Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shoe-box Doll Bed

When I was about eleven years old I had a Ruth Gibbs "china doll" and a canopy bed complete with bed-hangings that my mother made for her out of an old Miles shoe box. Through the years my doll disappeared and I ended up with my cousin's. About 10 years ago at an antiques show I bought a doll which reminded me of the one I once owned.

This is the canopy bed my mother made. The bed hangings are made of floral chintz with tiny blue piping and the "mattress" is filled with cotton batting.

When mom was a Girl Scout leader she made similar beds for the Girl Scout Fair that was held at the "Girl Scout Littlehouse" in Leonia, NJ. Really, that's what it was called.

Underneath all that fabric is the bed frame--a Miles shoe box. I love the rope-bed effect. Four dowels are held in place with wire threaded through the corners of the box.   

The bed has certainly seen better days but I just can't part with it. I put a stick in the middle to keep the bottom from caving in.

My cousin's doll which I've had since I was a teenager.

At one point, I decided to make her a new outfit. Here are pantaloons and a petticoat . . . 

. . . and a dress. Looks like 60s fabric to me.

You can read about Ruth Gibbs and her dolls here. In this ad from the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, March 21, 1950: "Complete Line of Ruth Gibbs Godey Dolls--Others $2.50 Up" 

"Godey's Lady Book Dolls by Ruth Gibbs, A Replica of Those from Long Ago" in the Boston Herald, October 14, 1947.

And this is the doll that I purchased at an antiques show in Somerset County, NJ. The hat is what caught my eye. It took me a minute to focus and then I had a flash-back--this looked like the doll I used to have--could it actually be mine?? I didn't even hesitate. I bought it on the spot.

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer


  1. Enjoyed seeing your dolls and especially the doll bed made by your mother. She sounds like a very sweet lady.

  2. I looooove! that bed. Doesn't it make you want one big enough to actually sleep in - or to be small enough to use that one:) I bet you had a blast with that - how very special.
    Thank you for sharing.