Here’s a fun project to do either for a special little girl in your life, or with her: renovate a dollhouse. Years ago, in the heart of my singlehood, I happened upon a tag sale on my way to a coffee shop. I found an amazing, but rundown, Victorian dollhouse. For $25 I bought the dollhouse which included a complete set of amazing antique doll furniture. It was a bit of an investment, because I correctly assumed that the furniture was collectible, so I promptly sold the furniture for several hundred dollars. I also renovated the dollhouse just for fun. I’m sorry to say, I don’t have any “before” pictures, nor do have pictures of that amazing porcelain and cast iron furniture. I do have pictures of the house with a few pieces of furniture and directions on how I did it.
The roof was made out of a real shingle. I went to Home Depot and asked if I could buy just one shingle when I found they were only sold in enormous packages, since most people need to cover square footage rather than square inches. A worker opened up a package and gave me one for free. I needed work gloves to handle it, but I cut it using heavy-duty work sissors. I used good old rubber cement to adhere it to the roof.
I painted the house with lots of shades of simple craft paint. I also used craft paper from the scrap-booking aisle for wallpaper. Lace and trimming scraps served as window treatments.
I used an old carpet remnant for the livingroom and a black and white checkered foam board for the kitchen floor.
I cut small blooms from silk flowers for the window boxes.
I also bought fun Christmas decorations, including these great Christmas lights. The complete Christmas decorations included a tree in the bay window, quilting padding for a soft layer of snow, lights and evergreens in the window boxes. Sorry I don’t have a picture of the complete look, but you get the idea.
The most fabulous part of the decor was the artwork. I cut out pictures from the Museum of Modern Art’s catalog. Using fancy craft scissors, I cut out rectangles of cardboard to look like frames. I gilded them with silver, gold and black sharpies. This part would be fun for the kids to participate.
At this point in life I know I will not have a little girl of my own to whom I could give this house. I wanted to give it to my niece, but my sister didn’t have room in her car to transport it across state lines. At some point it will end up in a tag sale. If you stumble upon it, please enjoy. But better yet, find your own dollhouse and get to flipping it. I hear the housing market is getting ready to rebound.