What Kate Made:
I have three beautiful nieces all under the age of four in the same household. Both my brother and sister-in-law are both in the military, which means lots of traveling for the entire family. I decided to make something that was easily used while traveling.
Growing up, I loved paper dolls and would play them all the time, so my goal was to try to make a compact travel version of this classic.
Betsy McCall was introduced by McCall’s Magazine in 1951. The first ten years are available for download and print here. Be prepared, because if you are like me and love vintage fashion you will have such a hard time picking out what outfits to print for your dolls! I ended up printing six different issues for my nieces, but that could have easily doubled if I had the time. Looks like I’ll be sending new outfits to them in the future! I picked three dolls, two brunettes and a blond like the girls, and cut them out along with all the outfits. Don’t cut out the folds like you would if you were not making them travel-friendly because we are going to use velcro instead.
This is a super tedious task, but I did it on a Saturday while watching enriching documentaries. SIKE! I totally binged on CSI reruns.
Once you have all your dolls and outfits cut out it is time to create the backdrop for them. Grab an extra manila file folder from your home office and some extra construction/scrapbook paper. Make one side of the folder a wardrobe and one side the stage for the dolls.
Glue everything to the file, including dolls. Trim around so that your scene and wardrobe fit inside. (I chose to leave the dresser off so that I could glue it on later for a pocket.) I then took my file to Staples and got that and the dresser laminated for about seven dollars.
To save some money, I “laminated” Betsy’s outfits on my own. Using packing tape, I covered the front and backs of the outfits and cut around them. This took some time, but it saved money and again I was able to all kinds of educational documentaries (I secretly love you Mac Taylor!).
Then I just quartered some 7/8″ sticky back Velcro and stuck the pointy end to Betsy and her friends undergarments (see picture on the right above), and the soft side to her outfits. Easy as pie!
The girls can take their dolls with them on the go. They fold up easy and can go into their book bags, suitcases, or in the pocket of the backseat of the car.
What do you think?
What Jamie Made:
To be completely honest with y’all, the DIY project that I ended up creating for this weeks’ theme was definitely not what I originally intended on making! Afer a few, or should I say, many tries at creating a pacifier clip (with materials that could not be found in stores), my patience started to grow very thin. In pure frustration, I called Kate to vent about all of the issues that had been going on with my current project. Thanks to her wonderful and creative spirit, she encouraged me to think of something else that I could make with the materials I already had on hand and around the house.
An ‘aha!’ moment happened when I came across some scrap materials in (believe it or not) my boyfriend’s box of crafts! Thus came the idea of creating a simple baby name banner.
I used an assortment of scrapped felt pieces, ribbon, and a few pre-made banner flags to make this quick, DIY banner! Other materials that I used to make this involved a pair of scissors, an exacto-knife, and a glue gun.
As you can see, each banner contains three layers of felt: the larger brown circle, the smaller white circle in the middle, and a shape or letter on top. All three of these pieces were glued together and attached to each banner with the glue gun. Next, I took the exacto-knife to create evenly spaced slits for the ribbon to weave through.
The great thing about making banners is how versatile they can be! Even after being knee-deep into making this banner, I kept on thinking about more alternatives to the ribbon (such as hemp string or baker’s twine).
This project ended up being so much more for me than what it started out with. It’s already been gifted to my sweet nephew, baby Gio! Sooner or later I hope to get some use out of this in a photo shoot with him or when his 1st birthday comes around at the end of this year!