Today I'm very happy to introduce you to my sister, Julie. We've had our up and downs in our relationship, but are closer today than we have ever been in our lives. We both homeschool. She has five children with one graduated already. She doesn't currently have a nursing baby, but she is as passionate about breastfeeding as I am. We both play the piano and love to sew. We Skype, chat on Facebook, or call each other on the phone almost every day. She made an absolutely adorable doll house for her youngest daughter with the help of her two oldest daughters. I asked her to share with us about how they did this.
I love my big sister's blog on Healthy Simplicity. My sister has inspired me over the years to dig deep into my creative being and start making more and more homemade gifts. I think she would agree with me that it is certainly a dying art nowadays, and I'd love my children to take hold of it and keep it alive.
Since we have 6 out of 7 birthdays between September 24th and January 11th (never mind Christmas in between there too), I have started through the years to come up with "unique" gifts whether for their birthday or Christmas.
This year for my daughter's 6th birthday, we decided to buy her a used American Girl doll and then make her a play house and accessories to go along with her doll.
I went on Pinterest, and, boy, did I have fun thinking of accessories to make for her.
My two older daughters and I started with making a cut out of a house from cardboard. We had some paper (thanks to work throwing it out) that served as the "wallpaper". Emilie did a great job at cutting out the door and windows and covering it all with the pink plaid (the door is now covered, too).
Then, we went hunting for things around our house to use as well as clearance items at Joann Fabrics. Here's what we found.
Emilie started by taking the candelabra and broke off the wire sticking out. Then she hot glued the wooden frame to it for a table. Next, she took fabric and hot glued it to the table top (we figured easier for Stef if it was in place). Genevieve made a chair out of an empty tube, and they hot glued the legs on. After this Emilie padded it with batting and covered the chair with some minky fabric. She also sewed the curtains and took apart hangers to use as the curtain rods. The tie backs are actually made with buttons. Emilie came up with most of this, and she sewed the curtains, too.
For the fireplace, Emilie used cardboard, scrapebooking paper, a black garbage bag and other scrapes for the fire. I think she did a fabulous job!
I found these clip on miniature chalkboards at Joann Fabrics and Crafts in their dollar section and as you can see, she turned one into a picture on the mantel. Genevieve made a bouquet of flowers and they put a pretty "necklace" on the mantel for her doll to wear. In browsing Pinterest for ideas, we saw someone had used a glass jar with fabric and batting glued on top for a storage/ottoman. Sorry, I can't find the link again but it is quite simple - your items listed above and hot glue and voila you're done.
Genevieve made these flowers using pretty scrapbooking paper, pipe cleaners and buttons. It was her idea and I think she did well. Emilie took some tiny pots I had bought on clearance for 8 cents each and covered them with glitter. Let's hope they stay on the pot!
Next, we found this jewellery holder (another item that was thrown out at work), and Emilie just added some shelving to it and Stef's doll now has a place to store her journals, her pens, her pots and anything else she wants.
We took another wooden frame and turned it around for a shelf. Emilie hot glued a mirror inside, and we found miniature toothbrushes at the dollar store. She cut off the end and made a handle out of a pipe cleaner so the doll can hold it on her own. We wanted to hang it on the wall but we weren't sure it would hold (the wall being cardboard). I think Stef will have fun rearranging her furniture in her doll house.
Lastly, we made a journal for Stef's doll because every doll needs a journal to write her thoughts in. We used a post-it note pad and covered it again with scrapbooking paper and made a flower pen.
Emilie has gone over and above with these accessories, and she had so much fun. I'm sure we will be adding to it as time goes on. For more ideas, you can go to my Pinterest boards - http://www.pinterest.com/gemsjewel/crafts/. I have hopes to do a few more things for Stef, like plastic canvas hangers!
Now, as my sister knows, no dollhouse is complete without clothes for the doll to wear. I made a coat, a couple of skirts, a blouse and a blanket for Stef's doll and doll bed.
All of these items including the clothes cost me less than $30! Now THAT'S a deal! What girl wouldn't love this? Can't wait for her to start playing with it and for us to play with her! Hope this has given you a few ideas of what YOU can do when you put your mind to it!