Wednesday, January 15, 2014

UpCycled Book Case Doll House

I was recently asked by my little sister, to make her a dolls house. I of course had to begin making her one immediately..
The total cost of this doll house was about $30. I shit you not, it is a lot of fun to make and the kids can get involved as a great school holiday project. Personally, I kept the helping from children to a minimum.. because I am a control freak.

I know what your thinking.. On a scale of 1-5 Martha's, how hard was it? the answer is that this project was a 3 on the Martha Scale.

To start, I began scouring local charity shops for old bookcases. I had to search for a while, because it is important that they are deep enough. Eventually I found this one for nine bucks, I gave it a good clean with eucalyptus oil and water, then added a few carpet squares I bought from my local discount shop for $1.50 each. I had to cut the carpet squares to size, but they are pretty easy to cut.

Back at Vinnies, I bought a large bag of wooden blocks, the kind that come in a wagon for babies. A large bag was $4. They come in great shapes that can be used to make anything. So I painted them white and grey, then added tiny screws I had left over from something I obviously hadn’t assembled properly for the handles. Next I added a bit of art work with a sharpie, glued them together with some locktight, then glued some trimmed paddlepop sticks to neaten the bench tops and BAM! A kitchen. You could go all out and tile the kitchen if you like, or add some lino. I didn’t, but you could.

Drilling and cutting would be required for windows, and aint no one got time, nor the necessary power tools fo dat. I was also concerned about damaging the structural integrity of the bookcase. So I scoured some old gardening magazines for some pretty garden shots and popped them in some picture frames (Also purchased from discount shop) for $2 each. I glued a paddlepop stick to the inside of the frame to resemble a window and added some curtains using an old pillow case, some very dodgy sewing and a bit more lock tight. I didn’t glue these windows in, although you could. I left them movable so that rooms could be moved around and added to.

The dodgy sewing skills come into play again for the beds and lounge. Tiny pillows and mattresses stuffed with the innards of an old cushion were made from old clothes that the girls in the family had outgrown for sentimental purposes. I crochet small blankets because I do that, but it is not  necessary if you don’t crochet. If you were looking to learn however, You tube also has some great beginner crochet lessons, and tiny blankets would be a great starter project.

I firmed up the lounge with some cardboard cut to size.
Paddlepop sticks, some locktight and pipe cleaners made a baby cot, Andie helped with this and absolutely loved making it. We made two, one for Sissy and one for Andie. Some left over blocks of the right size painted and glued, became a TV unit and TV.

Back at Vinnies… again (*shifty eyes *Cough HOARDERS *Cough.*I Need Help* Cough.. Hack.)
I bought a bag of very small toys, a few pieces of actual dollhouse furniture that were a lucky find and some small accessories to decorate with. All up they cost about $1.50. I also raided the bottom of the kids toy boxes and found Spongebob.
I crochet a few tiny floor rugs while I gave small canvas’s bought at the discount shop 3 for $2.50 to the kids to draw artwork on, then bluetacked the original art to the walls when they were finished.

Small battery powered push lights from Ikea (about $3 ea) were then stuck on the ceilings.

And there you have it.
A very inexpensive dolls house, total cost about $30.
Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, kids really don’t give a shit, and if you put too many man hours in, it can be upsetting when pieces inevitably break from play. You can get as fancy as you like add bathrooms, dividing walls and stair cases time and resources  permitting, but this dolls house was made for playing in and the end result was not too bad at all & look on my little sisters face when I gave it to her, is something I will remember forever.


Completing a 30 Day blog challenge with


Miss Pink said...

Girl you need to open yourself a stall at the markets!

Emmas Brain said...

You know I considered it!? But as it is this year, I just have too many fingers in too many pies. I like pies. I also like sticking my fingers in them.

river said...

I like this, you're so creative! I love the tiny kitchen and canvases for artworks is a fabulous idea. I remember a shoebox doll house with matchbox furniture from when I was little. Didn't stand up to time very well.

Lisa Lintern said...

Far out! This is brilliant. I went to buy my girl a dolls house last year. Do you know how much they cost these days??? Martha would be proud. x