January 16, 2014

Hearing aid for American Girl Doll

What you need

  • paper clip
  • FIMO or Sculpy in your choice of color
  • instant glue
  • wire cutter

How to make the hearing aid

1. Open up the paper clip and bend it around your dolls ear

2. Take a small amout of FIMO and form around the back of the ear (not too thin)
    Just up to the hair (push the hear up as far as possible, the hair will help hold it in place later)
    Try to go behind the ear to give better hold later.

3. Take a very small amount of FIMO and form into a small ball

4. Take the paper clip and push a whole where the wire (paper clip) is going to be

5. Bake according to instructions and let cool

6. Cut paper clip to length and glue FIMO pieces in place

You are done !!!

Braille writing for American Girl Doll

What you need

  • Braille font (you can download one for free here )
  • piece of felt
  • small nail
  • paper
  • computer and printer (optional)
  • Microsoft Word or similar (optional)

How to write in braille

1. Download and install a Braille font, I used the one mentioned above

2. Open Microsoft Word (this will be your work document)

3. Start typing all of your text (keep in mind that Braille needs nearly double the space)

4. Mark all your text and select Braille as font, size 20
   (this will be really big but we will shrink it to 1/3 of the size later)

5. At the end of the Document (on a new page) create a Drawing Canvas
    Insert -> Shapes -> new Drawing Canvas

6. Re-size canvas to be as large as the paper minus the margins

7. Select all braille text from first page and copy into Drawing Canvas
    This will turn it into an image that we can flip

8. Right click into the Drawing Canvas and select Flip Horizontally to make a mirror image

9. After the text was flipped to a mirror image, copy the image

10 . Open another empty Word document which will be your final document

11. Paste the mirror image into the document

12. Repeat for remaining pages

13. Save final Word document, then also save it as a  pdf file

14. Print pdf file with 9 pages per sheet (to shrink it to AG doll size), with borders

15. Cut out and lay first page on felt piece

16. Take small nail and dent each dot carefully (most of mine when through)

17. Turn over and you have your Braille sheet (that is why we made a mirror image)

You can also download the sample I made. I took the description of the new Isabelle book
Download it here and save all the steps, just punch the dots with the nail.

You can also just hand write your own dots if you don't have access to Computer.
Just make sure you punch the dots in a mirror image !!!
I found this in

January 15, 2014

January 12, 2014

Dog sledding for American Girl Doll

Dog sled for American Girl Doll

See my other free dog sledding tutorials

What you need

  • 2 wooden rulers or similar (1" x 1/8" x 36")
  • 2 pieces of Balsa wood 1/16" x 4" x 36" (you can find it in most hobby stores)
  • 1x square wooden dowel (1/2") 
  • 18 gauge 3/4" nails
  • #18 x 5/8" wire brads (nails)
  • wood glue or super glue
  • black yarn to wrap handle bar (optional)
  • Jumbo craft sticks for splinting 
  • small binder clips (to help temporarily hold pieces in place)
  • rotary cutter or sharp knife (the rotary cutter worked awesome on the Balsa wood)
  • Exacto knife
  • metal ruler (36" long) to cut the balsa wood strips (optional)
  • pot with boiling water for making wood bendable (only use with adult supervision !)
    Instead soaking in warm water will also work

How to make the sled

Most of my glueing was done with super glue (adults only) to speed things up.
I used wood glue for the runners.

1. Cut the following pieces from the square dowel 2x  7 3/8"  one side cut at 55°  (Part A)
    2x    3 1/2   one side cut at 55°   (Part B)
    4x    6 3/4" (Part C)

2. Take the rulers and cut 5x  11 1/4" pieces  (Part D)

3. Take both part A and one part C, glue and nail (3/4" nails) part C across parts A.
    Top of part C is 2" from bottom.
    Sloping side on parts A is facing towards part C. 
    This is now called part AC

4. Take both part B and one part C, glue and nail (3/4" nails)pa rt C across parts A.
    Top of part C is 2" from bottom.
    Sloping side on parts B is facing towards part C. 
    This is now called part BC

5. Attach part C to the backside of  part AC 1" from top.

6. Take ruler pieces (part D) and sand writing off

7.  Take all 5 D pieces and align them evenly so they form a rectangle 5 5/8" wide
    Adjust gaps accordingly.
    Take part C and lay across 1/2" in from end, centering it. Glue and nail it with wire brads. 

 8. Attach BC leaving 3 1/2" between C in the front and BC.
    Attach AC leaving 1/2" at the end.

 9. Take Balsa wood and cut 2 strips 1/2" x 36".
    Use a metal ruler and a rotary cutter for easiest and straightest cutting.
    Cut both strips in half in order to have 4x  1/2" x 18" strips (parts D).
    Take one strip and glue to AC.
    Take 2 craft sticks and paper binders and surround part D to make sure it's straight.
    Then glue part D to part BC.
    Nail D to AC and BC.
    Then push D down to form a bend and glue and nail to part C at front end

   Repeat for other side.

10. Take one of the remaining part D and glue on top of attached part D,
      creating a double layer of part D.
      Repeat for other side.

11. Take Balsa wood and cut 2 strips 3/4" x 36" (parts E).
      Take pot with water and bring to a boil. Hold center of part E over steam and slowly bend.
      You can also soak the wood in warm water instead of using steam.
      Attach temporarily to front of sled with clasps.
      Repeat for second part E.
      Temporarily attach second part on top of first part to double up.
      Let dry.

12. Take Balsa wood and cut 3 strips 1/2" x 36.
      Take 2 strips and heat in steam or soak in hot water and bend 2x narrow 90 corners 6 3/4" apart.
      Take the other strip and cut a 6 1/2" piece.
      Glue this  6 1/2" piece between the bend pieces in the middle part.
      Glue the side pieces together.
      This will form the handle bar.

13. Take Balsa wood and cut 4 strips 1" x 36". Cut all strips in half to make them 18" long.

14. Take 4 strips from step 13 and glue the first 13" together like a sandwich to form the runners
      Leave the last 5" unglued, those will be used for the front curve-up.
      Repeat for the other 4 strips.
      Let glue dry.

15. With an exacto knife, cut on the front part C the front corners off up to 3/4" in.
      This is where the bend up runners will be glued to.
      Sorry no picture. Below is a later picture that shows the red line where the corner was cut off
      and the runner was later attached.

16. Take the bumper strips from step 11 off and lay them aside.
      Take one of the runners and center sled on top and lineup so that 6 3/4" stick out the back.
      Make sure the glued together part is on the back and the unglued part is in the front.
      Glue and nail in place with 3/4" nails

16. Bend the first strip up and glue to cut-off corner cut in step 15.
      I used superglue for this.

17. Glue and bend the other 3 strips for the runners up and then nail in place with 5/8" wire brads.
      Repeat for other runner.

18. Use exacto knife and cut flush with front of part C

 19. Take handlebar and put in position on sled.
       Handlebars stick out about 3/4" past parts A
       Mark where to cut flush with front of part B and cut with exacto knife.
       Glue onto part A and B on both sides

20. Take one part E from step 11 and wrap it around the front part of the sled.
      Mark where to cut flush with back of part A and cut with exacto knife.
      Glue onto intersection with handlebar and onto part A and front part C.     
      Nail in place onto A and C with 5/8" brad nails.
     Take second strip E and cut to size. Glue onto first strip.

21. Optional, wrap top of handlebar with black yarn.

You are done !!!

See my other free dog sledding tutorials

Dog sled harness for American Girl Doll

See my other free dog sledding tutorials

What you need

  • 3/8" x 26" ribbon (this will fit the Douglas 8" Husky dog, for other dogs, length will vary)
  • 3/8" D-ring or paper clip to make a D-ring
  • thread and needle or sewing machine
  • velcro (only for dogs with hard bodies like AG Pepper)

How to make the dog harness

I was using an 8" Douglas Toy Husky. His whole body is flexible. If you use a different dog, you will need to adjust the length of the ribbon and if the dogs legs are stiff (as is with AG Pepper), you will need to add velcro in the front in order to be able to put the harness on and take it off.

1. Put D-ring on ribbon and fold ribbon in half. Secure with pin.
    If you don't have a D-ring, take a paper clip and form one.

2. Put D-ring on base of tail

3. Go under front leg

4. Go around front leg and back over shoulder.
    Repeat steps 2 - 4 for other side.

5.  Pin front together.

6. If you have a dog with fixed, hard legs, fold the front over, where velcro will be added later.

7. Cross ribbon across back and tuck under sides. Hold in place with pin. Then sew.

8. Sew front part in step 5 together. If you need to add velcro, cut the front and add velcro.

Normally there is an additional cross, but the dog is too small for it, so I omitted it.
I try to stay as close to the real thing as possible but sometimes you just have to cheat a little.

You are done !!! 

See my other free dog sledding tutorials

Iditarod race tag for American Girl Doll

See my other free dog sledding tutorials

What you need

  • Priority Mail Tyvek Envelope
  • or plain paper (not as tear proof)
  • 3/8" black grosgrain ribbon (2x 5")
  • velcro (either sew-on or self adhesive).  I used sew-on in black (soft) and white (rough) to blend with the ribbon and envelope
  • hot glue gun for no-sew ribbon attachment (when sewing not needed)

How to make the Iditarod race tag

 1. Download pattern here
    This pattern uses legal size paper (8.5" x 14")  
    Make sure you have set page scaling to none !!!
    For home use only, this is copyrighted by me, Read Creations !!!

2. Take Tyvek envelope and cut to size to be the same as a legal sized paper (8.5" x 14").
    Make sure you have as little print as possible on it.
    If you don't have a Tyvek envelope you can also use normal paper. It just won't be as tear-proof.
    If you use normal paper you can either print the whole tag on legal paper
    or print two copies on letter paper and glue the shoulder seams together.

3. Put Tyvek paper in printer and print (print on blank side)
   (I used a laser printer and it worked ok, I haven't tried an InkJet printer).

4. Cut out

5a. If you sew velcro on:
    Take one ribbon piece (about 5" long) and fold 1/4" over
    Sew soft velcro part onto folded section
    Fold 1/4" on other end and sew onto front of race tag (about 1 1/2" from bottom)
    Repeat for other ribbon

 5b. If you use self-adhesive velco:
    Take one ribbon piece and cut to 4 1/2".
    Burn ends to make sure they don't unravel (adults only please !!!!!)
    Glue soft velcro part onto one end of ribbon
    Either hand sew or use hot glue gun and glue other end of ribbon onto front of race tag
    (about 1 1/2" from bottom)
    Repeat for other ribbon

6. Sew or glue rough velcor part on back side of race tag also 1 1/2" from bottom.

You are done !!! 

See my other free dog sledding tutorials