Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fashion Doll Display Ideas

How do you display your dolls? Some collectors are lucky and have an entire room devoted to displaying their collection, however you don't necessarily need a lot of space. I have found that less is generally better when it comes to displaying fashion dolls. Over the past few years I have edited my collection and now display less dolls but rotate them more often for variety. For me it's all about the fashion; the doll is truly a miniature mannequin meant to complement the ensemble.

There are many ways to display a doll collection: Theme or subject matter, color, season, event, by size, type of doll, or by era. Dolls can be displayed with their furniture or other objects to create little scenes or vignettes. Shop your home, flea markets, garage sales, Goodwill, and party stores for inexpensive yet unique items to use in your displays.

Still life with doll from Glasgow School of Art
This still life painting shows a lovely doll displayed effectively with everyday objects. Tip: Why not display Gene Marshall dressed in Ashton Drake's "Baking Cookies" costume with a small collection of vintage baking items.

Moss Rose Ivy Jordan
A single doll artfully displayed on a stack of vintage sewing books can make the perfect statement on a small table or the corner of a desk. OOAK jerkin, hat, gloves, & jewelry from The Couture Touch, dress & shoes from Ashton Drake.

Photo courtesy StrayCat
Here's an example of a simple yet delightful Halloween display utilizing just a single doll. OOAK Madra Lord doll by StrayCat.

J'Adore resin BJD Gene Marshall
One of my favorite ways to display is with framed art. Here Miss Marshall is celebrating the Make Do & Mend era of the early 1940's. I framed a vintage Make and Mend sewing booklet and added some additional antique sewing objects and bottle brush trees to the vignette. Miss Marshall's OOAK jerkin, hat, & gloves are from The Couture Touch, dress and jewelry from Ashton Drake, & shoes from Integrity.  Tip: You can frame just about anything! Besides old photos; sheet music, maps, patterns, vintage cards, newspaper, advertisements, fashion illustrations, uncut paper dolls....just to name a few.

Dolls from the collection of Sue Tarr
Odd numbers are more visually appealing than even numbers. Three delightful Spanish dolls are artfully posed on a shelf. Tip: Research old fashion magazines and vintage fashion window displays for posing ideas for your articulated dolls.

Photo courtesy
Shadow boxes mounted on a wall can be an effective space-saving display option but they can be expensive. Why not make your own. Here's a great idea using old dresser drawers and wallpaper to create a unique display for smaller sized dolls.

And here are some more ideas to get your creative juices flowing.....

Photo courtesy

Make Do & Mend display courtesy

Window display homage to famed designer Dorothy Draper by Kate Kendall for Madeline Stuart Designs.
Photo courtesy


  1. Melissa! What a surprise to see my dolly! As you know, I love to display my dolls with interesting and unusual items. I enjoy hunting thrift shops and antique stores for quaint things to display with my dolls. It's such a fun way to expand the enjoyment of doll collecting! And I can't say often enough how much I ADORE your gorgeous OOAK creations! You have such a talent and a real eye! Happy Holidays, Megin (StrayCat)

    1. I have always enjoyed your creativity and wonderful photos. Thanks so much for your lovely comments & support. Have a great Holiday Megin. Melissa