In November of 2015, I decided to build a doll house. I have tons of cardboard, mat board and foam core that I had collected over the years framing art work. Literally stacks of it. So I decided to try repurposing some of this into my doll house. (I wish that I had taken pictures all along the process, but it never occurred to me. Oh well, better late than never.)
I have never done anything quite like this before, so I did research online and looked up examples of doll houses on Pintrest. How hard could it be, right? I decided on a scale of 1-12 (1inch = 1foot). Other than an idea in my mind, I didn’t have a real plan. But, no matter, I put the cart ahead of the horse, and purchased an adorable doll family to live in my house. (And maybe to inspire me). Each doll was made to order by an artist in The Netherlands that sold her dolls on Etsy.
I feel they are rather folksy, and needed a rustic cottage in the woods….so I started cutting and gluing cardboard rooms together. I made stones fireplaces from egg cartons and kitchen cabinets from mat board. The floors were laid in wooden coffee stir sticks and then stained to a warm brown. I even made a bookcase full of tiny books. It was fun collecting any odds and ends I thought I could repurpose as furnishings or accessories.
Then life got a bit busy and I put it on a shelf.
Well, it has been sitting unfinished in my studio all this time. Until, on the last creative date with my granddaughters, Margo noticed it and asked, “Grammy, could I play with your dollhouse?” So of course, now I need to get it done! They won’t be small much longer and Margo needs to play with it. I pulled it down off the shelf and got back to work. I added 2 more floors. A master bedroom and bathroom and an attic room for the kiddos. To make it truly a cottage in the woods, I started sculpting trees with aluminum foil and cardboard tubes around the structure. I found covering the foil with masking tape helped the paper mache glue to stick. Then I did 4 or 5 layers of paper mache. I need it to be tough enough to stand up to play.
This is where it sits now.
Still needing much work, but starting to look like a real doll house.
Even made out of cardboard, it is extremely sturdy.
I have to admit, it is as much for me as for the granddaughters. I always dreamed of having a doll house when I was a little girl. Sixty one isn’t too old, right?