£1 Doll Makeover

I’m not sure if it was on this blog or my craft one that I mentioned how we had been having a huge toy clearout over the last few months.

It’s been a pretty slow process but anything that hadn’t been played with for over six months, or ever for that matter (about 80% of our toys) have been taken to the charity shop.

I’m not against toys, I’m all for anything that keeps kids entertained and makes life easier but Cherry is very selective about what she likes to play with, in fact this will give you an idea.. the other week she found an empty plastic ball that came apart in the middle (the ones that come out of those £1 toy machines), she spent the next few days clinging onto it and even started to fill it up with ‘treasure’. Her treasure consisted of a ring pull and a squashed bottle cap that she found on the street.

She played with that for longer than she has ever played with any actual toy so I know that she doesn’t really need a lot of them. I’m more than happy to buy her the occasional thing that she really wants like her Doc McStuffin set but there is no point in her having boxes full of toys that she never plays with, we don’t have the room.

We do love going into charity shops and if she ever finds something she loves then I buy it for her and then when she gets bored of it give it back again. It means she gets the excitement of new toys without me wasting much money or having toys scattered everywhere.

Tiger is at the age where he has really started enjoying playing with toys, especially tractors / cars / trains / anything with wheels so he has a selection of those.

He also loves dolls, he cuddles them and kisses them which is adorable. I have no idea why dolls are seen as a girl’s toy, surely caring for things is something we want boys to do too?!

I spotted this doll in a charity shop last week for £1 but he was looking a bit worse for wear so I decided to give him a makeover.


I started by re-stuffing him, you can buy bags of the stuffing in craft shops for next to nothing. I did it by making little cuts in his back and arms then sewing up after.

Then I made him some clothes.

Note that I am a total beginner when it comes to stitching which is why I haven’t put this on my craft blog, I couldn’t give instructions as I literally just cut around the doll then stitched it together fixing mistakes as I went along but it did kind of work so no matter what your sewing skills it is possible to make clothes for dolls!

I also made him a little cap. I cut the shape out of cardboard then glued the material on and used string to tie it around his head.




This was my first attempt and I had to hand sew plus I only had a small amount of material so I had to cut it in weird ways.

I’m looking forward to giving it another go when I have my new sewing machine.

It does make me happy to see him looking all doll like again though and Tiger loves his new ‘bubba’.

And next time you see a sad lifeless doll in a charity shop why not take it home and give it a makeover?!

dolly makeover

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  • Reply julie August 26, 2014 at 9:05 am

    sweet doll , and lovely outfit all he needs is a bottle of milk . My boys are older now but when they were little they all had a dolls buggy and a doll one of mine who is now 11 years loved his dolls so much he would cry if he couldn’t have one at car boots , he ended up with quite a collection and outgrew them when he started school.I think it is good for boys to show a caring side and think it wrong to stereotype , which is mainly down to advertising . my 3 year old daughter loves dolls but also loves cars and has a garage .

  • Reply LauraCYMFT August 26, 2014 at 9:28 am

    He looks great. I love his car dungarees and cap!
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  • Reply Fiona August 26, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Ah, this is lovely. I would never think to re-stuff a charity shop toy. & I love the outfit! I need to make some new clothes for Ebony’s dolly, but I hate setting up the sewing machine… Maybe for Christmas x
    Fiona recently posted…Great Adventures Gone AwryMy Profile

  • Reply Susan Mann August 26, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Love this, you’ve done a fab job. I’ll need to learn how to do this. xx
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  • Reply Notmyyearoff August 26, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    That’s such a cool outfit. He looks much more trendy now in that!
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  • Reply Polly August 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    you did a great job! he looks so much happier now :)
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  • Reply Kathryn (@KatGotTheCream) August 26, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Oh we really need to have a toy amnesty. I think my kids would actually play with toys better and for longer if they only had a few. They get so attached to them even when they don’t play with them!
    I really like your idea of using the charity shops a bit like a toy library and it’s all for a good cause. You did a brilliant job on the makeover!
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  • Reply Donna August 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Dolls completely freak me out BUT you made him look pretty cute, for a freaky doll!! x
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  • Reply fritha August 27, 2014 at 7:06 am

    we also need a toy clear out! I think it’s harder for us as my mum passed down 70% of Wilf’s toys so I feel I HAVE to keep them. What I really need to do is find some better storage! I love that you gave this dolly new life! I had two dollies as a little girl and they look so freaky now, both have lost their eyelashes and hair and stuffing..I should try and fix them up a bit (although they may be past saving!) x
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  • Reply Kelly Finn August 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Oh wow he’s super cute! His clothes are adorable, I love how you just winged it! I’ve made a few bits with no patten, totally made up as you go along. We need to do a toy clear out too, this has reminded me. *gulps*

  • Reply Carie August 29, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Oh he looks fabulous – very smart in his new clothes (and for the record that’s how I made dolls clothes when I was little so it’s definitely the way to go!). We had a big toy declutter in the spring and it made a real difference to what the girls actually play with – they can see what they’ve got if the volume isn’t overwhelming!

  • Reply Laura August 29, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I totally agree – I think whatever is not played with needs to go as it’s so easy to have mountains of stuff that is not actually offering you anything but a headache – I am all for keeping things that my little man does play with but there is so much he simply doesn’t and could be put to good use somewhere else. I love this makeover on the doll and think it’s a great example of how toys don’t need to be expensive at all to have fun

    Laura x
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