Friday, January 18, 2013

An American Girl (Doll) Sleepover!

Merry Christmas!!
and Happy New Year!!!  

The past month has been a whirlwind for us -  between the holidays, some travel, a bug that made it's way though the house one family member at a time (ugh!) and of course planning Sheep's birthday party!  Poor thing really, really wanted to celebrate her birthday ON her birthday this year, but as usual, the weeks leading up to Christmas make that almost impossible.  This year the girl scouts were in the Christmas parade the night of her birthday and Speed had an office party to attend, so her idea for a sleepover was just not in the cards.

Shhhhh!  Don't tell Sheep but personally, I like having her birthday party after Christmas because it gives me something wonderful to look forward to once all the holiday fun is taken down and put away.  Since she was turning 8 this year, we had decided to get her an American Girl Doll of her very own for her birthday, but while we were in Dallas over the summer - visiting the American Girl Doll store to see which one she might want, my BFF (God love her!!) just couldn't resist and bought her one on the spot instead!

Meet Lexi!

So when it came time to plan her birthday sleepover, Lexi became part of the plans and before I knew it, we were planning a party for 12 little girls and  their favorite dolls!  Not all of them were American Girl Dolls - but you get the idea.  I was a big fan of dolls myownself growing up, so this was definitely a party theme that mommy could get into!  Back then, the dolls de jure were Fisher-Price 'My Friend' Dolls.  I had both Mandy and Jenny but . . . back to the party!

First things first - invitations, which I copied from a Christmas card I got this year.  The picture was printed on the inside of a cardstock envelope that was sealed with a cute sticker - thanks for the inspiration Michelle!

I can't wait to show you how simple these were to make, but that's a post for another day! Sheep helped by handpicking the American Girl stickers that best represented each of her friends for each card.  Goodness, she's so much like her mama it ain't even funny!

We made invitations for each of the dolls as well, and included them in the cards!

Once we had the invitations out, it was time to turn our attention to decorations!  Pinterest is usually my go-to for situations like this, but there was surprisingly little American Girl Doll party ideas to be found.  It did lead me to Michael's though, where I was able to snatch up all things American Girl on either sale or clearance - yippee!  I actually had no idea that there was a whole line of American Girl Doll crafts, paper goods, etc. but Sheep was so excited to find it!! (She is fast becoming a Pinterest fan as well.)  On the one hand, I was relieved because pre-made crafts make life simple, but on the other hand, I was feeling a little like I might be phoning this party in because I wasn't doing it all myself.  Crazy, right?!

Aren't these hanging paper flowers cute?!

And the kit came with enough 'extra' materials that I was able to get creative after all and combine them with the place mats from the paper doll place settings and turn them into thank you cards - Bonus!!

We took 'family portraits' during the party, used some pop dots and glitter glue to jazz them up and Mallory (and Lexi) added a personal note on the back - voila!  Thank you cards and a cute keepsake too!

On the mantle, I used some of her American Girl Doll accessories (courtesy of her cousin who has outgrown them for the time being) and some boxes from the store to make a cute display in the living room turned sleeping quarters!

That's Mandy and Jenny masquerading as American Girl Dolls!
My favorite idea for decorations was also the easiest.  I simply enlarged a copy of her school picture from this year and secured it on the inside of the box.  I did the same thing with another box and picture and placed it on the hearth as well.  She is MY American Girl Doll after all!

We found our new favorite birthday cake recipe last year while putting together her Art Party, and it makes about 36 regular-sized cupcakes.  More than enough for a dozen girls and their dolls!

We made miniature cupcakes for the dolls and my 'Party Planner In-Training' took care of sprinkles and writing her guests' names on the American Girl cupcake toppers!  Everything looked perfect!

Look how CA-UTE this little doll place setting and cupcake looks!

Now it just so happens that the Cupcake Decorating kit included a dozen cupcake wrappers as well as the toppers, but Sheep didn't want to use them because we already had matching liners for both sizes of cupcakes and she wanted to keep them the same.  Like her mama, for better worse I'm telling you . . . !

No worries!  These lacy wrappers looks more like party crowns to me anyway. {Grin.}

And with a little bit of elastic and some staples, that's exactly what they became!  So simple and so cute!  Even though they weren't the sturdiest accessory (let's face it, party hats never are), the dolls and their girls loved them - Lexi said so herself!

Lexi in her party-wear and cupcake wrapper crown!

We had plenty of room for the girls to sit, but I wanted to have someplace special for the dolls as well, soooooo . . . . we made chairs for each of the dolls using shoe boxes and duct tape!

I say 'we' but it turned out to be a little trickier for Sheep than I thought it would be, and I was getting a wee bit overwhelmed getting Christmas away, birthday out, and running sick kiddos to the doctor.  Luckily one of my dear enablers friends, stepped in and took over this project once we were satisfied with the prototype - bless you Valerie!!

These were so simple to do and really sturdy once they were finished, so I will walk you through how to make your own American Girl Doll chairs using duct tape soon!  Once the chairs were taped, the cupcakes baked and the crowns and crafts in place - it was time for a party!

Sheep had a plan . . . .

So they crafted . . . .

American Girl bead bracelet craft in progress!
Decorated goody bags for each guest using American Girl stickers.
They ate . . . 

They played doll musical chairs!

They also found time to open birthday presents, even though that wasn't on the schedule - ha!

The girls and dolls changed into jjs before starting the movie.  I think Crafty Texas Girl Samantha gave me the tip on the 'Me and My Doll' outfits that were featured on Zulily before the holidays.  She's always got great little girl 'going-ons' going on too so stop by and say hello!

The dolls watched from their chairs-turned-movie theater!

Before the end of the night, the dolls had been to the movies, the salon and even heard a few no-so-scary ghost stories!  Whew - those girls dolls were busy!!

Amazingly, the living room was quiet by midnight!  The next morning, we feasted on biscuit donuts, which were devoured before I could even snap a picture, so I will have to make them again and share the recipe with you another day!

It was a great party and Sheep was all smiles!

I love you my beautiful, smart, funny, thoughtful, kind, crafty American Girl.
Sometimes more than I think my heart can hold.
I am so proud and honored to be your mom.
And so happy to help you make ALL your birthday dreams come true!

Happy Birthday (Party) Sheep!


  1. What a FUN party! Looks like both the girls & dolls had a GREAT time! Thanks for sharing at!

    1. Thanks so much for checking it out! Hope you'll stick around and I hope to keep partyin' with you!


  2. This is such a cute idea and it all came out great!! I am a new follower from Tatertots and Jello! I hope you have a great week!

    1. Oh yay! I love new followers! Thank you so much for stopping by! It really was fun!

  3. We had one of these a couple years ago! Memories! Such a fun celebration! I love how your sweet birthday girl is smiling ear to ear! Precious! XO, Aimee

  4. Do you have a tutorial on how to make the chairs? :-)

  5. Do you have a tutorial on how to make the chairs? :-)

  6. Do you have a template for the cute invites you made?

  7. Happy to know about your American doll party. Last month, I arranged my nephew’s birthday party at an exemplary LA venue Ordered a delicious cake for him and purchased couple of surprise gifts. Enjoyed a lot at party. Florist did amazing work on décor!