Mara has also spent many hours "reading" catalogs and dreaming. Again an actual American Girl doll didn't really seem to fit in the budget. However we have found a cheaper alternative that has worked fine for us.
A few Birthdays ago I ordered an 18 inch doll from
Home-Sew (For $16 at that time) and Mara has played with it ever since. She came naked but doll clothes are pretty easy and fun to sew (and don't take much cloth).
Her hair did have a tendency to develop dread locks (Auntie Keren took the time to brush her hair and give her a bunch of braids.) but Mara loves her anyway. I also realized after reading this that we hadn't been caring for her hair properly either. That site has a lot of great tips to keep your doll beautiful and to restore an old one.
This Spring Mara has been saving money in hopes of getting another doll to be Sarah's sister. She thought she would get another one from Home-Sew but they had gone up to $20 (still not bad) so I decided to do a little shopping to see if I could find a better deal. I ended up finding one on e-bay that we decided to bid up to $17.50 on and then we ended up getting it for $13.02 (plus $6.13 shipping) which was exciting. The doll was not brand new but had been very well taken care of and the hair is still lovely. (Mara braided it right away to help keep it good easier) We were pretty happy with that good deal on an 18 inch doll.
Another neat thing about the American Girl's is all their accessories. Accessories can be found frugally too. A couple months ago the boys and I found this little wooden bench at Goodwill for 99 cents. I works perfectly for the dolls.
Mara's little tea sets are perfect size as well and Mara constantly keeps her eye out for things that would work for the dolls.
Here are some free printable patterns you can use for 18 inch dolls:
- A cute drop waist dress (I have made this one.)
- A pattern for a knit sweater.
- You can knit a shawl.
- Or Crochet a sweet skirt.
- A cute crocheted lace dress.
- Mara made slippers and sandals for her dolls.
I am pleased to see my girls enjoying their dolls and am also glad we could get them without spending a fortune!
Do your girls enjoy dolls? Do you have any other frugal tips? And I am curious, did you dream about American Girl dolls when you were young too?
For more frugal tips visit Life As MOM.