Kruselings dolls
Kruselings Dolls – Chloe joins her friends

Kruselings are depicted as fantasy/fashion/action dolls and there are six of them; five girls and one boy. As I already had three, Christmas provided me with the perfect excuse to add to my Kruseling doll collection. My initial selection for purchase was based on the doll’s hair. Vera’s is blonde, fine and straight, Joy’s is dark brown with tight curls and Sophia’s is dark brown and very thick.

Here are my three little ladies recently having fun in the snow wearing their Christmas knitwear. Vera’s hair works well with a hat but Sophia’s is too full. I just about managed to get a hat on Joy and it stayed-put for the photo, but it sprang off after a while. They all became very excited with the prospect of more friends joining them!

None of the main toy shops physically near me stock Kruselings, so once again I searched online and I found the best price to be on Amazon. Although at the time of writing this post most of their Kruseling dolls were out of stock. However, if you don’t mind paying a little more, they are currently in stock from the My Doll Best Friend website.

So my fourth Kruseling doll arrived today. Here’s Chloe with her auburn hair and fringe (bangs).

Chloe is soon to be followed by black-haired Luna, who also has a fringe. I’m holding off on buying Michael as (apart from the hair length) I don’t think he looks much different from Vera. Plus I read a review whereby the person didn’t rate Michael’s hair well at all and found it to be a big disappointment.

By the end of January I’ll have a full house with the Kruseling girls and speaking of houses, my husband bought me a second-hand one last summer. It’s a Barbie doll’s house and being 1/6th scale, it works perfectly for my Kruselings. I’m slowly decorating it and making accessories but so far, my bean bags and doll’s bed are perfect for it.

When buying a doll, it’s difficult to not get side-tracked by the sheer amount of choice there is within the doll market. The main factors I look for when buying are pose-ability and ease for little fingers to manage by themselves (as well as with supervision), but I don’t buy to collect for myself, I buy for role-play with my grand children. As they grow older the role-play is moving more towards designing and making dolls clothes, with them bringing forward their ideas and me having the challenge of making them!

The reason why I decided to make clothes for Kruselings dolls is detailed in a previous post. In that post I also tell/show the difference between 9” Kruselings and 8” Paola Reina Mini Amigas. It was a happy accident when I discovered that most of the outfits I make to sell on the website also fit the 8” Mini Amigas.

Here’s a Mini Amiga and Kruseling side-by-side.

Barbie has also joined in the fun with our Kruselings dolls. I’m not a big fan of Barbie but when I made the Little Miss Dressy knitwear range I realised that it also fits the 11½” Barbie. So perhaps my future Little Miss Dressy creations will be tailored to fit all three doll-brands. I recently discovered the Made-to-Move Barbie doll, which has 22 joints with a big range of motion and I’d love to see one in-the-flesh, but it’s best I hold that thought for another day!

Kruseling dolls bed
Making a Bed for a Small Doll (Kruselings)

Here’s how I went about making a bed for our Kruseling dolls, using lollipop sticks and a glue gun. Once I had worked out how to make it, it took me about an hour to cut and glue the pieces together. Initially there was more thinking than doing but after I had drawn the template the assembly was quite straightforward.

It’s not true 1/6th scale but it’s size was dependent on these 3 factors;

  • Long enough for a 9 inch Kruseling doll
  • Fit within the doll’s house room and still look realistic
  • Shallow enough to fit inside a 12 inch carry case.

Once I had decided on the size of bed I started the preparation;

  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Measuring tools
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Clippers
  • Weights
  • 11.5 cm long lollipop sticks (I used 41 sticks but allowed more for error)

Mark out the paper template

This is a rectangle measuring 11½ cm by 24½ cm (I used my quilter’s ruler to get the angles correct and I drew the rectangle).

Using a lollipop stick, draw around them to mark out their placements within the rectangle.

Cutting the lollipop sticks

There are 6 cuts in total using 4 lollipop sticks. Measure at the 8cm mark and cut 4 sticks to the 8cm length. Using 2 of the remaining 3.5cm pieces, measure 1cm from the cut end and cut to shorten the stick to 2.5cm. You will have 4 bed corner posts and 2 centre-bracing bed frame posts.

Assemble the Bed Frame

The template was used to line up the lollipop sticks and I used my sewing weights to stop the sticks from moving while I glued them together.

Start with the long sides and place a lollipop stick at each corner. Use another stick to overlap at the centre.

Using the weights to keep in place on the template, add the 2 ends to form a rectangle. Turn over and add 3 more vertical sticks (left, centre and right) for rigidity.

Using the paper template a a guide, continue adding vertical lollipop sticks to form the slats along the base. Also add 4 sticks horizontally at the sides.

Assemble the Bed Posts

Using the template, set the 8 cm long sticks at the correct distance apart and with weights in place, glue the horizontal sticks across.

The spacing is up to you, but the lowest stick needs to be situated so that the base is set at the correct height. Draw a line at 2.5 cm from the floor-edge.

Attach the Bed Frame to the Bed Posts

Place the bed post flat on the table and glue the bed frame to it above the 2½ cm line, ensuring it sits at right angles. Add more glue to the underside edge of the bed so that it’s not seen. Do the same for the 2nd bed post. Check that it all sits level.

Attach the Bracing Bar

With the bed turned upside down, glue one 2½ cm stick vertically to both sides at the midway point. Use a 3rd stick to form a bracing bar to help hold them in place.

At this stage I could see the bed was in its final stages and Sophia #Kruseling got to try it out.

Finish

There were glue strands that needed picking off and I tried as best I could to lightly sand any parts that required smoothing down. Then it was ready for painting! It got two coats of Liquitex Gesso and I left it with the matt finish.

After I had made the mattress, pillow and duvet I secretly wished I were that size, small enough to snuggle down in the bed next to Sophia.

With the prices of 1/6th scale beds these days, I was absolutely delighted to have been able to make my own. My 11½ cm lollipop sticks cost £1 for 100 and I used 3 or 4 glue sticks.

Three beds have been made so far, two are for Xmas presents (that fit in a little carry case with a Kruseling doll) and I get to keep one. I hope you feel inspired to have a go!

Party outfit by Little Miss Dressy
Kruselings miniature plate of food
Making a Miniature Plate of Food for Kruselings 1:6 scale

If you want to know about making a miniature plate of food for your Kruseling doll then this post may interest you. I’m always looking at ways for making miniature accessories for my dolls. There are lots available on the internet but it can work out expensive if, like me, you’re looking to build up a good and varied collection.

I was on the hunt for some plates of food and after not being able to find what I wanted, I set about making them myself. I found plenty of 1/12th scale, but not 1/6th which is the size needed for Kruselings (or Mini Amigas, or Barbies).

To make the miniature plates of food I figured that I would need 4 plates, food, glue, tweezers and varnish. I already had the glue, tweezers and varnish, so I scoured online (including eBay and Amazon) for the right size plates and food but again, search results were not quite what I wanted.

Quite by chance I came across nail art accessories that resembled fruit slices and they looked the right size so I took a chance and ordered them. I intended using milk carton tops for plates but they were a bit too deep for displaying the food.

I’m lucky to have a handy husband who made me some aluminium plates to the exact diameter I wanted, otherwise I’d have probably gone with buying 1/12th scale from eBay, which would have been fine for a tea plate but I wanted a dinner size plate.

Materials & Tools Used to Make a Miniature Plate of Food

  • 32mm diameter plates
  • Nail Art Decoration Fimo slices (£2.99 incl postage from uk_beauty_supplies on eBay)
  • PVA glue
  • Small paint brush
  • Reverse action tweezers.

Method:

1) Prepare the fimo fruit slices according to how you want them laid out to get an idea of how many will fit the plate. I chose lines of overlapping slices. (My pack contained 12 compartments of at about 10 slices in each and my plates have 21,29, 31, 33 slices on them).

2) Work on 1 plate at a time and place a thin layer of glue on it using a small paint brush. (I think my slices are 1mm thick and I made the glue layer the same thickness.)

3) Use the reverse action tweezers to pick up the fimo slice and place it on the plate. (A second pair of ordinary tweezers also helps to steady the plate when doing this.)

4) Leave to dry completely. A coat of clear nail varnish on top will give a shiny glaze and finish it off nicely.

If you have the patience to make your own plates, I found some great YouTube videos for making them;

  1. This one uses plain 300gsm card and nail varnish.
  2. This one uses plain card.
  3. This one makes fancy plates using a computer print out.

Here’s Vera #Kruseling preparing lunch for her friends!

Sofia Kruseling sat on her bean bag chair
Making a Bean Bag Chair for a Kruseling Doll 1:6 Scale

Making a bean bag chair for your Kruseling doll is quite straightforward and uses two pieces of fabric of exactly the same size. It can be made in under an hour and the trickiest part is filling the bag without spilling anything.

My inspiration sometimes comes out of nowhere; I recently had a clear out of old gift boxes and discovered some bags of tiny polystyrene beads that had been used as padding. It was these that gave me the idea to make my Kruselings their bean bags. I had no idea if there was enough but I thought I’d start with making one and see how much filling was left. It was mostly guess work by eye.

I started looking for a picture of a child-sized bean bag and came across a great blog post by Project Nursery that details how to sew one up. The child in the post’s photo looked about the same age as a Kruseling doll and so I used those measurements detailed in the blog post and divided by six to scale it down.

I drew out the pattern for a Kruseling doll bean bag as shown below. It’s a rectangle 7.5 inches by 5.5 inches, with one end curved.

To test if the size was correct, I first cut out the pattern using some plain cotton and sewed around three sides with a 1cm seam, leaving the shortest straight edge open. (Folding in the seam allowance and ironing the open edge at this stage helps for when sewing it up later.)

I filled up the bag to about one inch from the open edge. This left enough fabric to sew closed the seam and gave the right amount of bagginess to the bag. I machine sewed the seam closed, as near the edge as possible.

Happy with the size, after testing it out on Joy Kruseling, I made a cover for it in exactly the same way but hand-sewed the opening closed.

The key thing to remember is that the opening seam has to be twisted or off-set, like shown in the photo below; the side seams get brought to the centre.

I had enough filling to make three bean bags, so one for each of my Kruselings. If I were to make any more I think I’d try dried rice as the filling in place of polystyrene balls because no matter how careful I was, static made them dart everywhere.

One bean bag cover requires half a fat quarter but of course it’s not entirely necessary to make a separate cover for the bag because it’s twice the work, but it does give some flexibility for changing colour scheme whenever you like.

The bags were finished just in time to get a shot of the girls relaxing in the garden before the sun went down.

Joy, Sofia & Vera Kruseling
Mini Amiga Elena and Kruseling Vera
Kruselings and Mini Amigas -Sharing Dolls’ Clothes

When selecting a doll to make clothes for, Kruselings were my first choice. I was looking for a poseable doll that resembled a little girl of between five and eight years old, and one that was under twelve inches tall.

It took a while web-surfing my way through the maze of available dolls to eventually settle on a Kruseling doll, only to find that its popularity is mainly outside of the UK.

When looking online for UK sellers of Kruselings, there were only three retailers (plus Amazon ) showing up in searches and not a huge choice in stock. So far I’ve purchased three Kruselings, one from each retailer; Vera from My Doll Best Friend, Sofia from Liliana Dolls, Joy from KR Bears and Dolls.

Sonja Hartmann is the designer of Kruselings and she has a website that showcases the dolls, with links to eBay for purchasing them. (I would have thought it in the manufacturer’s best interest (Kathe Kruse (Germany), to actively promote Kruseling dolls in the UK, but my online searches don’t reveal much of that is going on; they must have their reasons for not doing so.)

Having spent countless hours web-searching for information about dolls, I’d discovered that Paola Reina have a Mini Amigas doll range. Being just 2cm smaller than Kruslings and with similar proportions, my Kruselings’ clothes also fit Mini Amigas. So, it was a perfect excuse for me to add a doll to my collection, for research purposes of course! For this little beauty I found the best price on Amazon.

Elena, a Paola Reina Mini Amiga doll

Vera is also available on Amazon.

Vera, a Krusling doll

Here’s a close up of Mini Amiga Elena (left) and Kruseling Vera (right).

Just look at those eyelashes!

Here they are below, side by side. I think Vera looks more athletic and older than Elena, who has a different torso shape. But what about those knickers? The ones on Elena look like old-fashioned school knickers, but they are easier to get on an off than Vera’s, which are a snug fit and barely go over her bottom.

Here are their feet. Mini Amiga Elena has teeny tiny feet with chubby ankles (my Kruseling slider sandals are way too big for her). Kruselings have quite large feet with slim ankles but then those feet are probably designed to give stability for posing.

Here are their hands. Elena’s look quite dainty and bigger than Vera’s. But of course, Vera’s are movable.

Both brands claim their dolls are made of “high quality vinyl” but now I’m able to compare them, I much prefer the softer vinyl of the Paola Reina Mini Amigas to the hard vinyl of the Kruselings. Also, in places, the Kruseling feels as if it has a textured surface; not rough, but definitely not smooth. My ideal doll would be a hybrid of the two. Both are pretty but I’d like the posability of a Kruseling and the texture of a Paola Reina combined.

Kruseling (left) and Mini Amigas (right)

Here they both are wearing the same size crop top. It gives you an idea of the difference in size between them both.

There is no competition between them though for being able to pose. Poor Elena can’t bend her knees to sit down and so her legs go very wide; not ladylike at all.

Whereas Vera can sit better, although not completely upright with her legs extended.

Oh yes, Elena will definitely have to stand at tea parties!

Should you want to know more about the dolls, there is a 2017 blog post from My Doll Best Friend that goes into some detail about Kruselings.

Meanwhile, Kruselings’ popularity is growing. There is a public group on Facebook for sharing photos called Kruseling Adventures Group and then there’s Instagram hashtags #Kruselings and #KruselingsDolls with daily photos being posted.

Little Miss Dressy regularly posts photos too, so why not join in? You can find us on Instagram and Facebook .

party skirt Kruseling size
Making a Tulle Skirt for Kruseling Dolls 1.6 scale

Making a tulle skirt for your Kruseling doll is relatively easy. It consists of layers of 6 inch wide soft net that are sewn together and gathered. Bias binding tape is used for the waistband and a single snap fastener/press stud fastens it at the back.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

This skirt is available in the party category of the Little Miss dressy shop and comes in purple, orange, yellow and green (the party outfits comprise a skirt, a crop top and slider sandals).

Here’s how it’s made:-

First I made a sample skirt to test it for size and see how it would look. For the waistband, I had used a strip of fabric and realised a bias cut piece would give a much smoother finish. This was because once the skirt section had been gathered it curved naturally at the waist.

I then sought a practical method of sewing several skirts in a row so that my work process flowed in a way that suited me. Of course this method might not be perfect for others but it’s how I shall describe it here.

Materials for Making a Tulle Skirt:-

  • Cardboard template measuring 6″ x 15″ (or 15cm by 38cm)
  • Some small weights
  • Soft net or tulle, 5 pieces of 6″ x 15″ (6 inch rolls are ideal)
  • Good quality satin bias binding tape (not the cheap, loosely woven type), 5¼” long
  • Snap fastener 5mm
  • Lighter (to seal the bias tape edges)
  • Ruler, pencil, scissors, pins, needle, thread, stick picker

Prepare the layers one at a time; measuring, marking and cutting them. Cut 4 pieces from plain coloured tulle and 1 piece of decorated tulle.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Use the weights to keep the layers in place on top of each other and pin 2 rows about 1″ apart, along the length of the tulle. Measure and mark the centre of the tulle and machine sew the full length along it as shown below, then remove the pins.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Keep the decorative layer side up and fold the tulle along the centre line where it has been sewn. Pin it down if necessary. This gives you a rectangle 3″ x 15″ that has 10 layers of tulle. Sew along the folded edge to keep it in place.

Set the machine stitch length to 5 and sew 2 rows along the folded edge as shown below, keeping long thread tails at each end for gathering.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Gather the rows evenly until the piece measures 4½” at the waist and tie the threads at each end.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Using a lighter, carefully seal the two edges of the bias tape to stop it fraying. It’s not entirely necessary but it does make it easier later on when hand stitching the waistband.

Folding in the ends of the tulle, attach the bias tape to the waistline at about 1cm from the edge ( I hand-basted first and then machine sewed) leaving excess at each end.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

The final part takes a little bit of patience to get a neat finish and it’s all hand sewn.

Fold over the bias tape and pin it in place, making sure the ends are neatly folded in. I had to double fold because of the width of tape I used. It does give a bulkier waistband but I like the finished look.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Any gathered stitching that is showing after the waistband is added will need to be carefully removed. For this I used a small stitch remover but it can also be done with a pin.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Lastly, attach the snap fastener to the waistband.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

Hand sewing is not my favourite pastime but at least I was able to sew on fasteners whilst listening to my audio book and enjoying the lockdown sunshine.

Here are Joy and Sofia in their party outfits, enjoying a chat and keeping cool with a cold drink.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls

What’s great too is that this size fits the Mini Amigas doll range by Paola Reina, so Joy and Sofia invited Elena to join them.

making a tulle skirt for 9 inch dolls