Mr. Star Wars gave Miss Priss a new American Girl craft book for Christmas. We own practically all of them, so I was impressed he located one we did not already have. The Doll Art Studio Activity Kit gives all kinds of tips for designing an art gallery for your American Girl doll. Working on these projects requires all of my concentration, so we were not able to begin construction until the MLK holiday when I had a day off from teaching and minimal interruptions. Miss Priss and I took over the kitchen and dining room tables and dug in.
It would not be an official AG craft project if we did not make a trip to Hobby Lobby to get started. I had Miss Priss bring the kit’s idea book in the car with us and skim the pictures and explanations to make sure we would not miss anything critical. Miss Priss’ reading skills add tremendous value to project work– especially now that I have to wear the “over 40” glasses and need her to read all of the fine print on the material packages.
Paint Brushes and Artist Palette Materials
- duct tape (shiny silver and a few other colors)
- 3/16″ glue dots
- old paintbrushes
- brown cardboard
- acrylic paint (5-6 colors)
- The AG book came with a paper artist palette that I traced on brown cardboard. If you do not have a template for the artist palette, draw a kidney shape that is roughly 3″ x 2″. Using scissors, cut out the palette shape. Using an X-Acto knife, stab/cut a thumb hole. Carefully drop small blobs of acrylic paint evenly around the edge of the palette and let dry overnight.
- To make a paintbrush, cut a 1-inch piece of colored duct tape or a piece of tape that matches the length of your matchstick and carefully roll the piece of tape around the matchstick until you come to the end of the tape piece.
- The glue dots are stretchy, and you pull a glue dot around one end of the covered matchstick.
- Carefully cut the bristles from an old paintbrush and make a pile with the cut bristles. Roll the sticky end of the matchstick through the bristles. If you want thicker bristles on the paintbrush, add another glue dot around the first layer of bristles and roll through the cut bristles again.
- Cut a thin strip of silver duct tape less than 1/4″ wide and wrap the silver strip at the base of the bristles. Trim bristles to even up if needed.
- 2 wooden A letters ~9″ tall
- wood plank for tabletop (mine is 1/4″ thick and is ~5″ x 12″)
- 5/16″ diameter wooden dowel
- acrylic paint (any color)
- paint brush
- hot glue gun
- Paint your table materials and let dry. If you like the natural wood color, you can skip the painting step.
- Measure the length of your tabletop against your wooden dowel and make sure the dowel is 2″ to 4″ shorter than the tabletop. I sawed ~2″ from the end of my dowel to make the dowel ~10″ in length.
- Hot glue the dowel into the nail hanging slots on the wooden letters, so the dowel connects the two letters. Put the tabletop on your working surface and hot glue the the top of the letter A’s to the tabletop.
- We also made a display table by painting a wooden plaque and resting it on a metal candle holder. The candle holder is only about 6″ in height.
Original Artwork Materials
- mini canvases (available at Hobby Lobby)
- variety of stickers
- colored Sharpie markers
- acrylic paint
- foam shapes
- Elmer’s glue
- mini easels (available at Hobby Lobby)
- The sky is the limit with the mini canvases. You can paint original artwork, draw with the Sharpie pens, paint backgrounds and put stickers on top, cut out pictures from magazines and create collages, glue foam shapes together for modern art… anything works.
- I also scoured around my house for little clay projects Miss Priss had made and any other mini craft projects and added those to the displays in the art gallery.
- We had a science fair backboard we used for the American Girl Dress Boutique. We took down a few of the decorations from the dress shop and put up the art work using Tacky.
- The AG doll book came with a few easels as well as the new ones I purchased. We used the easels to display the art on the tables. I also moved some clear acrylic boxes stuffed with colored tissue paper from the dress shop into the art gallery and set small clay projects on those (notice the tiny little otter in the background of the picture below).
- We dropped the paint brushes in a mini pail and a small glass jar for an authentic art studio look. We borrowed the colored pencils and cup from our AG School Supply stash and set up the artist table with an art canvas in progress, paint palette, brushes, pencils and a mini LED clip reading light I found at the checkout at Hobby Lobby.
The activity book has many other ideas and paper accessories. The small tags to label the art came from the book as well as the template to make the art smock Samantha is wearing. Miss Priss was tired of waiting to play with the art gallery, so I had to stop adding to it and let her actually play. *sigh*