Tuesday, June 4, 2013

DIY American Boy Doll

My daughter's room re-do has been put on hold due to my local Wal-Mart still not restocking the sheets that I need for the canopy. I'm trying to patiently wait.

On to today's topic ... As most of you know, I have two children - a boy and a girl. There aren't many children around here, so they are often the only two children to play with. That might sound awful to some of you, but my children are very well-adjusted socially. They are able to play with other children and treat them kindly, but they are just as comfortable holding an intelligent conversation with an adult. Our church people can't believe how insightful they can be. :)

As you might have guessed, my daughter ends up sporting a (play) double-barrel shotgun quite often. We enjoy calling her Annie Oakley, since she's left-handed and a pretty good aim. But what you might not have guessed is that my son willingly plays with my daughter and her dolls and I'm not the slightest bit worried about it.

I want my son to know that he's not being a sissy by caring for people that are smaller than him. I want him to know that it's okay to love and enjoy his own children when he grows up. My own husband is one of those rare men that actually loves his children and shows it. I want my son to be the same way.

With all of that clarified, I have watched them play and often wished I had an 18" boy doll for my son to play with. He would identify with it so much more and could enjoy changing outfits that he might even wear.

Apparently my family isn't the only one to wish for an 18" boy doll. If you search online, you'll find quite a few tutorials for making an 18" female doll look like a boy. However, most of them involve creatively tucking the girl's hair into a hat so she can change back if you change your mind (or just because they paid so much for the doll that they're not going to do anything permanent).

There are a few exceptions that actually cut the doll's hair, and that's what I was after. Unfortunately, none of them actually tell you how to cut the hair. So I winged it, with a lot of fear and trembling. :)

Now before I go any further, I feel compelled to tell you that I wholeheartedly oppose real people changing their gender. However, there is no morality involved in making a girl doll into a boy. God makes people, but people make dolls. Just to be safe and not send mixed messages to our kids, though, we bought a brand-new doll (a rare thing for us, but a 50% coupon made it much better). They never saw it as a girl, and I'm not sure if they'll ever catch on. :)

So my doll experiment started with this Springfield doll from Michaels:

I was hoping for a lighter skin tone, but I didn't want to deal with precut bangs. They cut them in the most horrid style I've ever seen, and I'm not a good enough hairstylist to try to make that mess look good. So Maria it was - she was the only doll in the store with no bangs.

I must have watched 20 Youtube videos about cutting boys' hair. I cut my son's hair all the time, but I use clippers on his, so it's a piece of cake. I knew I would have to use scissors on this one, and the hair wouldn't regrow if I messed it up.

Well, it's not perfect, but here's the transformation:

This picture still makes him look a lot more girly than he really does, but it's the best I could do without my lightbox that I accidentally ripped this morning when my camera fell through the top. (Don't ask.)

As a surprise, I sat him at my son's breakfast chair and waited for him to come out for breakfast yesterday morning.

This picture says it all - he was absolutely thrilled with him! This look made the hour or so of haircutting effort worth it.

Here's another quick glimpse of him with my daughter's new American Girl doll. They are posing inside their Camp Doll Diaries cabin that we made yesterday, which I'll be posting more about later this week.


Shoregirl said...

You did a great job of turning that girl doll into a boy! I bet my daughter would enjoy having a boy doll to play with -- she always has to imagine one!

Aleks said...

I think you did a great job! I am so excited to see parents willing to let their sons learn through imaginative play. You rock!

I found your blog through the Someday Crafts link up.

Sara Silva said...

Great job! I remember my brother playing "dolls" with me, but he'd play with his small gi-joe's and I'd play with my tall barbies!

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

It's really hard to find boy dolls. I got one from


I don't have any little boys at my house. I just thought that my girl dolls needed a brother.


Catholic Bibliophagist said...

It's really hard to find boy dolls. I bought "Andy" from My Sibling & My Pal Dolls:


I'm not connected with them; I just wanted to share the info with you and your readers

I love the creative ideas you've shared on your blog.


Christa said...

Thanks for letting us know about those boy dolls. I've seen a few people selling re-done AGs with boy wigs, but I hadn't seen these dolls before.