Tuesday, December 21, 2010

dress up felt dolls with flannel book

I regularly follow Rachel from Smile and Wave. I love seeing the crafty projects she comes up with and her vintage wardrobe and things around her house. And the other day I fell in love with these Dress Up Felt Dolls that she did for the Red Velvet Shop (I totally want to go there sometime!).

Since I drew the name of my 4 year old niece Johanna for Christmas this year, I decided that this would be perfect to go with the sweater I am making her. After all, she really likes paper dolls, but has a little trouble with the getting the paper outfits to stay on.

Ok, so I guess it was mostly just me wanting to make it/play with it. And since the Lord has blessed me with 2 little boys, I had to come up with an excuse. Anyway…

Rather than making the large stand up board like Rachel, I wanted something that was a little smaller. So, I came up with this book. This came together really easy with a glue gun and a hand needle (no machine needed) and I was so pleased with how cute it looks in the end!

To make your flannel book, you will need…
2 boards – I used ¼ inch mdf cut to the size of 11 x 8 ½ (sand the corners just a little so they won’t tear the fabric over time.)
½ yard of white flannel
½ yard of white fleece
1/3 yard cover fabric (or any scrap of fabric about the size of a pillow case)
Needlework floss (for sewing on the cover)

Lay out your boards on top of the white fleece about ¾ of an inch apart (I did a half inch and it’s a bit tight, so ¾ would be better).

Cut your fleece about 1 ½ inches wider than the edges of your boards all the way around. (Note: do not cut through the middle.) It doesn’t have to be beautiful because you will end up hiding all these edges.

Trim the corner of the fleece as shown, so that they will fold up nice.

Fold the edges of the fleece over the boards and hot glue them down.

Lay out your book on top of the white flannel. Don’t worry about stretching it; just keep it smooth with no strings or fuzzies on it since those might show between the 2 layers of white.

Fold over all the edges of the flannel and hot glue them to your book. I’m told to make nice corners, you fold the corner in first and then the sides, as in the picture. It worked pretty good, but I might need a little more practice.

Fold your book shut and lay your ribbon around it, then hot glue in place. (Note: use one long piece of ribbon, not pieces, as they may pull out if someone tries to tie it too tightly)

For the cover of the book, cut a piece of fleece just slightly smaller than your book currently is. Then you will cut your fabric about an inch wider on each side. Fold in your corners and then edges around the fleece and press with a hot iron.

Place the cover around the closed book. It will fit a little small, but don’t worry; it will adjust and end up fitting perfectly. I put a little dab of hot glue on the corners to help hold it while I sewed it on.

I started sewing at the “binding” side and worked my way towards the opening side of the book (It seemed like this helped make sure that the cover stayed centered). By making a 3/8 inch whipstitch, and giving a tiny tug on each stitch, my cover ended up fitting almost perfectly.

The perfectionist/artist in me was having a hard time since my stitches weren’t even, but then I thought, “hey, she’s 4. She won’t care.” Not to mention we will be exchanging gifts in 6 days, so I needed to get it DONE!

Don’t sew over the ribbon, just kind of pass it by with 1 little stitch.

Place your doll and all of her beautiful wardrobe inside. I used Rachel’s print outs to get me started, and then came up with a few of my own outfits & accessories to add to it.

I loved the little Mary Janes.

Isaac sat on my lap and we played with it for quite a while. His favorites were the pigtails & the teddy bear. And the pink bow, which he was sure was a neck tie.

Thanks Rachel, for the great inspiration!


  1. So cute! Johanna will love those! =)
    You should try making a farm scene with tractors or animals for your boys. Not as fun as doll clothes but just a thought.

  2. oh my gosh! that is so great! you are extraordinarily talented, mrs. jacobsen! :) I bet your neice loved it. wonderful gift.

  3. What an adorable idea! Thank you so much for the inspiration - my daughter got one this weekend, and loves it :)


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