A Fresh New Look for an Abandoned Dollhouse

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I rediscovered my love of dollhouses when my husband brought home a beautiful find off Craigslist. The furniture and house were in great shape, but I had visions of a more modern design. My daughter loved it and I was excited to make her a dollhouse of her dreams. (okay, my dreams). It began with a miniature of an IKEA couch and Billy Bookcase, because everything starts there, right?

We found the perfect little family to live in the house. She really loved to play with them and it was fun watching her little family come to life through her imagination. Then the dinosaur phase kicked in. The sweet little family was kicked out and forced to live in the toy box. Now the toy dinosaurs ruled the roost. Thus began the end of her love affair with her dollhouse as dinosaurs and Lego took over. I too put it aside but longed for her to play with it so I could as well. Eventually she outgrew the dollhouse all together and the decision came to sell it.

I came across the furniture that I had made while cleaning up the house. Something had been sparked. I had a dollhouse when I was a little girl given to me by my mother’s friend for my birthday. It was supposed to be a project that we did together. I was so excited that I couldn’t wait and it was fully assembled by the time he came by to visit. I had even made little curtains and bedding. I didn’t even have any dolls to live in the house, but it was the decorating and construction that I loved the most.

I’ve always been crafting of some sort. Either sewing, crochet, painting, sculpting, building or anything else that inspires me. So far this has been a great outlet for all my crafts and keeps me busy.  Here’s a look at the house before I dismantled it.

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Here’s the house before demo day. It’s very similar to the Plan Toys Terrace dollhouse. The window and door panels can be removed and rearranged for open play.

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Down to the bones.

Demo day was a bit of a challenge. The dowels were glued in place as well as screwed so I had to drill out some parts. The house had suffered some minor damage over the years so I was happy with my decision to completely remodel the house. After much searching on the internet I finally found the manufacturer of the dollhouse. It’s a Cheerwing Happy Family house. I thought for years that it was a version of the Plan Toys Terrace dollhouse. I found that the biggest problem with the house was that it was really deep. My daughter had to really stick her arm in to play. I took this into consideration when designing the new layout.

Starting from scratch posed many possibilities and challenges. The best way to tackle such a task was to use Sketch Up. It’s an awesome program and very easy to use.  I was able to draw a side by side, before and after illustration. I guess I’d describe myself as somewhat of an OCD (all of my friends know this part to be so true) creative type. I like to plan everything out and then let the more imaginative side take over from there. What I found was a happy medium between what I had envisioned and what was functional in reality.

After the house was completely taken apart, it was time for clean up. There was a lot of glue and a few scratchs and dents that needed to be sanded down.

 

Now onto the next step which is the flooring. It was a no-brainer  when it came to the flooring, all hard wood floors! The best way to make a hardwood floor was to use Popsicle sticks. I’ll be sharing with you how I was able to create beautiful flooring in my next post.  Thank you so much for visiting. I hope that you were able to find some inspiration of your own. Are you working on your own remodel? I’d love for you to share your work! I look forward to you comments and feedback. Cheers!

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