Nov 25, 2012

The blog in which it's the 18" doll (PVC) bed tutorial.

The last of the American Girl doll DIY Christmas gifts is finally done.  I started this one back in September, and I finally found inspiration for it, and with a little tweaking to original design, I came up with a great alternative.  I assume the cost of the PVC pipe and the connectors cost about $15.  I had all the fabric and some poly stuffing to make the pillows.  (I made my kids their tooth fairy pillows last year, and had left over stuffing.  Oh, and I have also made a couple of doll pillows over the past two years for my daughter and my niece.  That bag certainly has paid for itself by now.)  I really didn't want to purchase foam to have to cover with fabric, and store when it is not in use.  So, I came up with a hammock style bed.  My first attempt was to attach fabric with cuts in it to the slip tee connectors, but that looked terrible, and really had potential to rip, as it was as I was working with it.  You will see in the pictures.

All the fabric I used is the reversible, brick red (American Girl color), and funky print on the reverse.  I like to use that red color and paint white stars with a star cookie cutter I have.  That adds that extra touch that I think will make it that much more realistic. I struggle with sewing and it took me hours to fix all that.  That was where I was stumped.  I had the bed frame done months ago.  But no idea how to do attach and sew all the parts together.  I am VERY pleased with it.  I hope she is too.  I have yet to attach the canopy portion of the fabric, but I believe i will just affix it with velcro sticker dots.  (I bet I can find someone who has some extra in their sewing box.  I only need four.)  Hint, hint friends!

Here are the pieces.  I didn't actually measure anything other than use the doll to get the dimensions I wanted.  When I began photgraphing for the tutorial, I got the measurements.  Right.  That's how I sew, too.  No wonder I am terrible at sewing.  There are six pieces that are the length of the bed, four pieces that attach the ends, and 8 pieces that make the height.  I connect those with the slip tee connectors.  

need four of each of these two sizes for the height of the bed- shorter one on the bottom

Here is the bed frame, sans fabric.  Simple, right?  

Two pillows.  One more decorative.  I am painting the stars on tonight for this side.  
other side of the pillows-- I love this corduroy fabric.  I got it at Walmart some time last year for a pleated skirt project I did, and never got to this fabric.  Glad to have had it after I messed up the first bit of scrap fabric I was working with ;o) My hippy chick will love it.  

All the makings for the bed.  Hammock style tie on mattress, blanket, canopy,  a pillow and a decorative pillow.  

This was the mattress part I was talking about.  I made a reversible piece and cut holes in it to attach to the slip tee connectors.  No beuno.
View from looking in on the bed with it's pillows and comforter
My final thought for all three projects I made her (tent, table and chairs, and this bed) will be to make simply drawstring bags for each project.  We live in a VERY small home, and that was some of my inspiration for these items.  They can be easily disassembled and put back together when ready to play with them.  They can each hang in their own little drawstring bag I make with some extra fabric, old tee shirts, etc.   I want to hear from you guys!  Share these tutorials with others that you feel might appreciate these little cost saving projects.  Do you have any fun PVC pipe plans that you can share with us?  Love to hear it!  In the new year, I will be putting together a puppet theatre with PVC pipe.  Just need a little time to relax before I start up again with an easy PVC project, and a "Stretch my sewing abilities to the max" sort of event.  ;o)  

PS  I more than reached our goal of not spending more than $100 per child on Christmas gifts this year!  Shay only cost us about $60  for her three gifts!  Charlie cost us about $65 for his three gifts.  Guess I can get a few things for their stockings and done!  Guess it's time to focus on the gospel!


  1. This is pure genius! I thought about doing something similar, but yours looks much better than my ideas ever did.

    I especially love the fact that it can be taken apart and stored, since we also have smallish living quarters.

  2. I appreciate your bed... I had one in my mind- basically the same but found they didn't make 90 degree pvc fitting with two sides, only one. You solved that problem, Thanks so much!