Monday, December 27, 2010

How to make a Barbie dream house

I've been bursting to show off some of my DIY Christmas gifts, but had to wait until after the big day so I wouldn't spoil any surprises. I did quite a few homemade, or custom created gifts this year. This one is a collaboration with my friend, Kim.

She wanted to give her 5-year-old twins a Barbie dream-house for Christmas, but didn't want to break the bank on something that might break easily. With four kids, she knows delicate a plastic dollhouse wouldn't last long. So we embarked on a shopping adventure to find the right tools to build our own, sturdier version.
Originally, I was thinking we would make over a bookshelf, but then we found this storage cube shelf and it was already pink! Normally, $50-$60 for one of these bad boys, we walked on a $20 sale at Fred Meyer. Plus we had an extra 15 percent off coupon for housewares. [They had blue too, and I'm still kicking myself for not buying a couple when they were so cheap.]

The whole thing was pink, so we lined the shelves with wood-grain contact paper to give the house wood floors before assembling the shelf.
We bought a variety pack of scrapbook paper at the craft store and covered the back panels with the "wall paper" using clear contact paper to adhere it and give them a protective coating.
 I found a few unfinished wood jewelry/notions boxes at JoAnn's fabrics that made excellent furniture with a little acrylic paint.

For area rugs we cut circles and rectangles out of a bathroom rug from the Fred Meyer home section.
We painted balsa wood strips mint green and glued them to the corners to create molding to give the rooms a finished look.
Santa somehow knew the girls were getting a Barbie dream house and brought the girls furniture sets like this bathroom set complete with a flat-screen TV mounted to the towel rack. Barbie is apparently one classy gal.

 For a roof, we used a flag case from Michael's craft store.
They seemed to like it.


Kim said...

They do like it. I even caught their big brother playing with it tonight. He felt they needed to pose all the barbies in each room hahaha! He even had one bent over digging in the Hope Chest!

Kathy said...

This barbie dream house looks gorgeous! And I salute you for being that great mom to your kids that you even made a doll house for them. That's so sweet of you actually. My daughter Angelina has a doll house too. The only difference is we just bought it at a toy store because I'm just bad at building things and I can't make a doll house by myself. But Angelina loves her doll house so much! She loves playing with it and she loves decorating it also. One time, we went to a shop of laminate wood flooring (Tampa area) to purchase new tampa laminate flooring for our kitchen and my daughter asked me if she could also buy those for her doll house. She's just a witty girl and I can feel that she's going to be an interior designer someday.