Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dolls for the Christmas shoeboxes

Photo from Operation Christmas Child
My daughter likes to make packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child part of her kids' Christmas.   This worthy cause sends shoeboxes full of gifts to children all over the world and is a very practical way to show God's love to others.  A couple of weeks ago, my daughter took her kids shopping to buy shoeboxes and all sorts of fun things to put in them -- T-shirts, notebooks, pens and pencils, crayons, colorful packs of tissues and more.  And then she got the kids even more involved by helping them make adorable fabric dolls to go in the boxes.

She asked if I would like to join them in making dolls and we took several hours on two different Fridays to work on this project.  The kids picked out their fabrics for the dolls and clothing, and cut out the paper pattern pieces.  Then I cut out most of the pieces and my daughter did the machine sewing.  The kids and I worked at turning the various pieces -- arms, legs, faces and so on -- and the kids stuffed them.  Then their mom assembled the dolls at the sewing machine.  I made the shoes for all of the dolls.  The work went quickly and was lots of fun.

These are the two dolls I ended up with -- I can't actually say that I "made" them because there were several people involved in the process!  But I did choose my own fabrics, hair, etc.  Sorry that the  photos are so blurry -- I guess in my haste to put the dolls in a cute setting, I took the photos at quite an odd angle.  But you get the idea!
Doll 1
Doll 2
2 dolls together
 For the dolls the kids made, they are planning to make sleeping bags to go with them.  For my own shoeboxes, I'm hoping to make pillowcase dresses to add and possibly some zipper pouches for the pens and pencils.  We will see!

If you would like more ideas for filling shoeboxes, check out Maggie's post Operation Christmas Child Gift Ideas at Smashed Peas and Carrots.  She has some wonderful ideas, plus great photos of her kids with the shoeboxes they filled.  The collection week for the shoeboxes is not until next week, so it's not too late to get involved!


  1. Hi Mrs. T,
    What a great thing you are doing! And I just love those little dolls, they are just so cute! I know everything inside of that shoe box will mean so much to the child who receives it.
    I love giving back at Christmas, there are so many children who don't get anything for Christmas and it's rough.
    And I love that your grandchildren were involved too, a great life lesson.
    I can't wait to see the little accessories you make for your dolls!
    Happy Tuesday!

  2. This is such a wondeful project and I am glad that you had the fun of working together on it. God bless the givers and the receivers!

  3. Welcome, ladies!

    Kimberley -- Yes, it is a great life lesson for the grandkids. They so enjoyed their part in it. They even had a few more items than would fit in their shoeboxes, so they gave those to me to put in the shoeboxes I am packing. A happy day to you too, and thanks so much for visiting! Come back any time -- the archives are overflowing with posts that might interest you.

    Vee-- It is indeed a wonderful project, so worthwhile. My daughter tries to make this a tradition every year, but they had a surprise baby last November so the Christmas shoeboxes fell by the wayside in 2014. This year she picked it up again and I'm so happy she invited me to join in the fun!

  4. This is a great project. We do this at church, but getting the kids involved is a very good idea.

  5. What a cute idea. :) I always think that sounds like such a fun idea and a great thing for little ones to be involved in. Looks like your boxes will be enjoyed for sure.

  6. Hi Susan and Nikki! It's delightful to see you both here!

    Susan -- yes, I thinking getting the kids personally involved makes a good project even better. It's so important for them to understand that not all children are as blessed as they are, and also that even as kids they can play an important part in meeting the needs of others.

    Nikki -- it was indeed fun. The kids get so excited to pick out items for their boxes, and they loved helping make the dolls. A few years back I did this with my older granddaughters, and they sewed some little tissue covers to go on the individual packs of tissues. There are so many great little projects that would work well to add to a box like this!

  7. I love everything about this!!!! And the dolls are so cute! That was a wonderful idea!!!

  8. Thanks, Mrs. Smith!!! It was Carrie's idea, and I agree it was a wonderful one! The dolls did come out very cute. The boys made a boy variation of the dolls. I wanted to sew a few more homemade things to include, but my time is about gone for doing that. This week is the collection week for the boxes, and my week is looking terribly busy with getting my dad to some appointments.


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