This is the story of my $2 thrift store dollhouse makeover and how I furnished it for nothing. That's right, I didn't spend a dime on furniture or decor.
After spending so little on the house itself, I couldn't bring myself to throw a bunch of expensive dollhouse furniture inside. Especially not for a less-than-careful three year old. So I challenged myself to furnish this fixer upper using only things I found around the house: junk, recyclables, scraps and whatever materials I already had.
This isn't one of those fancy, fussy, grown-up lady dream doll houses. It's meant to be played with, but that's probably obvious. I ruled out making any pieces out of cardboard. Apparently, this is very common in the world of homemade dollhouse furniture, but I didn't like the idea of putting so much time and energy into delicate things that won't withstand my daughter's blows.
Once again, it will be revealed just how much of a junk hoarder I am, but I am confident anyone could pull something like this off with a few months of saving recyclables.
The exterior went from the haphazard Disney contact paper look to a clean and fresh coat of aqua paint.
(See more before photos. >>) I shingled the roof using 2x2 inch cut pieces of some leftover window blind slats.
Truthfully, that was the most tedious part of the entire makeover process. I am digging the white roof for wintertime, but may end up spray painting the roof a darker shade next spring or summer.
The inside got a coat of bright white semi-gloss paint before I wallpapered with fabric and Mod Podge. Due to the dimensions of this house (and the odd angles on the second floor), pieces of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper just weren't going to cut it. The walls were too long or too tall and I didn't want to tile the paper. But that's OK, because using fabric works so much better for projects like this.
Fabric comes in larger sizes (obviously), but it's also easier than applying paper because you can peel up the fabric and re-position it if needed. After cutting around all those doors and windows, I think I earned a black belt in decoupage.
I put many, many hours into this house. More than I care to admit. If there is a reason for my decreased posting frequency (besides being pregnant and having a non-napping three year old), it's this. But it has been such a fun exercise in creativity to repurpose items that would otherwise be thrown out.