Doll/Fashion Design Kit – 8 Year Old Gift

Each year my children go to dozens of birthday parties and as a mom of two children who play very differently and live in a house with more clutter than I’d like, buying a child’s birthday gift is no simple task.  To simplify choosing the right gift I have a little three step process of gathering information before I head to the shops.

For this particular birthday girl, I asked her dad in the hall what she was into lately.  He listed a few things uncertainly and then mentioned that she liked to design fashion for her dolls.  I thought perhaps I could find something for doll fashions.  I knew there were some books and kits by Klutz and Creativity for Kids, but that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.  I wanted something a little more hands on and a bit more flexible because I didn’t know if she was designing clothes for Barbie (or Ken for that matter) or any of the many different sizes and ages of  dolls who, in our house are all Baby.

I had a leftover storage box from my recent organize the house frenzy (Container Store similar to this Bigso Box).  I also had a trip to Ikea where I found a few other great additions to the kit (a cork trivet because I didn’t need all three and an artists’ wooden figure drawing thingy)

The trivet became an “inspiration board” and acted as a bulletin board which was stuck into the inside of the box lid.  I bought a few “fat quarters”, some cute “doll clothing” printed fabric, and a gift certificate to local fabulous all things sewing, knitting, embroidering (Gather Here).  I love giving certificates to a local store because it might introduce someone to a new place that they’ve never been before and it supports small local businesses.

The box is lined with fabric from Gather Here
We included ribbon with the future designer's initials, for use as labels or ribbon.
The inspiration board.
The completed kit: wooden figure, pin cushion, an envelope with buttons, fat quarters of fabric, a notepad, a pencil and eraser, some thread, a gift certificate, some ribbon, and hand-written instruction tag.



  1. Jennifer Feller

    I love you, Leah, but this one just makes me feel like a bad mom…. You are amazing!

    • I have plenty of actual bad mom moments. I just don’t tend to blog about them! I did forget to pick the kids up from school this week and they had a friend coming over for a playdate who just happened to be the teacher’s son. So hopefully that will help you feel better about it all!

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