Thursday, May 22, 2014

Well, Knock Me Over! A Happy Camper Story...

For the last few months, I've been working on a set of 30 custom Knock-Down Dolls. The request came from an event planner that I had worked with 2 years ago, on another set of dolls. These clients had requested a full arcade-style setup with Knock-Downs that went with their party theme. This latest job was centered around two girls who were having a Double Bat Mitzvah. They were camp buddies and so they wanted two dolls that looked like the guests of honor, and the rest would be "Happy Campers".

The design process begins on the computer, and I work with my client to create the right kind of art for their particular theme. It was tons of fun designing the happy campers and making Knock-Down Doll art of the girls in their party dresses.

Once the client approves, I send it out to Spoonflower to create custom fabric from my illustrations.

For the Happy Campers, I got to create blonde, brunette and redheaded girls in their camp uniforms. I even made backs for the dolls, that looked like each girl from behind!

Making faux fur sandwiches — pinning each doll inside out with very thick 2-1/2" long fur fabric — is a challenge. But one of the highlights of this job was that I got to match the fur to the hair color of the Happy Campers!

Once the dolls are sewn and stuffed, I add wooden bases — silkscreened with my logo — to the bottom of each one. Because these Knock-Down Dolls are a throwback to the old boardwalk days, I love using vintage hardware to finish them with.

Once they were all together, the smiles on their faces said it all. Yup... we have some Happy Campers!

The Party Girls were pretty adorable as well. Their dresses were designed from original photos of their party outfits. Lots and lots and lots of rhinestones...

...which I mimicked on the back for their names and Bat Mitzvah date! Mazel Tov!

All-in-all, this had to be one of the most fun jobs I've worked on in a very long time. And my client is a breeze to work with. Our co-collaboration resulted in some pretty cute Knock-Down Dolls. All the little details really make them "out standing". There's only one thing left to do... knock 'em down!


  1. Adorable! Hope they take pics of the party and as the dolls are used...maybe with their look a likes! So fun!

    1. Thanks so much Susan! That would be cute to see the dolls with their look-a-likes!


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michelle renee bernard