Saturday, December 27, 2014

Barbie Dollhouse DIY

For the past few months, Tim and I have been working hard on a secret Christmas project for Peyton.

She had been asking for a dollhouse for her Barbies.  Of course, we could have just gone out and bought the Barbie Dreamhouse right off the Target shelf, but where's the fun in that, right!?  And honestly,  I just don't love big plastic pink toys.  Plus months and months ago, I saw this dollhouse at Handmade Home and was totally inspired to do something similar for Peyton one day.  So back in October, when I spied this bookcase/dollhouse at Goodwill, I snatched it up with the intention of giving it a huge Barbie dollhouse makeover just in time for Christmas.

I cannot even tell you the amount of hours and money we put into this thing.  Tim gets so much credit for putting up with me throughout this dollhouse renovation. Basically, he was the carpenter and I was the interior designer.  I made lists of all the projects I needed him to do and in his free time, he worked so hard to get them all done.  (And then I would add more to his list!)  And this isn't so much his thing, but he did it for me and for Peyton.  I am so thrilled with the final product.  And best of all, Peyton loves it too.  She is the type that notices and appreciates pretty design and fun decor, which makes it extra fun for me to do something like this for her. 

So if you're interested, I'm going to take you on a little tour.  If you're not into dollhouse renovations, you may just want to skip this post.  

We'll start with the roof.  Tim cut all these little pieces of wood and attached them for me.  Then I stained them.  It gives the dollhouse a fun cottage feel.

Next up, the bathroom.

I modge podged the walls and the floors with scrapbook paper and then Tim added the beadboard (left over from our mudroom project) to the walls.  I found the bathtub on Ebay.

The bathroom mirror was a tiny picture frame and I glued a mirror on the back (which is hard to tell in this photo because it's reflecting the wallpaper).  The towel holder is a ring pull.  The vanity was a tiny drawer that I cut and glued wood slabs on to make it look like a cabinet.   It was both fun and challenging to figure out creative ways to make dollhouse furniture and accessories throughout this project. 

The girl's room.
I modge podged scrapbook paper on the ceiling and painted gold dots on the floor.  I found the dresser, small chest, and the wood pieces (to make the bunk beds) all at Michaels. 

The chandelier is a Christmas tree ornament. 

 I sewed the bedding, pillows, and curtains all from a shirt that Peyton owned but didn't like to wear.

The kitchen:

The light fixture is a drawer knob/pull.  I found the "subway tile" in the dollhouse section at Hobby Lobby. It was actually a plastic sheet of red brick, but I painted it to look like subway tile.  Tim made the cabinets, countertops, and refrigerator from blocks of wood, which we then painted, stained and embellished.  The "faucet" is just a hook that I painted gold.

The chandelier is another Christmas tree ornament that I painted.  Tim made the farmhouse table and bench.  And I found the small chalkboard at Hobby Lobby.  The floor is modge podged scrapbook paper and the rug is a piece of burlap (found in scrapbook paper section of Michaels).  I sewed the curtains from scrap fabric. 

Living Room:

It's hard to find Barbie size furniture that's not pink and plastic, but I found these wicker chairs (as well as the wicker furniture in the girl's room) off of Ebay.  Most everything else is just wood scraps that I glued together in order to make the fireplace, mirror, and wood sign.

The chandelier was something I found on clearance in the wedding decoration aisle at Michaels and I decided I could make it look like a fun chandelier.  

I designed the washer/dryer/shelves and Tim made them with wood scraps.  I made the mop with a paintbrush and yarn.  And I painted to floors a checkerboard pattern.

And finally, the master bedroom...

Again, the chandelier is a Christmas ornament.  I made the headboard with wood scraps. I sewed the bedding and made the pillows.  

The chest of drawers was a drawer from a small jewelry chest.  I just turned it on it's side and glued wood pieces on to make "drawers" and painted it.  The sign is a small print by Katie Daisy that we already owned.  I just made the frame to go around it. And I used a scrapbook paper with a stenciled pattern to paint the fun pattern on the floor.

This project was really a lot of fun for me.  I don't think Tim enjoyed it quite as much!  But we both love seeing Peyton enjoy it and play with it.  And maybe one day, our grandkids will play with it too!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Home Tour

Happy Saturday!!  Here we are with Christmas just under two weeks away and I can hardly believe it.  It seems like we just went trick or treating with the kids.  Thankfully this Christmas season has not been too terribly stressful when it came to present shopping and just the general busyness of the season.  We knocked out almost all of our Christmas shopping on Black Friday while sitting at home in our pjs, drinking coffee, and hunting down the online deals; which was great.  And this year, I just haven't attempted to fill our schedule with too many things.  We've made gingerbread houses and watched a few Christmas movie favorites. I still want to fit in making cookies with the kids and one night we will all hop in the van, make a stop at Chickfila for peppermint shakes, and drive around and look at Christmas lights, but I don't want to stress out about doing too much.  I want to enjoy the anticipation that comes with this time of year.  I want to be present and aware.  I don't want to be so busy doing that I miss the being.

My favorite thing right now is to get up early in the morning, when it is still dark outside and while the kids are still nestled snuggly in their beds and dreaming of sugarplums, sneak past the kids' bedrooms, plug in the Christmas tree lights and the lights on my mantle, make a cup of coffee and sit with Jesus.  This is where I find peace and hope for my day.  This is when I hear Him whisper to me.

Some months ago, I had gotten out of the habit of getting up early and spending quiet mornings alone with Him. I was getting up right before I had to get the kids up for school. Then after sending them off to school, I would attempt to sit down with my coffee and Jesus, but Hudson was not usually very cooperative during this time and needed my time and attention. I would end up getting frustrated with him for interrupting me. And so it just wasn't the same.  There is grace for mommas in all seasons and I've been in seasons when time alone with Jesus just wasn't happening.  That is okay and there is no rule about having quiet times.  But my heart misses Him when I don't get that alone time with Him.  So then a week or so ago, I told the Lord if He would wake me up early, I would get up and spend the quiet mornings with Him.  And you know what?  He did.  Day after day, He's been waking me up and I love it.  There is something special to me about this time of year and spending the mornings with Him.  I can't explain it.  At night, when I go to bed, I look forward to the next morning. And I even started setting my alarm because I really don't want to miss it.  But He's still been waking me up just before my alarm goes off.  

While I'm here writing and you're here reading, I thought I would give you a little Christmas home tour.  This year, I really wanted to keep the Christmas decorations simple.  I didn't want a lot of red and green decorations sitting around, cluttering up every nook and cranny of my home. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but for me, simple is peaceful; and less is calming.  Too much stuff overwhelming my home gives me anxiety and then I just start going through the house throwing things in the trash.  Seriously.

A few months ago, I read a quote by Nate Berkus that has stuck with me.  He said, "... my goal is to create a feeling for our homes, not a theme."  And that is exactly what I want in my home.  When you walk into my home, I want you to feel warm and cozy.  I want it to feel Christmasy, but not look overly decorated or styled for Christmas.  For me, neutrals, natural elements, candles, and cozy textures make it feel warm, cozy and Christmasy without screaming "Christmas", so that is what I used this year.

 I am hoping that after Christmas, when we toss the trees in the trash, most of the decor will still be versatile enough to just stay up through the winter.  

The pom pom garland is from Anthropologie.  I've seen it all over my Instagram feed and just love the thick, nubby texture of it.  The pom poms remind me of snowballs, but still have a cozy, warm feel to them.  

A simple boxwood wreath from Trader Joes filled a blank spot on my wall.

I'm sure I've mentioned by now how much I love Joanna Gaines and the HGTV show, Fixer Upper that she does with her husband, Chip.  Well, she also has a shop online called Magnolia Market and it is filled with such fun, unique things.  I found these bells in her shop, as well as that cotton wreath.

And a sweet friend, who knows me well, surprised me with a winter candle from her shop.  It makes my house smell so Christmasy. 

Last year, we put our Christmas tree downstairs next to the fireplace instead of upstairs on the main level.  But I really missed smelling the tree during the day and seeing the tree all lit up in the evenings (since we don't hang out much downstairs). So this year, I decided I really wanted a tree upstairs to enjoy.  We had to rearrange a few things to make it work, but I think it was worth it. I kept the decorations very simple.... white lights, burlap ribbon, and a finger crocheted yarn.  Tim got me this leather pouf last month when he went to Morocco. 

Another thoughtful friend saw this woodsy ornament and said it reminded her of me.  It is the only ornament that made it on this tree because it is perfect and I love it.

And I plopped a bird's nest with a wooden owl at the top of the tree in lieu of a star.

The kids got to decorate the downstairs tree as wild and crazy as they wanted. They used colorful lights and every single ornament we own. I didn't even go back and spread the ornaments out evenly among the branches after they were finished.  I just let it be... perfectly imperfect!  This is progress for me! 

Have a wonderful weekend!