Journey to the 50s with New American Girl, Maryellen

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Journey back in time to 1954 with Maryellen, an American Girl in the BeForever line and learn to make a doll painting, too. First, play with the adorable Maryellen doll and read her three historical fiction chapter books — we highly recommend them. Then, follow along as I show you how to take a photo of your Maryellen doll and turn it into a painting! A DIY doll painting that will look great for your American Girl play area.

Mary Ellen Larkin Doll and Book

Maryellen BeForever Books

Journey to the 50s with New American Girl, Maryellen

In the first book, The One and Only, nine-year old Maryellen wants to stand out in her large family. And, she really wants to experience a white Christmas, not the Florida Christmas she’s used to. So, she travels by herself to her grandparents where she learns a big life lesson. We read this at bedtime and loved it! Then my daughter read the other two books on her own. She highly recommends them all.

New BeForever Maryellen Books

You can even time travel in The Sky’s the Limit book where you are part of the story and can choose your own ending.

Throughout the Maryellen books by Valerie Tripp, you’ll learn more about the 50s — the fashion (poodle skirts,) the music, the TV shows, and what kids did for fun. You’ll even learn a bit about the Polio Epidemic of 1952 which affected Maryellen. And you’ll also be entertained by the stories. Each tells you more about Maryellen’s personality — creative, spontaneous, and true-to-herself.

New BeForever Maryellen Doll

Journey to the 50s with New American Girl, Maryellen

The historical BeForever Maryellen doll is super cute strawberry-blonde hair and poodle skirt and her accessories (purchased extra) are totally fab. We especially love the diner and the TV console.

Maryellen Painting Craft

My daughter loves watching the YouTube videos from My Froggy Stuff. From one of their videos, she got the idea of painting over printed photos. We tried this with a Maryellen photo my daughter took. Here’s how to do this DIY doll painting activity . . .

First, print out the doll photograph onto paper.

DIY Doll Painting with New American Girl, Maryellen

Use your paint brush to match the colors as best you can. Cover the photo completely with acrylic paint. (We found this to be very tricky, especially the color mixing.)

DIY Doll Painting with New American Girl, Maryellen

But it looks like an actual painting in the end, doesn’t it!?

DIY Doll Painting with New American Girl, Maryellen

Cut it out and mount on a piece of cardboard.

DIY Doll Paintings with Maryellen American Girl (review)

Here’s another example, this one of a chipmunk.

DIY painting a photograph

Use toothpicks to mix the colors. You can even use toothpicks to paint.

painting with a toothpick

Once your photo is transformed into a painting, use it to decorate your American Girl doll house or play areas.

painting 2

Have fun painting and playing!

Disclosure: American Girl provided samples of Maryellen and the BeForever Maryellen books.

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  • WELCOME

    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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