If you’ve ever watched Play School, then you’ve probably been inspired to make the odd Toilet Paper Roll Doll, or in my case, about the three dozen! Here are the first ones that I made in December 2011…
The dolls’ house was being discarded by a neighbour in the local council pick-up. We rescued it from landfill, gave it a good diluted bleach wash to kill off any mould spores, and then set to work making a little family for JJ to play with. Toilet paper roll dolls were just the right size. We still have these three, although they are looking a bit worse for wear 9 months later… But that’s OK, cause since then, our “family” has grown!
You don’t really need a tutorial on how to make these dolls, just grab a few scraps of fabric, some craft glue, and some textas and away you go! But here are a few tips that might help:
The hair is the hardest bit. An easy way, is to scrunch up some wool, making sure to have a few random knots to keep the tangle together, then put some craft glue on the inside of the toilet paper roll, and stick the wool tangle about a quarter of the way inside.
A little hat that you can glue on is also an easy “hair” option.
If you want to do fancy hair (like woollen pigtails etc), then the easiest way is to stick on a little fabric hat the same colour of the hair first. That way, you have something to stick the woollen pigtails to.
Try a theme, like this fairy family below.
And as they are only TP roll dolls, you can let your child have a go at making them too. With these three below, JJ helped. She was so proud of her results.
The possibilities are endless. As they are generally made one or two at a time, you can make ones to suit whatever phase your child is going through, or whatever genre has taken their fancy that week. And since you are using only scrap fabric and materials that you probably already have at home, they are totally free! Go on, make one, or a dozen. 🙂
If you are interested in more toilet paper roll activities, then we probably have a shared obsession. Here’s just a few of our favourite TP roll ideas that we’ve done on Danya Banya. (Click on the picture to go to the full post). Haha, there’s quite a few (and this isn’t even all of them)!
And I may have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to the humble loo roll too. 🙂
I’m toting this beige and black OiOi Australia nappy bag as my “handbag” at the moment. I picked it up for $40 from a garage sale a few months ago. I love the bright orange lining! And it’s large enough to tote around all the things you need when you have a 2 year old in tow.
Turquoise eel skin wallet (purse) – a birthday present from my mum, bought new off eBay. The eel skin is so soft and surprising durable.
Inside is my wallet is: drivers license; credit card; bank card; Medicare card; health insurance card; Entertainment Book gold card; Priceline card; JJ & my library cards; two expired Taronga Zoo membership cards; self-researched info on which additives / preservatives / artificial colours etc to avoid; pocket guide to buying sustainable seafood; pocket guide to safe eating seafood whilst pregnant; a couple of receipts that need throwing away; and cash.
Kindle (e-book reader) inside my home-made cover (tutorial coming later). Currently reading Book 1 of the Game of Thrones series.
Motorola Backflip android phone (with a cracked screen).
Notepad, two pens and four Crayola Washable Markers – this is the only type that I’ve found so far that are mostly non-staining. The first few pages of the notepad have been ripped out and are filled with the blog plan – only about half of the To Do list is ticked off so far. Various other pages of the notepad are filled with JJ’s scribbles.
A Huggies wipes box that has been refilled with Aldi wipes – I like the Huggies hard packaging, but prefer the Aldi wipes, as the Huggies ones rip too easily as you pull them out of the pack.
Huggies toddler size disposable nappy. I’m not brand loyal – we alternate between various brands, depending on what fits her best at the time.
“Circus Colours” by Beaver Books. This is a 4 page cardboard “book” that is blank when dry and colourful when wet, returning to blank when it dries again. We’ve used this so many times to keep JJ occupied for a few minutes at a restaurant table. She just dips her finger into her glass of water and starts “painting”. It was only about $10 or so from Riot Arts and Crafts and has been a real life saver.
Two large tubs of Play-Doh (purple and pink). This is a new addition to the handbag – why didn’t I think of it before though! Just last night this was brilliant at keeping JJ occupied at a restaurant, especially now that she is old enough to be able to use her imagination a lot more.
Lunch box with lots of crumbs from morning tea in the top sections. The bottom section has three muesli bars, a ziplock bag of puffed cereal (aka ‘popcorn’) and a set of Bunnykins metal toddler utensils, minus the fork that I left at a restaurant last week and haven’t yet popped back to pick it up.
An unused 100ml tube of Gaia Skin Soothing Lotion – JJ has dry skin, but refuses to put on moisturiser. I put this in my bag in a deluded attempt to moisturise her while we are out and about, which obviously hasn’t worked out the way I’d planned. Instead we’ve been adding Baby Oil to her bath and this has been working well.
A hot pink baby hair clip with non-stick grip glued inside (so that the clip will stay in her super fine hair) is randomly clipped onto the handbag strap. I might just leave it there so I have an emergency clip on hand…
A Mount Aqua bottle of water, refilled with tap water, is in one of the two outside pockets. The other outside pocket is currently empty.
Inside the “sealed section” (aka the zipper compartment that JJ doesn’t seem to know about yet) is: a comb; tissues; 50ml hand sanitiser (refilled from a larger bottle); tube of Bonjela teething gel; two little packets of Listerine oral care strips; tube of Paraderm Plus first aid cream (magic stuff – all in one antiseptic, anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory); a band-aid (plaster strip); Forehead thermometer; Children’s Panadol (paracetemol or acetaminophen) + dispensing syringe; and tube of apple-red lip gloss.
Here’s what’s inside…
All packed up again…
What’s NOT in my bag today? Ah, that’d be my house and car keys. They, unfortunately, are sitting in Nathan’s pocket, along with his set of keys. And unluckily today he had to go into the office, rather than working from home as usual. But it was a nice excuse to get a bit of gentle exercise, wandering around our neighbourhood this morning – especially on such a nice sunny Winter’s day.
And yes, I can close it. But most of the time I leave it open for easy access…
Which begs the question – what’s in (and not in) YOUR bag today?
(JJ does also have her own small backpack with emergency supplies, which lives in the car boot, or is taken whenever she goes out without me. The contents are intentionally very limited so that it is still light enough for her to carry. It has two disposable nappies, a Huggies wipes box, a couple of scented nappy disposal bags, a hand towel (that doubles as a change mat if need be), a pair of thick stockings, a long sleeve top, a sun hat and a sippy cup half full with water.)
(This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.)
Are you new here? If you’ve just found my blog, be sure to subscribe via Email or RSS Feed, or to “like” the Danya Banya Blog Facebook page, so that you’ll get all my tips and rants on parenting babies and toddlers, sewing, crafting, wholesome cooking, photography and lots more!
Today I’m 37 weeks and 1 day pregnant, and anything from 37 weeks onwards is considered “full term”. A little over 2 years ago, when I was 37 weeks pregnant with JJ, I gleefully announced on Facebook that I had reached full term, and then my waters rudely broke half an hour later. So I decided not to announce anything yesterday lest I jinx myself! So at 37 weeks + 1 day, this little bub has already surpassed JJ’s “time on the inside”.
We’ve been a bit busy lately getting ready for this little bub. We bought a car, a double pram and I’ve made a baby mobile to hang above the change table – I’ll fill you in on the details for each of these shortly. We also bought a chest of drawers, for which I made some fabric liners, and this is the topic for today’s post.
About a month ago, I bought this second-hand chest of drawers off Gumtree for $35. Bargain! It was relatively clean, but had the slightest musty smell. Nathan couldn’t smell it, but my nose is really sensitive to dust and mustiness etc, so the first step was to give it a good clean out. I started by throwing away the existing paper liners and getting rid of any remaining bits of sticky tape. Then I washed every surface with boiling water mixed with eucalyptus oil. Once it was dry, I sprinkled each drawer with some bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), which is excellent at absorbing musty odours, and left it for a few days.
Then I filled a spray gun with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white vinegar, and liberally sprayed every surface, paying particular attention to the inside of each drawer and the inside of the whole chest. I kept spraying until I’d used up the whole amount. Then I stacked the drawers on top so they could air out, and left them for another couple of days.
In the meantime, I got to work on making some fabric liners for the inside of each drawer. I grabbed some cardboard from our recycling pile, and cut it to measure one of the drawers, and tested it in the other drawers to see if any adjustments needed to be made. In this chest of drawers, the left hand side drawers are slightly different to the right hand side drawers. Luckily for me, the cardboard fit each drawer on the left side perfectly, and then if I flipped it over, it fit each drawer on the right side perfectly as well. Too easy!
Then I searched through my fabric stash for some fabrics of sufficient size. As these were “only” drawer liners and not going to be seen that often, I didn’t want to use up any of my favourite fabrics. So I selected fabrics that were nice enough, but not too nice – ones that I wasn’t overly fussed on either the colour, pattern or the feel of the fabric… I ended up selecting 8 different fabrics, doubling up on 4 of them, to make up the 12 drawers.
I cut a piece of fabric to size using pinking shears (zigzag scissors) and also sewed a zigzag stitch inside each edge to prevent fraying, and then pinned in the edges around the cardboard. I found this was the easiest way to get the correct sizing.
Then I removed the cardboard, flipped over the material and sewed a straight seam along the right side. You could probably sew either side up, but I like to sew on the right side as I find that my machine makes neater stitches on this side than it does on the underside…
And then I did the same thing again, just this time with the cardboard flipped over, to make a liner for the drawer on the other side.
Yes, that is a Coopers beer carton. What else would we have in our recycling? (For non-Australians, Coopers make very good beer, much better than Fosters.)
And here are they are, all “linered up”. R D RR 🙂
I used some double sided sticky tape to secure them inside each drawer. Now to wash some itty-bitty baby clothes to put inside! (Well, actually, JJ’s clothes will be going in here, and the new bub’s clothes will go in the “old” chest of drawers. But that didn’t sound as good….)
Oh, and I should also mention that all of the fabric is recycled. I have a “thing” about trying to use recycled materials wherever possible. I find that it a) helps the environment, b) helps my wallet, and c) challenges my creativity. It’s easy to go out and buy coordinating pieces of fabric to make up a masterpiece and spend a bomb while you are at it, but it’s much more creative to be forced to look at what you have (or can source) and come up with something that still works.
Where did I get the fabrics from? Three of the blue fabrics were old work shirts that a friend had donated as they had seen better decades, and the rest I picked up from Reverse Garbage. If you haven’t checked out Reverse Garbage yet, I highly recommend a visit. Amongst the masses of recycled / reclaimed things that they sell for bargain prices is a large pile of various fabric offcuts. You can fill a green bag (Coles or Woolies style) for only $5. Save yourself a bundle and save the planet at the same time… I must confess that the cotton thread was store-bought though. If you know of a good source of recycled / reclaimed / unwanted thread, please let me know.
So what do you think of the results? I reckon much better than lining with plain brown paper as the previous owners had done….
Back when JJ was just little, I first saw this post featuring Adele Enerson’s photos of her adorable baby Mila in various dream-like poses. Please take the time to have a look if you are not familiar with her work – it’s wonderful. And if you are further interested, here is her current blog.
We were inspired to create something similar with our own little “living doll”, and came up with these three nursery rhyme scenes:
Hey diddle diddle
The cat & the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon
The little dog laughed to see such craft
And the dish ran away with the spoon
Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds & whey
Along came a spider
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away
A sailor went to sea sea sea
To see what she could see see see
But all that she could see see see
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea
JJ was about 2.5 months – 3 months old for these scenes. We didn’t purchase anything – they were all made with various things that we already had at home.
Since making these scenes, we’ve come across another excellent set here – more inspiration for future shots!