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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Personalized Dollhouse

Hi Mamas,

I am thrilled to introduce you to my friend Anna! She is an ultra creative and crafty mom of two. She has one two year old and one due the end of Feb. I am always so inspired by the things she does with her little munchkin Molly. Whether she's doing a DIY project at home or taking Molly on a fun adventure, I always feel energized when I talk to her. That's why I've asked her to be part of our Lucy Darling family and write for our blog a couple times a month. She is wonderful and I think you will find her just as inspiring as I do.

 

Enjoy!! xx

 

 

Growing up, my sisters and I had a truly magical dollhouse. My mom had one of our uncles build one that was almost five feet tall, with six, big, simple rooms. Now that has "scope for the imagination" enough (to quote Anne of Green Gables), but she kept adding to the magic. She had saved pieces of our real home's wallpaper, and put that on the walls of each corresponding dollhouse room to match. She hunted through antique stores to find bathtubs and four-poster beds to fit the huge scale of the house. And nothing in the house was off-limits - she had no problem with me painting (not very pretty) flower boxes on the outside one rainy day, and the kitchen was stocked with food we made out of polymer clay...naturally, a bit heavy on the cakes and pies.

 

With Mollie turning two (and about to become a big sister), I wanted to give her some of that same childhood magic. And I'm not going to lie - I hoped it would buy me some crucial "independent play" time so that I can make sure I don't completely neglect her little sister!

 

To start with, I snagged the most basic wooden dollhouse Pottery Barn Kids had to offer on one of their holiday sales. It's since sold out, but since the goal is to customize it, any simple dollhouse you find can work!

As you moms know, nap time  = work time, so there was a day or two of me assembling it with interruptions to hide it under a blanket whenever I thought I heard Mollie coming out of her room...ha! 

 

Then I went to Papersource (aka one of my favorite places EVER), and made a beeline for all of the gorgeous handmade paper that I could never justify buying in bulk to...you know...actually wrap a present. I picked out paper to use for a master bedroom, a kids' bedroom, and a living room. I left the kitchen plain because I'm not sure what I want those walls to look like yet, but I knew I wanted to paint the floor there. After some late night measuring, cutting, and probably more Mod Podge fumes than a pregnant woman should inhale, I had this!

The best technique I could come up with for wallpapering involved cutting a piece of paper big enough for one wall (not trying to omit windows or doors), and then folding/marking/re-cutting after holding it up to the room itself. For the windows, I used a paring knife to cut along the tracing I made of the window while holding up the paper in the room. I'm sure for those of you less frustrated by numbers there could be a more scientific way, but this worked :). Then I painted a thin layer of Mod Podge on the wall itself, and another this layer on the paper, making sure to go all the way to the edges. This allowed for some wiggling and re-positioning once I put the paper on the wall, which made it less stressful! 

 

I painted the kitchen floor with basic acrylic paint. I'm not sure now why I decided it should be on an angle...my only rationale is that I was watching a very intense show on Netflix at the same time :). 

For all the furniture, I used Hape sets that I found on Amazon! I like how simple and sturdy they are - great for chubby toddler fingers. Some of the colors didn't match the house, so I just repainted them white (or blue or gold...) with the acrylic paint again. 

I couldn't believe how well the bedding matched! 

This will be the kids' room eventually...but for now, mom and dad have a pretty impressive closet area ;). We're going to need bunk beds once our new baby comes!

 

This was such a fun project, and one that will be on-going. And best of all, Mollie completely loves it! 

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