When I was gathering all my little inspiration pieces for my Quilt Market Booth, I knew I wanted to find and fix up a wooden doll house and wallpaper it with my designs. I had a really strict budget, so I looked at everything from Craigslist to discounted amazon deals. I just couldn't really seem to find the right one! And weeks went by, and my weekly peek into thrift stores and my local classifieds produced nothing. And then...I found it. Forty bucks landed me this old (HUGE!) wooden dollhouse, furniture and an entire bucket of barbies.
There was A LOT of work to put into it, but that was just what I wanted: A fixer-upper. There were plexi glass windows to pop out (they were cracked, chipped and painted), trim to paint, floors to scrape and polish, and a good 3 coats of paint on the outside to hide all the dings and poor paint jobs over the years. And that still hasn't made it spic-and-span. There are more touch-ups to do, but we finished it enough for Quilt Market. Horray!
Little did I realize that it would take 4 people on and off for 2 weeks to make this turn into the Doll House of our dreams.
Because the Children at Play collection nearly didn't arrive in time for market, I decided to design my entire booth with paper. Oh, those were scary days! A fabric-less booth for a fabric show? It was time to get creative. And wallpapering a vintage dollhouse seemed to be one of my ways out of the mess I was in.
Thankfully, the fabric arrived at my doorstep a week early, but the dollhouse was still a head turner!
At the last minute, because there are so many rooms, and I wanted to show off the wallpaper job that Lindsey spent hours doing (we literally cut strips and glued into place each print...and most rooms boast crooked corners and frames!) we decided to light it up inside. My Grandmother has the most fantastic dollhouse, and it's lit up, which makes all the difference in the world.
But we didn't have ceiling space to spare, so we found these IKEA L.E.D lights that are flat and have a long cord with a switcher attached. Ba-Bing!
This dollhouse was rather well loved when we got it, and there are some parts of it that we just won't ever really be able to fix, but that's the charm!
This is my favorite room of the house. The study. I seriously wish I could have that as wallpaper in my own house! Meadow in Green is one of my favorite prints. And making this dollhouse with the Children at Play designs on paper was so much fun! I spent hours matching the colors to the fabric, but it was all worth it! And as you can see...don't look too closely...this house was in such bad shape, it's going to take a few more weeks to get it proper for close-up photos! Part of me wants to keep is just as is to always remember the crazy sleepless nights in the weeks before market. Like a token, you know?
There were some parts of the house that were un-salvageable. Like the wool fabric that was glued to the gorgeous hard wood floors? We Old-Englished some of them, but the main rooms were completely defeated. Thank goodness for discarded carpet samples that happened to be edged in the exact size of the house!
There is still decorating to do...curtains to add...picture frames to put up....and paint to touch up. But I don't even have curtains up in my own house yet! Or picture frames for that matter! (They say it takes a good year or so to really move into a house, right?)
So thank goodness for colorful, lit up dollhouses that 3 children can play in at the same time. We're having thunderstorms and rain all week, and this dollhouse is getting just the attention it needs!