Sunday, August 28, 2011

Decorating a Dolls' House

Even in the age of Nintendo DSs and iPads, a dolls house is still a magical present for a child, and although custom-built dolls houses can be very expensive, it is quite easy to buy a cheaper or second hand one and make it your own. Decorating a dolls house is a fun activity for parents and children alike, and the best part is you can be as creative as you please. You don’t have to spend a fortune, either!

Here are some tips and ideas for decorating your dolls house. You’ll need the following:

· Fabric offcuts
· Old magazines
· Glue
· Scissors and/or craft knife (keep away from little fingers!)
· An old tablecloth (or similar) to cover the surface you’re working on
· Any little bits and pieces you find, really!

Firstly, and unless it’s brand new, give your dolls’ house a good clean out. Dust and grime can stop wallpaper and carpets sticking properly. Once this is done, you’re ready to begin...

Wallpapering your dolls’ house

For wallpaper, you can buy offcuts of proper wallpaper from a DIY shop, cut patterns you like out of magazines, find a pattern or picture on the internet and print it out or even draw your own... there are so many different options. When you find a pattern you like, cut to fit and stick to the walls using a strong glue (be careful, this can get messy!!). Wait to dry, and voila, a beautifully wallpapered dolls’house!

Carpets and flooring

For carpets and flooring, again, you could use offcuts of actual carpet, but these can be quite thick. A nice alternative is to go down to your local fabric shop or craft shop and buy some scrap material. You can buy felt in dozens of different colours, which gives a nice warm feel, or why not be really sumptuous and go for velvet? You can also use leftover fabric to make curtains, rugs, even bedcovers for dolls.

If you don’t want carpet, again you have so much choice. You can even buy very thin wood veneer if you want an authentic look! Otherwise, you can buy mini-tiles and lay them (although this is fiddly and time consuming), or buy textured paper or card from a craft shop. Once again, cut to fit and stick down.

Accessories and finishing touches for your dolls’ house

Have a look round the house for bits and bobs. When I had my Sylvanian Families manor house, years ago, I mixed together all sorts of bits and pieces. I made armchair covers out of old hankies when the originals got worn. I filled tiny kitchen jars with seed beads and sequins to look like food. I drew tiny pictures and stuck them on the walls.

I even cut small photos out of magazines so that my Sylvanian Families and their assorted friends could be cool and have “posters” on their walls... (I’m not going to date myself by saying who they were of though!)

And for that finishing touch, visit your local craft supplier for pretty things to decorate your rooms and furniture, such as flowers, beads, mini-stickers, buttons, ribbons, even tiny plants and fences!

There’s really so much you can do, so if the kids are on holiday and it’s raining outside, why not spend the day decorating? The dolls will thank you for it, and your children will too, when they have a dolls’ house that’s the envy of all their friends. Just try and stop yourself from playing with it too much!

Author Bio: Tips from Sylvanian Heaven, who sell new and secondhand Sylvanian Families online, as well as custom-decorated Sylvanian Families homes.

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