Thursday, July 21, 2011

Real Girl and American Girl doll sleep mask tutorial

UPDATE - The pdf for the shapes in this tutorial is now available as a free download from my Craftsy store

When I posted my "American Girl doll hoodie towel tutorial" last fall, I had no idea it would still be getting daily hits 7 months later. I love knowing that I had a part in all those Emilys, Rebeccas, Kananis, and Kits out there who are surely rocking their fab new hoodie towels. Because of the popularity of that post, and because I might as well ride the wave of "stick 'American Girl' in your post title somewhere and it will get hits", it's time for another tutorial for another must have item for your doll.

Somewhere along the way in the last year, my daughters became sometime-primadonnas who will insist upon wearing sleep masks several nights a week. Unfortunately, they refuse to take my advice to always put them in the same place when they are done wearing them, so we often have emotional breakdowns at bedtime if the masks are not found. Those of you with girls between the ages of 4-10 are nodding in agreement. Those of you without are saying, "She really should just make them clean their rooms." And while that may be true, if I did, there would be no tutorial today because I wouldn't have been inspired yesterday to make more for them and in doing so surprise them with matching ones for their dolls. I am a pretty cool mom for sure.

So here's what you need to whip up these masks - and by whip up I do mean whip up. A set of girl/doll masks will take you less than 15 minutes.


  • 10" square of scrap fabric

  • 10" square of backing fabric

  • 10" square of batting

  • 1/4" wide elastic - lengths will vary based on the size of your child's head (my big headed child Eva needed about 11", my pin headed child Greta needed about 8", my normal sized headed child Paige was somewhere in between).

  • thread

  • pinking shears

  • a printout of this pattern:
Jellybeans for Mask

1. Print out the pdf of the mask shapes, from here out referred to as jellybeans because good Lord do they look like them. Cut out on lines. (As many of you know, I am completely computer inept. The fact that I have figured out how to pdf that thing and embed it this morning is a personal triumph of immense magnitude, but if you have issues printing it I likely will not know exactly why. If you cannot get it to print, PLEASE email me at and I can forward you the actual pdf, no problem. I may be a computer idiot, but I have no issue going above and beyond to make everyone happy.)

2. Cut out one large and one small jellybean/mask from your scrap fabric.

3. Place the jellybeans on top of the batting, and the batting on top of the backing fabric as shown in the photo below, wherein you can see that I am making three large masks at once with a piece of fabric about 12" x 15" and a backing fabric scrap that I have not even bothered to trim. It's a free tutorial and I know you get that if you are making a small and large jellybean set, yours will look a little different. I like to use some 505 spray to keep the sandwich together, but pins work too.

4. Stitch 1/4" along the outside edge of each jellybean.

5. Using pinking sheers, cut out each jellybean from the fabric sandwich, coming close to but not slicing the stitching you just did. If you do not have pinking shears, or if yours are 14 years old and have never been sharpened, you can instead serge or zig zag along the edge after cutting out the jellybeans. Or you can borrow some pinking shears from the next door neighbor. The possibilities are endless.

6. Attach the ends of the elastic bands to either side of the jellybeans.

7. Rejoice that the AG dolls will no longer be keeping you up all night with their incessant partying. With the aid of their new sleep masks, they will be off to dreamland in no time.

"Who turned out the lights? Molly...are you there...? Zzzzzzzzzzzzz"

Eva, Greta, and Paige with Amelia, Kayla, and Emily

One housekeeping note. If you make a sleep mask for a Bitty Baby, which I did as Greta's doll Kayla is a Bitty, be aware that because these babies are baldies, the mask will not stay on properly as the elastic has nothing to grip onto on their shiny little heads. Greta doesn't care, as the mask also makes a lovely necklace, but some children might not be thrilled with that outcome.

So stay tuned for my next tutorial - Bitty Baby wigs.

I'm totally kidding.

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