star wars dolls

The Joliet Public Library is proud to feature, for the second year, a collection of Star Wars dolls in homemade clothing from Star Wars enthusiast, Kathy van Beuningen. 

Van Beuningen is a member of the 501st Legion and researches, designs, drafts and builds the costumes for her dolls. 

“I have been exploring the limitless possibilities of my imagination, inspired by George Lucas’s Star Wars stories as a vehicle, to transport me to a Galaxy far, far away,” said van Beuningen. “I hope to inspire and encourage creativity in others through my creations.” 

Van Beuningen builds her doll characters out of mostly repurposed materials and uses 18 inch ‘American Girl’ type dolls. 

“I have found many of the dolls that I use to build these costumes at local resale stores,” said van Beuningen. “They too now have a second-life as characters in my Star Wars universe.” 

There are currently about 40 dolls in various character costumes on display on all levels of the Ottawa Street Branch of the library. They can be viewed until June 4, 2024. 

The library’s annual Star Wars Day event will take place June 1, 2024 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in downtown Joliet. Van Beuningen will be present with her exhibit on the main level of the Library on Star Wars Day to discuss her process, work and answer questions. However, the lower and second level of the display will be unavailable for viewing during the event. 

New to the exhibit by van Beuningen are her mixed media “Spacescape” pieces which feature the “galaxies in fabric” on the lower and second level of the Library. Van Beuningen created the “Binary Sunset on the Lars Homestead, Tatooine,” “The Death Star II,” “A New Hope,” and “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”.

For more information on our exhibits visit For more information about the Star Wars Day event, visit