Your kids are getting American Girl dolls for Christmas, but the clothes and accessories are super expensive. Now what do you do?

In 2016, Kohl’s and American Girl announced their plans to offer Lea, 2016 Girl of the Year, doll accessories and also the brand-new line of Wellie Wishers. Although the dolls are only accessible in-store, the partnership noted a convenient method for families who don’t live close to an American Girl save to get easy access to this products.

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A few years ago, my nieces Bella and Maggie (not their genuine names) were treated to a visit to the American Girl keep in Chicago wherein they made decision their dolls. 5 year old Maggie automatically zeroed in ~ above Rebecca, that was pull on in her favorite color. 6 year old Bella was pickier, at very first enamored through Grace, summary considering Addy, and ultimately settling on Maryellen.

Following after the girls together they discover the store, your mother, grandmother and also I were all left stunned through the price sign on clothing and accessories. Most of the outfits we experienced were $36 or more. A pet for your doll – a stuffed pet roughly the dimension of mine fist – to be $28. A doll-sized bicycle? $115. Seriously. Ns paid much less than the for my real, actually rideable, grown up bike.

And therefore the 3 adults sprang into activity finding alternatives. We quickly uncovered plenty the knockoff apparel lines. My mother and also I space both quite crafty, and also there are loads of doll garments patterns the end there to sew, knit and crochet. I dug around in my yarn stash to check out what I can whip up quickly, and also both girls were ecstatic to get brand-new knitted hats for their babies ~ above Christmas Day.

Neither Bella nor Maggie cared the the knitted hats didn’t come from American Girl. And also that’s a wonderfully great thing. Not only does it mean that outfitting this dolls will be much easier on ours wallets, it likewise vastly broadens the possibilities because that doing so.

Stick to knockoff doll clothing and accessories

American Girl isn’t the only 18-inch doll manufacturer out there. Most major toy retailers have actually their own knockoff version. In ~ Target, it’s our Generation. Walmart has actually My Life As. Amazon is a treasure trove of clothes from lesser recognized brands choose Dollie & Me and Sophia’s, regularly Prime eligible and also cheaper than on their house websites.

These were some of the ideal off-brand wardrobe collections we found:

All of this are much cheaper than American Girl brand outfits and fit American Girl dolls just fine. The top quality is good and the cuteness element is sky high.

But because that the skeptics the end there who could wonder if the knockoffs truly stand up to official American Girl merch, might we existing the following challenge:

Can you Tell which One is from American Girl?

Most that the kids who love your American Girl dolls care much more about the doll than the brand of garments that they wear. Remember how thrilled Bella and also Maggie were v their handknitted baby hats? In fact, we’re betting most grown ups would certainly be tough pressed to spot the official merch. Examine out these side by side comparisons come see exactly how similar outfits and accessories from other 18-inch doll brands have the right to be to the genuine thing.

Left: Treat Seat because that Dolls – $30 in ~ American GirlRight: ours Generation Clip-On Chair – $19.99 in ~ Target

When you have actually lunch at American Girl Place, your dolls space seated at the table v you utilizing a distinct seat that clips on come the table, and it’s a exorbitant upselling gimmick. What small girl wouldn’t desire one ~ that? The American Girl version is $30, but Target selling a comparable clip-on chair because that $19.99 that also come in 4 different really cute patterns and also includes a tray and also lunch set complete v tiny utensils.

Our Generation dress to Twirl Outfit – $12.99 in ~ Target

Check out this priceless ballet twirl outfit, complete with small shoes and also all in standard ballet pink. The American Girl version costs $15 more than a comparable outfit from our Generation at Target.

Sophia’s Plaid Pink Doll PJs v Slippers – $13.95 at Amazon

Here’s another collection of pink doll PJs. The set is plaid and also comes v slippers. It’s fifty percent the price the the American Doll version. Would certainly your small one understand the difference?

Left: Badger Basket Trundle Doll Bunk Bed through Ladder – $40.99 at WalmartRight: American Girl Bunk Bed & Bedding – $75 at American Girl

The doll-size bunk bed from our Generation contains realistic touches like a ladder and guard rail, contrasted to American Girl’s overly simplistic four-post design. The bed from Walmart is relatively simple, however it consists of a trundle bed to accommodate a third doll. I beg your pardon of these choices would friend choose?

P.S. You completely need to examine out Etsy, too.

A fast look in ~ the 18-inch doll clothing easily accessible on Etsy proves the handmade doesn’t need to be expensive. Numerous of the outfits you’ll discover here space priced ~ above par v the commercially-made ours Generation and Journey brand from Target and Toys R Us. Plus, the practice nature that Etsy provides it a heck of a the majority of fun to browse, not to cite that you have the right to coordinate her kid’s various other interests v your doll a lot more easily 보다 you deserve to elsewhere.

Bella has actually been really right into Paris lately.

Paris Sparkle / Eiffel Tower / Ooh La La through JillRodgersDesigns – $15.95

Their auntie might be a bit more into Star Wars.

Left: Star battles Darth Vader Doll dress by JustaTad4Dolls – $20Right: Star Wars layout Outfit by sewcutebymary – $15

Basically, everything you or your youngsters are into, Etsy’s probably acquired you covered with an outfit for her American Girl doll.

Make your own adorable doll clothes

My mother deserve to sew. Once upon a time, she made an entire Barbie wardrobe for my sister and also I for Christmas and it was glorious.

Looking roughly for sewing patterns, there room plenty indigenous McCall’s and Simplicity (found in abundance in ~ JoAnn and Fabric.com), however my favorite patterns come from Etsy, wherein the designs seem to be a lot much more on-trend:

Left: Doll Hoodie dress Pattern by MyChildhoodTreasures – $4.99Middle: Wind chilled Coat pattern by ManySmallFriends – $6.03Right: JANES Doll shoe Pattern by PixieFairePatterns – $3.99

Personally, I’m a knitter. As I detailed in the intro, ns whipped out a couple doll hats just in time for Christmas using a totally free pattern I discovered on Ravelry.

I’ll be honest, a many the knitting and also crocheting I’ve seen for dolls deserve to look homemade in a well-meaning however not an especially appealing way, and also I host my knitting to a nice high typical these days. But with a good eye for color and the best pattern, the results have the right to be nothing short of spectacular. The quality on these captured my eye and maybe, probably made it into my Ravelry queue:

Left: Love my Doll pullover by Jodi Lewanda – complimentary patternMiddle: Olive Cardigan by Steph Wylie – $5 patternRight: Whidbey by Deb Denair – $3.65 pattern

And Don’t Forget corresponding Girl & Doll Outfits

Both Bella and also Maggie love dressing their dolls up in clothing that complement their own. American Girl has more than a few, the course, but Kohl’s, Amazon and also Target come with on this request rather well in ~ a much far better price. Kohl’s deserve to be pricey, however the discounts are an excellent when outfits walk on sale and also the usual Kohl’s coupons codes can reduce the price also more.

Check the end the Dollie & Me repertoire at Amazon ideal now. Beyond that, girlfriend can find Our Generation Me and You outfits in ~ Target.

Making your very own is also an option. If you’re a knitter, inspect out the pattern because that these adorable equivalent Dolly Bloom dresses, draft by Georgie Hallam. Does the get any cuter?

If girlfriend absolutely must have actually American Girl brand stuff, however…

Shop the Sales

Our sources tell united state that black color Friday and Cyber Monday always have some of the ideal deals viewed all year at American Girl. In fact, in the past, we’ve viewed an American Girl promo code covering the entire weekend, taking 20% off full priced items, including the dolls themselves.

We’ve also heard the Cyber Monday revenue is THE revenue of the season, and we’ve seen up come 50% off there. And also that is usually followed by a complete week of everyday deals.

There are likewise some wonderful sales after Christmas, though they often tend to it is in in-store only.

Check Craigslist and eBay because that secondhand clothing and accessories

It deserve to be difficult to discover bargains on auction sites and also the like. Many buyers and sellers in these markets are collectors, so you’re often going to be looking at collector prices. Translation: Hardly everyone is divesting themselves of this stuff because that cheap.

On the other hand, there’s a ton of secondhand AG because that sale online and there’s tied to it is in a gem or 2 out there for those with the patience to sift through it.

Buy a used doll and also send she to the Doll Hospital

While poking roughly on Chicago’s Craigslist, i spotted someone offering American Girl’s Julie doll for $50. She might be offered without her clothes, but that’s quiet $65 off the price if girlfriend bought she new.

Assuming she’s in reasonably good condition yet could usage a little of touching up, include in $28 for a wellness Visit in ~ the American Girl Doll Hospital for cleaning and also hair restoration, and also you’ve invested $78, still $37 much less than you’d pay for a brand-new Julie doll. The Doll Hospital’s services variety from cleaning every the means up come reattaching and replacing parts and are priced from $28-$44, to add shipping and also processing.

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Look because that discounted American Girl gift cards in ~ Costco

In past years, we’ve seen $100 American Girl gift cards being marketed for $79.99 at Costco, and rumor has it this is a deal that comes earlier periodically. Therefore if you’re a constant Costco shopper, keep an eye on the gift cards in ~ your local store to perhaps score a 20% discount.

Follow American Girl top top Facebook

Several collectors us spoke to detailed that discounts and totally free shipping promos are usually announced ~ above American Girl’s official Facebook page the very same morning lock start. You’ll need to relocate fast!

Will your youngsters be getting American Girl merch for Christmas this year? let us know in the comments!

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