American Girl Goes to Work

American Girl office play scene

I love Miss Priss loves to make new play scenes for her American Girl dolls. She has a Tri-Fold Project Board Display, the kind used for science fair projects, that we periodically change out for different doll activities. So far, we have made a Restaurant, a Dress Shop, an Art Gallery, and a Hair Salon with the project board. Last week, Miss Priss asked if we could convert the background scene to an office space. You don’t have to ask me twice, so we loaded up and headed to Hobby Lobby where all of my great crafty projects start.

American Girl Office SuppliesThe Desk

  • We used a hot pink desk organizer and tipped it on its side. The openings that would have held pencils, paper clips, or Post-it notes became shelves across the front of the desk.
  • We found 5″ sparkly candlesticks and glued them to the desk organizer. I used E6000 Glue, which is a heavy duty craft glue. I did measure the distance from the edges of the desk organizer and center the candlesticks on each side of the desk organizer box before gluing to make sure the candlestick legs were evenly spaced.
  • In order for the scale to be about right, desks and tables should be roughly 9″ tall.

American Girl office deskThe Bulletin Board

  • Purchase a pre-cut mat for a picture frame. The interior dimensions of my frame mat is 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. I used the thin corkboard on a roll with adhesive back that I had from making Doll Sandwiches. Cut a corkboard piece a little larger than the opening of your frame mat. Run a line of glue around the front edges of the corkboard and press it to the back of the frame mat. The corkboard sheet rolls up a little, so I placed books on top of the mat and cork on a flat, hard surface (like a kitchen counter) until the glue dried.
  • Once the glue dried, we attached the framed bulletin board to the science fair backboard. I put the science fair backboard flat on my dining table and measured the placement of the bulletin board before gluing, so it would be straight and centered. You can remove the sticky back paper to attach the bulletin board to the project board or attach with craft glue or hot glue.

American Girl office background

  • Map pins work well for attaching notes. Your pins will go all the way through the cork and the backboard.

American Girl bulletin boardOffice Plants

  • Look for mini plant containers at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s Crafts, or gardening centers. We purchased a block of that green oasis material that florists use to make flower arrangements and some fake greenery.

American Girl office plant oasis material

  • Cut a chunk of oasis to fit in the bottom of the container.
  • Cut pieces of greenery and stab the ends into the oasis block.

American Girl office plantCharts

  • We went through the art supply section at Hobby Lobby and found a 6″ x 8″ watercolor paper notepad with the spiral binding on the top (portrait orientation).
  • Using Sharpie markers and a ruler, Miss Priss and I drew a few different graphs.
  • We set the notepad on a small tabletop art easel.

American Girl office sales chartStationery

  • Using my paper cutter, I cut notebook paper, printer paper, and colored cardstock into 2″ x 3″ pieces of paper.
  • Using mini rubber stamps and ink pads, we stamped designs and monogram initials onto the top of the papers, so it looks like personalized stationery.
  • I also found colored paper clips that are smaller than standard size, and we clipped assorted papers together.

American Girl office stationeryAdditional Accessories

  • Hobby Lobby has plain craft boxes with lids in a variety of sizes. We bought 2 boxes that measured 2″ x 3″ x 1 1/2″ and separated the lid from the bottom. The bottom parts of the boxes fit in the desk like a drawer and hold some desk supplies. I used an X-acto knife to cut a small half circle out of one side of each lid and then sanded the rough parts down with a nail file. The lids look like in/out desktop file boxes. Miss Priss has papers in the file boxes.

American Girl in out file boxes

  • We used a sparkly candle votive for a trashcan. Miss Priss wadded up scraps of paper to make the trash can look full.
  • We found small folders (about 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″) that have the string to tie the folder closed like an interoffice mail envelope in the scrapbooking section of Hobby Lobby.

American Girl interoffice envelope

  • We pulled several of our items from the American Girl School crafting binge like the pencil and pencil cup to add to the office play scene as well.

American Girl office

Miss Priss likes the office so much, we needed a second science fair backboard, so this scene can stay up permanently, and our second backboard gets traded out for other scenes. We have also recently become the proud owners of an original Samantha Oversized Book of Cardboard Scenes and Settings. The American Girl village happening in our TV room is quite extensive. I may need an intervention.

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