Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How to Make a Doll's Bassinete and Purse from a Plastic Bottle

Crocheted Doll Bed from a Plastic BottleWhen I was little my grandmother made me one of these little doll bassinets that was mint green and white with a little matching mattress, pillow, pillowcase and blanket. She took me out to Woolworth's and bought me a tiny little Eskimo doll which I promptly named Muktuk and kept in the little doll bed for years and years.

I was feeling sentimental and wanted to make one for Lillian and I called Grandma to see if she still had the pattern but she didn't remember ever making the doll bed or even buying Muktuk so I had to come up with my own version of the pattern.

You'll need:
  • a large plastic bottle--like a laundry detergent bottle--with a nice uniform bottom
  • soft worsted weight yarn such as Caron So Soft
  • "F" sized crochet hook
  • a little baby (I got mine for $1.09 at Walmart)
  • scraps of fabric and stuffing to make bedding
Crocheted Doll Bed from a Plastic BottleCut the bottom off the bottle about four inches from the bottom. You'll have to eyeball it and go with your instinct on this. Don't worry--it's not a science or anything.

Once the edge is nice and straight go ahead and punch holes with a hole punch all the way around the edge, probably about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch apart. You want them closer together rather than too far apart. You can see in the picture at left how there are little holes around the rim. That's the idea.

Now with your crochet hook and yarn here's the pattern for the hood on the bassinet:

HDC=Half Double Crochet
Sl St=Slip Stitch
DC=Double Crochet

Ch 2. Make 7 HDC in the first Ch.

Row 1: Ch 2 and turn.

Row 2: 2 HDC in 1st st. 1 HDC in next 4 sts, 4 HDC in last st. Ch 2; turn.

Row 3: 2 HDC in 1st st. *HDC in next st. Repeat from * across, ending with 4 HDC in last st. Ch 2; turn.

Row 4: HDC in each of first 3 sts. 2 HDC in each of next 6 sts. HDC in each of the last sts. Ch 2; turn.

Row 5: 1 HDC in each st across. Ch 2; turn.

Row 6-9: repeat Row 5. You can make the hood as large as you'd like by simply repeating Row 5 as many times as you need to, just keep going until it's big enough.

Crocheted Doll Bed from a Plastic BottleAt this point you have to turn the hood inside out and place it inside the bottle so that the edge of the hood is lined with the edge of the plastic and they can be sewn together (you can kind of see what I'm talking about in the picture at left. You see the hood placed in position and the cover has been attached along with it.

But at this point comes the trickiest part. You're now going to start at the left corner of the hood and crochet through the plastic holes, picking up stitches from the bonnet as you go clockwise around the edge of the bassinet. You'll be making 2 single crochet stitches in each hole and continue going clockwise around the edge, making two stitches in each hole. When you reach the other corner of the bonnet keep going around the edge of the plastic until you get back around to where you started then join up with a slip stitch.

Now that you've got a row established it's time to work the base row of shell stitches.

Row 2 of cover: Ch 2, 2 DC in first st. * Skip 2 sts; 3 DC in next st. Repeat from * around. Join up with a Sl St.

Rows 3-9 of cover: 3DC in each space between shells and go around ending with a Sl St.

*Note: you can keep repeating this standard row of shell stitches around and around until the cover is long enough to properly cover the sides of the bassinet. You'll want it long enough to touch the ground when it's folded over before adding the scalloped edge as a finish.

Row 10: Ch 5 *sk 2 sts. HDC in next st. Ch 1. Repeat around. Join with Sl St to top of Ch 3. (Note: This row will vary depending on how many holes you punched around the plastic edge, you may have to adjust things a tad here or there to make it come out evenly).

Row 11: in first Ch 1 space make 1 DC, 1 HDC, 1 DC. In next Ch 1 space, 1 DC, 1 HDC, 1 DC. Repeat around. Join with Sl St.

Using two strands of yard make 2 Drawstrings: Ch 90 and end off for each one. Thread the drawstrings through Row 10 with each string starting from the opposite ends then knot the ends. I tie the knots in the end so as to catch the ends of the yarn and hide them inside the knots.

Make bedding for the bassinet and you're good to go!

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Technorati tags: crafts, dolls, crochet


Anonymous said...

I still have one from my childhood! My daughter loves it, but the bottle is breaking. Would be fun to make one for her.

Anonymous said...

How cute is that!

Unknown said...

How lovely. I am not the arts and crafts type, but I am going to pass this on to a few people who have that inclination. This would make nice Christmas presents for some children at an orphanage in Honduras where I know the handicraft would be cherished.

Unknown said...

So cute. I am going to have to file that one away for a niece/daughter someday.

Edi said...

Fun to see your post today b/c I remember having one! I don't know if my grandma made it or my great-grandma (she was especially crafty). Seems like mine was an orangy color...

Jennifer said...

You finally found it, or figured it out! Yeah! I can pretty much guess though that these won't be in your Etsy shop. They look very labor intensive! And adorable!

RoeH said...

How cute! I've crocheted a little bit in my life but I really HAVE to be in the mood. I may try this.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother also made me a mint-green one! The pattern my grandmother used had an extra bit to it: it became a "purse" with string straps! She made an extra layer so that when you wanted to play with the bassinet, the layer folded down around the bassinet; when you were ready to take you bassinet & doll someplace, you just folded the extra layer up and pulled the strings together. I wish I still had it now (but not as much as I wish I still had my grandmother).

Anonymous said...

Looking again at your pictures, I see that the only extra she made was to cover the plastic base with identical crocheting.

Annette Lyon said...

I'm majorly impressed that you figured out the pattern on your own. My last is still young enough to appreciate something like this.

jacjewelry said...

This looks so cute! I loved little dolls like that when I was young.

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

I'm pretty sure that knitting is never going to be for me, but I very much appreciate the craft. These are darling and remind me of childhood.

M said...

Your talents never cease to amaze me. I don't know how you get everything done. Seriously.

mum2twelve said...

too adorable!

Scribbit said...

Actually Jennifer--I did this on a Friday night. We'd told the kids it was a family movie night so I crocheted it while watching "Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again". How retro is that?

So the crochet part took a Friday evening though I'd already cut the bottle earlier that afternoon. Making the bedding took another half an hour the next day but it's not as labor-intensive as it looks.

And kcinnova--I guess my picture isn't that good but that's what this one does, it folds down into a bed or folds up into a little purse with the doll inside. I think the pattern must have been big in the 70s though it's hard to find now.

It doesn't take huge skills--you have to be able to make a circle only this is actually a half-circle (same stitches though). Then to do a basic shell stitch round and round and round. Not tough at all.

Chrissy Johnson said...

Ah, how I remember these! Mine was blue that my Grandma made me. She had such a gift for knitting, crochet, and embroidery. I'm ok at embroidery but that is it! I think I lost the little baby but used to use the bassinet as a tiny purse that I took out on errands, church, etc. So adorable.

Margie said...

That's too cute! I think I'm going to have to make that for a grandchild at some point!

Anonymous said...

What a cute craft idea!

Isn't it funny how little things like this plaster themselves into a child's memory, but sometimes the parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/whoever won't remember it at all?

Miriam Robbins said...

Ooo, ooo, ooo, I had one, too! I love it, Michelle. Now I know what I'm making for my grandniece's Christmas present this year!


Montserrat said...

I still have the one my granmother made for me when I was three. It is a treasure! She made some for my girls about 5 years ago but we've had a couple more girls since then so I'm going to make some for them. Thanks!

threesidesofcrazy said...

I remember these from girl scouts and grandmother's bizarres at church when I was young - how adorable!

Jolene said...

I wish I still had the one my grandmother made me. I loved it so much. It is amazing that you were able to duplicate it. I am going to start searching etsy shops right now - my youngest would love that.

Michelle said...

I remember these from when I was little if only I could
crochet! Hmm.

mjwehrer said...

Thanks so much! My mother made these for my sisters and me when we were little, and I want to make some for friends' little girls!

Anonymous said...

I had one of these when I was a young girl! I loved it and plan on making a couple for each of my granddaughters! Thank you for sharing the pattern!

Anonymous said...

I lost the one I had as a child. So happy to find this. Can you post pics of the bedding/insides? Mine were crocheted and filled with stuffing. Wouod love to see what you created for that.