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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some more things we made...

I already did one post about things we have made for the American Girl Dolls.  This is another installment.   Some of these items you may have already seen in older posts about the dollhouse, but I wanted to talk a little about the process of creating all these items.

 I am fortunate in that I have a husband who is a wood-worker on the side.  SO, my garage is filled with these great power tools for cutting and fashioning wood. Those of you who do not have power tools in your garage, do not despair. There is no reason most of these could not be made with heavy cardboard.  Depending of course on how hard your kids play.  Also there are SO many pre-cut pieces at craft stores, so check them out.

One of the first things I made, myself, was the couch for the dollhouse.  My first thoughts were to shop online for doll furniture.  When I saw the prices I thought again.  So I came up with a basic design in my head and sketched it on some plywood and showed my husband.  He walked me over to one of his many saws and showed me how to cut it out.

You can see my pencil marks along the cut line.  I will try to come up with a simple cutting plan if I have any requests.  I know has some great tutorials for doll furniture.

After I had my back/side pieces all glued together I laid them down on some old blue jeans and cut out rough  patterns for the back and arms and seamed them together like making a slip cover.  The seat was not glued at this point.  I upholstered it last in one piece that covers the seat and front.  This fabric is all hot-glued to the wood with stuffing added before the last seam was glued down.  You can see I purposely used the jean hem for the front hem of the sofa.

 This is a little chandelier I made.  I found the crystals in a second hand store for $4.  I am always looking for small things that might work for the dollhouse.  The crystals are hanging from some plumbing tape.  This is actually a metal tape with holes punched all along it for nailing things to studs during home construction.  (I am always rummaging though my husbands stuff for bits and pieces of hardware) I painted the tape white and hung the crystals on it.  It was not too attractive on its own so I added some sparkly purple trim.

This is a dressing table and stool I made. 
As you can see they are constructed of a round or square top with glued legs.  I put one finishing nail in each leg through the top while the glue was wet to help it hold together.  The table legs are glued to 4 spacers to make it easier to glue the top on.  All the fabric is just hot-glued to the wood.  

This is the table and stools for the kitchen.  You can see that I used the simplest possible design.  The table is two circle cut outs with the top slightly larger than the bottom.  I glued them to each end of some wood scrap.  Most of these wood pieces can be purchased at craft stores or hardware stores and some hardware stores will even make some cuts for you.

 I cut out 4 circles for the stools and glued them to each end of some 1/2 inch pre-cut square wood spindle. (I am not sure what it is called) My circles are not even very round, but painted and covered with fabric my daughter loves them.  

This is the kitchen counter top.  As you can see it is just 3 pieces of wood glued and nailed.  I added some molding to the front edge to give it a bit more finish.  You may have noticed by now that I paint everything white.  Paint is a great way to hide imperfections!

Here is something easy for you crafters out there.  I saw these butterflies in the craft store and thought I could do something with them.  I decided on a mobile.  The arms of the mobile are heavy craft wire.  I used needle nose pliers to bend the ends into curls.  I hung the butterflies on the ends of the arms and then got them to balance.  This was purely trial and error.  When I got them to hang evenly I put a spot of glue on the arms so the string wouldn't slide around.  I had some extra crystals from the chandelier and added them to the center.

Here is our doll stove.  This took a little more thought and planning than most of my projects.  I knew I needed a box with an opening and door on the front.  The oven door handle is just a drawer pull.  The burners are large washers and the knobs are those charm beads with a metal lining inside.  These beads are held in place by a loose screw over a small washer.  They are loose so they will turn. The door is hinged and held closed with a small bit of velcro.

Lastly is my puffy chair.  You have probably seen many versions of this on Pinterest.  I used a mixing bowl and cut out a large circle.  Two circles sewn together make the seat.  a third circle folded in half and stuffed makes the back.  I obviously used scraps sewn together, but they are still circles.  (I seem to have trouble making really round circles) The back is tacked on the sides to hold it in place.  Super simple.

I hope you enjoyed my project tour!


:D said...

Your ideas are cute and your instructions are excellent. Thanks for sharing. I am always looking for little extra touches to go with dolls for Samaritan Purse Shoe Boxes and for my little nieces.

:D said...

Your ideas are adorable and your instructions excellent. Thanks for sharing. I am always looking for quick, inexpensive accessories to go with dolls for Samaritan Purse shoe boxes, and as little treats for my nieces. :)

:D said...

Thanks for sharing these cute and clever ideas. Your instructions are excellent. I am always looking for quick, inexpensive, but attractive accessories to go with Samaritan Purse shoe boxes.