Happy Birthday to American Girl Kirsten today!!! Kirsten Larson was a pioneer girl born in 1845 whose family traveled from Sweden to the United States to begin a new life. Kirsten had a small rag doll named Sari but it was also very common to make dolls from yarn in Kirsten’s day. Today we will make a simple yarn doll to give to Kirsten – or any of your other dolls. There is a printable activity for today – it’s at the bottom of the post.
Kirsten is ready to celebrate her birthday! She has her new yarn doll on her lap. It is very basic and simple, but that is fine with Kirsten – it means over time she can add details like yarn hair, a face, and even make it some clothes out of fabric scraps from Mama’s sewing basket.
I found multiple patterns for making yarn dolls (like this one from Chica and Jo and this one from Spud and Chloe) but decided to simplify it just a bit for you – when you are done you can add creative touches to make your mini doll special.
Step 1 – Using whatever color yarn you would like, wrap your yarn around a piece of cardboard about 4″-5″ wide. I used a pad of paper and it worked great. Depending on the thickness of your yarn you will need to wrap it around between 30 and 50 times. I did 50 because my yarn wasn’t very fluffy.
Step 2 - Tie a piece of yarn through the top of your wound yarn. This will help keep the whole thing together and make the top of her head.
Step 3 – Using a small elastic or a piece of yarn, tie off a section close to the top to make your doll’s head.
Step 4 – Cut the loops at the bottom of your doll’s body
Step 5- Separate a chunk of yarn on each side to make arms.
Step 6 - Use a piece of yarn or elastic to secure the ends of the doll’s arms. If you feel like her arms are a bit long, you can trim the ends a bit.
Step 7 - If you want your doll to look like she has legs instead of looking like she is just wearing a dress, separate the remaining strands into two sections and secure with an elastic or yarn. Your doll is now done, however, you could add hair, a face, make her a skirt from scraps, or be as creative as you would like!
Kirsten loves her new doll!
Since today’s activity was a craft, I decided to give you a printable activity to test your Kirsten knowledge instead. It is a word scramble I made a few years ago for one of my old sites. Unscramble all of the words to find names, words and facts about Kirsten’s world. All of the answers can easily be found in her books and on the American Girl website in Kirsten’s section.
The American Girl Publishing site also has additional Kirsten printables if you want to learn more about Kirsten and what girls her age did for fun in the 1850s.
How will you celebrate Kirsten’s Birthday? Submit photos of your Kristen celebrating today or show off the yarn doll you made by emailing me the photos at email@example.com. I will add any reader submitted photos relating to Kirsten or today’s activity below.