Friday, August 5, 2016

Barbie Just Moved Into the Neighborhood

One of my favorite Christmases when our children were young was the year that my husband and our two oldest sons built the girls a Barbie house. This was in the days before cell phones and selfies, so the pictures I have of it are not even worth posting. But believe me when I say that it was a masterpiece. So it was hard not to get excited when  Delys suggested that we build one for her daughters.

I had saved my original plans (which I adapted from a house that my sister built for her girls several years earlier--thanks, Al!). I thought about posting them, but there are a lot of plans out there already, so I am going to focus more on the building details and decorations that might be a bit unique.

One of the joys of the project was pulling the whole family in. My kind son-in-law helped me assemble the frame work, and others helped with sanding, painting, and decorating:

The original plans called for only one attic room which had a door opening out to a rooftop patio. But Delys wanted more indoor living space, so our house has three full stories:

(It was challenging to get a good picture of the entire house because of where it is in her bedroom.)
Rather than try to cover everything at once, I will take a room at a time. So today, a few outside details and half of the attic. . .

The house has a pitched roof. Eventually, I plan to shingle it, but for now, it is painted white like the rest of the house. I also thought it would be fun to add a chimney and/or dormer windows someday.

I could have simply painted the front, raw edges, but I chose to trim them out with fluted wooden molding that I cut to length with my drop saw. It also hides the rough edges of the carpet and flooring, giving the house a more finished look. It's available at both craft and hardware stores. I applied wood glue, and then, using a tiny bit, drilled pilot holes through the molding into the front edges and then nailed it in place with finishing nails.

The house is made of plywood, so it is HEAVY. We added handles to each side to make it easier to pick up and move--something we don't plan to do often:

The attic rooms are the "children's" rooms. I connected the two rooms with an arched doorway that I cut into the wall with a jigsaw before I put it into the house. Both rooms are carpeted with a remnant from the carpet we have in our home. (I hope we don't have to pull it out to patch up a disaster.) I attached it to the plywood flooring with finishing nails. We used acrylic craft paint for the walls.

The room on the left is the "teenager's" room:

To maximize sleeping space, I made a bunk bed and trundle. I would share plans, but I don't really have any; I sort of made it up as I went, which is clearly evident if you examine it closely enough. I did look at this site which has the inspiration for the bed as well as darling plans for a house and more furniture: I made the trundle from a shallow wooden box, making sure that the bottom bunk was far enough off the ground to leave space for both the trundle and the bedding. Just for fun, I made all the bedding reversible:

The little rocker is a thrift store find, and the armoire was an unfinished piece I found on clearance at Michaels. The dresser is made from two drawers that I pulled out of a five-drawer dresser that was too large for the space. I simply glued them together and painted them white. (The other drawers will show up in the bathroom downstairs.) A blue wooden tray sits on top of the dresser. and a small, counted cross stitch sampler hangs above it. I used removable velcro hanging strips to attach everythng that hangs on the walls so that we can move items around without leaving holes in the walls.

So, Skipper, come on over!

No comments :

Post a Comment