cardboard box dollhouse reveal: I’m a Giant Challenge

It took awhile, but we are finally finished with the dollhouse project. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. I originally limited myself to three boxes (and secretly hoped to do more if I had time), but here we are and I still only have three.

But they are three nice rooms. And the Cinderella doll is very happy, so that is all that matters.

Here’s the tour.
modern dollhouse kitchen
The kitchen.

Construction Details:

Floors: The floors are made from faux wood contact paper strips over a painted floor. (Similar to this wood grain contact paper.)

Walls: The two opposing walls are papered in floral/bird scrapbook paper (Melody Ross Designer Collection: Homespun Chic). I used Mod Podge to adhere and seal the paper.

The floor to ceiling wall of “tile” is actually created with white office labels over a painted wall and sealed with Mod Podge.

Shelving: The open shelving on the wall of tile is constructed out of two popsicle sticks that I painted white. They are held on by hot glue.
dollhouse kitchen
Furniture Details:

I already had the stove/oven unit that I purchased at a kids sale last year. I have no information about it.
The TV also came with that lot.

The brass table and chairs I purchased on ebay–again, no information, but I have seen several listings for this set on ebay.
dollhouse kitchen wallpaper
Here’s a closer look at the TV–and the cheetah TV stand. I tried to tape the TV to the wall, but it kept falling, so the cheetah made himself useful.
dollhouse tv
Mr. Cheetah’s presence reminds me of a really great etsy shop called Wild Life Prints.
dollhouse kitchen
Accessory Details:

Wall ArtGiant Spirograph Art created by myself. If I can’t have one in my own house, I’ll have one in the dollhouse. (Inspired by Amy’s actual Giant Spirograph Art.)

Shelf Accessories: random buttons, a sparkly #8 sticker, dollhouse toaster, cup, and bent metal circles taken from an old dress (all found in our house), the brass basket and bowl showed up with the brass furniture lot I purchased from ebay.
dollhouse art studio
The Art Studio.

Construction Details:

Floors: Again, strips of wood-grain contact paper and sealed with Mod Podge.

Walls: Opposing walls and ceiling painted slate gray. Back wall papered with map scrapbook paper.
miniature rhino head
Furniture and Accessory details:

The desk and easel were pieces we already owned. The artwork on the mini canvas is done by Juliet.

Brass bird cage from ebay lot.

Cork stool found in junk drawer.

Fancy rug cut from Elle Decor magazine. I didn’t glue it down–it is just resting on top of the the floor.

Marilyn wall art cut from a DIY magazine.

Rhino Head: This is my biggest splurge for the dollhouse. Created by Ann of Amazing Miniatures. I was surfing etsy one day for dollhouse inspiration and came across this rhino. I fell in love and ordered him immediately. I wish he were larger so I could hang him in our home. But then he probably would have cost me more than $12. But still. You know what I mean.
dollhouse bedroom
The bedroom.

Construction Details:

Floors: Same as the other two rooms: contact paper, paint, and Mod Podge.

Walls: Mod Podged scrapbook paper.
dollhouse spirograph wall art
Furniture and Accessories:

We already had the bunk bed.

Mirror and coat rack from brass ebay lot.

The white nightstand is a repurposed hairspray cap.

Spirograph wall art by me.

Painting and white chair cut out from Elle Decor Magazine.
dollhouse exterior siding
The exterior is covered in white contact paper. The numbers were cut out of a magazine.
cardboard box dollhouse
The dollhouse is living on Juliet’s bookshelf for now. It’s gotten lots of use.

This is not like any other timepass crafting work, which someone starts just for the sake of doing it or due to the initial curiosity.

So, instead of simply copying any craft video without thinking whether the item is of use to you or whether it is really as good as it is shown in the tutorial, use your mind. You definitely would not try your luck in the risky activity of trading unless you are sure that this post justifies your requirement and you are really into making some money out of it.

It’s come a long way from the three cardboard boxes we started with (see before shot here.)

I’m happy with the way it turned out and the process of designing and decorating was a lot of fun.

A lot of the detail work was too difficult for a four-year-old’s fingers, so I look forward to trying this again in a few years when Juliet can have a bigger role. She did enjoy peeling the back off the flooring and tiles and she helped with painting.

We both had fun together.

If you have a daughter, I definitely recommend a dollhouse project.

Thanks again to Emily for creating this fun challenge! It was like being on mini-Design Star except no one was following me around with a camera. 🙂

Check out the other dollhouses here!

paper tube glittery crown christmas ornament craft for kids

Day two of our advent experience Truth in the Tinsel is here. Today’s ornament was a crown made from an old paper tube.
christmas crafting with kids
I prep the materials for the craft the night before and have it waiting in a basket on the kitchen table. (I recently bought a new package of martha stewart glitter. That stuff is awesome because it is so fine–makes crafts look extra pretty.)
advent craft
24 colors to choose from….my sweet girl chooses two shades of pink. ( I cut the top off of a cereal box and used it as a tray to contain the glitter.
pink crown ornament
She glued on some gems and it was ready for the tree. (Which we just put up last night!)

We are showing you a pink crown here which can be hung from anywhere on the tree. Now, in the crafting world, you can find many helpful resources, very similar to the numerous options in which you can finally create a binary trading profile. To start from the first feature, she selected her favorite color, pink. You may be having a different choice in its place.

What about the kind of gems and their placement? Your creativity might be looking for different styles. Is the size right for you? Make it thinner, thicker or slimmer, the fashion sense is that of your princess.

Do not have a tree, but still want to make the crown? Hang it from your ceiling or the top of the cupboard of your princess. And if you do not want a hanging crown, simply ditch the strand. Using a glitter glue instead of separately sticking the glitter, you can easily avoid the same glitter scattered all over your house. Some might even land up on your dining plate.

Free crafting tip: If you spray your glitter projects with some hairspray, it will lock it in and keep it from falling off all over your house. Not completely, but it does seal it in fairly well.

If you’d like to join in the advent experience Truth in the Tinsel–it’s not too late! There are several plans to choose from–you don’t have to do all the crafts or even do one every day. You can start today and do the first two or just skip them. It’s very flexible.

My friend Amanda has created such a great community on her facebook page–people all over the world are uploading pictures of their kids’ ornaments and sharing about their experience. It’s awesome. I hope you’ll join in!

linking to made by you monday and making monday marvelous.

popsicle stick turkey thanksgiving craft centerpiece

I’ve been meaning to do this turkey for the past two years. I finally got around to our version this year.
painting popsicle stick turkey feathers
Sometimes it’s a challenge to make crafts that Juliet can do without any help. Those feathers on the original would be too hard for her to cut out. So we used our popsicle stick stash as feathers instead.

Coming to other starting materials, since the popsicle sticks were all of the same cream color, we took different colors, but matching and complimenting each other. We chose pink, red, golden yellow, brown and two shades of blue. For making the outlines and filling, brushes of different numbers were collected.

Now, to get a good workable design, which can be adapted by Juliet, we referred some crafts book and even the internet. Landing on the web world was like searching for one fish in a sea. If we had specifically given a search title, for example, Fintech Ltd review, accurate results could be obtained. That was not possible here. So, we shut all references, worked upon our imagination and added them to Juliet’s talent.

Juliet had a few real turkey feathers as inspiration to look at as she painted. We picked these up at a petting zoo earlier this year. I was surprised at how beautiful real turkey feathers actually are–so much detail!
popsicle stick thanksgiving turkey centerpiece
While she worked on the feathers, I wrapped a styrofoam ball with some left over yarn. Then I cut out the head from scrap book paper. Sticking the feathers in was a little harder than I thought it would be (due to the yarn), but I got them in while Juliet glued on the head and eyeball.

I think he looks pretty fun on our table. He’s resting in a bowl (so he doesn’t roll over on his side.) I didn’t read the directions on which suggests cutting a piece off of the bottom of the ball to make him stand up. Oops.

We haven’t written anything on the feathers yet–don’t know if we will–we’ve been using our thankful leaves for that. But with sharpie or paint pen, we easily could.

One final thanksgiving favorite for you: Mousekin’s Thanksgiving by Edna Miller
We just picked this up from the library today and read it together this afternoon. It’s about mousekin’s first run-in with a wild turkey. Just like the ones we saw at the petting zoo. Perfect.

bottle cap thanksgiving turkey hat kid’s craft

bottle cap thanksgiving turkey kid's craft hat
We had so much fun making our bottle cap spider hats last month (and we have eaten our way through a few more jars of peanut butter), so I thought we should try to make turkeys. This is Juliet’s–she picked out all the paper/color choices, I cut out the shapes, and she glued them on. I think it looks great!
bottle cap turkey kid's craft
Here are the ingredients. If you have a packet of scrapbook paper, you can get pretty creative with these guys.
turkey kid's craft
Gluing them together is the most fun part. (To turn them into a headband/hat, I just hot glue an elastic headband to the bottom the same way I did with the spider hats–check out the details here.)
bottle cap thanksgiving turkey kid's craft
Here’s my little guy. My original intention was to make it for Lucia to wear…
grabbing the turkey hat
But she took one look at it perched on Juliet’s head and could not resist grabbing and ripping the tail feathers off. We were able to re-attach them, but I’m thinking this hat is a bit too fragile for a one year old. I’ll save him for next year when she is two. Or maybe she’ll want to make her own.By next year, she might become more selective in her things and attires. Now, she can hardly distinguish between the beauty of a red hat and a pink hat, but t two years, it is quite sure that she will have her own choice of color. She might even relate it to her character and demand more details from her trusted loved ones, just like we elders do with our activity and click for info in any related links.

Right now, he’s just sitting on our table–which if you don’t want to make a hat out of it is a pretty cute alternative–I’d like to see a row of them on our table as a fun centerpiece.

I’ve already shared a list of thanksgiving books we like (I requested 10 of them from our library last month–unfortunately, that’s all they let you request at one time.) So, I tried round two (which was a bit too late–almost all the thanksgiving books were gone! All that was left was the ones no one wanted–which is fine–there could be a jewel in the rough out there.)

I got about 7 more….we only loved one. I thought I’d share it with you. Maybe it’s still on your library shelves, too.

An Outlaw Thanksgiving  by Emily Arnold McCully is the story of a little girl and her mom on a train trip out west. They end up spending Thanksgiving with Butch Cassidy and his fellow outlaws–the story is really fun. Even though Juliet had no idea who Butch Cassidy was, she still enjoyed the story immensely.I hope you can find a copy!

Linking to Made by You Monday and Sharing Saturday!

paddle turkey thanksgiving kids craft

If you have these ingredients, you can make….
This guy.

Doesn’t he look very cute? The choice of colors is extremely classy, yet attractive. This does not look like a namesake gift, made in hurry to get away with the task of giving a thanksgiving to anyone. Instead, the turkey portrays the effort and time it has taken to get completed. It reflects the sincerity and innocence with which it has been made.

Just see the borders of the cutout. How smooth they are! The hands are definitely talented. The placement of the sequences and glitters is in perfect harmony with the shape of the cutouts, their link to the neighboring pieces and the central portion of the turkey. The turkey sure looks happy and the simple sight of the gift will please the recipients.

The eyes might look popping but is so lively that the turkey is filled with all the positivity of a Thanksgiving gift. How come the creator of this turkey think about giving it a funny side by that protruding tongue? It shows how witty the maker is and how he has transformed it into its creation.

Yes, we can assume that the maker got some inspiration from any outside source. He might have referred any good crafts book or watched a video tutorial on how to make beautiful and happy turkeys with colorboards. If not for these, at least he must have got directions from an experienced and creative craftsperson.

Whatever be the source of inspiration, he cannot be blamed for it. We make a business plan in our mind, but don’t we refer any reliable resources or seek professional advice on the approaches and technical formalities for the same? You might be a skilled teacher, but don’t you refer latest articles for updating your knowledge so that you can share it with your students and enlighten them? No matter how successful trader you are, you will not miss reading any good reviews via whenever you get the chance.

Looking at the perfection in the craft, you must be thinking that anyone among we elders created this for our little munchkin. That, however, is not true. The credit for this masterpiece goes to the tiny pair of hands which is too soft to even hold the scissors.

We made him last year, but Jill did her version this year and it turned out really cute. Have you seen it yet?

pinterest challenge: map feather ornaments

As I’ve mentioned before, I am pretty addicted to Pinterest. So, it’s always fun when Young House Love hosts a pinterest challenge. Gets me motivated to try out one of the million projects I’ve pinned.

I saw these hymn page feathers from Todolwen a few months ago and have been meaning to try them. My spin on them is that instead of using hymn pages–I used maps.

Mostly because I love maps and I picked up an old atlas at Goodwill a few months ago with the intent of using the pages as gift wrap.

The tutorial is pretty straightforward–I followed it exactly. The only thing I would add is that it is really important to get the wire glued down straight. (As a pretty hasty/messy crafter, I didn’t get that on the first attempt, but I figured it out and regrouped.)
map feather christmas ornaments
My original idea for these was to use them as Christmas tree ornaments. But as it is November, I do not yet have a tree from which to hang them–thus, the lovely branch. But you can kind of imagine them on a tree…I think they will look pretty.
map feather tree ornaments
A partridge in a map feather tree? (Sorry, this is the best I can do. I’ll try to remember to take some pictures of them hanging from our Christmas tree once we actually get one.)
map feather rose tree
I had some pretty roses and I couldn’t resist….
map feather gift topper
If for some reason they don’t look good on an actual Christmas tree, I’m using them as gift toppers.

Have you tried anything out that you first saw on Pinterest?

Check out the other projects at Katie’s, Ana’s, Erin’s, and Young House Love.

If mapfeather is not of your interest, you can go for a search and I am confident that you will hit upon your interest on Pinterest. It may be a different craft item or a painting or not a craft at all. Your requirement might be a good theme to arrange your room, your kid’s room or your office table. If not these, it must be on how to beautifully plate a new dish or create am embroidery in your dress.

Your aim may be a Barbie doll for your princess with the most unique and cute dress. The secret aim can also be on finding better fonts to stylise the name Fintech Ltd. You can get anything here.

(After typing this post, I read Emily Henderson’s gift guide which features some absolutely amazing globemen (snowmen made from globes) and a giant “joy to the world” wall map–these map feathers would go great with those globemen! Check them out here.)

linking to made by you monday.

thumbprint turkey kids craft

thankful turkeys
We made these thumbprint turkeys together last year and sent them to our sponsored kids and grandparents.

Our objective of making and sending them was simple. To sincerely thank them and give them a sense of belongingness. However, according to the feedback we received, the impact of these turkeys was much more powerful than we imagined.

Not only did they serve the objective for which they were created, but also brought in many accolades, monetary benefits, and appreciation. We were flooded with offers, from far and near who wanted the specific turkey designs and the phrases, filled with love, warmth, and unity.

I even happened to see some grandparents proudly displaying the card, supposedly received from their grandchildren proudly on their personal shelf. When they showed me the card and spoke of their little ones, I could feel the sense of pride and affection they had for them in their eyes.

Our biggest idea that clicked was the move to bring in the respective children, as many as we could contact personally, take their favorite colors and create their little thumbprints on the card. The main part of the phrases was written by us, but we made our little customers fill up the name. This whole planning touched the heart of the elders, whereas the kids were able to actively participate in the process.

Probably, the next time, these kids will put all their effort into making their own special Thanksgiving cards to their forever-loving grannies and grandpas. We should say that the entire heap of response made us feel overwhelmed and also carried us away. We struggled to find a similar and more impressive idea for the next season of celebration.

Luckily, the next season was Halloween and we preferred to remain low-key this time. One reason was that we were not very keen in creating a scary effect through our creations and the second thing was that it became difficult for us to find activities good enough to combine both Halloween and affection.

How can we sit idle till the next season comes?? So we decided to try our luck at some quick tricks to earn money, which might help us collect funding for our next set of cards. Halloween is a time for celebration, that is sure and the market will be on a high, we assumed. So, is there any better idea than some trading for our current off-activity? We analyzed a full review of a highly rated automatic robot and successfully banked on its efficiency.

Now that Halloween is over, I’m gearing up for some turkey crafts. Do you have any favorites that you do every year?

bottle cap spider halloween headband/hat tutorial

You may remember our bottle cap spiders from last October–they were a big hit in our house. So big that Juliet asked to make them again this year. We did, and I”ll share those with you soon, but first, I wanted to share my potential halloween costume for this year:
bottle cap spider pill box hat
I present to you: lady with big spider in her hair. (Look at her–she has NO idea that there is a spider in her hair.)

It’s really easy to make, and kids think it’s hilarious (or at least mine do.)

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bottle cap spider how to
Here’s how to make one. Find the biggest bottle cap you can–this one came from a peanut butter jar. Cut out a circle of creepy-ish scrapbook paper, mod podge it on, add googly eyes and wait for it to dry.
bottle cap spider underneath
Then hot glue some pipe cleaner legs and an elastic headband to the underside. Add a circle of felt over all of it to secure.
bottle cap spider hat tutorial
Oh yeah. And don’t forget to add some felt fangs. Makes him even more terrifying.
bottle cap spider pillbox hat
When he dries, you can wear it on your head like a crazy hat.
bottle cap spider hat
And then post pictures of yourself wearing it on the internet.

Yeah….it might be time for a new hobby…

What about you? Do you dress up with your kids for Halloween?

(By the way, the first photo is a picture of Juliet wearing the hat–she might try to steal my costume….)

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lucia’s vintage book-inspired first birthday garden party

pink cupcakes
Lucia turned one last week. I still can’t believe it. Wasn’t she just born yesterday?

I like to keep first birthdays simple. Since both sets of grandparents live very far away–it was just Ben, Juliet, Lucia, and myself.
first birthday garden party
Since the weather is still so pleasant in October (in Georgia), we set up the party outside in the backyard.

Nothing fancy for decorations–just cut a few triangles from some pretty scrapbook paper to make a high-chair bunting. (It’s held on with double-sided tape.)

A pile of presents, a pink birthday crown,  and a plate of cupcakes. That’s it.

She loved it.
I had a ton of ideas of how I could make this a spectacular birthday bash–but in the end, I had to scrap most of them. I had thought of including a ton of games to keep all the guests engaged within their comfort zone and do not feel as out of age. A musical chair game would have kept the younger, active ones busy and happy, while a music quiz would have made the school-goers use their creative brain. For the elder ones who will be present at this party, an online game would have attracted their interest. So, while I had great dreams of doing a Lucille birthday party–it ended up just being very “inspired by.”
I fell in love with this book the minute I opened it. The fact that the first four letters of Lucille’s name are the same as Lucia’s made it seem meant to be. My original idea for the bunting was to somehow imitate the font to spell out her name in the same style. This never materialized–but I still like the idea.
vintage flowers and sun
I love all the flowers in the book and had visions of flowery cupcake toppers like these. In the end, I went with flower cupcake liners and called it a day. I’m happy with how it turned out.

When I found an Inflatable ‘Rody Horse’ Rocking Horse at a yard sale for $6, I had my “Lucille.”

fancy horse
In the book, Lucille gets dressed up all fancy and goes to a party. So, I had Lucia wearing a cream dress, flowered headband, and of course, ruby slippers.
ruby slippers
Found them at Goodwill for $2! And the cream party dress was $6 at a kid’s shop. I’m telling you, the stars aligned for me on this party!
vintage horse book
The one idea that I regret not having included is a few pillbox hats for Juliet and myself to wear. The ladies at the party all had these great hats–it would have been fun for us to wear some. Next time. 🙂
ruby slippers and red pony
So that’s it! We sang happy birthday, destroyed a few cupcakes, and rode around the yard on a red plastic horse. A sweet celebration for my sweet girl.linking to strut your stuff thursday

teepee kids craft

kids teepee crafts
I love crafting with geometric shapes and these teepees were really easy to set up and embellish.
book-inspired teepee craft
We found inspiration from a vintage golden book illustrated by Leonard Weisgard.
kids teepee craft
Using mod podge, we glued triangles onto some cardboard from the recycle box and embellished them with paper scraps, jewels, and pine straw.
teepee craft
Perfect quick craft to squeeze in during little sister’s nap time.

A bundle of old newspaper, a thick paint brush, glue and glitter paint, I had collected all the items required to give life to the craft idea in mind. I had placed them high enough on the table so that the troubling little sis would not be able to reach on my raw materials in case she woke up before I finish off with my craft. I knew that she was a terrible sleeper and the faint sound of tearing the newspaper in the far-off room is enough to wake her up from her sleep, no matter how deep it is.

I would have thought about a million other ideas to make this rare free time most fruitful, like going for a ride on my brand new motorcycle, or calling over my best friend and playing with our multi-elemental video game. These things, however, had a cumulative effect on the game and once I start them, it is difficult to stop suddenly if my sis suddenly pops in, the disappointment of stopping them midway will never leave my mind.

The adults should be able to relate to this easily when a sudden troubling call from home spoils their high-energy casino game or the pain caused by the slipping of the best deal in the trade market in a matter of seconds when you attended your family’s call. You will in such a rage when the reason for the call might be the breaking of crockery and you have to patiently listen to their explanation of the event that led to it. You have to show the same seriousness to it with which you read the instructions before starting your trade on a new online robot.


The undesirable break in these activities may force to limit your recreational activity to a magazine scanning or a power nap. My choice is far more creative than this. A quick craft will be easy to finish off before the little mischief appears from nowhere.