Thursday, December 13, 2012

FREE Dollhouse!

I got this dollhouse from Freecycle for, you got it, FREE!  I can't believe my luck in getting such a gorgeous thing right before Christmas!  It's got great bones.  It was solid as a rock and in very good shape albeit, very dusty and smelly. I cannot abide contact paper as wallpaper.  That will never do.  Nothing 3 coats of primer won't cure!  I repainted everything, added new wallpaper, replaced the window box flowers and glued on the fireplace and front steps. I worked on it for about a week.

So my total expenditure on this project:

Dollhouse-FREE from Freecycle
Primer-FREE from neighbor
Wallpaper-FREE from a client from another dollhouse project
Craft paint-FREE from another client's dollhouse project
Silk flowers-50 cents from a junk shop
Glue-FREE bought for 87 cents for my daughter's school project 

So a whopping 50 cents for this dollhouse:  PRICELESS!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Inside the Log Cabin

If you follow dollhouse blogs and websites, you will see many things in this cabin that have been copied from various sources.  I will try to give credit where credit is due if I can remember where I found everything!

The fireplace, as I said in my previous post, was made with cardboard and covered with caulk and egg carton "stones" then painted and topped with a stained piece of balsa wood.  It has some logs in it that are just branches from my yard hot glued together and the Playmobile kettle which is hanging by a toothpick perched between the stones on the front.  (Lucky accident.) The fireplace is not attached in case I decide to put the chimney on the other side of the house. Over the mantle is a deer head made from one of my daughter's plastic animals. ( I got permission to use it, I promise!)  I think the idea came from this tutorial from Dollhouse Minis.  I also made a primitive fireplace like theirs in another dollhouse.

The washtub is a condiment cup painted silver with a pre-made wooden washboard and some cotton batting for bubbles and some fabric scraps.

The blanket chest upstairs is the bottom of a Michael's hutch painted in the style of Grazhina as is the bench and a flower pot on the mantle.  The bench is pieces of balsa wood that are precariously glued together ; )

The table is made of wood scraps and dowels cleverly disguised with a scrap of fabric.  The log seats are pieces of a hickory branch from my yard.  My husband makes his own hickory chips for the barbecue grill.  I borrowed a couple of them : )

The Michael's hutch in the background is dressed with a piece of lace and some paper plates and a canister from

Complete details of how I made the antique pie safe is in another blog entry hutch makeover.

I already had the loaf of bread that came with another dollhouse.  I made the bread board from a piece of balsa and a jewelry finding that looks just like a knife.  The rolling pin is made from two different sizes of wooden dowels.

The hurricane lamp on the upstairs side table (another piece of hickory and some dowels) is made from a bead and a piece of plastic tubing that came from a drinking straw or a pen or something.

The yarn rugs are one of the first things I ever made.  It's just a piece of card stock cut into a circle or oval with some yarn glued around it.

The beds were made with foam and cardboard and dressed with quilts that were printed from Jim's Printable Minis--a source I use again and again.  The pillows are just batting and cloth with the seams hot glued together.

Some fabric scraps hang at the windows and there's a sweet little needlepoint (printie) picture that says Home Sweet Home.

Log Cabin Dollhouse

I have always wanted to live in a log cabin!  I made this log cabin dollhouse from scratch a few years ago. I got the tutorial from the Tree Feathers Blog.  It has full instructions and drawings on how to build a cabin from half round molding.   I wanted to have a great room and a sleeping loft (like Little House on the Prairie) so I did change the measurements a little. (Can't leave well enough alone, you know.) As I recall, I wanted something very small and light because I was tired of dealing with the giant 3 story Cherrydale. (Must've been before my husband built the lazy susan table.) The logs were glued together flat side down then when dry, the walls went together Lincoln Log style.  Then they were attached upright to a smooth very thin plywood bottom.  I used caulk to fill in between for chinking.  Everything got stained with cherry Minwax. The roof and the upstairs floor had to be reinforced with balsa wood molding and all the roof seams were hidden by the shingles which also got a coat of stain.  For someone with poor spacial skills, I think it came out pretty nice!

It cost about $50 dollars to build.  Here is the supply list:
Half round molding
Carpenter's wood glue
Minwax stain
2 tubes of white caulk ( I am messy with caulk!)
Pack of Skinny sticks
Pack of balsa wood dowels
Luan Plywood veneer
Dollhouse wood shingles ( probably had some of these leftover, and did not figure into the price.  I usually wait until I have a 50% off coupon before I buy them--the price is ridiculous!)

After the construction was finished, I set to work on the chimney, fireplace and wishing well which were all made from cardboard, caulk and egg carton stones.  The chimney and fireplace still aren't attached.  I wanted to be able to change them around if I wanted.

I also wanted to have a moving door which was a bit of a challenge because I'd never done anything like it before!  The door is made of wood (Lord knows how I got it to fit!) with skinny sticks glued on top to make the wood pattern.  I used short pieces of a paper clip to make the pins that the door turns on.  They were just jammed into a small hole in the top and bottom of the door that I made by hand.  A drill bit would have been way too big!

More next time on the inside of the log cabin!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Making Trees

A few years ago I wanted to change my landscape for the fall so I came up with this very cheap idea for making them.  I just so happened to find miniature wire leaf garland at Dollar Tree and it came in green, red, and orange in an oak, maple, and a regular oblong leaf pattern. (Of course, I bought them all.)  I got some sticks from my yard to use for the tree trunks and hot glued them to some plywood squares I had in my scrap wood drawer.  Added a little moss, then twisted the wire around the branches.  Voila!  A green tree for summer and a red tree for fall.  For winter,  I put a little batting on the base and leave the tree bare.

Here's how they look in the dollhouse landscape. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rapunzel's Bedroom

Work resumed on Rapunzel's tower recently when I put the finishing touches on the bedroom.  I wanted to make a canopy of some kind, but really did not have the right kind of fabric that would drape correctly.  I found this Goldfinch sock feeder in my stash and decided it looked enough like mosquito netting to give it a go. Many trials and failures ensued, but behold!  A canopy.  I had these neat gold buttons with lions on them which made sort of a crest that I hung above the bed.  She is a princess after all.  Many books, a hairbrush, mirror, and a rug complete the scene.