During my latest thrifting expedition, an unusual doll caught my eye. When I checked to find the manufacturer's name, I was surprised to see Pleasant Company stamped on the back of the head and an American Girl tag on the side. This is a Hopscotch Hill doll, which AG made for a few years to appeal to younger girls. The dolls are 16 inches tall with articulated elbows and knees, and they are meant to be early elementary age. Meet Skylar. I got her for $1.40.
I popped in for a quick peek at my local thrift store, and look what I found!
An authentic Bitty Twin doll from American Girl! Ok, so she looked more like this when I got her:
When I first saw this doll, I picked it up and quickly set it down again. I'm not too interested in this style of doll, especially with that wild paint job on the toes. But then I caught a glimpse of the tag and picked it up again. Could it be? Yep! Sure enough, the tag said American Girl, so I checked for the neck stamp, and there it was! I've never seen an official AG item at any of the thrift stores, so I was pretty stoked. At $4, I decided I had to bring her home and see what I could do.
The doll didn't come with any clothes, so I put her in my new Espari plaid outfit for pics. These clothes are designed for slimmer dolls, so the dress won't close at all in the back, but I think it still looks cute. She can't stand on her own, but she sits quite well on this little wooden bench.
Bitty babies and bitty twins are sort of an odd size, so finding affordable clothes to fit can be tricky. At 15 inches, they are shorter and wider than typical 18 inch dolls but bigger than standard 12 inch baby dolls. The outfit above is a conglomeration of pieces from different doll lines. The shirt is from AG, the tutu from Walmart, the shoes from Springfield, and the socks from Espari.
Here she is next to Saige for a comparison. The Bitty Twins aren't scaled right for the 18 inch dolls, but I think they have realistic toddler proportions and are a perfect size for little ones to carry around. Saige even let our new little friend borrow her t-shirt. I'm not sure I would pay full price for this doll, but I do think she is a cutie. I noticed that AG now offers bitty twins for sale individually for $75, so you don't have to pay $125 for a set if you only want one. I think that is a smart move. Bitty Babies are pretty easy to find on the secondary market for a reasonable price, and who knows? You might even run across one in a thrift store or at a garage sale.
I was thrilled to find this little wooden ark set at my local thrift store, and with my coupon, it was just over $2. It is a perfect size for doll play, and the hand-crafted, primitive look reminds me of Felicity's special toy from her American Girl stories.
It didn't come with any people, but I like the variety of animals: elephant, giraffe, gorilla, lion, and Zebra. Only the poor elephant was missing a partner.
The top deck can be removed to reveal a little storage compartment. Not all of the animals can fit inside with the lid closed, but several of the smaller ones can.
Rachel loves her new toy! Rachel is a Battat doll in a Heidi Ott dress, also found at the same thrift store. I love Savers!
Many of you may have seen this pink dress before on my blog, but I wanted to let you know where it came from. I found this sweet plush rabbit several months ago at a local thrift store for $4, which included a doll stand. She is a little shorter than an American Girl doll, with a large head and a thin body. The body is stiffer than a regular plush toy and has jointed arms and legs. The arms are quite long for the body, especially for a rabbit, but it does help the dress fit other dolls more easily.
The decorative lace head-piece was sewed to the rabbit's head, but I snipped the thread and attached the decoration to a straw hat. The dress easily opens in the back with Velcro, so I was able to try it on other dolls. The waist and the arms are a little loose on most 18 inch dolls, but I was able to make the dress fit better by tying a ribbon sash at the waist and placing clear elastics on the sleeves. I love how the dress looks on my American Girl and Heidi Ott dolls, but my favorite was a Duck House doll I rescued and transformed. It started as a boy doll, but I wanted to use the wig for my son's play doll, so I replaced it with another thrift-store wig and made a beautiful girl with golden locks. Doesn't she look lovely in this pink outfit?
Here are more pics of my awesome thrift-store dress on various dolls. I was so excited for this find!
Today is American Girl Emily Bennett's birthday. I always loved Emily because she has such a cute meet dress, and she looks quite a bit like my own daughter. Alas, I couldn't afford to purchase her before she retired, and I haven't really found a comparable doll I can use as a stand-in. I did, however, find an old Battat doll at the thrift store ($6) who looks quite a bit like Molly. Her hair is a little more reddish and she has brown eyes instead of gray, but the bangs look similar, and I think my mock Molly looks pretty close once she has the braids and glasses. What do you think? Since the weather has been so cold here lately, I dressed her in this DIY ice skating outfit I put together.
Leotard, Leggings, and Skates: My Life As ice skating set (on clearance for $5 after the Winter Olympics) from Walmart
Coat: Springfield Collection. I folded the bottom of the long coat under to make it look shorter so her cute skirt would show, and I added some decorative snowflake brads for buttons.
Muff: Home-made with a piece of white fleece.
Glasses: Hand-made by me with wire I had on hand.
Her hair was pretty messy, but actually in pretty good condition. I tamed it with a little bit of water and fabric softener, brushed it with a wire brush, and flattened the bangs with a hat before braiding it into that classic Molly style. Now our "fake" Molly is ready for some real fun!
I'm trying to limit my doll spending right now, but I couldn't resist checking out my favorite thrift store, Saver's. Here are some of the doll finds that caught my eye.
This Victorian beauty was selling for $10, which is worth it just for the dress and stand. It has a porcelain face and limbs and soft body. She looks about the same size as American Girl, and I think her clothing would fit an AG doll quite well. Her beautiful crepe dress is easily removable with a Velcro closure in back. It is adorned with layers of ruffles and lace, with silk flowers and a beautiful cameo brooch for a finishing touch. She even has a fancy little purse.
These beautiful 20" boys from the Cathay Collection captured my heart right away. They have hard vinyl arms and feet, soft bodies, and wigged hair. They have a toddler-style body with curved legs and feet, so they can't stand. They are similar to Bitty Twins but slightly bigger, and they seem to be able to fit into regular infant clothing. I really had to fight myself to keep from buying that little blond. Doesn't his face just seem to say, "Please take me home"?
This little lady is so cute with her copper curls and cute bare feet, but I was actually most interested in her swing. I think it would work great for the American Girl mini dolls. She is tied to the swing, but she isn't glued down, so she wouldn't be too hard to remove. I also love the look of the flowery vines adorning the edges.
I also found several American Girl books in very nice condition. There was the first book for Julie, Kit (not pictured because my daughter was holding it) and Lanie, and an entire set of Julie's 6 books. They were only 99 cents each, and I had a 20% off coupon from donating, so I ended up getting 7 books for about 5 dollars. My youngest daughter loves Kit, so I got her meet book, and I couldn't resist getting Julie's books since it was such a great deal for a complete set. I did leave Lanie for the next little girl, though. This was my only actual purchase.
I'm so glad I have this site to share all my great finds without having to actually buy everything. Hope you enjoyed seeing them. Happy thrifting!
Living in Utah, I have always enjoyed celebrating Pioneer Day. This year, the dolls are celebrating too.