Tutorial — Princess and the Pea Playset

Am I the only one who has craft fantasies? Not so much while I’m crafting, but after the craft has been made. I know, it’s weird, right? I noticed it after the crayon wallets were made, and the fantasy went something like this… We’re seated at a restaurant waiting for our food, and Emily pulls out her crayon wallet and happily begins to doodle. There’s a woman seated across the room and she catches a glimpse of the crayon wallet, does a double-take, and then makes her way over to our table to say that she doesn’t mean to sound like a stalker, but could I please tell her where we bought such an awesome crayon wallet? “Oh, I’m sorry, woman-from-across-the-room, but I made this wallet, and it’s not available in stores everywhere.” At which point, she says something like “I work for [insert craft publishing company here], perhaps you’d be interested in writing a book for us?”

Ahhhh, wouldn’t that be fun?
Well, can you imagine the fantasy going through my head after making this Princess and the Pea Playset??

We were inspired by this old post on SouleMama. Mark, Emily and I all worked on this together, and it was so much fun to make! It’s a present for one of the birthday parties Emily has coming up… and she is super-excited to give it to her little friend. While we were working on it, I kept fantasizing about this girl finding the playset years later and passing it along to her daughter or granddaughter…….. Well, I can dream, can’t I???
Emily picked out all the pretty fabric for the mattresses from our stash, and we used a 3″ x 5″ index card for the pattern. With two pieces of fabric cut, I placed them right sides together and stitched along the edges as shown below. I left an opening for turning the mattress right side out.
Next, turn the mattress right side out and gently poke out the corners with a chopstick or knitting needle.
I used some of our felted sweater to stuff the insides of the mattresses. Also, I should note that Mark helped stuff many of the mattresses. Isn’t he the best husband ever?

Fold the seam near the opening to top stitch it closed.
Top stitch around the entire mattress again and be sure to close the opening.
Emily trimmed the excess threads.
The pea was made from fabric.
The doll was made by Mark using a miniature version of his napkin doll technique. She is sleeping on one side and awake on the other.
Now… time to play!


  1. Dear Valerie,

    I don't have a blog so you will have to explain how to make napkin dolls soon.

    I suppose I can now add "mattress stuffing" and "napkin dolls" to the list of reasons why you keep me around.


  2. Oh that mark is a man of many talents. Not many people can claim to have the unique skill of chief matress stufferer! But, he really outdid himself when it came to the doll.

    Valerie, what an absolutely delightful pressie for Emily to give to her special friend. That is a gift from the heart and one that I hope is treasured as it deserves to be.

    Oh and I hear you with the crafting fantasies. You are not alone, but surely we are in good company!

  3. EntertainingMom says


  4. Biancifiore says

    oh Valerie, wath a beautiful idea! I'll make it for my Chiara!
    You'r very special!

  5. The playset is adorable. My daughter would love that. You are one talented family!

  6. one word…AWESOME!

  7. Booklover1212 says

    ADORABLE!!!! Thanks for sharing!

    ~ Jennifer

  8. What a great idea and cool reinforcment tool for story retention!! I love it!!

  9. Oh wow. Are you going to write the book? The doll is so cute. Top stitch? What's that. Can we learn that in advance sewing? I want to make the crayon wallet with the note pad. lol

  10. First, if anyone should write a book it is you! Don't stop dreaming πŸ™‚

    Second, your husband made the doll??!! OK, the three of you need to get a TV show and become the Frugal Martha Stewarts! Pretty impressive. Take that show on the road! I mean we already know Emily is a star!

    By the way, I love the doll set. Definitely post doll instructions.

  11. That is the cutest ever! Are you going to give the book with the gift. My daughters would love this. ALMOST makes me wanna start sewing again. Eventually you'll convert me to a crafter-sewer extraordinaire! πŸ™‚

    I love your daydreams/fantasies. I hope it comes true … well, it may not go exactly like that, but I'm sure you'll be publishing your book soon. You do great work.

  12. I thought about making this after the Soulemama post, but now you make me really want to make it. It's gorgeous!!! I love that Emily is willingly giving it away instead of demanding it for herself.

  13. @ Ivy — Haha! I think Emily will most likely be getting her own princess and the pea playset very soon. She could hardly resist playing with this one, and it was so much fun to make!

  14. Geysapeeler@comcast.net says

    Simply adorable! Thanks for the great idea. Will be making one for my daughter.

  15. Amanda Pedro says

    how truly wonderful! With a book of the story, it would be so complete! You have inspired me again.
    I made the crayon wallets for the kidws and now friends want some too. Thanks for tipping me off to this wonderful thing.

  16. Desiree Wong says

    Can you get an cooler?! You always make the best gifts for people! πŸ™‚

  17. To be continued I hope! With the napkin doll tut! Thanks for another great idea.

    I have fantasies too of my craft projects!

  18. Tricia Orchard says

    What great timing! I am just about to make one of those sets for my girls. I have the fabric and stuffing, just trying to find the time now. I was also inspired by soulemama. Thanks for sharing how you did it. It looks easy!

    BTW, I agree with your husband (I noticed his comment to you)…please show us how to make the napkin dolls soon. I have no idea.


  19. I have that discovered craft fantasy a hundred times a day. It's both fun and aggravating. LOL

  20. Samurai Mom says

    I love your craft fantasy. My craft fantasy is that my kids will actually PLAY with the toys I lovingly handcraft for them. Adults always want them but my kids – no way.

  21. I don't think those fantasies seem unrealistic for you…in fact, at first I thought the restaurant thing really happened because I was reading too quickly, then I looked back over it…anyway, love the doll mattresses. You are so cool!

  22. Totally cute! You know, I dont know if DD has ever heard that story.

  23. @ Mark — You've had lots of requests for a tutorial on napkin dolls. I think you need to make a guest post sometime soon…

    @ Elise — What a relief I'm not alone in my crazy fantasies! Thank you so much for your kind comment, it made my day!

    @ Cynthia — Welcome! It's great to see you here, and I agree with you… It's perfect for story retention or making up your own version of the Princess and the Pea story.

  24. @ Mama King — The thought of the Frugal Martha Stewarts… Hahahhahaha! That would be fun! Also, I'm doing what I can to convince Mark to guest post a tutorial on the napkin doll… He's a very busy man with all that mattress stuffing and all.

    @ Desiree Wong — It's people like you who fuel my craft fantasies… Thank you!!

  25. Oh my, this is so cute!

  26. Stephanie Griffith says

    OK, I'm having crafting dreams about YOU writing a book. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

  27. That is adorable.

  28. Stacy of KSW says

    Amazing! These just went to the top of my To-Do list for Christmas this year! Keep those visions going, you'll get your wish sooner than you think

  29. Ohhh I just love this!!! It is so cute!

  30. mama billie says

    Ok, I know I'm behind the times, but I'm itching to make the little mattresses with the help of my princesses! Any luck convincing your hubby to slow down a bit & show us out her in fantasyland how to make those sweet little napkin dolls?? We're so excited! PS- if you do the "book deal", we'd love to own one!! How much fun would that be?!?!

  31. I finished all the mattesses last night! So cute, each one is so individual. I used baby clothes, so each one is unique. Now I am wondering how to make the doll. Christmas is 1 month away!! πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the awesome idea!!

  32. Another wonderful project!! I have 3 little grand-
    daughters who would probably love something like that.
    I am off work for a time because of a tear in my
    achiles tendon–fortunately; it is not my sewing
    foot–so I am trying to come up with ideas for
    Christmas this year—I know your posts are older;
    but always a pleasure! I would also buy your
    book if you ever write one! Thanks again! Rita