Thursday, April 9, 2015

bookshelf dollhouse (aka, random procrastination project).

What to do when you're procrastinating on all the projects you've started and left partially finished inside AND outside of your house? How about start a totally random and unnecessary project?

Okay. Here you go:

I'm not totally ignoring my other projects. We made significant headway on two backyard tasks this weekend - the slide mound:

And the music wall:

The bad news is that we didn't have the time (or...the willpower) to finish either one. The slide mound still needs some steps in the back (hoping to easily cut them from old 2"x4"s from our wood pile) and a couple bags of mulch to hold it together, and the music wall needs a few more items nailed in (namely, the xylophone pieces, which I can't figure out how to dismantle). So they, like every other project in this house right now - the crawl space, the basement reorganization, the playroom, the Instagram display in the stairwell - are three-quarters of the way finished.

Sounds like a great time to cook up a new project, yeah?

Despite its unfinished state, Rowan's been loving the playroom. I haven't gotten around to organizing her toys on the new bookshelves, but I did shove a bunch of her stuff on random shelves, mostly to get it off the floor.

And it turns out that her new favorite place to play in this room is on the second shelf from the bottom of each bookshelf. She's constantly taking little cars, trucks, and people figures and zooming them around those two surfaces. They're the perfect height for her to play on.

I was showing my sister the playroom updates earlier this week and explaining how Rowan loves those two shelves when I trailed off mid-sentence, staring. Totally random flash of inspiration: What if I turned a shelf into a little dollhouse? I bet Rowan would have so much fun with that!

That night, I hunted around Pinterest for dollhouse ideas and did my best not to get sidetracked by elaborate DIY mini-mansions with working electrical circuits. Rowan's only one and a half, after all. She doesn't need a super-fancy setup at this point. In fact, she has a perfectly fine Fisher-Price dollhouse (you can see it in the picture above - bottom shelf on the right)...but I still thought it would be cool to make her a custom one.



I went to Michael's last night (with J.J....during our date night...so romantic for him) and picked out some cheap "wallpaper" for the house. Today during Rowan's nap (and while she was at Gramma's in the late afternoon), I measured and cut out a few pieces of cardboard and slotted them together, creating four "rooms"...

(You can see I added an extra piece of cardboard on each side for support.)
...and then labeled the pieces with room names (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, outside), and removed them so I could put up wallpaper and lay carpeting (with double-sided tape).

Then I cut out some doors and used a whole mess of regular tape to reinforce everything (probably should've used glue, but I hate glue and didn't have non-wood-glue handy). I added "wallpaper" directly to the insides of the bookshelf where there wasn't any cardboard, and "carpeting" for the two bottom rooms directly to the top part of that bottom shelf, again using double-sided tape.

And that was that! Instant bookshelf dollhouse!

In this case, of course, "instant" means during date night, during naptime, during a playdate at Gramma's, and during a tornado warning when I probably should have been in the basement. Still, it only took a couple hours total, and I think she's going to dig it.

I added what little dollhouse furniture and figures we have, with the plan to purchase an inexpensive set that I found online - catch being that you have to assemble it yourself. But for ten bucks, it should be worth it. After all, we need some dressers and toilets up in here.

Bedroom on top, kitchen on bottom
Bathroom on top, backyard on bottom (with GRASS-DESIGN PAPER!)
And then I added some LED tealights for funsies. Yeah, no,
I'm wondering when I turned into this person, too.

Maybe the dollhouse will distract people from the rest of the playroom that I'm ignoring - the weird gap between the tops of the bookshelves and the ceiling, the fact that the gray I chose for the walls is so light it sometimes looks white, the blank walls where I've been too lazy to re-hang art, the empty shelves (or shelves crammed with random toys)...WHO CARES COME TURN ON THE PRETEND FIRE IN THE DOLLHOUSE BACKYARD! WEEEEEE!!

Ahem. Probably working on the boring basement this weekend, with all the new spiders that I'm sure have hatched since the weather started warming up. Or maybe I'll just build dollhouse furniture and ignore everything else, including life-threatening weather warnings. #priorities

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