Adventures in Dollhouse Decorating: Part 3

Welcome to our dollhouse home tour!  It’s been three years coming, but I am finally sitting down to share the renovation, decoration, and creation of our beloved dollhouse.  I have been putting off sharing the inside for quite some time, because we are forever changing, rearranging, and tweaking things and I guess that’s really how these things go.  It will never feel “final” and it’s not supposed to.

When I was a little girl, my birth father’s mother brought home a dollhouse and excitedly showed it to me one visit when I was there.  She was a nurse and told me that one of her patients built it and he was blind.  I was always fascinated and intrigued by this, because it was remarkably beautiful and intricate.  She lived out of state and due to various circumstances, my visits were scarce but when I did go, the dollhouse was where I wanted to be.  I used to bring with me these tiny little felt animal pins I bought for a quarter from the skating rink I frequented.  These were the “dolls” I used to play with and my cousin would bring over his GI Joe dolls.  Together we would play for hours in this tiny little world the two of us adored.

It was often very frustrating playing in such a grand dollhouse where all of the beautiful furnishings were permanently glued in place.  These exquisite miniature Victorian farmhouse pieces were just lovely, from the old black iron wood burning stove to the white ceramic wash basins.  Sadly, they were forever affixed in one stagnant place.  Rearranging would have taken our imaginations to another level, but those weren’t the rules to our game.

A shame, really, but I get it.  Now.  It took me until our own family dollhouse that I began to understand that building this miniature imaginary world took lots of work, care, and love.  It was her hobby as this has turned out to be mine.  The difference is, my kids and I play and decorate together.  We sit down together with polymer clay and make things together or hand paint our peg people.  We are building memories together and I treasure these moments.  They aren’t always going to want to “play dollhouse” and this life is so short.  This is a hobby for me, because I want to create this family heirloom for our family to play with and pass down to their own children one day.

Dollhouse before ohmygluestick.comIf you have followed the story of this lonely {not so} little dollhouse that was waiting for the trash truck to pick it up, then you know it was a hot mess to start out with.  A hot mess with good bones and lots of the original pieces!  Rebuilding and reinforcing the structure wasn’t terribly difficult.  It looked so much worse than it was work. Salvaged Dollhouse ohmygluestick.comThe wood was all in great shape and most of the floors and walls were salvageable.  There was tons of potential under all that yucky 80’s floral wallpaper and gross stained white carpet.  All it really needed was love and our house is full of that.  It’s also conveniently full of craft and scrapbooking supplies, so the cost to get this thing in shape was virtually nothing. I got busy ripping up the yucky carpet and peeling off the wallpaper so I could get started repapering and painting.  A few walls needed to be glued in place as well as both staircases and I pulled down the little curtains and flimsy plastic windows. Salvaged dollhouse kitchen

This is what I started with in the kitchen.  The floors were good, but it needed personality and I wanted to make it fun for my then 5-year-old princess.

Dollhouse kitchen

I delved into my scrapbooking paper stash and decided a pink cupcake themed kitchen would be perfect.  I found the hutch, farmhouse sink, table & chairs, high chair, clock, fridge, stove & oven all on ebay in different lots for very low prices.  The babies were given to my grandmother when she adopted my mom and uncle.  She gave them to us when we started our dollhouse adventure.

Dollhouse kitchen

Dollhouse kitchen

Dollhouse kitchen

The kids and I made all the food and miscellaneous dishes with polymer clay and I sculpted the little cupcake wall art with clay as well.

Dollhouse kitchen

The cute little pots and pans were found at Hobby Lobby.  Princess couldn’t live without them.

Dollhouse before living room

The living room left much to be desired. Too much wood and the monochromatic scheme was overwhelmingly dull and dark.  I stripped the windows bare and went to work.

Dollhouse living room ohmhgluestick.comI brightened it up with some light gray paint I had on hand and got busy making and shopping or accessories to give it pops of color.

Dollhouse living room

The shag rug was cut from a square of fur I found in the felt section at Hobby Lobby.

I made the sofa with foam, cardboard and fabric I had in my stash.  Glass beads were glued to the bottom as pedestals.  The little pillows I sewed from some extra fabric I had on hand.

The silhouette wall art I made in photo shop and framed with tooth picks that the kids helped me paint.  The large bird framed wall art I cut with my Cricut and backed with a piece of turquoise box from a piece of Stella & Dot jewelry.

The little side table was constructed out of little wooden pegs and a small wooden round disc.  It was then painted, distressed and embellished with a hand drawn fluer de lis.  I snagged some miniature branches from our real life crepe myrtle tree and then shoved them in a fresh polymer clay sculpted vase before baking the piece.

The little chair was an ebay lot score as well as the dog.  The chair was painted, distressed and reupholstered.

Dollhouse living room

The sweet little Mommy & Daddy dolls were a fun project the kids and I did together.  Read about that here.

Dollhouse living room

The cute little hutch was scored on ebay.  We painted it and added a pop of color by covering the inside with a shimmery scrap of paper.  The owl, vase, and puppy bed were created with love & polymer clay.

Dollhouse living room ohmhgluestick.comWhew!  These dolls need to dust their furniture better!  The little shelf, was another ebay find.  All of the furniture we purchased on ebay came in lots and ended up being $1- $2 a piece.  I’m not crafty enough to make everything and those pieces were vital in making this place look like a home.

The vase was another polymer clay creation.  We really sat down and cranked out the pieces for our mini home.  Making anything miniature is so much fun and a great challenge for little hands.

That cute little bowling pin was a beach treasure one of the kids found a few years back.  It works here.  The tiny turtle was a little bling Princess could not live without on one of our Mommy/daughter shopping excursions.  The framed print I cut from a catalog and matted to a piece of card stock.

Dollhouse before parent room

This room looks like a bonus room or last minute addition.  It was missing the wall, but luckily I found it in the piles of stuff that was disassembled.

Dollhouse parent  room

We turned this room in to “the parents’ room” for some reason.  The walls were brightened up with gray on the paneling while the other wall got a much different treatment.  Light green scrapbooking paper was added to the top while a contrasting dark brown pinstripe was placed below.  A chair rail was added with some extra wood scraps I found in the dollhouse pile and painted gray.

I made the bed from wooden dowels, popsicle sticks and foam.  The headboard was treated with foam, burlap, and pin brads.

The art pieces above the bed were created with polymer clay and stamped with little hand prints, just like we have done with our kids (though we stamped with their feet instead).  Ironically, my third was a baby when I made these and the silhouettes in the living room.  At this time, we were done with babies and thought three was our number, but for some reason the dollhouse family had four kids, two boys and two girls.  Foreshadowing?  I think so.

Dollhouse parent  room ohmhgluestick.comThe rug was made with a scrap of fabric glued to a piece of felt with fabric glue.  Easy and stiff like a real rug.

The chest, side table, cradle, and dresser were all found on ebay.  The cute little metal stamped wooden hutch was the very first furniture piece we purchased for the dollhouse very early on.  I saw it at Hobby Lobby shortly after I found our curbside dollhouse.  I was scouting out all the dollhouses and miniature furniture to get an idea of what we were going to do with ours when I spotted it and knew Princess needed it.

The big brown pitcher and A wall art were polymer clay creations while the scroll art piece was made from toilet paper rolls, cut glued and painted.

Dollhouse parent room ohmhgluestick.comThe little hand and foot print wall art was made in photoshop and then attached to a piece of card stock.  The cute little boy and girl babies swaddled in felt were another ebay find, thus completing our family with four babies.  That was until we created our peg dolls.

This has been a true labor of love.  The walls were a pain to paper around those teeny tiny little windows, but the look on Princess’ face when she got home from school each day was priceless.  She would rush through the door, through down her bag and run over to the dollhouse to see what I had done.  In the beginning, demo and wallpapering were only jobs I could take on.  When it came time to paint and decorate, she and our then 3YO Buddy Buddy could get in on the action.

This completes Part 3 of our mini home tour.  Stay tuned for the second and third floor tour in Part 4.

Read more about our dollhouse transformation.





Adventures in Dollhouse Decorating: Part 1

Adventures in Dollhouse Decorating: Part 2

Until next time!





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