Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Doll House Makeover ~ Part 2 (DIY)

Welcome to Part 2 of the plastic dollhouse makeover! This is the second of three posts about fixing up a plastic dollhouse for Calico Critter toys.  An internet search will bring up dozens of wooden dollhouse makeovers, but these posts are especially for plastic houses that need a little extra TLC before dolls or critters can move in.

In Part 1, I went over:
-cleaning your house
-rugs and carpeting

Today we'll talk about:
-adding painted details
-wall decorations
-family portraits

Adding Painted Details

Painting plastic is not easy, but I have a secret that works really, really well: nail polish. If you need to add color to a small space, this is your tool of choice.  Calico Critter toys are special because of their amazing details.  You can easily add a few to your house with different nail polish colors.  Before painting, gently sand the surface with a nail file to add texture.  Use silver or gold polish to coat faucets, door knobs, drawer pulls, and the handles and knobs of appliances.
Plastic pieces are generally injection molded as one giant block (like the bathroom portion of this house) because it is an inexpensive way to produce toys.  By adding the small details, you can visually break up the space.

My Fisher Price house was manufactured with a raised, unpainted vine design on the outside.

It looked cheap and unfinished to me, so I used a collection of different nail polishes to carefully paint the vine and other details.  The weird colors, like green and beige are from the dollar store.  You may need several coats, but the polish will definitely stick.

Wall Decor

I recommend decorating your walls before putting the house back together.

My plan was to play with contact paper as wall paper, but my house has too many windows to deal with.  Instead, I added borders in each room with washi tape.

Washi tape is my new favorite craft supply.  It comes on a roll like regular tape and features tiny patterns.  You can score a roll of washi tape for yourself from craft stores or in online shops like Etsy.

The scrap booking section of the craft store is home to all kinds of great stickers to embellish your tiny walls with.  Hunt for items that complement your little house's colors and style.

Look for miniature sticker versions of:
-small framed photos or art
-clock faces
-creeping vines and plants

I found this adorable chalkboard sticker in a set of teacher themed scrap booking supplies.  It is a fun addition to the Critter kid bedroom for playing school.

Family Portraits

Not every dollhouse needs a new set of family portraits, but this one did.  Molded on the bedroom wall are three plastic oval frames.  Because they're part of the wall, I had to do something with them.  If your house has frames like this, here's how to fit them with new photos:
Using a sheet of plain white paper, make a stencil.  Place the paper over the frame and use an ink pen or mechanical pencil to lightly trace around the inside of the frame.  Do this until you have a faint outline of frame pressed into the paper.  Carefully cut out the shape and check to see it fits nicely in the frame. You may have to try this several times.  When you have a good shape, use it as a stencil to cut out photos for the frames.  Because this is a Calico Critter house, I cut photos from the booklet that came with a furniture set.  If you don't have a booklet, print photos from online to use.
Place a dab of E-6000 glue in the frame and then your photo.  Smooth out any bubbles and press the image gently, making sure the edges are sealed inside the frame.
Next week's post (the last of three):

1 comment:

  1. i have this exact same little people house. perhaps you have just inspired me to give it a face lift :) Calico Critters, Doc McStuffins and Strawberry Shortcake could all enjoy a new house :)