Here is one of my downfall’s, when I’m sitting around watching tv (which isn’t often, but often enough) I can’t just watch tv, I have to be doing something else also. Usually it’s surfing the internets for stuff I don’t really NEED. Well one day last year I was on Craigslist doing my normal searches and up pops an ad for a partially built dollhouse, the same exact dollhouse still in the unopened box, a box of cheaper furniture and some misc supplies…I think everything was like $25. So of course I jump all over it, with no need or even real desire for it, as it’s a tab and slot house and not to be all “mini snobby” but I hate working with tab and slots; and with houses put together already..in fact there is a Hofco shell sitting in my garage still!!!! Anyway, I pick it all up. Then inspiration hit, I have a niece that lives close by and she’s like 2.5, too young for a real dollhouse but I could use the partial built house as a “challenge” for myself. My goal was to finish it as quickly as possible (knowing it’s going to probably get demolished by kids (she has 2 older brothers) and as cheaply as possible. So to my stash I went to see what supplies I could sacrifice.
Since the house was glued together, I decided to start by spraying the entire house with paint, that way I didn’t need to use wall paper on all the walls and since it’s going to be used for play, I thought this may be a good way to “seal” any sprinters there might be in the wood. I guess I forgot to take a picture when it was completely sprayed...oops
This was a picture of some of the supplies I got with the score...I mean purchase.
In my stash I found enough shingles for the roof, so I did that. And since keeping costs at a minimum is the goal, I decided to brick the outside. I have the Bromley stencils, so all that was needed is some wall patch. I like wall patch because it’s the correct consistency to work with and I added paint directly to it, thus saving time painting it. Also the brink adds stability to the house, again important with kids.
To add a “pop” of color, I decided on a red door.
1 Challenge I found was I had a kitchen set I had found online (another tv surfing purchase) but when I put it in the house the cabinets went over the windows, so to conceal them and add some detail, I made a little flower box for the window and added their last name to it, thus personalizing it also.
For decking I again went to my stash and found some iron on wood strips, I’ve used this product lots and always been happy with the result. It’s in the lumber section of stores and it’s meant to iron on the edge of wood to give it a finished edge. It’s super cheap, easy to work with and stains or paints well. I chose to not put the railing around the deck so little hands could easily reach in and play/
In the kitchen I modified the clearance kit I had by cutting off some of the uppers over the stove, then I painted the counter tops and stove top and added a border. I had the wallpaper in my stash and the floor was meant for a previous project that never made its way out of the planning stages. As you can see I ran into some issues with the paper, part of the drawback to working with a house put together, but since it’s not meant for show, but for play…who cares.
In the living I had my 1st real expensive for this house, I had to purchase a piece of wood flooring, but luckily there is a Hobby Lobby close to me, so I went and used the 40% off coupons to buy a piece of flooring. All of the furniture in the house were items from my stash that I’d either accumulated on clearance or that came with this purchase.
The bedrooms again were done with stash stuff, I recall getting the white carpet on clearance at a shop for like $3-4, and it was perfect in here.
All in all this project took me maybe 20 hours (compared to most projects). The biggest time spent was on the roof and brick siding. And the best part, I took the unopened kit, put it on Ebay and sold it! And it not only covered all the items I took from my stash to do this, the original $25 and the wood flooring….so really it was completely free except for time.
My little niece Millie seemed to really like it….and I found out immediately it was built well, as it got stood on within about 15 mins :) Not sure if it’s still in one piece today or not (I gave it to her about a year ago) but it doesn’t matter, it was a great challenge for me, and proof that this hobby doesn’t need to break the bank.