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Dolls! There are so many great programs that need them: first responders, foster care, family shelters, Angel Tree and Operation Christmas Child, just to name a few. I love buying them, and making little accessories so the child gets 2 toys in one. We’ve decided to pack cloth dolls in our 5-9 age girl shoebox gifts this year. My friend designed a wonderful doll sleeping bag for them using just one sheet of felt! PLUS, this is a great craft for beginner sewers, scouts, craft groups etc.! Here is the easy peasy tutorial WITH PICTURES!
The sleeping bag is perfect for the cloth “rag” dolls we get from Dollar Tree. They are cuddly and soft and come in a variety of fabric patterns with 2 slightly different skin color tones and hair colors.
These are the “African American” Plush Rag dolls. They have black hair.
The measurements are currectly listed as 10″ just like the Tan Hair Colored Plush Rag Dolls.
And of course each doll is just $1! Both types are adorable! You could check your local stores – however mine are usually out of stock OR they only have 1 or 2 available. We decided to buy them online at Dollar Tree, and having them shipped to the store for FREE. They notified us when they arrived in the store for very easy pickup!
Directions for the Doll Sleeping Bag:
- One sheet of felt sized 9″ by 12″
- Sewing Machine (although you COULD do this by hand stitching as well!)
You can pick up sheets at your local JoAnn Fabrics, ACMoore and Michaels. But here is a large assorted color pack from Amazon.
We’ve also cut panels from fleece or felt by the yard. It requires that extra step of measuring, but if you are making hundreds for donations, you might want to consider this cost-saving method.
Now let’s get to work!
Take your sheet of 9″x12″ felt (or cut fleece) and fold in half. Mark the edge and pin at 3 1/4″ from one edge.
Sew a 1/4″ seam from the pinned mark to the end (making sure to backstitch to firmly secure).
If you don’t secure that edge at 3 1/4″ it will unravel when the child plays with it. Here is what it should look like:
You’ve made a tube – now open and roll the tube so the seam is now centered.
Flatten and pin. You can finger press the seam open to lessen the bulk when sewing (but not essential).
Straight stitch sew 1/4″ along the bottom seam and backstitch to tack each edge. This will again help the doll sleeping bag last longer with play.
Here’s how the doll sleeping bag should look with both the center and the bottom seams sewn. Time to turn it inside out! Roll down the top edge to make a collar opening.
Time to tuck your doll in.
This works perfectly for the Dollar Tree Plush Rag Dolls. The same basic design would work on any sized doll – you could cut a larger rectangle from fleece or felt by the yard.
I have a tutorial for crocheting doll blankets for baby dolls. You can check out my tutorial HERE.
Every child needs some type of doll to love, to play with, to hold. So many studies have been done on the importance of learning social skills as well as fine motor coordination. I also know how much JOY it gives them. And a gift of a doll can also bless the parents.
Here is a story about a family in the Philippines whose daughter received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift with a special doll inside:
I spotted Hannah (aged 2) cheerfully cuddling her new baby doll from her shoebox. Her mother told me that one day, along the street, Hannah found a ragged doll with a broken head in a garbage bag. She brought it home and used to place it beside her when she sleeps. And how happy she was when she received a brand new baby doll that just looks like the same with her old doll. Her whole family was amazed at how God answered that little desire of Hannah’s heart. With this incident, they were reminded once again that truly God answers prayers. God can hear every word, thought, and desire. Even the slightest whisper of a child, He can decipher.