eye, as it’s literally tiny movements that will push it into place. The adjusting is easier if the head is still soft so reheat if necessary (only 1 minute will most likely be enough),

To adjust the eyes I usually hold the doll’s head up to my eye level, so I can see better what I’m doing, rather than leaning over her on the table.

Tip 11 Stand Up & Push!

Stand Up! This job requires some strength, and it may not seem obvious, but standing up gives you more power to pop the eyes out, and ESPECIALLY when putting them back in. Use your body strength as well as your fingers. It will hurt anyway but it should not hurt that much if the head is properly heated up & you're standing up!

Tip 12 Take a Break!

Don’t do it if you’re tired, stressed or there’s other people trying to watch you!! As fascinating as it is, tell them to watch a YouTube AGSM video, instead of gawking at you – it’s stressful enough without additional audience lurking over you. If you’re stressed or tired, you’ll try to rush it, so leave it for next day, when you can come back to it with a fresher mind. Some eyeswaps I've done over the course of 3 days as the doll did not want to co-operate / I was tired, but we got there in the end :)

Tip 13 Cracked Vinyl

Sometimes the vinyl around the socket looks like it “split” during the pushing in stage – you can minimize the damage by using micromesh to smooth it out but there’s always going to be some “scarring” – which funnily enough it’s easier to fix if the eyes are out. For me, the couple of times it had happened, it happened to be just above the eyelashes so it’s not that visible once the eyes are in. 

When you watch the eyeswap, it may look like the doll is being squashed / hurt - if the vinyl is soft, it should not hurt it.

Tip 14 Not all Eyes are the Same

You may find there is some variance between eyes - sometimes they look too sunken, sometimes they still stick out / i.e. you can see the metal rim still showing. There's been occasions that I had to give up on my idea of a Custom American Girl doll because they eyes did not fit properly and did not suit that particular doll



That's it for today. I will be updating this blog occasionally as I remember more tips :)





DISCLAIMER : I am an adult American Girl Doll collector & customizer. Always ask for permission to do any customizations to your doll (if applicable) and do not repost this blog or any of the photos included on here - all Photos & Videos Ó Copyright CraftsAdore - but you may share the link to it :)

Monday, 7 December 2015

How to Tell American Girl Doll's Age - How old is your American Girl doll

How to tell American Girl Doll's Age / How to "Date" your doll 

When buying second hand pre-loved dolls or older dolls, sometimes you won't know for sure how old the doll is, is she a real Pleasant Company / Pre-Mattel doll or a recent American Girl doll? How to tell real American Girl Doll from Fake one ? There are several indicators to look out for - some are obvious, and some you may not know about!


Here's a quick guide my daughter and I did recently to help new collectors tell the age / date their American Girl Dolls - hope that helps someone to avoid paying extra for a "Pleasant Company Elizabeth" and demystify why some dolls have no stars on limbs / are the fake or real AG doll / why is there a 2008 body tag on a GOTY 2005, for example. I know we could have made it longer and go on about more characteristics and differences but it would be too long to watch :).

Many thanks for watching! AC

Monday, 30 November 2015

American Girl Doll Josefina Montoya

American Girl Doll Josefina Montoya

Josefina Montoya is the 6th Historical character released originally by Pleasant Company in 1997, and revamped in "BeForever" rebranding in 2014. She represent 1820s history of New Mexico, before US ownership.
I love American Girl Doll Josefina Montoya so much, we actually ended up having 3 of them - one BeForever from 2014 (who now have been customized) - here's here original opening video below - and 2 "transition" Pleasant Company historical ones from about 2000-2002 (only kept 1 historical "cannon", and the other one, who was in a very bad condition, was restored & customized)


Here she is having her meet braid taken out:


BeForever Josefina's earrings bothered me, because they were sticking out at an odd angle, and I wanted her to be able to wear any "human" sized earrings, so here's how to take Josefina's Earrings out tutorial:



There is a slight variation between early Historical & BeForever Josefina, mainy the eyebrow placement which may be higher on some dolls.

American Girl Doll Caroline Abbott

American Girl Doll Caroline Abbott

I love Caroline Abbot so much, we have in fact 3 of them, only one is kept "cannon" and the other 2 have been customized. Caroline was released in 2012 as 13th "historical" character in the American Girl Dolls line up, and revamped in 2014 as part of "BeForever" rebranding. She was officially archived in 2015.

There is a small difference between Historical & BeForever Caroline Abbotts though (I've decided to keep the historical Caroline from 2012 as "cannon"), as shown in this video:

American Girl Doll Felicity Merriman Pleasant Company Historical AG Doll

American Girl Doll Felicity Merriman Pleasant Company Historical AG Doll

Felicity Merriman is one of our earliest Pleasant Company dolls, from around 1991-1993, representing 1770s Revolutionary War Period, and she's a 4th Historical character released by Pleasant Company in 1991 (when Mattel took over American Girl Brand, Felicity has gone through a number of changes and she's quite different from early Pleasant Company Felicity). The release of Felicity triggered a change in how the early Pleasant Company Dolls were made, changing them from White-bodied to Tan-bodied to allow them to wear lower cut neck dresses. Our Felicity is one of those early "tan-bodied" AG dolls.

Felicity is without a doubt one of my favourite early Pleasant Company dolls with soft eyelashes & "squeezable vinyl"


American Girl Doll Kaya BeForever Version

American Girl Doll Kaya BeForever Version

American Girl Doll Kaya (BeForever) Version was one of the first AG dolls to join our collection. She was originally released in 2002, after Mattel taken over Pleasant Company, she's the 8th Historical character, representing early Native America (1760s) history. Our Kaya is is from 2014:

Here she is having her meet braids taken out:


 In 2014, Kaya was part of "BeForever" AG historical dolls revamp, but she remained largely unchanged. You can judge for yourself if there's any real differences between Historical & BeForever Kayas


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween from all of us at CraftsAdore

Happy Halloween from all of us at CraftsAdore!

On our first ever Dolloween, we had fun dressing up our Custom American Girl dolls in Halloween Costumes, and recorded our first ever Halloween video - it's a mixture of stop motion and live action and hopefully you'll find it little bit funny :)

For a very special message to all our fans and subscribers PLEASE don't miss the bloopers at the end :)
Happy Dolloween!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Our Generation RV Camper for American Girl Dolls or 18 Inch Dolls ~ Makeover

Our Generation RV Camper for American Girl Dolls or 18 Inch Dolls ~ Makeover

Inspired by some lovely pictures of OG Campers from Our Generation / Battat we've seen on Pinterest, we've had a go ourselves to make it a little bit more cheerful.
Our Generation RV Camper Makeover

Curtains

The existing curtains in OG RV Camper are non removable, so to change them, you'd need to cut them off. The new ones I've made are designed to be removed, so you could, e.g. remove them for washing, or have a different set for different seasons!
Finished size 4"x6"
Make 4:
Cut fabric  4.5" x 8"
Fold under 1/4" inch and top stitch the edges to stop it from fraying

Sew on thin strips of velcro (hook & loop tape, I cut it in half lengthwise so it's thinner) at the top end (on the "wrong/back side" of the fabric" 1.5" apart (as measured on the outside) as it needs to go around the rails to hang on

Note - I made new curtains slightly longer then existing ones, and just simply tied them with thin 4mm ribbons

Before : Left Window ~ After : Right Window


Cushions

Make as many as you wish - we've made 6. We used matching fabric and left one of the original pillows. We made our own inserts for the pillows by cutting dress lining fabric - 2 squares 4"x4" for each pillow, and stuffing them with toy stuffing and sewing shut. Pillowcases are removable for washing.

For cushion covers:
Finished Size 4x4"  - cut 4.5" x 4.5" fabric square for pillow front, and 4.5" x 6.5" for pillow back (cut into 2 parts at 3.5" & 3"), so you end up with 3 pieces like that:

Turn under 1/4" of the longer side of the two "back" pieces and top stitch to stop it from fraying:

Put the fabrics the right way together - the big square at the bottom, and on the top, the longer rectangle overlapping the shorter one, like so (so shorter back piece is below the larger one):

Sew all the away round (I use 1/4" seem allowance for all doll size sewing), leaving a gap for turning inside out (the right way out). I use a wooden point turner to "finger press it" and push the corners out. 

Now you can put the pillow inserts into your pillow cases. 



Duvet Cover

To make a cover for the "duvet" that comes with OG Camper, which is roughly 7x13", I cut the 9.5" x 15.5" for the front, and two pieces for the back = 2" x 9.5" and 14 3/4" x 9.5"

It's made exactly the same as the pillow cases, except this cover is "Oxford style" so after turning it the right way out, I top stitched all the way round about 5/8" away from the edge to create a decorative "flap"



Under sink curtains

Just like the curtains, you can't take them off, they need to be cut off. You could leave it as open space, so the shelves show, or add the curtain. The sewing is similar to the curtains - cut 8" x 9.5", top stitch 1/4" under all the way round, and sew velcro / hook & loop tape 1/4" thin along the side 2.5" apart (outside measurement). You may need to use tweezers (or small screwdriver or flat tool) to push the fabric around the rails, it's a bit of a tight squeeze.

Tea Towel

Cut 5 1/4" x 8" fabric, fold in half, right way together. Stitch 3 sides, leave short one open, turn the right side out, and top stitch all the way around, closing the gap.

Table Top Cover

Finished size 5 1/4" x 3.5"
Cut 7" x 5 5/8", fold 1/4" under on short edges and top stitch them, and then fold in half along long edges that are NOT top stitched (right way together) and sew along those two edges only. Turn right side out and slide onto the table. You can also cut a matching piece of fabric to lay on the worktop behind the "table top".


Please do not repost these instructions, but you may link to this post. Thank you!
You can watch the final result on our channel:








Wednesday, 16 September 2015

American Girl Doll House ~ Kitchen ~

American Girl Doll House ~ Kitchen ~

We have completed setting up our second room in our American Girl Doll House for our American Girl dolls (or of course, for any other 18 inch doll) - the Kitchen. Or more accurately, a red kitchen, featuring Our Generation Kitchen, and Grace's Baking Set.

My crafting contribution to this room so far, apart from the mini bulleting board, was this "Baking" Cupboard", which originally was lined with butterfly paper - you can see it on the left (and we'll use it in another room) - that we got from a local shop. I lined it with a cupcake/kitchen themed scrapbook paper and decoupaged it with ModPodge. I was initially worried, as this was my first time doing it, and the paper all "bubbled up" and looked horrible. But once it all dried up (I did two layers of glossy ModPodge), it looked absolutely beautiful, and feels to the touch like a "wood" rather than paper on top, so I'm really happy with the result!

I decided NOT to buy American Girl Bakery, on the basis that it's too expensive, and by picking and mixing different items from Our Generation and American Girl, we've set up our own 'baking kitchen' for our American Girl dolls, that is now our favourite part of the whole doll house! And you can watch our full "American Girl" kitchen set up & tour in the following video:


Many thanks for watching! AC x

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Custom American Girl Doll Number 44 ~ Michelle ~

Custom American Girl Doll Number 44 ~ 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
You will get different effect depending how you arrange the ribbons to cross:


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....




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