American Girl Doll Tips and Tricks

Hi! Today I’ve put together a post on how to keep your dolls looking their best, outfit ideas, photography tips, and more. Here, you do the math. Good outfit+awesome hairstyle+’healthy’ doll= great photoshoot= amazing blog!

OUTFIT IDEAS


MIX AND MATCH. Guys, you can make so many outfits with different pieces. I try to make my dolls look trendy and cute. Here are 3 outfits- all with the same shorts.

DSC04816.JPGThis one is bright and makes me think of summer. 🙂 DSC04817.JPGLazy day outfit! DSC04818.JPGSame as before, but cuter- with a vest and black sandals. Also, what I do is pick out the base for the clothes first, like a simple tee and pants, and then add shoes and accessories. (sample outfit idea: short sleeve t-shirt, black leggings, brown boots, high ponytail, wristwatch)

Does your blog have a certain theme? Mine does! It’s bee- themed, so that’s why my header picture is my dolls all dressed in the Bee Myself Outfit from AG. You can get creative, and I promise this is one of the most fun parts of dressing your dolls.

Another tip is to use one of your t-shirts as a dress. This is one of my tank tops, pinned back on Ruthie with some trim around the middle.It’s so easy for a quick evening gown, and it looks really cute! DSC04822.JPG

 


HAIR

It’s always important to give your doll an appropriate hairstyle before she stars in a ‘shoot. I base my hairstyle on the type of clothes my doll is wearing. Take for example this photo of Saige: DSC04762I put her in a flowy, fancy dress for that photoshoot, so I needed a hairstyle that matched. I’m going to try to explain how to do it as best as I can. Make sure to grab a doll with longer, wavy hair,  dolls like Saige, Kanani, and Lea would look great.

Gather your materials:

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First, brush out your doll’s hair. IMG_0702.JPGThen take a small section and braid it back. IMG_0703.JPGI put her on the edge of my bed so braiding it was easier. IMG_0704.JPGDon’t braid it all the way to the bottom. Secure with a clip in the back and repeat on the other side. IMG_0705.JPGIt should look like this. IMG_0706.JPGSorry if this is hard to see, but starting on one side of her head, take a slightly smaller section and braid it over to the other side. Repeat, so you have 2 tiny crossed-over braids. IMG_0707.JPGThere should also be one small piece of hair dangling out in each side. It looks messy, but don’t worry. Spritz it with water and curl it. IMG_0708.JPGThe water helps the curl stay. IMG_0710.JPGLastly, take the leftover hair in the back and twist it into a bun. And that’s it!

It’s kind of a tricky hairstyle, but it looks super elegant.

Now onto my next hair hack: water. NEVER brush your doll’s hair without spraying it first! It tames flyaways and makes it look much better, especially in photos.

If your doll has really dry hair, it might be time for a hair treatment. I did this a while ago with Saige, and I also did it once for my friend’s doll Josefina.

Before:IMG_2122 I took her to the sink for this, and put her into clothes that covered her whole body. She’s wearing socks, but you can’t tell. 😉 IMG_2167.JPGI took a pea-sized amount of conditioner and rubbed it into the bottom of Saige’s hair. I didn’t do her whole head because the top of her hair is still soft. Be sure to cover your doll’s body with a towel. Like I said, I only did this to the bottom of her hair, but when I did this for Josefina I washed ALL of her hair so I taped cotton balls over her eyes to keep water out of them. Now, rinse.IMG_2195.JPGAm I crazy saying that this actually looks kinda pretty? 😛 IMG_2138.JPGNow comb it out, and wait for it to dry! IMG_2036.JPG

I clipped a blue hair-extension into her hair and it looks super pretty. 🙂

Now moving on to a hairstyle for dolls with layered hair! C’mere, Brooke! She wore this style in this post. It’s super simple, but chic!IMG_0712IMG_0714Gather a small section of hair.IMG_0715Start fishtail braiding it. (If you don’t know how to fishtail, click here.)

Once you’ve reached the desired length, clip it back and you’re done!  DSC04819.JPG

A lot of people just use plain water on their doll’s hair, but an AG salesperson said that putting a bit of conditoner in the water helps keep your doll’s hair soft. And it does. So…go try that out! 😉


PHOTOGRAPHY

I’m a total rookie when it comes to photography, but it’s really fun and I’ve picked up a few tips to share. 😀

*take photos with natural lighting. It makes your photos much prettier and better. Compare these two photos: DSC04633I took this one in my basement. Guys, basements are HORRIBLE places for photos. Well, unless you have windows.Mine doesn’t and I have to turn on the light if I don’t want to bump into anything. But do you see what I mean? Ruthie looks way too yellow and that’s just weird. DSC04642However, this one is much better.  I took it on the same setting as I did the last picture, but  in my living room, where I have 2 really big windows. Those let in a lot of light and make for clearer, better, photos.

*Give your doll props! They make stories and photoshoots so much more interesting. DSC04424.JPG* Or have her play with a pet! They up the cuteness factor by, like, a million.DSC04728.JPG

* Put her somewhere interesting. I take most of my doll’s pictures outside, in my backyard. Scenery is just so beautiful, and your photos will have a really pretty background. As for indoor photography, you can use scrapbook paper as a background, (like I did here)  or you can use a scarf.

* Show her doing the things she loves. This kind of goes along with the props idea. Is your doll a writer? Soccer player? Show off her skills in your photos!

*Use your zoom! It helps SO much.IMG_0722.JPG


MISCELLANEOUS 

Here are some ways to spice up your doll’s wardrobe and other helpful random things!

  • If your friends have dolls, too, invite them over and tell them to bring their dolls. I did that for this  post and it’s just super fun!
  • Have her do things that people do in real life. You see morning/night routines, what’s in my backpack, and other videos all over Youtube. Make your doll take over! You can see Brooke’s morning routine here. I loved doing that post and there will definitely be more like it.
  • Give each of your dolls a different personality. Loren and Jaclynn both have a LOT of dolls, and each one has different personality. I find that kind of remarkable! For example, in my doll family, Ruthie is the reader rabbit. Some people might think she’s a nerd, but in reality she’s just really smart. Saige is the fashionista/ artist. Like me, she always needs to be doing something. Anything. She just can’t sit still. And Brooke is quiet and shy. Not painfully shy, though, she still has lots of friends. She’s pretty much the opposite of Saige. 😉 She also loves to cook!
  • Lyric photoshoots! Take photos of your dolls, and then add in the lyrics of your favorite song. These are so much fun and I love doing them. (credit for lyric photoshoots goes to Adaline)

    What was your favorite part of this post? Are you going to try any of these?

I also have a few things to tell you:

  1. I’m almost out of free photo space! :/ Thank goodness for Clara’s tutorial!
  2. I GOT MY AERIAL!!!!!! AAAAH!! I told my coach I was going to try and get it before we perform at spring show, and I did it for the first time at gymnastics yesterday!
  3. I…also got a rip at gymnastics. That’s when on bars, your skin kind of rips a little and you have to pull the skin off. It hurts. And, okay, this is kind of gross, but one time I got a rip and I didn’t realize it until I saw the bar, and there was blood on it. Ew! Don’t worry, though, it’s clean now. 😛

That’s it! I know it was a really long post, but I really wanted to share these with you. It took me a long time to put together, I hope you liked it!

I’ve turned into a rambler. Oh dear.

Bye!

~Rutvi ❤

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Tutorial: Embroidered Doll Bracelet

Hi! Today I’m going to be showing you how to make an ’embroidered’ doll bracelet like the one Ruthie wears in this post. (Requested by Meg @ Canadian Doll Notebook)

OK! Here we go. 🙂IMG_0361.JPGMaterials:

*Scissors

*Pins (be careful!!!)

*Craft foam in the color of your choice

*Needle

*Several colors of thread

FIrst, cut a strip of craft foam. That will be the base of the bracelet. Make the strip wide but small. (Mine is approximately 1-2 inches wide and 6 inches long)

Next, pick a design. Don’t go too crazy-make it something simple, like a flower, or a cupcake, like Ruthie’s. I chose a bee, for Buzz About AG. 😉

AAARGH THESE ALL ENDED UP SIDEWAYS! SORRY!

IMG_0362.JPGThen, thread the needle with the main color thread- or the one you will use the most. So obviously, mine’s yellow. Keep the thread long because you will be making lots of stitches. Set that off to the side.

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^Sorry for the blurry picture^

Using a pin, poke holes for the design of your object. I made the bee’s head and body. This will make the sewing easier, so you can follow the holes.IMG_0364.JPG

Like I said, just follow the design you made and sew along those lines. It should look something like this. Hooray! You’re done with the border!IMG_0367.JPGNow  re-thread your needle if needed and fill in all that space. It’s okay if your stitches are a little messy here-it’s not that noticeable. Try to make very small ones, though. I know my bee has a little yellow thing just hangin’ out over there, but I’ll fix it. If at any point during the filling-in process your thread breaks or becomes to small, just cut it off and continue where you left off. IMG_0379.JPGNow for my second color, blue. The bottom wing is messy because it’s hiding my mistake. (But doing a  good job of that, at least!) For the top, I didn’t poke a pattern, (haha, say that 3 times fast :P) I just decided to wing it. LOL

IMG_0384.JPGNow for my favorite part: adding the details! First I added the black stripes-just a few stitches back and forth.IMG_0385.JPGThe eyes are 2 tiny stitches, and the mouth is just a line of small curved stitches. Nothing fancy. 🙂 For the antennae, I did the same thing as I did for the stripes but added a few stitches for the little circle thingy on the top. I really like how it turned out! It’s so cute with its smiling face. One more thing-closing the bracelet. There are several ways to do this. You could…

-Close it with a small paper clip or safety pin

-Use elastic like I did for the cupcake bracelet.

-Use tape

-Use glue dots

I got kind of lazy with this one and just used tape. 😀

And you’re done!

Here are some photos of Brooke wearing it! She looks like a businesswoman. xD

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I would really love if you tried this craft! I had fun making it and I know you will too. 😛

Have a lovely day!

~Rutvi ❤

Tutorial: How to Make a Doll Taco!

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Today, I shall show you how to make a doll taco. 😛 You will need:
  1. Craft foam
  2. Glue
  3. A needle and thread
  4. felt
  5. Scissors
 Here are the colors of craft foam you will need. (The last one is dark brown)

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Cut a circle of tan felt.
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Cut a thin strip of red foam and “chop” it into tiny pieces for tomatoes.

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For the cheese, follow the same instructions you did for the tomatoes, except cut small strips instead of squares.

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I used ‘Paper Shapers’ scissors to add detail to my lettuce, which was cut from green craft foam.

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Sorry this photo is bad, I took these with my phone.

Place your 2 sheets of brown foam on top of each other. Cut tiny abstract pieces to be the meat and/or beans.

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Here are all the toppings!

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Apply a generous amount of glue to the inside of a circle of felt. Take a pinch of one of your toppings, and spread it around with your fingers. Remember to work fast, before the glue dries. 

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Almost done…. fold the circle in half.

I sewed the top of my taco shut, because the glue kept falling apart.

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Ruthie is ready to eat…yum!

So, what do you think? Leave me a comment, and have a great day! Bye!

XO, Ruthie