It’s almost time to go back to school again for the new year, so what better way to do it than to take our dolls to their very own school! Hooray!
One of my favourite things to do as a kid was to play school, and my little girl is no exception. She loves everything school related, just like I did. And mini doll school? Well that just increases the cuteness factor tenfold, and makes it that much more fun!
I have seen some school and classroom products for 18 inch dolls in the past, but again I’m that mom who isn’t willing to shell out a bunch of money for something that I know I can make on my own for a lot less.
The first thing you will need if you would like to make a doll school is a very large piece of sturdy cardboard. This will act as your backdrop. It is best if it already has folds in it. One of those trifold science project boards would probably work well.
I had two large flat shipping boxes in my recycling. All I had to do was open them up, and duct tape them together on the folds. Then I covered the entire thing with brightly coloured scrapbook paper.
As you can see, I glued up a mini chalkboard, a magnetic board and a cork board onto the background. I also hung some interchangeable photo frames. I didn’t want the kiddo playing with real thumbtacks or pins so I put a small sheet of metal behind the cork board, in order that it could also be used as a magnetic board. I even found some magnetic thumbtacks.
I made up some interchangeable labels that clip on too.
That one says, “Art is Fun” but it can be changed out simply by removing it from the clothespin. Some other bulletin board label ideas are: Picture Day Today! Music Class Rocks! Science Lab Due!
You get the picture. I’m sure that you can come up with all kinds of fun things for your dollies to learn. 🙂
Once you have your backdrop, it’s time to set up your school. I picked up some miscellaneous drawers from the dollar store as well as some photo boxes and wooden mini shelves. I lucked out when I found a set of sturdy red drawers at Michael’s for $7.99 that were the perfect size. There were matching photo boxes for $1 a piece that I just stacked up there beside the drawers as well.
Look at that mini pencil-shaped stapler! Isn’t it just the cutest thing ever?
Next, I made the magnetic sign board. I took a piece of sturdy cardboard and folded it in half. I cut out legs, reinforcing them by taping triangles of cardboard to the inside. I removed the bottom of a large, metal soy sauce container to make the magnetic board part. Pretty much everything not being used gets crafted up in my house!
I simply removed the bottom of the can using a can opener that leaves a dull edge. Then I hot glued it onto the board. It was perfect for the tons of school magnets from the dollar store that we already had. You could probably decorate it with scrapbook paper to make it pretty, but I just left mine white.
There are plenty of other printables online as well. I found a template to make a doll folder that I printed onto coloured card stock and cut out. It was so cute I had to make a dozen more!
Get creative! Head to your local dollar store to pick up mini staplers, stickers, cute magnets, mini paperclips, mini pencil crayons/markers, mini calendars and mini notepads. I even found a mini pencil case. There is tons of fun stuff out there to stock and decorate your doll school with. All you have to do is take a look!
We even brought in our dolly’s cute little hamsters we made to be the class pets. See how we made their cage here. The hammy’s themselves are pieces of cotton balls that I added a bit of glue stick to and rolled around until I got the right shape. Then I just used a bit of light brown marker to add some colouring to their fur. A black dot for a nose and some tiny googly eyes makes them quite cute, I think.
So why don’t you go get busy crafting, because pretty soon school will be in full swing again and there will be no time for it!
In the meantime, I am sure that you will have lots of fun at dolly school!!
School is in session!
I don’t have an actual doll desk, but this little clip on dining chair works for now. Maybe that will have to be a craft for another day. 🙂