Monday, June 3, 2013

Extreme Dollhouse Makeover!

I have so many memories laying on the floor and playing with the big wooden dollhouse at Grandma and Grandpa Monson's house in Monmouth, Illinois.

It was a dream. come. true for a little girl of 3 or 4!

Later I found out that it was actually my mom's dollhouse when she was a little girl! How amazing that two generations of Monson girls were able to play with this same little box of wood and glue.  I can only imagine the creative stories played out by little hands and tiny dolls!

Fast forward many years into the future...

After my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I was honored to take this little dollhouse home with me.  This was right before I went to college, so I had no use for it at that time.  It took up space in my parent's basement for about 4 years.

Then I got married, and we bought a house.  My mom and dad decided that it could now take up space in MY house...

For 3 more years that little dollhouse sat until one day I brought it out, cleaned it up and gave it to my little girl, who was about 2.  I didn't have any dolls to give her, the doors were coming off and the furniture was broken. It needed a good dose of TLC, for sure.

Then I got a grand idea!  Extreme Dollhouse MAKEOVER!!!

I didn't have a lot of money to do this, and I had no clue where to start.  I had to get very creative piecing things together to make this a beautiful creation: "spray paint, doilies for the rugs, scrapbook paper for the wallpaper, fix the old furniture, make a kitchen set"...the list kept getting longer...and I wanted to complete it for my daughter's 3rd birthday.

Which was just over a month away.

First it needed to be cleaned, glued back together and primed (Don't worry, I got my mom's permission to paint it!!)

My inspiration: I loved the look of other dollhouses with pristine white walls and floors with a colorful background.  I kept coming back to THIS dollhouse and THIS dollhouse.

I found some great scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby that would brighten up the walls and colorful fabric scraps I had laying around in my crafting pile.

Then my husband and I got to work cleaning, fixing and spray painting my mom's old dollhouse furniture in colors to match the "wallpaper".

I also wanted to have a kitchen set.  I drew up some examples and sizes of what I wanted, and a dear friend made a kitchen table, fridge, sink, and stove, as well as a twin bed for the dollhouse kids' room.
The kitchen set was made by a friend, and my husband decorated it.
I will be forever indebted to him, He did an AMAZING job!

My handy artistic (and extremely handsome) husband went to work decorating the kitchen set.  He used chain links for the faucet and handles for the sink (which he cut to size), buttons for the stove handles, and coiled wire for the stove top.

I made little chairs gluing fabric scraps and scrap pieces of wood together.

I found this amazing and inexpensive set of wooden dollhouse dolls off of Amazon that has held up really well (much better than I expected) over a year later.

Here are some fun Before and After shots:

I took these pictures last Christmas when My daughter decorated her dollhouse for the dollhouse Christmas Party.

I found this dresser at the dollar store. It just needed some paint!  The bunk bed was made by a friend.

The map I found on Craigslist for less than a dollar.

I found this little dog at a little thrift store and was so excited!  My mom had a poodle like this growing up called Gigi.

doilies for rugs and a small frame for a "mirror".

My daughter's birthday on an unmatched old earring.
I looked at so many possibilities to buy shingles or make shingles for the roof, but it was going to take too much time and money.  Stephen had the grand idea to cut paper bags into strips, glue them on the roof and then paint it with copper spray paint.  At first I was hesitant to glue paper bags onto my mom's dollhouse, but I came around to the idea, held my breath, and let him carry turned out really well! (And it only cost us a few dollars for the paint!!)

 Stephen and I had such a fun time doing this together (despite the late, LATE nights!)  And the hard work paid off.  We've got one happy little girl! 

(And I admit, I have had a lot of fun rearranging the furniture right there with her! Brings back old memories...)

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