J is for Just Imagine!

Toni doll in a princess outfit made with a scarf
Toni doll in a princess outfit created with no-sew techniques.

Make a No-Sew Princess Outfit for a Toni Doll

Using your imagination, you can dress a vintage doll elegantly with some simple items you have around the house. I’ll show you how to make a princess crown from some silver packaging foil, a skirt and train from a scarf and the dress top using a wide ribbon.

Since no sewing is needed, you can put this doll outfit together in a very short time. Put the doll on display or she’s ready for playtime with your child or grandchild.

Use a Long Silk Scarf for the Doll’s Dress and Long Trailing Train

Rummage through your selection of scarves. You may have just the right one for the doll’s outfit. It isn’t going to be sewn or cut so you can have it back later to use as a scarf again. You can find scarves like this at yard sales or thrift shops.

Photo Steps for the Outfit – taken by Virginia Allain

Choose your ribbon to use for the top.
Choose your ribbon to use for the top.
Try it on the doll.
Try it on the doll.
Here's the completed costume.
Here’s the completed costume.

Make the Princess Doll Dress from a Scarf – No sewing required

  1. First, choose a scarf. It needs to be silky enough to drape well. See the photo example.
  2. Use a wide ribbon for the top of the dress. The one I used has stiff beading on each side of the ribbon. Cut a long enough piece for it to wrap around the doll’s torso and to overlap slightly in back. Glue or stitch on two small snaps to hold it closed in the back.
  3. Experiment with the scarf and a rubber band to get the skirt length right. The scarf goes under the doll’s torso with about 1/3 in front and 2/3 in back. Slip a rubber band up over the doll’s legs to the waist. Now drape the scarf down in front to form a skirt.
  4. Drape the scarf down over the rubber band in the back to the feet. There will be quite a bit of scarf trailing at this point. Drape it back up to the head of the doll and pin it with a hat pin or bobby pin. Let the remainder drape back to the floor as a flowing train or drape it over the doll’s arm.

Making a Doll Crown Step-by-Step

Here's the Toni doll wearing her crown. Follow along with the photos to see how it was made.
Here’s the Toni doll wearing her crown. Follow along with the photos to see how it was made. 

Make a Princess Crown for the Toni Doll – from recycled silver foil

Can I make a crown from these bits and pieces?
Can I make a crown from these bits and pieces? Sure!
Gather your supplies for the crown. I’m using the silver seal from a can of hot chocolate. It is stiffer than aluminum foil. The gold back from a long Christmas card might work also. At first, I thought I’d use the plastic cup (with the bottom cut out) as the shaper for the crown. That didn’t work well, so you don’t need a plastic cup.
Remove the curved parts of the foil.
Remove the curved parts to square up the foil. Cut a strip from the center of the silver seal (about 1 1/2 or 2 inches wide)
Cutting the points for the crown.
Here, I’m cutting the points for the crown across the top. You can be more careful and draw it out with a straight-edge before cutting if you like things precise.
Adding the silver ribbon with double-stick tape.
Add your embellishments. I attached the silver ribbon with double-stick tape. Glue would work also but I usually make a mess with glue. 

Oops, punching out a star did not work.
I tried using a star punch with the center peak of the crown. This is not recommended. The silver base jammed in the star punch and tore. Oops. 
I revised the design of the crown, removing the damaged part. Test something like this out on the scraps before using it on the crown.
All done...
All done… I’m not sure where I found the tiny beaded heart. Maybe it was saved from an old greeting card. The finished crown is anchored in the doll’s hair with pearl hat pins. Hairpins would be safer, but I didn’t have any.

Now, use your creative thinking and look around the house for more things to repurpose into outfits for your Toni doll. Just imagine!

All photos and outfit by Virginia Allain.