Hey everyone, I’m excited to share A.I. Friedman’s first DIY project post with you! Altoids tins are one of those things that I just hate to throw away. They seem so useful and it’s a waste to toss them in the trash, so I decided to make a little project with one! You can make this super cute little Thumbelina Doll and a bed for her with just some basic craft supplies and a tin. This is great activity for kids or adults! You will need:
- Altoids/Mint Tin
- Polyfil (or cotton balls)
- Sewing needle
- Thread or Embroidery Floss
- Felt (I used peach, light blue, purple, white, yellow, light pink and hot pink)
- Glue (not pictured)
- PDF: ThumbelinaPattern
- Time 30 minutes to an hour
Since scissors and a needle are involved, young children will need supervision. All of these items can be found at A.I. Friedman or your local craft store if you aren’t in our area.
First things first, you need to cut out your pattern pieces! Download this PDF: ThumbelinaPattern and print it out. It should be printed in landscape orientation (horizontal). Now, cut out your paper pattern. Then trace around the paper pattern onto your felt using a marker or chalk pencil. Next, you can cut out your felt pieces. The pattern clearly marks how many of each piece you will need!
Feel free to mix up what colors you use for your doll and bed. I used the following colors for the following pieces; peach for Body, yellow for Hair and Bangs, light blue for Dress, purple for Skirt Detail and Collar, white for Pillow, hot pink for Blanket, and baby pink for Sheet.
Now we are going to glue some pieces together to minimize the amount of hand sewing to do! If you don’t mind lots of hand sewing, feel free to sew these pieces instead. I used hot glue but tacky glue or craft glue will also work, it’s really easy to get felt to stick to felt. Glue your Mattress piece down to the bottom of your tin. Now Thumbelina has a nice comfy bed instead of a metal tin!
Next up, glue the Sheet piece to the top of the Blanket piece and glue the Collar and Skirt Detail each to the same Dress piece.
Put the two Body pieces on top of each other so they match up, then put the two Dress pieces (the purple pieces should be facing out) on the outside of the Body pieces. Make sure the Dress pieces line up together right.
Once you have them lined up so the Dress pieces match, separate the body pieces and glue each Dress piece to its own Body piece. If you are having a hard time keeping the Dress where it should be, try using a pin to keep it in place. You should now have one Body with the front of the Dress glued to it and one Body with the back of the Dress glued to it.
It’s time to attach the Hair and Bangs. On the body side of the back piece (on the right in the picture above) put a bit of glue at the top of the head and attach the hair. You don’t want to get glue all over the Hair piece because this will be visible from the front!
Then you can glue the Bangs to the top of the head on the front piece. You should have now have a front piece and a back piece that look like this:
It’s time to start sewing and stuffing now! Grab some white thread/embroidery floss and sew your two pillow pieces together using whip stitch. Start a little bit before the corner on one of the shorter sides.
Stop once you make it all the way around to the start of the side you began on and stuff your pillow with Polyfil or cotton balls.
Finish sewing and tie off your thread. Thumbelina now has an adorable tiny pillow for her Altoids tin bed. Now it’s time to sew Thumbelina together! Since we already glued some pieces together and the Hair is just one piece, you don’t need to sew around absolutely everything. Here is a handy dandy pink polka dot line to show you where to stitch:
Using the same white thread and whipstitch you used for the pillow, sew along the line I marked for you above! I started at the bottom right corner of the dress.
Stuff the doll as you sew around, it will be much easier! If you have a hard time reaching the feet or hands you can try using scissors or a pencil to poke the stuffing in.
After you are done stuffing and get all the way around the edge, tie your knot and cut your thread. Thumbelina is now all ready to play, or maybe just take a nap in her super cute bed.
Thumbelina’s bed is perfect for carrying around in a purse for emergency child entertainment situations! If you make your own Thumbelina, post about it on Instagram and tag @AIFriedman, we would love to see your creations. Have fun crafting!