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How To Make An Adventure Trail Bike

Doll bikes can be expensive, so wouldn’t it be great if you could make one? Here’s my tutorial for making a bike for any size doll.

My bike

You might look at this and think: ‘That’s really cool, but making it would be as expensive as buying one.’ However, it really isn’t. I used only what I had, and it turned out just fine. I do have a lot of craft supplies since I craft a lot, and I’ll list where you can buy each item, but use what you have. If you don’t have something, use something similar.

Let’s get started!

What you will need:

Foam board (You can buy this at most craft supply stores, dollar stores, Walmart, etc)

Cloth,

Foam padding (Bought at Hobby Lobby, and stuffing would work also)

Foil tape (But foil or duck tape would work too)

Some kind of sticks or dowels, (I used Bamboo found at Michaels)

LOTS of hot glue (It has to be hot glue or it won’t work, and you will need a LOT.)

WHEELS:

Wheel

Start by cutting a piece of foam board and bending it into a circle the size you want the wheels to be. This will be the outer rim .Cut two of these.

That little peice

Cut a little piece of foam board and bend it into a circle. Make sure a piece of Bamboo rotates easily through it. We will call this the spoke circle.

Spokes

Cut eight pieces of bamboo to be the spokes the same length and glue them to your little foam board circle. Make sure the ends are all even and reinforce the middle with lots of hot glue.

Putting the spokes in

Glue the spokes to your outer rim. I glued one of the spokes and held it till it dried, then moved to the next one. Glue the ends of the outer rim together.

Wheels

Add lines of hot glue on the outer rim for ‘traction’ if you would like. If you want to paint it, this would be the best time.

The wheels are now finished.

PEDALS:

Pedals

For each pedal cut a piece of foam board the size you want your pedal to be. Add lines of hot glue on one side of each.

Foil pedals

Cover each foam board piece with foil tape.

Glue idea

Cut the tips off of a toothpick. Squeeze a bit of glue on something that the glue will come off easily. (I used the backing from my foil tape.) Wait for it to flatten out a little bit, then stick one end of your toothpick in the glue and hold till it dries. When it’s dry, peel the toothpick and glue off. I am going to call this method the ‘gluing method’ for the rest of this post.

Gluey pedals

Use scissors to make a ridge in the middle of each pedal piece. Make sure that when you put the pieces together, glue side out, the ridges line up. Put glue on the pedal pieces and stick them together. Make sure there is a hold where the ridges are. Stick your toothpick through that hole, making sure the pedal spins easily around the toothpick, and trim the glue if need be.

More gluey

Stick the end of the toothpick that sticks out into a glob of glue, just like you did for the other side.

Finished pedals

The pedals should are finished. (Except that in this picture I hadn’t glued the other side of the one pedal-oops)

The peadals spin

Glue one end of each pedal to a piece of bamboo sticking up. (The bamboo should be the same length for both pedals.)

Pedal contraption

Cut an oval out of foam board and use a pencil to make a hole through it. Glue one of the bamboo pieces attached to it’s pedal to a piece of bamboo, going through the hole in the oval. Glue the other bamboo piece attached to it’s pedal to the bamboo through the foam board, going opposite the other pedal (One pedal should be up, the other down.) This whole thing is the ‘pedal contraption’

Your pedals are done.

BIKE SEAT:

Starting the bike seat

Cut out a bike seat shaped piece of foam board. Trace it on foam padding, and cut that out too.

seat covering

Cover your foam piece with cloth, gluing it down at the bottom.

Bike seat base

Use the gluing method on a long stick of bamboo. Poke a hole with a pencil through the bike seat shaped foam board piece. Stick your bamboo through the hole. The glue at the top will keep it from falling through. This long piece is the bike seat pole.

Bike seat

Glue the cloth covered foam on top of the foam board and bamboo, nice side up.

Your bike seat is finished.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

Gluing bamboo

Cut a little piece of bamboo to go inside both spoke circles. We will call this ‘the little part’ Make sure it turns easily around the little part. Glue a longer piece of bamboo to the little part.

Making it spin

Stick the little part through the spoke circle.It spins!

Glue another long piece of bamboo to the other end of the little part.

Closing it up

Trim the ends to just over the wheel. Glue a piece of bamboo over the tops of the bamboo. This will be the front wheel piece. Make sure the wheel still spins. This wheel is the front wheel.

Gluing it bigger

For the other wheel use the glue method on one end of the little part. Stick the little part through the spoke circle. It won’t go all the way through because of the glue. Carefully use the glue method on the other end of the little part. When you peel the glue off make sure the wheel still spins around the little part.

Half done

Glue two long pieces of bamboo on each side to the glue on the ends of the little part. These will be called ‘the bike seat long pieces’ Use the bike seat  pole to measure how long you want it to be. Glue beads or short pieces of bamboo to the ends of the bike seat long pieces, sticking towards the bike seat. Now glue the beads to the bike seat pole.

How to attatch the pedal contreaption

Carefully split the end of the bike seat pole. Glue the foam board on the pedal contraption into the slit on the bike seat pole.

Half plus pedals

This is what it should look like so far.

Handlebars

Glue three bamboo pieces together for the handlebars. Unisyckle

Glue the handlebars to a long piece of bamboo, and glue that long piece to the front wheel piece.

Getting there

Glue a piece of bamboo from the foam board on the pedal contraption to the bamboo piece connecting the front wheel and handlebars.

 

Now add support bars, clean it up a little bit, and you are done!

It's done!

This is what mine looks like.

*Note: My bike cannot stand up on it’s own with a doll on it, but is still great for playing with.

Walking the bike

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How To Make A Doll Macrame Hammock

Perfect promotion

A hammock isn’t all that adventure themed, but it’s still really fun to make. I made my hammock macramé, and that’s what I’m going to show you how to make, but you could use some cloth between the sticks on either end if you prefer.

Are you ready to get started?

You will need:

Dowels or sticks of some kind, (I used bamboo sticks because that’s what I had)

Thick string or rope

Sticks

Start by cutting two identical sticks the width you want your hammock to be.

String

Now cut your string. I did each string three times how long I wanted my hammock to be, and that was enough string with a bit of extra. Make sure to cut an even number of strings. (I used ten)

Hammock strings

Fold one string in half, fold the loop at the end around one of the bamboo sticks, and pull the remaining string through the loop. This makes a slipknot. Do this with all of the strings.

Triangles

Now you can start macrameing it. Each loop should have two strings coming from it. Tie one of the strings in an overhand knot with the string next to it, not in that knot. Do that for all the strings. Each string should be tied in a knot with the string next to it, but not the one in the knot with it, except the ones on the end, just leave those be for now. It should look like triangles.

Macreme

Now repeat your tying in the same way. Each string goes in a knot next to it, but isn’t knotted with the one it’s already knotted with. The ones on the end will now have a knot to go in.

HammockyJPG

Continue knotting this way until you either run out of string, or it’s as long as you want it.

Knots

Pull the knot at the end of each triangle up to the other stick. Separate the strings, put one on either side, and knot them at the other end. Do this to all the knots.

Finished!

Tie string around the sticks, and tie it to a tree or poll.

And you are done!

Resting

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How To Make A Harness

A few years ago I hosted a week of crafts on a doll blog that was doing a camp of crafts. My theme was adventure. The doll blog has since been deleted, but I had the posts I wrote in my drafts, (and the owner had said it was okay to post them) so I thought it would be fun to post some anyway.

Scaling the wall

At the camp I go to every year there is a rock wall, high ropes course, zip-line, and a high ropes swing. They all use the same kind of harness.

I thought it would be cool to have a harness for the dolls so they could do that too.

Here’s how to make one:

You will need:

Ribbon, (I used a thicker kind and a thinner kind. )

A clip,

A buckle,

Glue.

Wrapp ribbon

Start by wrapping the ribbon around the doll’s waist, overlapping it a bit.

The buckle on the belt

Wrap the ends of the ribbon around a buckle, and glue it down to itself. 

Ribbon loopy

Wrap the ribbon around your doll’s leg like this, and glue it to the belt.

Leg loop

It should look like this when you take it off.

Make a loop for the other leg and glue it into place.

The ribbon criss cross

Glue a piece of thinner ribbon from the leg loop to the belt.

Double crossy

Glue a piece of that same ribbon from the other leg loop to the belt, crossing it over the first one.

Clip a clip or carabiner to the front (Or back) of the belt, and the harness is done!

Your doll can use the harness in anything you can dream up to make, but I clipped it to a rope (Tied to a tree) so she could go rock climbing.

End o the wall

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What Has Become Of Dolltastically Fun

In my last post I seriously said that it wasn’t the end of the blog. I didn’t want it to be. I wanted to post more.

But that didn’t happen.

I used to be a ten year old with an enormous love for dolls, and I was silly and weird and obsessed.

Sometimes I look back on that phase and go “I was so weird.” “Why did I spend so much money?” “Why couldn’t I have been normal?” “Why did I DO that?”

But ultimately I cannot change the past, so I have to make peace with it.

Yes, it was a little strange. But I learned a lot. I grew a lot.

I made so many things for my dolls. I made toys, and clothes, and like five separate dollhouses. They didn’t usually look great, but I learned most of the skills I have now. (Which comes in handy, running my craft club.) I learned how to repurpose things, and how to make things at a low cost.

I had the opportunity to talk to other people close to my age who loved the same things, other people who were older but not ashamed of their love of dolls. I had so many great conversations.

I don’t think I ever had more than like 114 followers, which really isn’t a lot in the blogging world, but for a young girl like me, I had more than a hundred people following me, reading what I wrote, and most of them didn’t even know me! I found that so cool. I still do.

I always believed it would never be just a phase. I would never grow out of dolls. I would love them forever, play with them forever.

I will always have a love for dolls. I still look up the new girl of the year, and I still notice dolls at thrift stores, or when girls in public have dolls. I still talk about dolls when the subject comes up, and I connect with people who also loved dolls.

But I have, ultimately, grown out of that phase. I’m a teenager now. I wear makeup and obsess about my clothes. I go out with my friends and spend way too much time on TikTok.

I’ve deconstructed my dollhouses, and most of the stuff is put away. I’ve given away most of my dolls to people who actually play with them. All that’s left is some things in my closet, and my six American Girl dolls on a shelf in my room.

But I still make things. I still write. I just do it in different ways.

Every week nine kids come to my house for a craft club that I run. We let them use the supplies and build their skills, while making what they want. I still can’t believe that I get paid (admittedly not much) for something that I love doing so much.

I write in my journals, I write for school, and my friends and I do a writing club. I wish I had more time so that I could write in other ways too, but I just don’t.

Since I rarely post anymore my parents want to stop paying for the domain. we are going to make a scrapbook so nothing goes away entirely, but most of the pictures will probably get taken down. The blog will stay up however.

I won’t promise to post any more. I’d like to post on Creative Castle sometimes, but that probably won’t happen.

But I won’t forget. I’ll remember this phase of my life, making things, and spending way too much money, and talking to you all, and all the fun I had.

Thanks for the memories.

Hannah

I Downsized My Doll Collection

Although I still love dolls, and this blog isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I don’t really play with them anymore and I decided it was time for someone else to love them as much as I did. I don’t really need twenty one dolls, especially since I don’t do a lot with them anymore.

I knew for sure I wanted to keep all six of my American Girl dolls, and I also knew I had to keep Joy. All of the dolls from the thrift store would be going except Callie, who I wanted to keep, but in the end I decided not to, so she went also. That left Maria, Abby, Faith, Riley, Katelyn, and Hope. Faith, Riley, Katelyn and Hope went to my dollhouse, which is now in the basement so other kids that come to our house can play with it, and Maria and Abby joined the others I wanted to give away.

Finding a place to give them to was hard. I googled places to give toys to, but they didn’t fit any of the requirements, and I didn’t want them to go to a thrift store. I wanted them to go to someone who would love them.

We asked some friends of ours who have a bunch of kids, and we ended up giving some clothes and furniture to them, but they didn’t want any of the dolls. My two younger cousins, who I’d given dolls to before wanted a few dolls, so I sent them pictures of the dolls, and they each chose one which I gave them for Christmas.

At this point we had pretty much decided to give the dolls to Goodwill. I had a conversation with one of my mom’s friends, and I ended up asking if any of her children wanted some dolls. She said yes, and so I sent her some pictures, but she didn’t care which ones, so my mom and I decided to give her all eight of them. We figured that she could give whichever ones they didn’t want to Goodwill, since they would have gone there anyway.

So I cleaned up the ten dolls, brushed their hair, (Unless it was really bad, then I just left it since I didn’t want to spend six hours brushing doll hair that really wouldn’t look much better) and dressed them, most of them in crocheted doll clothes that I had from my Etsy shop I used to have.

The eight dolls for my mom’s friend, along with some furniture and extra clothes, went into a huge black trashbag, and we gave it to her when we saw her next. I told her to give whatever they didn’t want to Goodwill, but she said that if they didn’t keep them all they knew families who might want them to pass them onto instead.

thatcolaagereal

In the first picture (Top left) are Jenny, a doll I found at the thrift store, and Abby, a doll I got for Christmas a few years ago. The second picture (top middle) has Maria, a doll I bought soon after Abby. Rachel and Sammi (Top right and middle right) were two of the first three dolls I found at the thrift store, and my first restoration, which you can read about HERE. Liv,  (Middle left) Coral, (Bottom left) and Lisette (Bottom middle) were all found at thrift stores, but I never really did much with them. I named Coral because I realized she didn’t have a name on my way to the challenge in which I entered the underwater habitat, so I named her Coral. Willow (Bottom right) was my cousin’s doll, but she doesn’t play with her anymore, so she gave me Willow. And then Callie, (Middle middle) was a doll I found at a thrift store, but she’s super pretty and photogenic, and I loved to take pictures of her, but I decided to give her away also.

It was kind of hard to give away so much of my collection, but I know they will be used more at their new homes than here, and I’m glad I did.

Lexie

Four Years of Dolltastically Fun

I haven’t been posting a lot recently on here, but Friday was Dolltastically Fun’s four year anniversary, and I wanted to make a (short) post about it.

I started Dolltastically Fun about four years ago as a way to share my craziness about dolls with other people and connect with other people who love dolls as much as I do.

DSCN3788[1]

A picture of Abby from a few months after I started Dolltastically Fun.

I had had a blog before that.

021.jpg

A picture of my guinea pig Nibbles from when my blog was a guinea pig blog.

It was a guinea pig blog for awhile, but after awhile I changed the name to Creative Castle and started posting my mini dolls’ adventures there.

DSCN2297

One of my mini dolls’ adventures.

Creative Castle ran out of picture space around the same time I got my first full sized American Girl doll, so I started Dolltastically Fun and it became my not-mini-doll blog. I post on Creative Castle now as my writing blog.

DSCN6111[1]

Lily Anna showing us a scooter. 

I used to post almost every day, but as I’ve gotten older I don’t have the time anymore, especially since I try to spend more time on making great posts. I think my posts have improved a ton since I started this blog. The pictures are better, (Though not quite where I’d like them to be) and the writing is also a bunch better.

Dandieileen

One of my favorite pictures of Eileen.

Although I’ll always love my dolls I’m starting to downsize some and spend less time with my dolls. I think my dolls are more about making posts and taking pictures than playing with them, right now, for me.

I still plan to post on here, at least once in awhile, and I hope Dolltastically Fun stays around for a long time.

Here’s to four more years!

Lexie

Joy’s Journal – The Acknowledgments And What’s To Come For Joy’s Journal

Some people probably find these kinds of posts boring, but it’s fun to write them, so here you go.

First of all, I’m very thankful to a friend of mine who actually has a chronic illness, because she answered all my questions (And there were a LOT) about chronic illnesses, and supported my story.

Then there is my real-life-Savana- who is the girl who Joy’s friend is based off of. They are very different, but my real Savana has all the same characteristics that are important – Understanding, forgiving, kind, and also really silly sometimes. Thanks Bumblebee!

Joy’s cousins are based off of my real cousins, who are also very different, but are fun to be with, encouraging, and offer a different perspective on things. So thanks to them.

And then, of course, YOU! If you are reading this, and you didn’t hate Joy’s journal, yay! Thanks for reading and coming along on Joy’s adventure.

Will there be a third Joy’s Journal? Probably not, at least not on this blog. I’m considering writing a third one on my other blog Creative Castle but I don’t think I’d want to do another journal with pictures.

If enough people would like to read another one, I’d like to write it for them, so if you would like to read another, please comment or tell me.

So thanks for reading everyone! I had so much fun making this series, and I hope you liked it that much too!

Lexie

Joy’s Journal – The Epilogue

The year I went to a boarding school was a long, hard year, one that I would never choose to repeat, but I learned a lot, and I’m glad it happened.

I never did become friends with Roberta again, or any of her friends. Most of them had changed, and weren’t mean anymore, but they still had hurt me, and I couldn’t get past that enough to be friends again.

Those friendships just didn’t work out. And that was okay. Some friends work, and some just don’t.

But I still had Savana, and although Callie didn’t live very close to us, I became very close to her too.

Callie and Savana didn’t understand my illness, but they tried to be very understanding about it.

Anika, however, did understand. She didn’t live very close, but we talked all the time, from texts and emails, to phone calls, and video chats, and even actual mail. While Savana and Callie tried to be very understanding, Anika actually got it. She knew what it was like to always feel bad, and not be able to do things, and for no one else to understand.

We talked about what helped and what didn’t, but mostly it was just helpful to have someone who understood without a lot of explaining.

My health never really did get better. Because I hadn’t taken care of myself, my health was a lot worse than it had been before. My good days were worse than my bad days had been a year ago, and I had to accept that I was probably never going to get any better, even just to where I had been a few months ago.

I really hated that. If I had done things different, my illness would never have gotten that bad. I would be so much better now. But I had to live with my decision forever, and I had to learn to accept it, which was really hard.

I started taking care of myself after that. If I was sick, I would take them time to get better. I tried not to push myself, and I said no to a lot of things that I really wanted to do. I had to let my health come first.

I started a project one day when I wasn’t feeling well. I wanted to write an encouraging letter to everyone I knew. It started slow, with just one letter, to Savana, but I worked on it whenever I was home not feeling well. The response I got from my letters was amazing. People always like the letters, and a lot of people even started writing encouraging letters of their own. I loved using my bad days to help someone else.

Some days were still really really hard, but I was getting better, not physically, but emotionally, and learning to forgive.

And I guess that’s the important part.

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-24

I was still so ridiculously sick, but I finally had the hope I needed to get better. I started to reach out more when I needed help. I stopped answering the question “How are you” with “Good.”

That one small word had ruined everything.

But it was okay.

I remember the first time getting out of bed without help. I remember walking to my sister’s room and yelling “Boo” at her. She was so surprised, and it wasn’t just because I had scared her.

Elli, Ana, and Savana helped me so much. They were so supportive, especially when I couldn’t see myself getting better.

The end of year party at RiverView approached, and I made it a goal to be able to go. I knew there was a good chance I’d have to stay home, but it was nice to have something to get excited for.

One day close to the party I was bored, so Elli and Ana decided that now was the time we were going to pick out dresses. Honestly I had totally forgotten about that at all.

 I didn’t really have any ones of my own that I liked, because dress-requiring events were not my thing. But being the youngest of four girls, I had acquired all the outgrown dresses. By this point I didn’t even know what I had. My sisters gave them to me, and I stuck them in the back of my closet. 

This is a LOT of dresses

So, instead of going shopping, which I wouldn’t have been up for, Elli and Ana found a ton of dresses, and I tried them on.

We put Callie and Savana on video chat so them could help choose, and then I started trying dresses on.

This red dress is not for me

The first one I tried on was red, long, and very pretty. But not on me.

Opioion

“Ooh, I like that one!” Callie exclaimed after we had decided against it. “Can I have it?”

“No.” I laughed. “My sisters would kill me. Why do you think I have so many dresses?”

I tried on more dresses, but they were all the same. Very pretty. But not on me. I tried on floofy ones and tight ones, pink ones and yellow ones, flowered dresses, cat hair covered, shiny dresses. Hope has weird taste in dresses. 

Finally we came to a white dress that was apparently tie-dyed. I didn’t recognize this one.

tie dye dresses are cool guys

But I loved it. It fit, and it was pretty.

We all decided it was ‘the one’.

Yes, Savana is weird

“That looks so much better on you than on-” I saw Callie give Savana a look, and she stopped.

“On who?”

“Anyone but you.” She finally said.

I was confused, but dropped it. “Can we look at shrugs?” I suggested. I knew I had some, and I was kind of self-conscious about my pale arms. (And pale face, and legs. and hands, and feet, and nose, and neck.)

It's perfect

So we looked at shrugs. I have less of those than dresses.

We looked at a few shrugs, and then I found Savana’s green shrug. It was perfect.

yup

“That looks so great Joy!” Savana told me.

And I noticed she was wearing the bow. “But don’t you want it back?”

“No Joy. It’s yours.”

The day of the party I wasn’t feeling great, but I really wanted to go, and I couldn’t disappoint my friends, so I went. Savana’s mom went with my mom and me, because she was going to pick Savana up, same as the other parents.

Savana’s mom and mine talked the whole way there, but I fell asleep.

When we got there I ran up to my room, only to find that they weren’t there. Two girls I didn’t know answered instead, their hair and makeup half done.

“Savana is with Callie now honey,” Savana’s moms said.

So I followed her to the other end of the hall.

Finally together again

The two girls squealed when I opened the door. “Joy!” They both hugged me. Savana’s mom said hi, and then they left us to talk.

We started getting ready, among talking.I had never gotten to know Callie, but she squealed and talked, and I felt right at home.

It's so pretty

“Do you like my dress? It’s orange, but I really like how it looks.”

And then randomly, she said: Oh, we are going to be such good friends, now that you are here!” Callie exclaimed.

I must have looked surprised, because Callie stopped looking sure of herself. “If you want to, I mean.”

“Of course I want to! I just haven’t been very nice, and well-”

“Whatever. We were different then. Now is so much different, and so are you.”

Lexie

Joy’s Journal 2-23

My cousins Elli and Ana were staying with us for a week. They were very understanding, and did a lot to cheer me up. They didn’t blame me for my mistakes, something that it felt like everyone else did, especially me.

Elli was a few years older than me, but she didn’t treat me like I was an immature little kid.

I think she realized, that with all I’ve been through, I’m NOT an immature little kid. I’ve changed a lot during these past few years.

crayons now my dear

Elli would come hang out in my room sometimes, even if I wasn’t willing to talk, just to be there. We usually did talk though.

And now she is wearing a scruncie on her head

Elli and I had these long talks, about anything and everything. We talked about lamas, food, illness, the future, how crayons are made, everything.

A hamburger now

I remember one day Elli put a tray of food in front of me, then sat down to talk.

And now it's not ana

After a few minutes Elli commented on the food that I hadn’t eaten. “Is anything, wrong, or are you just not hungry?”

“I’m just not hungry.”

We sat in silence for a few seconds, and then I said something I’d thought I would never say.

“What if I don’t get better Elli? What if I’m like this forever? I ruined everything. If only I’d taken care of myself? Would things be different now.”

Elli took so long to respond that I thought she wasn’t going to.

At last, she started to talk. “I think,” She said slowly, “That everyone makes mistakes. And some of them are bigger than others, some of them have more consequences than others, some of them are more life changing than others. And you can’t change what you have done, no matter how hard you try, you can only learn from it.  I know it’s hard right now, but you will adjust, and, though it make take a long time, you will learn to forgive yourself. Don’t hate yourself for this Joy. Everyone makes mistakes.”

Ana is the best

And then there was Ana. She was several years younger than me, but she loved to hang out with me.

I know she looked up to me, and though that was cool, I didn’t want her to look up to me, a person who had messed everything up with a few big mistakes.

One time I told her this, but she just said “I know that you did some mistakes. I like that you are so brave and cheerful through all of this.”

Colored pencils my dear

Sometimes Ana brought in her treasured colored pencils, and we would draw.

Ana had the most unique, innocent outlook on things, and she was a very cheerful little girl.

I was still stuck in bed, but having my cousins there helped a lot. They gave me something I hadn’t had in a long time.

Hope.

Lexie