Celebrations & Parties Dani's Blog: THE JUICE

Dahlia’s First Doll

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Lolly, my childhood BFF
Lolly, my childhood BFF

When I was little, the most tragic story I ever heard was that of the Velveteen Rabbit. I grew up with a strong belief in the “secret lives” of stuffed animals and dolls… My bear, Ted, has such a great personality that he got to meet Martha and when I was re-united with my BFF of childhood dolls, Lolly, a few years ago after my parents moved, I cried for at least 20 minutes.

Ted on set at Martha
Ted on set at The Martha Show with Producer Mary Forrest and Lead Crafter Hosanna Houser (who expertly fixed him up when disaster struck)

I was really touched when my friend Jacque, contacted me about making her daughter, Dahlia’s, first birthday doll who she nicknamed “Little D”. It turned out to be a wonderfully sweet collaboration.

Here’s the story of how we brought “Little D” to life…

I began by purchasing a doll body from a craft vendor on Etsy. Jacque had requested a bit of a vintage feel and we both loved the skinny arm and leg look of Lolly. Katiesdolls tea-stains each doll body to achieve the perfect vintage feel. Once Little D arrived, we took a trip to the craft store…

Trip to Michaels
Little D and I take a trip to Michaels


Little D Materials
I gathered lots of fun materials, teenie bright buttons for the eyes, two styles of yarn for the hair plus Martha's eyelash yarn for highlights, bandannas for the dress, other decorative notions and the topper- the perfect pair of sneakers that fit Little D perfectly!

Jacque approved all the materials BUT the hair… in the time that had lapsed between us starting the Little D project, Dahlia’s hair had turned from dark to light! Luckily, it wasn’t a problem to switch out the brown yarn for “blonde”.

Sewing hair
I created Little D's "big hair" by sewing bunches of 2 or 3 pieces of yarn directly onto the head


Eyes and paper dress
Once the hair was set, I placed and sewed down the eyes, and created a paper pattern for Little D's dress- this was when she really started to come to life!


painting Little D's heart
Hopey looked on as I hand painted Little D's heart with red acrylic paint...


Little D heart
... then added some dimension by adding a felt heart secured with gold thread


For her sweet rosy cheeks, I brushed on powdered pink food color which is non toxic but fairly permanent


Final Little D on couch
Once I added the mouth, which I drew on with permanent marker, she really came to life!

As the party neared,  Jacque sent out invites that her husband designed using one of my original Little D sketches. She also requested matching cookie favors for the party.

Sweet Dani B Custom Doll Cookie
Of coarse Coppergifts had the perfect doll cookie cutter!


The "Little D" Party Collection by Sweet Dani B
The "Little D" Party Collection by Sweet Dani B

This was one of my favorite projects ever… I so love the way this “party collection” turned out! Even though I knew it would be bittersweet to part with Little D, I could hardly wait for the big handoff…

Little D meets Big Little D!
Little D meets Big Little D!

… which turned out to be the very best part!

Park meet- Happy 1st Birthday Dahlia!
Happy 1st Birthday Dahlia!

Here’s to many years of hugs, cuddles and love to both Little & Big D! Thanks to Jacque for thinking of me for this amazing project! All good things! Xo Dani

Big D Eats Little D
Yum! Little D is pretty SWEET!



About the author



Sweet Dani B is my small business and my mantra is Life Is Sweet! Both my business and life center around celebrating life’s occasions and making those occasions amazing. We design one-of-a-kind cookies, invitations, paper goods and pull them all together to deliver fabulous parties and events.

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