CRITTER HOUSES

1240293_10153270486890537_1394010495_n

I spend a lot of my time thinking about dollhouses. It is a bizarre fascination, I know, and I realize that other people, normal people, probably don’t think about dollhouses nearly as much as I do, if at all. At first, I wondered why, but now I just accept that I am not exactly like other people, and that’s okay.

Today I am breaking out a post of Christmas past. It is something that I have wanted to blog about for a long time, but like everything it seems, I haven’t had the time…until now.

Don’t you just love Christmas break? I do. It’s a time to get caught up on everything that has been neglected throughout the past year, and get ready for a brand new year. I am grateful for it. I am grateful to have the chance to just be with my friends and family, and I am grateful for the time. Time is a gift.

However, when I have too much time on my hands, I start to get restless. I get antsy, and I start thinking about crazy things, like changing up the paint colours in the bedrooms. It might be that I’m bored. That very rarely happens to me, by the way, but I think that I’m starting to believe it.

The Christmas busy-ness is over, the new year has been rung in, most of my blogging has been caught up on, as well as a lot of the other projects that I had been meaning to get around to. I know that there are only a few more days before the kiddo goes back to school, but I am bored.

I am bored of trying to entertain a six year old for 12 hours a day, and I am bored of watching Netflix, especially shows like Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad, which is a direct result of having the husband home full time for the past three weeks.

Bored and blogging do go hand in hand though, and because it is something that I love to do, I thought that I would talk about dollhouses. How much fun is that? And maybe, just maybe I can bust this boredom, once and for all.

The thing about dollhouses is that you can never have just one. There are so many different kinds, and there are so many different accessories that go with them. The particular dollhouse that I want to share with you today was a Christmas present that I made for my little girl a couple years back. It was a thing born out of necessity for all of her little pets, but it can be used for mini dolls as well.

The other great thing about dollhouses is that you can make them out of just about anything. We usually make our dollhouses in boxes, but I often find that those make for dark corners and other hard to reach places in the house.

I wanted to build something that was more versatile, and because it was for pets, I wanted it to be more whimsical. It had to be something more of a pet house, and less of a people house. It had to be something that gave the impression that they could climb all over the thing, rather than just walk through the front door and go up the stairs. Mostly, I wanted to make something that would be double sided, for play on both sides.

What I came up with was a shoot from the hip idea that, like everything I do, ended up turning out pretty good for the amount of know how that I actually have. I don’t have to remind anyone that I am faking it mostly, so a lot of what I make and do can’t be tutorialed at the time. I laugh to myself at what a tutorial of mine would look like. I imagine it would go something like this:

Me: The first thing you have to do is glue this piece onto here. Oh wait, that didn’t work. Okay scratch that, let’s try it this way instead. That seems to work better. Next, you have to glue this part to the other part. Oh crap, the other part is falling off now, just hang on a second….

You get the picture.

To make a double sided dollhouse for critters you will need:

Scrapbook paper

Hot glue gun

Exacto knife

Small handheld saw

Paint with small roller

Two board pictures from Dollarama. (I had two of these. The backs had cross brace frames)

IMG_4166M-0142Av3fra

The first thing I did was paint over both pictures with white paint using a small roller. This will probably need two coats. Let it dry.

Next I took my Exacto knife and cut each of the cardboard pictures in half. You will end up with four halves, like this:

IMG_4167 IMG_4168

Notice that the second two halves are open on the one side.

It is time to add the scrapbook paper and assemble your house. Essentially you have 8 separate squares. Each of the squares will either be a floor space or a wall space. You can decide how you want to set up your dollhouse. Here is mine so you get the idea:

IMG_4170 IMG_4169

I removed the divider from the centre of the blue space to make it all one room, and as you can see there is a little playground/swimming area at the top of mine.

The pool is a piece of plastic from packaging that we had in the recycling. The swing set is made of some wooden pieces glued together, and button jar lids for swings.

There are also built in corner pieces that were already attached to the frame. I would have removed them, but then I realized that they work as little shelves. They add a bit of dimension to the rooms as well, so I just left them on there. Good thing too, because my kid loves to use them as super secret hiding places for all of her pet accessories. I deserve mom points for that one.

Here is a better look at the house so that you can see how it is double-sided.

IMG_4171

Basically all I did was hot glue the first two halves in a T-shape and the other two halves are the base. I also added a piece of cardboard to the bottom to make it sturdier.

You can sort of see how it all joins together at the bottom. You could find a larger piece of cardboard and cut to fit, but this is just the piece that I had on hand at the time. I don’t usually plan these things remember.

IMG_4175

Now that you have the basic structure, it is time to decorate! I set mine up so that it had two sweet little bedrooms in the front, and what I hoped would turn out to be a kitchen/bakery type thing in the back. The roof is meant as an outdoor space like a terrace.

I had some of these cute furnitures from the dollar store already, so I set to painting them. One side of my house was to become the pink room and the other side would be the purple room.

IMG_4179 IMG_4180

 

IMG_4181

Check out those cute little lamps! They are just two wooden beads glued together and painted. How easy is that?

Anyway, now that my girl is a bit older, she has defiantly banned all things of the pink or purple nature, and demands that everything must be blue and green. Luckily, this does not apply to her toys.

Here is the little kitchenette that I built of the same dollar store furnitures. It is made of three pieces of furniture glued together and painted. Then I just hot glued some silver painted wooden blocks beneath it to simulate kitchen appliances. The knobs are black foam beads, and I just painted the oven door on in black.

IMG_4178

I added a piece of tin foil for a sink, perler beads for taps, and the small hook from a hanger covered in more foil works as the faucet.

IMG_4182

Here are some pics of the critters enjoying their new home! Click to view larger images:

 

We found all kinds of fun decorative items for this project at the dollar store. Baby strollers, nail decals in tiny bottles, tiny charms off of back-to-school themed hair accessories, even the wedding cake bubbles favour. I made the large stand by gluing together some flat wooden pieces to a pill bottle.

IMG_4186 IMG_4183

I also made some fun sweet treats for our bakery out of puffy stickers that we got from the dollar store. I just hot glued some craft foam to the back of them, and they were ready for play.

I built this little corner stand using the existing corner piece in the kitchen. It holds all of the baked goods nicely. There are also some layered cakes that I made by stacking some round foam beads of different sizes, and gluing them together. 

541871_10153270487330537_45125850_n
  I hope you enjoyed this craft as much as I did, and I hope that your boredom is officially busted!

Cheers!! Happy 2015!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s