Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Altered Doll's House ~ A Summer Project

Maisie has been longing for a doll's house for a while now, but I've been very hesitant to spend a large sum of money on one gift, when I didn't know how much use she'd get out of it.

I'd been on the look out for a second hand one nearby, when our friends' daughter decided that, at 11, she'd outgrown hers and wanted to sell it on.  So, for a lot less than the price of a new one,  this weekend we gave Maisie this very nice wooden one.  It's completely undecorated - a total blank canvas.

Of course, as soon as we decided to buy it, my mind was buzzing with big plans to renovate it. I had to keep reminding myself that it's not mine to play with.  I'm sure Maisie won't let me forget though.

As soon as I suggested decorating it together, she loved the idea, but she wanted to do it all straight away.  There was even mention of crayons, felt pens and stickers - Oh dear!  After a little sulking and stamping of feet (not solely on Maisie's part...) she came around to the idea of doing one room at a time and making it a summer holiday project.  I wanted her to decorate it properly in a way that she'd be happy with when she's older.

She decided that the bedroom would be the first room to get the 5 year old interior designer treatment. We were going to stick scrapbooking paper to the back wall, as a feature wall, but when she started looking through my paper crafting stash she decided to design her own wallpaper using just 4 die cuts repeated - she's quite the minimalist, but I think she did a pretty good job. All the paper is Bazzill cardstock, so it's nice and thick and is attached with double sided sticky tape;  I do like the idea of her being able redecorate it easily as she gets older.

Finally she decided that the bedroom needed a little rug for the floor and so she chose to cut one out of felt using a scalloped oval die cutter with a felt flower glued on for the centre.

The first time she played with the house she got a torch so that she could see into the rooms better, so I wanted to put some child friendly lights in to illuminate everything for her.  I briefly looked at proper doll house lights, but I decided that battery operated string lights were the better option in this case: I may well do a fancier wiring job involving drills and switches when she's at an age when she doesn't want everything RIGHT NOW.

This is just one length of 20 battery powered fairy lights, but now that I know that they do the job, I'll order another set for the downstairs. 

I found these really nifty Command stick on decorating clips which came in very handy for attaching the wires securely to the doll's house.  They're temporary so they should hopefully come off pretty easily if I decide to make the lighting a little more grown up (and a little less festive).

 I do love how it looks late at night, all lit up with the doors shut though.  It's like an extra lighting feature in the living room!

Strawberry Shortcake has moved in already with all of her friends, so I think tonight is house warming night.

I'm hoping that we'll manage to at least get the walls decorated, room by room, over the summer holidays and then maybe I could try my hand at some miniature knitted accessories... That's if she'll let me play!

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