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Doll Crafts - A Kid's Guide to Making Simple Dolls, Clothing, Accessories, and Houses Review by Amber Smith

Laurie Carlson
Chicago Review Press

Dolls are a part of every culture and every time period in history. No matter how young children are, they’re are drawn to smaller versions of themselves. Our tween girls are busy hot-gluing accessories and building furniture for their 18-inch dolls by following instructions online. While I am glad they can use technology, I also want something with a much slower pace for my younger daughters.

Shut Down the WiFi and Get Back to the Basics of Creativity

This is just what we were looking for, a book we could take anywhere. No excuses, no set up, no wires! A craft book geared for little hands and minds, and not too hard on mama. We reviewed this book with my younger daughter who was interested in sewing and wanted to get started on a project of her own. She has done some felt creatures and straight hand stitched purses, so she was able to jump right in to any project in the book. Since she is reading on her own (9) I let her read the book, picking out projects along the way. Her younger sister (7) had both of us as helpers, but she was able to follow all of the instructions for the projects herself.

The girls started with paper dolls. Some other fun options included clothes pin dolls, corn husk dolls, even a stick and twig creations. As they read, they learned about several different culture’s doll making. The girls discovered that most materials used for dolls were chosen because they were readily available and inexpensive. This book strives to use the very same idea. Most of the projects are made of inexpensive, everyday materials. If fact most of them are made with recycled items that would have been thrown out anyway.

Sewing Skills They Can Build On

Doll clothes are a great tool for teaching real life sewing skills. This book hits the mark with a balance of fun projects, clear instructions with a lot of room for creativity.  Carlson, works hard to simplify the process into smaller steps that work well for smaller children. They build skills, project by project. The book gives several patterns of various difficulties, allowing the children to master new skills easily.

One of the best features of the book, is that it gives your child the tools to keep on creating after they are done reading it. Many of the final projects show how to measure your own doll to make new patterns of your own. By the time a child has finished this book they could be making dresses for a whole collection of dolls.

Laurie Carlson, has a gift for getting kids creating. She has forty books to her credit, including our favorite historical craft book, More Than Moccasins. We loved the historical information she weaves into every book. Kids naturally pick up so many facts as they work on their projects. Doll Crafts is a great way to add an elective that gives you educational component without weighing it down.

-Product review by Amber J. Smith, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2018