A friend of mine called me recently and asked for some help. Her granddaughters are getting Kaya and Josefina (American Girls) for Christmas, and she wanted to give them some accessories. Of course, looking at the American Girl website can nearly give a person a heart attack if you're not used to their prices, so I was more than happy to help her replicate a few of the really great accessories.
The first item was Kaya's bedroll. It retails for $32 and includes a shield decoration to put outside the teepee. I didn't bother with the shield, since I had limited time to work with and it didn't seem that important in the grand scheme of things. But the doll needs a "bed" to sleep on. :)
I found this great tutorial (from the Arts and Crafts for your American Girl Doll blog) for the faux animal skin parts, and I was able to make the bedroll (including the mat underneath) for $10. I have enough "bearskin" fur left to make at least one more, maybe two more, bearskin blankets, but I factored the price of the whole piece of fabric into that figure.
The bottom layer is a placemat from Dollar Tree. They have other similar placemats, but this one was about 1-2" longer, so it was a better fit for the doll. I considered pulling off the fabric binding, but my husband thought the color looked "Indian" and would add a nice touch. I'm also not sure if it might have fallen apart if I took that edging off, so I took his word for it!
The next layer is a faux sheepskin fabric that I picked up at Hobby Lobby as a remnant. Unlike the tutorial I linked to, American Girl's version does not use sheepskin for this part. I didn't notice that until after I had bought the fabric, but I think it still looks like something an American Indian girl would have slept on.
I especially loved that this fabric has a suede-like backing, so it looks more realistic.
Lastly came the bearskin blanket. I got this at Hancocks. Let me warn you to take along a lint brush when you go shopping for this stuff. I was wearing a denim skirt the day I picked this out, and I looked like a bear had shed all over me after I took the bolt to the cutting table. I've never had this particular skirt do that, so I'm sure it's the fur fabric.
I hope this helps someone else! Are you making any knock-off doll accessories for Christmas this year? I'd love to hear about them! I have a few more of these items to feature in the next few days, so you'll want to watch for them if this interests you.
Posted by Christa at 5:55 AM