American Girl Goes to School

American Girl DIY desk and school supplies

Miss Priss is attending an American Girl camp this week, which got my creative juices flowing. Since the camp is being held at a school site, I thought we could make school supplies for the dolls. Like all good mother/daughter projects, Miss Priss got bored; TheRoomMom went overboard.

I will say that the 2-ring binder requires a steady hand and a glue gun, so some of the school supply construction was beyond Miss Priss’ capabilities. She made all of the pencils and did most of the work on the pocket folders. On the horizon are some sort of camping supplies for American Girl. Project brain is already engineering fake s’mores and lanterns.

Pencil Cup with Colored Pencils

Materials

  • round toothpicks
  • Sharpie markers, various colors
  • sharp cutting tool (like an X-acto knife)
  • sandpaper
  • plastic lid from a non-aerosol bug spray bottle (these are the same lids I used for the smoothie/milkshakes)

American Girl DIY colored pencils

Directions

  • Cut the toothpicks in half and sand the cut end until smooth. 
  • With a Sharpie marker, color the very tip, leave some space, then color the base of the toothpick all the way around.
  • The proportions are a little small for American Girl, so you may want to cut the toothpick down about 2/3 to get a longer pencil than what we have.
  • Use the plastic lid as a pencil cup and place all finished pencils in the lid.

Pocket Folders

Materials

  • cardstock, variety of colors
  • paper cutter or scissors and ruler (highly recommend a paper cutter)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • little decorative stickers, scraps of paper
  • Avery labels (1/2″ x 3/4″), optional

AG pocket folder finished

Directions

  • Cut a piece of cardstock into a rectangle 5 1/2″ x 3 3/4″. Carefully fold in half and press the crease firmly.
  • Cut 2 pieces of cardstock into rectangles 1 1/4″ x 2 3/4″. These will be the pockets. If desired, cut a diagonal out of one side to make the inner pocket edge slope. We liked the pockets in contrasting colors, but you could make the pocket color and folder color match.

AG pocket folder interior

  • Put a thin line of glue around the bottom and outside edge of the pocket piece. Press each pocket piece onto the interior bottom of the left and right side of the folder. Let dry. Remember to leave the top and center sides unglued, so you can add papers to the pockets.
  • Cut scraps of paper into small pieces. I used some junk mail I had. Slide papers into the pockets.
  • On the exterior of the folder, decorate with mini stickers or the Avery label with a class subject written on the label.

AG pocket folder size

2-Ring Binders

Materials

  • cardstock, variety of colors
  • paper cutter or scissors (recommend a paper cutter)
  • ruler (recommend metal)
  • printer or notebook paper
  • silver jump rings (7 mm)
  • silver paint pen
  • silver colored poster board
  • Elmer’s glue
  • X-acto knife
  • hot glue gun
  • needle nose pliers

American Girl binder

Directions

  • I originally saw the the binders in this Pin.  This woman makes items for dollhouses, so the proportions were too small, but her directions are very good.
  • Cut a piece of cardstock into a rectangle 6 1/2″ x 3 3/4″. Put the piece of cardstock landscape direction on a table. Draw a line 3″ in from the left edge and 3″ in from the right edge. Using a ruler (I recommend a metal ruler), wrap and crease along the lines.

AG binder folded with center

  • Cut a piece of silver posterboard 3 1/2″ by 3/8″. Round off the ends if desired. Glue the skinny piece of posterboard to the center of the cardstock between the 2 folds. Let dry.
  • Cut 3 pieces of printer or notebook paper 5 1/4″ x 3 1/4″. Stack the 3 sheets and fold in half.
  • With the pointy end of an X-acto knife, poke a hole through the folded sheets of paper near one end. Repeat at the other end. If you want a 3-ring binder, you could poke 3 holes, but this stuff is tiny, and I think 2 holes are sufficient.

AG binder add jump ring

  • With pliers, pull open 2 jump rings. Thread the jump ring through the paper. With the pliers, close the ring.

AG binder close jump ring

  • Hold the papers with the jump rings over the skinny silver posterboard piece and eyeball where the jump rings sit. Put 2 small blobs of hot glue on the silver posterboard piece and push the jump rings into the glue. You can use a toothpick to push things around if needed. Blow on the glue to cool.

AG binder hot glue

  • It is easy to get the folded side of the papers stuck in the hot glue. I was able to peel the paper away without separating the jump rings from the glue.
  • Finally, put 2 silver dots on the outside spine with the silver paint pen to look like the screws on the outside of a binder.

AG binder finished stack

  • You can add pockets to the binders following the directions for the pockets in the pocket folder above.

American Girl DIY school supplies

Clipboard

Materials

  • flat, wooden rectangle 3 5/8″ x 2 5/8″
  • mini binder clip (I think I found these in the fancy brad fastener area at Michael’s.)

American Girl DIY clipboard

Directions

  • Paint the wooden rectangle or decorate with stickers (or both). We left ours the natural wood color and added mini stickers from the American Girl Mini Scrap Books (see below).
  • Cut paper to fit the clipboard.
  • Clip paper to the clipboard with the mini binder clip.Metal “handles” can be up or down.

American Girl store bought items

Store Bought

  • In the American Girl craft aisle at Michael’s, we found a Mini Scrap and Stuff Books set. It came with the tiny spiral notebooks and the little stickers we used on the clipboard and outside of the pocket folders.
  • I located the mini manila file folders in the gift label section of Hobby Lobby. We wrote on the mini Avery labels and attached the white label to the tab.
  • The teeny tiny envelopes with enclosed notecards were in the baby shower/party aisle at Michael’s. The package had a variety of envelope and note sizes.

American Girly DIY school supplies

Check out other American Girl crafts on this post and this post.

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20 thoughts on “American Girl Goes to School

    • I don’t know if “appreciate” is the right word. She loves playing with the finished products but gets mad when I won’t let her touch things while we make them. I have to keep telling myself that this is supposed to be an activity we share– it doesn’t matter if the stuff isn’t perfect.

    • Thank you!! I put a quarter in some of the pictures, so people would be able to tell what the size is. It’s hard to see how big/tiny they are unless you have something familiar to compare. I thought it would be helpful. 🙂

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  3. Oh my gosh, these are incredible. And the pin was as well. The pencils are just genius, those are definitely on our todo list now. We made some AG doll-sized bookcases and tiny books. I finally made a video of the tiny Mark Twain book we made. It was fun, and you can illustrate them right on the template. Enjoy crafting!

    American Girl doll mini-book video:

    • Awesome video and little book. Thanks for the comment. I am slightly over the top when it comes to crafty AG doll things! My scale isn’t always perfect, but the stuff is so cute and fun.

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  6. omg, super neat and creative! if i may i would like to add a suggestion. if any of the ladies own or can borrow a scor-pal they can use that for many of these items. the folders can be made that way instead. simply cut the length of the folder, score in half and remember to leave an inch or so for the pocket part. you can cut the middle section if desired if pockets need to be separate and use a round corner puncher to round corners. also you can use the scor-pal to make lines for lined notebook paper. again thanks so much i’ve stealing a few ideas.

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  10. Totally creative and far prefer the scale ‘you’ use. As an example for the few that I’ve made for my Grand Daughter’s American dolls where templates have been provided; IMHO have felt they are a tad too large for the doll itself. That said; to each their own and thank you so much for the informative tutorial. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Love your bakery … .

    • Thank you for leaving a note! I love all things mini and making the little AG accessories and playsets with my daughter is so fun (even if she thinks I get carried away)!

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