Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Papa's Easy Chair

Dear Doll House Lovers,

You know me.  I cannot throw anything away without wondering:  what could this be used for?

So it was that I found myself holding an empty, clear-plastic clamshell case from which we had taken and used dust masks when we painted the kitchen.  The clamshell enticed me to pull out the scissors and glue gun. 

Enter Papa's easy chair.

I wish I had taken pictures of the process, but it was so spontaneous, I forgot!  Anyway, this is so simple, I think you can easily imagine the process as you see the pictures. 

The first step was to separate the clamshell into two pieces.  I only needed one side from it to make my chair.   I trimmed any edges that felt sharp or that stuck out beyond the simple round, concave piece that I needed.

I cut a rounded piece of quilted fabric from some scraps I had and did a large loop stitch around the outside edge of the fabric, just to help it lay flat and not look so untidy.

The piece of fabric was hot glued into the plastic shell.

Turning the chair over, there was a trough all the way around into which I hot-glued beads.  This gave a pretty trimming to the chair and also gave it sturdiness. 

What to do for legs?  Well, I keep a box of wooden "do-dads" including clothespins, and we have pulled from that many times to make our doll house furniture.  This was easy peasy!  Just attach the clothespins.  And they can be adjusted to let Papa recline or sit up taller!

I hope you enjoyed this most recent creation.  Now that I have a granddaughter here frequently, I am expecting the doll house to get lots of use.  And my daughter, Michaela, the little princess for whom it was all started, she is now 14 and able to pass along her making and playing skills to her little niece.

Don't forget to play!  And remember to keep things age appropriate and supervised.  Hot glue guns need supervision, and so do small pieces like beads, etc.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Glad Greetings Cottage

I wanted to share with you the latest little house that's going to market.

Isn't it amazing, and fun, to see what can be made from old boxes and things that would otherwise go in the trash?

The cottage is called Glad-Greetings because of the little girl on the support column and her Glad Greetings.

Made from a cardboard box, this little cottage has wood floors, fabric walls and a beautiful lace "wall paper border." It comes with handmade furniture.

There's a fireplace in the corner, with a hearth and a little pot made from Sculpey and wire.

Cork and wire make for good curtain rods, and lace always makes pretty curtains.

The sleigh style bed boasts storage drawers underneath, of course covered in sparkles and with dainty wire-and-bead drawer pulls.

The little window sill is big enough for sitting things on, perfect for a little fairy who lives in the woods and collects things.

A chinese take-out container was cut in half and then covered in fabric to make two beautiful wingback chairs.

The containers were unused and probably would have ended up in the trash were it not for The Scrap Exchange.

I put in a little Kelly doll to illustrate the size of the furnishings.

A clock and little dishes made from Sculpey have started filling in the cupboard, made from a little gift box.

I hope you enjoyed your tour!

Enjoy this day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shoebox Dollhouse

This week I've worked on a really fun project as a gift for my mom. She makes the cutest little clothespin dolls ever, and I wanted to give her a place for them to "live" while we are selling at the farmer's market. Here are some of my mom's clothespin dolls. These are actually made from handmade "clothespins" that she carves from wood, so these are bigger than standard size, but she makes standard size too, just as cute!

Not long ago I purchased a pair of shoes for one of my sons. They came in a great shoebox! Sturdy! And the top was attached to the bottom so that it would open and close like a chest. I opened the box as far as it would go, so that the lid was sitting back on the bottom (still attached--I did not separate the top from the bottom) and it made a two-story doll house.

I hot-glued the top to the bottom so that I could then cover it with paper and decorate it!

I used color coordinated papers from my scrapbook supplies and glued on "wallpaper" and "carpet." To get the wallpaper just right, since the top had a curved edge (as you can see), I stood the box on end and traced around it to get the paper cut just right!

One of my favorite things about this is the Victorian feel and the very Victorian dresser! It has a mirror held up by two little cherubs and three little silk roses glued in front of the mirror.

Ahhh, the little fireplace. Michaela and I made a recent trip to The Scrap Exchange, and one of the items in the bins were a ton of these "leather" coasters. I cut some up in the shape of a fire place and hearth and hot-glued them on. The hearth portion of the fireplace is three layers deep to give it the appearance of a real hearth. The basket is made from Sculpey and filed with real wood. The fire is from a picture, Mod-Podged into place of course!

What an opulent little bed! I found that an herbal tea box is the PERFECT size to make a bed for a clothespin doll. The bed is actually made from two boxes, cut down and glued back to back so that it's open on the top and open on the bottom. The top got filled with old powder puff material from the scrap exchange. The headboard is made with heavy wire covered in bed and poked on each side through the box before hot-gluing on a pad, fabric, and a pillow.

There's even a seahorse watching over the little bed.

One of the finishing touches is a little key on the pretty Victorian dresser.

I had been turning over in my mind how to make a chair for a clothespin doll. Their legs don't bend, after all. I finally hit on an idea with something we found -- again -- at The Scrap Exchange.

You know the containers that things come in from gumball machines? The large containers? Well, I molded Sculpey around on to make a chair and then baked ONLY THE SCULPEY. Once the chair was baked, I pushed the little container down into the chair and hot glued into place. I trimmed the edges, one with ribbon and one with heavy cord.

So the dolls can truly sit IN their chairs! :)

The back of the box is Mod-Podged with pages from an old (falling apart) copy of Little Women. I can't wait to see what the shoppers think of the Clothespin Dolls' Shoebox Dollhouse.

Have fun creating!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Old Coupon Holder = New Doll House Bed

Michaela recently bought me a new coupon holder as a surprise and then together we cleaned out the old one. I was going to throw the old one away but Michaela wanted to keep it. My first thought was No! we have enough clutter already, but she said she could just picture something for the doll house. Well, that was enough for me!

When she took the dividers out of the old coupon holder and spread the coupon holder fully open, she pictured a fancy bed for the dolls! I could see it too.

As we are incorporating a Charlotte Mason education, this seemed the perfect opportunity to allow a personal interest to result in a handicraft. Michaela took the old coupon holder to her room and got to work.

She opened the holder and glued on support underneath to keep it open. She glued in very soft, furry fabric for the mattress. The dolls love it!

After the new bed was brought home, all the dolls went outside and got into formation for a family portrait. We think it turned out great.

Lynn and Michaela

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gifts from Across the Country

What a wonderful surprise for the dolls! They received a package of lovely gifts from AnnaMarie and Audrey!

First up: the Fairie Calendar! It is absolutely adorable. Please, pardon the bright sun. The dolls took the calendar outside to show you all the detail.

The dolls have been marking off the days so that they can keep track of things. (AnnaMarie, I hope that's okay!) It has made their lives immensely more orderly.

Just look at the beautiful illustrations in the calendar. The dolls love it so much and just can't quit looking at it.

The only problem is that the little dolls cannot decide which month's illustration they like the best.

Here is the calendar hanging in their kitchen, the busiest room in the house!

Last, but not least, would you look at these delicious cookies they received!

The dolls were not exactly sure who all had a hand in baking them, but they were delicious.

Thank you so very much for the doll house gifts. Our dolls feel it is time to send something to you!


Friday, April 10, 2009

A Little Bird Told Me

You have probably picked up on the fact that we enjoy using picture books for school, using Five In A Row for our lesson plans, and then when done I like to make a storybook souvenir for the dollhouse. Well, it was no different when we finished up Angelo. I wanted something in the dollhouse to remind us of Angelo.

Using a tiny bit of Sculpey clay, I fashioned a little bird's nest with a straight pin. I added two teeny-tiny little eggs to remind us of Sylvia (the pigeon in the book) and how life goes on and on, generation after generation.

Princess of the Universe put the nest in the house, placing it on the top of a small vase that has guinea feathers in it. (My mom has guineafowl. Lucky woman.)

Little things like this are SO easy to make. It's a little thing that goes a long way in preserving a happy memory.

There are directions for using and baking Sculpey right on the box. Directions are also easy to find on line with a Google search. Just always use care and supervise children when doing this.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Auction Treasure

Maybe you didn't know this, but the dolls in The Homemade DollHouse just LOVE Haiku and they love reading and learning about Japan. Imagine their shock and delight when this painting signed "Basho" turned up on the auction block! Of course they put their pennies together and bought it!

It may be authentic. It may be a fake. All they know is that they love Basho! They elected to hang the large painting in Mei-Ling's room. She's so happy.