Do you love AG Historical Characters? Each one comes from a different time period and a different point in American History. It is easy to fall in love with their inspiring stories and period clothing and accessories. The effect of history intertwined with doll play is magical. I clap my hands because history is coming alive! Having only discovered my love of history in adulthood, I especially clap my hands for the next generation that is introduced to history through play!
Of course any doll can join in the fun and use the past for inspiration for crafting and play! Today I have a historical accessory for dolls from the 1800’s. It is a lap desk. Really, a wooden lap desk, spans a much larger time period. I took inspiration from a few design elements from desks during the 1800’s. Namely the sloped surface and the inlaid gold. Here is a great link if you want to know anything and everything about lap desks! Lots of pictures and lots of detailed information!
I first saw an old lap desk on Antiques Roadshow a few years back. Of course it was decked out with hidden compartments and beautiful details. It just looked fun to use!
Caroline is modeling ours today. She is visiting from grandma’s house. (Thanks Grandma! :))
Her lap desk is a portable desk so she sits down at the table with it to read and respond to a letter she received recently.
It’s from a dear friend that is coming for a visit this summer.
They are going to have such a fun time! Long summer days, walking on the beach, and picnics!
Caroline decides to reply later. She still has a few chores to finish up today.
She clears the desk.
The lid opens up for easy storage.
She safely stows the inkwell, feather pen, paper, and envelope. It’s waiting for her. She’ll be back to reply soon!
Would you like to make a lap desk for your dolls? I’ll show you how with pictures and how-to’s and tips! Come along!
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need.
- thin cardboard
- scrapbook paper that looks like wood
- craft stick-(or something you can “score” cardboard with)
- glue stick
- gold marker
- hot glue
Cut a piece of cardboard 3 1/2″ X 9 1/2″. Score the cardboard according to the picture. When you score the cardboard you are making an indentation in it. Then you can easily fold it at exact measurements. To score simply place the ruler at the measurement and run a stylist, or other hard thin surface along the rulers edge. You can use a dull pencil or the edge of a craft stick.
We are going to make the sides of the lap desk.
Hold the cardboard in the folded up position. Trace the sides onto a piece of cardboard.
Cut out the shapes you traced. There will be one for each side when you are done.
After we cover it in the wood paper it will be glued in place on 3 sides.
First cover the long piece of cardboard using a glue stick and scrapbook paper. Fold it into place along the crease lines before the glue drys. Smooth out and bubbles near the creases. Fold it down so it is in the “closed desk” position. Cover the 2 smaller side pieces separate. Use hot glue or craft glue to glue it on three sides leaving only the “lid” of the desk free.
The basic shape of the desk is finished. We are going to add just a touch of detail to make it awesome! Se the white edges on everything? That is because the paper I used is white in the center so, every time I cut it, the edges show white. It looks a little tacky, wouldn’t you say?
Use a little matching craft paint. In my case a basic brown will do. Paint just a tad on all those edges and suddenly it looks loads better.
Don’t skip the gold detailing! Use a gold pen and a ruler and put some “gold inlay” right onto your desk. I kept mine pretty simple. Google it and you will find fancy, fancy antique ones. So, get as creative as your heart desires!
Last but not least fill your desk with supplies! Cut paper for stationary, print a letter resized for dolls, and make a feather pen and inkwell using this tutorial.
Enhance historical doll play and scenes with a this lap desk from the 1800’s!
Just in case you are interested here are a few more details from today’s post!
- Doll- Caroline an AG Historical Character
- Scene- Wicker set tutorial is here. Feather pen and inkwell tutorial is here. Letter and envelopes made by Anna
Craft and walk back in time!