Friday, December 18, 2009

Recycle Accomodation

Can you resist an empty shoe box? I can't. Throwing them away always seems such a waste. They're so sturdily made and useful for all sorts of things and I tend to stash them until I can think of another use for them. If I forget to label them it can be exciting to lift a lid to find what I'd forgotten I'd put in there. This one didn't get a chance to be stashed, I decided to turn it into a doll's bed-sit. Firstly I hinged the lid to the box with paper and glue, so it wouldn't get lost, then I covered the box with wrapping paper both inside and out. A pretty picture and some lace made the window and curtains and a cut-out of a fire and some icecream sticks made the fireplace. I used a scrap on wool fabric for the carpet beneath the bed.
For the furniture I made a real pest of myself and badgered all my friends for their empty match boxes, collecting 23 in all. The dressing table took seven match boxes and the couch 8. The armchairs took 4 matchboxes each. I stacked and glued the dressing table, reinforcing it with scraps of saved cardboard from cereal boxes etc. , covered it with white copy paper and used paper split-pins for the drawer handles. It's important to take the drawers of the boxes out before you start glueing, then put them back when the glue is dry. I didn't use a proper mirror but found some shiny silver card in some saved packaging.
The bed is from heavy card from packing cartons with the mattress base a flat box (more packaging waste) I covered it all with white copy paper. The mattress and pillow and bedding are scraps from my sewing offcuts.
I stuffed the couch and chair matchboxes with newspaper to give them some weight then wrapped them in white paper, firmly glued, before covering them with some cotton dress fabric - with stuffing in the appropriate places. I wrapped the boxes in the fabric like little parcels and glued the closures then glued all the boxes in place to make the furniture. I reinforced the base of each piece of furniture with some white card. For the seat of the couch I glued three boxes together side by side before covering them with the stuffing and fabric. The back of the couch was made the same way.
The family of dolls is made from corset laces stuffed with pipecleaners. Yes, corset laces (I had some in my stash) but you can use shoelaces. The hair is embroidery floss and the clothing T-shirt fabric (because it doesn't fray easily). The dolls heads are tiny circles on T-shirt fabric, filled with a little stuffing and gathered into a ball then stitched onto the bodies.
It was fun to make and it all packs back into the box to be put away when not in use.
Well I'm off now to take Pepper for a walk. We are getting so fit, Pepper and I and sometimes the man of the house comes too. Bye for now until next time.


  1. Wow, you must be so pleased with how well it turned out. It is fantastic. I love all the details like the mirror in the dresser and the pictures in frames on the wall. Who is Pepper? Your dog? I have a 2 year old called Pepper!

  2. I'm pleased with it because it recycled stuff I had in the house. Yes Pepper is a little grey poodle we're babysitting for our daughter while she and her family are away.

  3. This is beyond clever. Wow! You really outdid yourself. It looks like a little doll house you could buy at a shop. The mirror is especially sweet. xo m.

  4. Wish I lived near you! I had a bit of a shoe box crisis, used up my hoard. What an amazing doll house! I love it, especially all the little details! It reminds me of when I was little, mum made me a doll apartment on two shelves of my cupboard, for Christmas one year! With little curtains and views, carpet, lino the works. I was so thrilled when I opened my cupboard on Christmas day!! What lucky person is going to get the house?

  5. Meagan what's so beaut is that I was only using up stored waste. Very satisfying.

    Louise what an imaginative Mum you had. I would have loved that cupboard. The things my Mum made for me were always treasured.
    I'm hanging on to my little shoe box for visiting children.

  6. So much detail Elsie! Its everything a little girl dreams of in her doll house(and perhaps older ones)

  7. Well well Else, you are brilliant. That looks so real. What do you think you will do with it.You just amaze me. I dont think I would be surprised if ever I saw a photo of you walking down the street leading an elephant by a piece of string lol, that sounds familiar

  8. Melanie - second childhood? or still on the first. Not sure.

    Donz, just as well elephants are in short supply locally as they are among my favourite animals.

  9. Hi Sis, I can remember you making me a dolls house the exact same way when I was about four or five. I thought you were darned clever back then and I still do. I made one for Tracey when she was little but not with all the detail you go to. I did it because of the one you made me.
    My favourite animal is the 'Majestic Tiger' but if you remember when you were last in QLD. I adopted a baby Urangutan named 'Ugo Blanco' and when he is released I will adopt another one. It's only $55 per year to help save an endangered species.
    It's my coffee break time but no cake for me, still trying to shed kilo's Hmmm.

  10. I'd forgotten that little house, Thel. The great apes are my favourites too if I'm allowed to have more than one. I'm so glad you have adopted Ugo Blanco.
    Good luck with those kilos, I'm still trying to get rid of the Christmas damage. (we're such little piggies at Christmas) Lol.