Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Toy-car-box-turned-dollhouse, or How I Went Completely Overboard

Whew!  It's been almost a month since my last post, and I've been crazy busy since then.  I have lots of projects to share, but today in honor of my sweet girl's 5th birthday(!!) I thought I'd show you what I made for her.

Last month, our son turned 2 and my wonderful sister sent him a really cool set of wooden cars and street signs.  If you're a momma, you're probably familiar with the Melissa and Doug brand of wooden toys.  They hold up so well, aren't made of plastic, and come in nice storage boxes.  Score!  Well, these particular cars are compatible with the train set we already have, so I decided to just through them in with those so we didn't have yet another toy box lying around.  I tossed the wooden box the cars came in on top of the pile of cardboard debris from James's present-stravaganza and forgot about it.  That is, until my husband pulled it out and told me I should make something with it.  Ugh.  I had thought that in passing, too, but had decided against it.  Stephen so rarely suggests that I make something (I imagine he avoids doing so at all costs, just so I don't start another project that ends up taking up more space in the garage while I work on it), that I felt compelled to take another look at the box.  Here's a look at it in its original state:
Melissa and Doug vehicles and traffic signs

The sections of the box sort of reminded me of a dollhouse and are actually the perfect size to hold the little peg dolls I made Lily for her last birthday.  So, after a bit of planning, I dove right in with my paints and went WAAAAAY overboard on this project.  Once I got started, I just couldn't stop and ended up making the box into a cute little cottage that makes me a little jealous of the dolls that get to live there.

I spent 3 evenings painting that sucker, and I'm really happy with how it turned out!  Ready for a room-by-room tour?  Mmmmkay! 

Let's start in the entryway.  Every home needs good storage solutions, so I added a peg rail around the walls for purses, coats, scarves, etc.  You know, whatever the busy peg doll brings home after a fun day of play.  I want this foyer to be MINE.  In real life.  I love the transom and the lantern!  Next lets visit the living room.

A stone fireplace?  Yes, please.  I had fun doing that little pink French chair, too.  I had trouble deciding what to put over the mantel (made from reclaimed wood, of course), but in the end I went with a nice painting in a gold frame.  On to the kitchen!

This is definitely the room of which I'm most envious.  I so wish I had white cabinets, butcher block counter tops and an apron front sink!  Aren't those open shelves sweet, too?  The cobalt glasses are actually inspired by some we own, and the big orange pitcher is just like one my aunt gave me this summer (thanks, Aunt Lecia!).

The bedrooms are pretty simple.  Oh, and every house needs at least one pennant banner, so this little cottage got one in the kids' bedroom.  James gets very excited every time he sees it and shouts, "Flags!"

I really, really love tall wainscoting in bathrooms, so this little house got some.  Also, I think every room that can possible have one should have a live plant.  Last up on the tour is the top floor, which includes the attic and the playroom.

What cottage is complete with a cobwebby attic?  None, I say!  Lily squealed with delight when she saw the little mouse heading into his mouse hole, she actually suggested I add the spider to the web.  Oh, and yes, that ornate old wardrobe does, in fact, lead to Narnia.

Last but not least, the playroom!  I think I like this room best, actually.  I made a set of hot air balloons for my kids' real bedroom and James kept asking why the kids' room in this dollhouse didn't have any, so I added some up here.  Both Lily and James love to draw on our easel, so this play room got one of those, too. 

So there you have it!  My completely out of control dollhouse project.  I'm certainly no expert painter, but I have lots of fun doing things like this.  Lily loves her peg dolls, so it was really fun to be able to make them a special place to live.  Hooray for saving this box from the trash!  Thanks, honey, for an excellent save.  Here's on last shot:

Hope you've had a wonderful few weeks, and I'll be back again soon!  First, though, I'm off to make some birthday cake! :)