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Thursday, January 1, 2015

DIY Doll Camping Equipment

Happy New Year!! I hope all of you have a healthy and successful 2015!! I know I am planning some exciting things for Crafty Moms Share and hope you will stay tuned. (One of the best ways to stay tuned is to subscribe to Crafty Moms Share! See the ways to do so in the right column.) I am lining up some amazing giveaways and reviews as well as fun crafts and activities to do with your child(ren). 

Today I thought I would share the main part of Hazel's birthday present from us. This year's family birthday party was American Girl Doll themed, so it seemed appropriate to give her something for her dolls. We gave her the beautiful carrying case with murphy bed from Queens Treasure for Christmas with a homemade quilt. When we were at the American Girl Doll Store for my birthday this summer, Hazel fell in love with the tent they sell. However I was not going to spend $85 on it. I figured I could come up with some way to make one. I happened to find roasting sticks on clearance for a $1 at the end of the summer and bought them thinking they could be the poles for the tent. I also saw this great tutorial over at The Frugal Crafter using cardboard to stiffen the sides, but I really wanted her tent to have a window like the one at the American Girl Doll Store. After a couple of tries I got a tent. It is not perfect and I now know what I would do differently. The first would be not bothering with the "poles". 

I used decorator cotton fabric since it is heavier than regular cotton. I cut two pieces (outside and lining) of it into 25" by 39".  The pieces will be folded into thirds to form a triangle. I cut a 8" by 6" rectangle in the middle of one of the thirds (on the outside piece I did not cut the top of the rectangle to make the flap). See the picture above for the placement of the window (sorry some of my lines did not transfer well in the picture). If I was going to do this again, I would cut the outside piece with a bigger opening. On the lining I sewed a piece of utility pet screening fabric I found at Joann Fabrics over the opening on the wrong side. On the outside piece took the lining rectangle with right sides together and attached them and flipped from the top opening. Then added ribbons for ties. I also put a piece of quilted fabric on the outside piece for the tent bottom but should have put it on the lining piece. Since I was using the poles I made button holes to put them in. Skip this step!! (In my first attempt I used boning, but it was not stiff enough to hold the tent.) If you want to make your tent machine washable, turn the edge of the long side of the fabric in and sew three pieces of velcro to the three sections (window, middle and other side) on both pieces (make sure you are doing it on the same side of each piece). On the window section sew a piece of velcro to the front sides as well. Once all of this is complete I was ready to put the right sides together and stitch. However leave one long side open and on the window section leave both of the side seams open. Turn so it is the correct way and stitch the lines for the middle third which will be the bottom of your tent. Insert a 12" by 24" piece of cardboard to stiffen the bottom. Stitch around the window to secure the pieces so they do not slip and slide around. Bring the two sides up to form triangular pyramid and sew the top seam. Now insert a 3" by 8" cardboard above the window and one below the window. Then on each side of the window put a 8" by 12" piece of cardboard. Insert a 12" by 24" piece of cardboard into the other side. Close all the velcro.

I put in the doll sleeping bag I made her for Christmas 2013 when she received her Hazel doll (The Frugal Crafter offers a tutorial for one with the tent tutorial) and put a lantern that I found at The Dollar Tree. We hit it right for the lantern, but there is a good tutorial for a better sized one at Our American Dolls. Now when Hazel pretended to camp in her room she really wanted a campfire, so I made her doll a campfire. I saw this tutorial at Dollar Store Mom. Then I made my own using the CD, rocks, twigs and felt.

I cut various edges on red, orange and yellow felt and rolled them into a circle so the different colors and points would show. I wanted to use felt instead of tissue paper so it could put up with some play.  Hazel loves her doll tent and fire so overall it was a success.

For more posts on American Girl Doll Crafts check out: