Doll accessories are to dolls as plates are to food. Those that collect dolls and those that play with them all need props. Whether you’re a child or an adult, props play an important role in either displaying your collection or enhancing your play time. Things like chairs, tables, dishes, strollers, and beds are just a few of the types of accessories many look for.
** We will discuss shoes, hats, eyes, and wigs in more depth separately. **
Dolls come in all different sizes and shapes and matching them to scale with doll accessories makes a big difference. Whether buying props for children or to display your doll in your living room, the first thing to consider is 'scale'. In creating our photostories, we utilize a large variety of doll accessories and try to get them as close to scale as possible.
Many times we come across props totally unexpected. Once DE and I were visiting a doll friend of ours and stopped in a very quaint shop to get an ice cream cone. Looking around I noticed on the counter a display of very cool key chains with small tennis shoes on them.
(Each one of the shoes to the right was once a key chain)
Fortunately for us we had our dolls in the car. I ran and got one and we tried the key chain shoe on her foot. It fit perfectly. And they had a left and a right one in the same color.
How often does that happen that you find doll accessories and have your doll with you? We do go on prop shopping trips quite frequently and on these occasions we bring the dolls with us. Typically our excursions take us from antique and consignment stores to estate sales.
But when you don’t have dolls with you, (which is the majority of the time) what do you do? Some doll folks I know cut out a paper silhouette of their doll and carry it in their purse. Then when they see a chair, table, or other prop they are interested in, they hold their cut out up to the item to eyeball how their doll would look next to it. Others carry a small tape measure with them along with the measurement of their doll.
When determining the scale of your doll, consider the following averages:
- Human babies range from 18 inch to 30 inches in length
- The human child stands approximately 3 to 4 feet tall
- Adolescent humans stand 4 to 5 feet
- And human adults average 5 to 6 feet tall
Now let's compare that to doll sizes.
A barbie doll for instance stands 11.5 inches tall. Let’s round up to 12 inches. Looking at the human average for adults, we could say that for every 1 inch of Barbie there are 6 inches of adult human measurement. This ratio is 1 to 6 or 1:6 scale.
A Tonner size fashion doll is 16 inches tall and is generally considered to be 1:4 scale.
The ball jointed doll that stands about 22 inches tall (SD size) would be 1:3 scale
Most dollhouse miniatures are 1:12 scale.
If you have a newborn baby doll that measures 6 inches in length, it would be at 1:3 scale.
18 inches (newborn human baby) divided by 6 inches (newborn doll baby) equals 3
Once you know the scale size of your doll it makes it a lot easier to scale your doll accessories. Let’s say you were in an “Antiques, Books, And Curiosities” shop and saw some small plates for sale that you thought would look great in your doll display. You know the scale of your doll to be 1:3. You take out your handy dandy measuring tape and measure a standard dinner plate that you find elsewhere in the shop. It measures 10 inches across. You take that 10 inch measurement and divide it by 3 (ie. 1/3 scale) and come up with 3.3 inches. If the plate you are looking at is around three inches in diameter, then you know this would look great with your doll.
Interesting places to find props. Doll companies sell all kinds of doll accessories. If they are made for a different brand of doll other than yours, check the scale. It could still work just fine.
Here’s one of our girls on a 'My Twinn' horse. (DE enhanced the horses’ rump a bit by adding in some chalks and sealing it, changing the color.)
Store counters -->> We’ve found gun lighters, footballs, pepsi bottles, etc, in places like grocery and department stores.
Ebay -->> Of course. Look under all kinds of categories. Miniatures, key chains, and don't forget the obvious, doll props and accessories.
Doll and Craft Shows -->>Furniture, wigs, eyes, musical instruments, etc. etc. etc.
Craft and Hobby stores -->> Michaels, Hobbytown, and others for things like plants, picture frames, vases, etc.
Here's one. Remove the caps of your hair care products -->> Some are just the right size for drinking glasses for your dolls.
Ross Dress for Less, Tuesday Mornings, and Big Lots -->> Often have doll size furniture.
Gamestop and other gamestores -->> Have gift card holders that look like PS2s or WIIs or X-boxes.
Christmas tree ornaments -->> Are made of all kinds of things. Great place to look for props.
Scrapbooking Supplies -->> Have interesting applications like scrabble games, and greeting cards, etc.
Party favor stores, jewelry stores, piercing places, the list goes on.
** A word of warning.....it can be habit forming. **
You get the idea. Once you start looking you’ll find doll accessories everywhere.
So I have an idea. Wouldn't it be great to have one place to go to get all kinds of great ideas for getting or making doll props? Well we could start right here.
Submitted by Jill in the United States on 01/24/09:
"Party favors can make great props. I once found acrylic "glass slippers" in the wedding favors section at Dollar Tree. Unfortunately they don't actually fit any but the smallest-sized BJD feet, but one of them would look fantastic on a cushion if you were recreating a Cinderella story!"
Found by DE on 02/10/09:
Ok, here's a neat website we just found. Print these paper dolls to whatever the size of your doll and cut out for
paper doll props.
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