About 30 years ago, my grandparents gave my sister and me a dollhouse for Christmas. This dollhouse was big, had 6 rooms, and was made of unfinished plywood. On a recent trip home to New Jersey, I took on the task of cleaning out my old bedroom. I hadn’t looked at the dollhouse in 20 years, evidenced by the layer of dust covering every inch of the inside. We never did get around to painting that dollhouse (way to neglect your kids, mom… oh right, single mother of three who worked full time, fair enough). But I spent hours upon hours playing with this thing. I had completely forgotten how nerdy and nuts I used to be. Once the dust cleared, I found all this great furniture inside. I had a few actual dollhouse items, specially purchased from the hobby shop in Spring Lake, NJ, close to my grandparents’ home town. I used to bike over there with my brother and sister and marvel at all of the way-too-expensive-to-ever-own dollhouse furniture, displayed in dioramas of finished rooms the whole length of the shop wall. But most of the furniture was handcrafted by a younger, preteen me.
I made a bed and fireplace out of cardboard. I fashioned a comforter and pillows from fabric scraps. That mail desk was purchased, but I stuffed it with tiny pieces of handmade mail.
The kitchen and bathroom mostly neatly display my nerdiness. The refrigerator even has a calendar hung on the side. The last trip home I collapsed the dollhouse, loaded it in the car and drove it back to DC. My six year old and I have taken on the task of painting (done, a true mutual effort, though picture me as Monica from that Friends episode where she yelled at Phoebe for messing up her dollhouse. It was a true exercise in patience on my part.) Wish I had a before pic of the plywood. But it looks pretty awesome. I wish we had painted it long ago .
HOW TO MAKE A DOLLHOUSE ARMCHAIR
Here is one piece of new furniture I made with my daughter. I thought the dude from my ’80s dollhouse with the silver sparkle shirt was a good fit for this chair. “Hey babe, come sit by me.”
you will need: 2 pieces of 3 x 2-inch wood, little knob things (3/4-inch dowel caps), white paint, a brush, wood glue, tacky glue and mini pom poms, all from the craft store.
what to do: Use the wood glue to glue two knobs to the underside of one of the wood pieces for the 2 front legs. Let dry. Glue the other wood piece vertically behind the first one, so it serves as both the back legs and the back of the armchair. Let dry. Paint the whole thing white and let dry. Spread tacky glue over the seat and top with mini pom poms, pressing down gently. Let dry.
AND NOW, YOUR WEDNESDAY LINKS. This DIY dollhouse furniture and other accoutrements make me feel totally less nerdy about my preteen creations. Follow all of the Wednesday Links at Pinterest.
A witch’s dollhouse in a box is too adorable.
This colorful, modern dollhouse inspired our remodel.
Dollhouse furniture from egg cartons.
Make a mini cutting board.
Do the dolls travel? Make little passports.
Or if you travel, make a portable dollhouse.
Make some teeny tiny gilded frames.
Use plastic canvas to make the dolls a patio set.
Gasp! Make a tiny cuckoo clock!
Dolls need toys. Make a Jack-in-the-box.
For the older dolls, some bar stools.
Make a gorgeous lamp I wouldn’t mind having myself.
This modern table DIY would go well with that armchair.
Oh, you’ve got to have a Ouija board.
Here’s an ottoman to go with the armchair.
Make a sofa from foamboard.
Great idea for a simple dollhouse rug.
I am terribly in love with every room of this dollhouse-furnished-with-stuff-around-the-house. Check out the toilet made from dental floss and a shampoo cap. The living and dining rooms. The kitchen. The sitting room. And the bedroom.
Make a whole laundry room!
How to make a corner couch.
Wow, this DIY stone fireplace puts my brick one to shame.
You can even make your own aquarium.
A razor cartridge turned magazine rack!