Your kids are gaining American Girl dolls because that Christmas, however the clothes and accessories are super expensive. Now what execute you do?

In 2016, Kohl’s and American Girl announced their plans to sell Lea, 2016 Girl the the Year, doll accessories and the brand-new line of Wellie Wishers. Back the dolls space only easily accessible in-store, the partnership provided a convenient method for families who don’t live close to an American Girl store to gain easy accessibility to these products.

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

Following after the girls as they explored the store, your mother, grandmother and also I were all left stunned through the price tags on clothing and accessories. Most of the outfits we witnessed were $36 or more. A pet for her doll – a stuffed pet roughly the size of mine fist – to be $28. A doll-sized bicycle? $115. Seriously. Ns paid much less than the for mine real, in reality rideable, grown increase bike.

And so the 3 adults sprang into action finding alternatives. Us quickly discovered plenty the knockoff clothing lines. My mother and also I space both pretty crafty, and also there are loads of doll clothing patterns out there come sew, knit and also crochet. Ns dug around in mine yarn stash to see what I might whip up quickly, and also both girls to be ecstatic come get new knitted hats for your babies top top Christmas Day.

Neither Bella no one Maggie cared the the knitted hats didn’t come indigenous American Girl. And that’s a wonderfully great thing. Not only does it average that outfitting this dolls will certainly be simpler on our wallets, it also vastly increases the possibilities for doing so.

Stick to knockoff doll clothing and accessories

American Girl isn’t the just 18-inch doll manufacturer the end there. Most significant toy retailers have their own knockoff version. In ~ Target, it’s our Generation. Walmart has actually My Life As. Amazon is a sweetheart trove of apparel from lesser well-known brands prefer Dollie & Me and also Sophia’s, frequently Prime eligible and cheaper 보다 on their residence websites.

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

All of these are lot cheaper 보다 American Girl brand outfits and fit American Girl dolls just fine. The top quality is good and the cuteness variable is sky high.

But for the skeptics out there who can wonder if the knockoffs truly wake up to official American Girl merch, might we existing the adhering to challenge:

Can friend Tell which One is indigenous American Girl?

Most the the kids who love your American Girl dolls care much more about the doll 보다 the brand of clothes that castle wear. Remember just how thrilled Bella and also Maggie were with their handknitted baby hats? In fact, we’re betting many grown ups would be difficult pressed come spot the official merch. Check out these side by next comparisons come see precisely how similar outfits and also accessories from other 18-inch doll brands have the right to be come the genuine thing.

Left: Treat Seat for Dolls – $30 in ~ American GirlRight: our Generation Clip-On Chair – $19.99 at Target

When you have lunch at American Girl Place, your dolls are seated in ~ the table v you utilizing a one-of-a-kind seat that clips on come the table, and also it’s a exorbitant upselling gimmick. What little girl wouldn’t desire one after ~ that? The American Girl version is $30, but Target sells a comparable clip-on chair for $19.99 that also come in four different really cute patterns and includes a tray and also lunch set complete with tiny utensils.

Our Generation dress to Twirl Outfit – $12.99 at Target

Check out this priceless ballet twirl outfit, complete with tiny shoes and also all in classic 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 in ~ Amazon

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

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

The doll-size bunk bed from ours Generation consists of realistic touches favor a ladder and also guard rail, contrasted to American Girl’s too many simplistic four-post design. The bed indigenous Walmart is fairly simple, but it contains a trundle bed to accommodate a 3rd doll. I m sorry of these choices would girlfriend choose?

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

A rapid look at the 18-inch doll clothing easily accessible on Etsy proves that handmade doesn’t need to be expensive. Numerous of the outfits you’ll uncover here are priced ~ above par v the commercially-made our Generation and Journey brand from Target and also Toys R Us. Plus, the tradition nature that Etsy provides it a hell of a many fun to browse, not to point out that you have the right to coordinate her kid’s various other interests through your doll a lot much more easily than you have the right to elsewhere.

Bella has actually been really right into Paris lately.

Paris Sparkle / Eiffel Tower / Ooh La La by 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 gained you extended with an outfit for her American Girl doll.

Make your own adorable doll clothes

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

Looking about for sewing patterns, there are plenty native McCall’s and Simplicity (found in abundance in ~ JoAnn and Fabric.com), but my favorite patterns come from Etsy, where the design seem come be a lot an ext on-trend:

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

Personally, I’m a knitter. As I listed in the intro, ns whipped out a pair doll hats just in time for Christmas using a cost-free pattern I uncovered on Ravelry.

I’ll be honest, a lot of the knitting and crocheting I’ve viewed for dolls have the right to look homemade in a well-meaning yet not particularly appealing way, and I hold my knitting come a pretty high typical these days. But with a good eye because that color and the ideal pattern, the results deserve to be nothing quick of spectacular. The quality on these recorded my eye and maybe, possibly made it into my Ravelry queue:

Left: Love mine Doll pullover by Jodi Lewanda – totally free patternMiddle: Olive Cardigan through Steph Wylie – $5 patternRight: Whidbey by Deb Denair – $3.65 pattern

And Don’t Forget matching Girl & Doll Outfits

Both Bella and also Maggie love dressing their dolls up in garments that match their own. American Girl has more than a few, of course, but Kohl’s, Amazon and Target come with on this request quite well in ~ a much much better price. Kohl’s can be pricey, yet the discounts are great when outfits go on sale and also the usual Kohl’s coupons codes can reduce the price even more.

Check out the Dollie & Me arsenal at Amazon appropriate now. Past that, girlfriend can find Our Generation Me and also You outfits at Target.

Making your own is additionally an option. If you’re a knitter, check out the pattern because that these adorable matching Dolly Bloom dresses, designed by Georgie Hallam. Does the get any kind of cuter?

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

Shop the Sales

Our sources tell us that black color Friday and Cyber Monday constantly have some of the best deals checked out all year in ~ American Girl. In fact, in the past, we’ve viewed an American Girl promo code spanning the entire weekend, taking 20% off full priced items, consisting of the dolls themselves.

We’ve additionally heard the Cyber Monday revenue is THE sale of the season, and we’ve seen up to 50% off there. And also that is usually complied with by a full week of daily deals.

There are additionally some terrific sales after Christmas, despite they tend to be in-store only.

Check Craigslist and also eBay because that secondhand clothing and accessories

It deserve to be hard to discover bargains top top auction sites and the like. Many buyers and also sellers in these sectors are collectors, therefore you’re often going to be looking at collector prices. Translation: Hardly anyone is divesting us of this stuff because that cheap.

On the other hand, there’s a ton the secondhand AG for sale online and there’s bound to be a gem or 2 out there because that those with the patience to sift v it.

Buy a provided doll and also send her to the Doll Hospital

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

Assuming she’s in reasonably great condition but could usage a little bit of emotional up, add in $28 for a well-being Visit at the American Girl Doll Hospital for cleaning and hair restoration, and you’ve invested $78, tho $37 much less than you’d pay for a new Julie doll. The Doll Hospital’s services selection from cleaning all the means up to reattaching and replacing parts and also are priced native $28-$44, add to shipping and processing.

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Look for discounted American Girl gift cards in ~ Costco

In past years, we’ve seen $100 American Girl gift cards being sold for $79.99 at Costco, and also rumor has it this is a transaction that comes ago periodically. For this reason if you’re a continuous Costco shopper, keep one eye on the gift cards at your regional store to perhaps score a 20% discount.

Follow American Girl ~ above Facebook

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

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

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