Valley of the Dolls: A Dollhouse Makeover


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I feel as if someone should have warned me about the addictive nature of decorating tiny things. Instead, I’m now a prime candidate for the crafter’s version of a Methadone clinic. I cannot stop. My real house chores are undone since I have been wallpapering, painting, and rearranging my Emmie’s little dollhouse. I really must get back to reality and feed my family. But not before sharing this with you!

I found this dollhouse at Goodwill for $25 while I was pregnant with Emmie. I was sooo excited! You see, I have wanted a dollhouse since I was a very little girl. I had one, actually, but it was of the super-nice variety. By the time my dad sunk hours into putting it together and gluing on tiny shingles, it was deemed I would need to wait until I was older to play with it. That day never really came. To be fair, I was never very careful with my things, so this is not a sad childhood story. I sold the house while I was a teenager for some record store money.

I wanted Emmie to have a house she could actually play with and touch. My inner child can live vicariously. She has started to take interest in the house recently, so I figured this would be a good time to spruce it up a bit. That sprucing has taken me countless (awesome) hours.

This is how the house looked when I first brought it home. It came with some furniture, but everything was very dated. This is a terrible picture, sorry!

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While I was pregnant with Emmie, I re-wallpapered and painted a little. I had never been really happy with how it looked. Still too Barbie-esque.

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I wanted it to look like someplace I would want to live but a little crazier. I decided on black and white patterns for all the walls except the bathroom. I found a few rolls of gift wrap at Salvation Army and supplemented with some scrapbook paper. I painted the floors with gloss white paint to brighten things up and make them all match. I’ve been randomly collecting furniture and accessories when I see them at the thrift store. I was able to mostly use what I had, but I got a few items at Hobby Lobby that were just too cute to pass up.

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Would you like to take a little tour? Oh, good.

The Nursery

I think this was the most fun to decorate. I bought the little cat at Goodwill. I made him a bed from a small tin which had previously held paperclips. I cut some framed pictures from magazines and stuck them to the wall. I found the silhouette online and printed it, then I put it in a place card frame I had left over from my wedding.

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The Bathroom and Hallway

The dollhouse came with a porcelain bathroom set. I used scrapbook paper on the walls. The table in the hallway was brown plastic previously. I gave it a coat of silver spray paint and added a magazine-clipped mirror above it. Looks swanky now!

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The Adult Bedroom

I gave the bed and dresser that came with the dollhouse a coat of dark brown. Then I upholstered the bed with a very small scrap of  hot pink dupioni silk I had been saving for something just like this. I’m happy I finally had an opportunity to use it. The wall decor is more magazine clippings. I cut the rug from some green reptile skin pleather I had. I was going for an alligator. I don’t think I succeeded, but I like it anyway.

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The Living Room

The couch was previously purple. I painted it with some white fabric paint and made a shiny gold pillow for it.The coffee table is a spray painted ribbon spool. I found the fireplace at Goodwill still in the bag. Yay! I couldn’t resist making a little sewing corner like the one in my real living room when I found all these cute pieces at Hobby Lobby. I Gorilla Glued all the little choking hazards to the table.

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The Kitchen

This one was also fun. I had the table, but I bought the chairs, dishes, silverware, and pots at Hobby Lobby. The “sink” is a spoon and chopstick rest I picked up at an Asian market for $2. I made the faucet from two screws and a silver spray painted section of juice box bendy straw. The red clock, wall pictures, and pantry food are all from a magazine. The “eat” is made from scrapbook letters. I painted one of the cabinets to make a stove and hammered some in some small nails for the knobs. I attempted to make a refrigerator from a cream cheese box, but it looked awful. These people are just going to have to eat out until I find a cheap solution!

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God help me if I find another cheap dollhouse at Goodwill. My family may have to stage an intervention.

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