Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Scrapbook Dollhouse Project--Creating a Craft Room In a Dollhouse

I painted and stamped the chimney--the front door before and after.
Once upon a time my dear husband built a dollhouse. It wasn't for me, or our little was for a show. He was the scenic designer, and a Victorian dollhouse was built, painted green and red, and made to look like it was burning down on stage in a scene from The Secret Garden.

After the show closed, nobody else wanted to keep the dollhouse and suggested he take it home to his daughter. She seemed quite happy with her Loving Family Dollhouse--it was really cute, and we were always getting more furniture and dolls for it at birthdays and Christmas. So...guess who played with the lovely Victorian dollhouse? Me, of course. I don't think I had ever lost my love of playing with dollhouses since my dad built my first one when I was little. Several years ago I had gone to a Christmas party at the home of a woman who was a college professor, and in her sixties, and low and behold at the back of her kitchen was a dollhouse decorated for Christmas time. She loved it! And she (along with the great Tasha Tudor) inspired me, and from then on, I decorated the Victorian dollhouse for all the holidays, and kept it on display somewhere in our house. And it was always fairly traditional kind of decorating along with a few things I made for it. Probably the person who is still most fascinated with it is my little nephew! He walked in my house the other day and immediately noticed it had moved--then I showed him it was on the sunporch where I was painting it. He approved my work!
I had to completely clear it out and tear down everything on the walls!
Over the last few years my love of scrapbooking, sewing, and art journaling had left the Victorian dollhouse to grow forgotten and dusty. Sad, right? And then I was staring at some decorative scrapbook paper one day when it hit me...why not completely tear up the dollhouse, paint with abandon, sew, glue, repurpose, and turn it into a living scrapbook/art journal piece? Paint my favorite colors...write on it...make it meaningful!

The answer was--there's no reason not to do something this cool. If I don't like what happens, I'll just paint and glue over it!
Almost done with the craft room!
So my project began, and I haven't looked back. I began by repainting the whole house in happy white, periwinkle and faves. I'm embroidering welcome mats, picking out scrapbook papers for the walls, choosing photos to display, and incorporating some heart, just like you would in your art journal. For example, a vintage spool of thread from my mother-in-law's sewing stash has become a vase in the craft room. There is a set of table and chairs, and a black wrought iron sofa and chair that once belonged to my childhood dollhouse along with two little keepsakes from my daughter's wonderful days in ballet. I'm stamping on favorite words and sayings in the most unusual places you would stamp things on a house, and I may even have some hidden journaling in the dollhouse--still creating that idea.
Making a room divider from cardboard

But first up was definitely the craft room. The original dollhouse never had a craft room--what was I thinking? First I took a piece of cardboard and decoupaged it into a room divider that looks kinda crafty. Then I picked coordinating scrapbook papers for the kitchen side and the craft room side. I put up some fun sayings over the windows on the middle floor too.

Craft room closeups

The main craft table was originally the kitchen table, and the vintage typewriter sitting there is a very heavy little pencil sharpener! The gold glittery dress form, and the two sparkly dresses hanging now on the divider were all Christmas ornaments. (I get all my Christmas ornaments by buying them on a big discount, or AFTER Christmas). Even the pink chandelier in the window of the craft room is an ornament! The little sewing machine was in the dollhouse before, and I bought it from the dollhouse aisle. I love it. And the little magazines were made by cutting out the tiny pictures of a magazine in its promotional mailer. Really, there is no end to what you can make for a dollhouse. I knitted the little heart-shaped rug--it was back when I was teaching myself to knit hearts, so it's wonky. But I like it there!

One day I was working on it, and my cat Minnie came crawling through a window! She kinda surprised me!

Next--I'll finish decorating the craft room wall, and then onto the kitchen! I don't have this all planned out. Again, it's like art journaling...looking at a blank page and creating what you're thinking, what's inspiring you that day, and what you want to look at!
A little message at the base of the dollhouse.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Play In Your Dollhouse


  1. Absolutely love this Sandy! So magical!

    1. Thank you for taking a look! I love sharing it, and need to do a new update.