Thursday, August 25, 2016

This Is My Dollhouse

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I grabbed this book at the library a while ago and it is so cute.  It's all about a little girl who builds her own dollhouse out of a cardboard box and other random bits of this and that and then compares her experience to that of her friend who has a "perfect" plastic store-bought dollhouse.  Spoiler alert:  they have more fun playing and creating things in the cardboard house.  It reminds me of my own dollhouse as a little girl and how I was always making things for it out of odds and ends.  Of course mine was not made of cardboard, but a lovely three story wooden Victorian but the sentiment was similar.  It's so much more fun to make things for your dollhouse than to just buy it all.

The kids love the book so much I think I may have to add it to Margaret's birthday list.  John just about burst into tears when I told him this is our last week with it from the library--we only have an eight week max before they make you bring things back :)

Now Margaret's new dollhouse isn't exactly made from cardboard either but I thought I'd share an update on the renovations in case you haven't been following along on her dollhouse's Instagram account.*

I wanted to giver her a dollhouse for her birthday, because clearly two is the perfect age for a first dollhouse, so I grabbed this little beauty on Craigslist for $15 without any of the furniture or people.  And by "I grabbed" I mean I sent Chris on a three and a half hour journey to pick it up along with the amazing patio furniture I also found for a steal that same day.  Both things needed a little sprucing up.  I tackled the dollhouse and Chris handled the actual furniture which in his words "was not in the best condition" to which I responded, "that's why it's in our price range."  It was all worth it.    I'm sure Chris would agree.

I might have gotten a little carried away with my sprucing.  Obviously the dollhouse needed paint and shingles, and a brick chimney, and wallpaper.....and popsicle stick shiplap,  I mean, what would you have done?  I did have to order some specially sized furniture on Etsy because apparently Melissa and Doug decided to make these fold and go dollhouses a completely different size than any other toddler dollhouse in existence.  The beds and little chair I found are adorable though and fit the little chipmunk family perfectly. I even went ahead and ordered the "diy special" so I could do all the bedding and upholstering myself.  Sewing dollhouse bedding is surprisingly satisfying.  Well, dollhouse crafting in general is satisfying.  I would do it all day if these children didn't keep needing things like being fed and bathed and homeschooled.

I'm almost done but I'm still trying to decide if it's lame to have a dollhouse with no kitchen in it.  I could make something out of wooden blocks, or order an actual wooden kitchen and just use the parts that fit, or I could do no kitchen and put in a cute little fireplace I saw at the craft store for three dollars. I was also considering making a felt play mat similar to this to go with it since I have a giant sheet of green felt in my basement that someone passed on to me a while back.  That might be a bit ambitious though.  Ambitious but adorable.

Besides the great kitchen decision of 2016, I have a few little things I still want to put together before the little miss is presented with my masterpiece and I have to give over control of my house to a newly minted two year old.  Every time I pull it out to work on it though, the boys immediately swoop in and commandeer it for their own.  It would be precious if I didn't have things that need to be done.  Those tiny pictures aren't going to frame themselves, am I right?

I think the main draw is the stash of dollhouse accessories from my childhood that I've managed to save.  They love to put them all in and rearrange and rearrange and rearrange some more.  I totally understand the appeal but I'm going to simplify what very tiny things are in the dollhouse anyway and pack most of them up for when Margaret is old enough to have an actual, real, hopefully three story Victorian, dollhouse of her own to work on--with me--you know, if she's into that sort of thing, which I may or may not be desperately hoping that she is.

No pressure sweetie.

What do you think?  Kitchen, no kitchen?  Play mat?  She might really need the play mat.  And don't fret, I'm sure I'll have at least one more update with the whole completed work of art once it's totally finished.  Well, as finished as a diy dollhouse ever is.

*Don't judge me, making dollhouse Instagram accounts is a completely normal thing to spend my time doing.
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