By Starr Durrant
A friend of mine asked if I would be able to convert her old doll house into something that her son might enjoy. It had been a cherished childhood gift and it was evident that in its current state, it was not of any interest to her little boy. After some consideration, I decided to incorporate the families tradition of going to the cabin and embracing the outdoors so what better than a fishing lodge!
So here is what it looked like when I started and following that, descriptions that provide a brief overview of the hand-made elements I incorporated to create a rustic decor. I hope this gives you some new ideas and inspires you to repurpose your old doll house into something new!!
Wood Plank Flooring (see below)
The wood flooring was made using the wooden strips from a table place-mat. I took it apart and had the perfect size strips of wood to begin building a hardwood plank floor. These are very easy to cut to size with a good pair of scissors. I cut the pieces and made sure everything fit before gluing and was careful to stager them so it was more reflective of a natural wood floor. Once I had it all laid and was certain the pieces all fit well together – I glued them to the existing floor.
Bear Skin Rug (see above)
I used a piece of faux fur cut in the shape of a bear rug and glued it to a large piece of felt that was the same shape but slightly larger than the fur.
Miniature Wood Flooring
Made from wooden dollar store place mat that I deconstructed and cut at different lengths so the boards all had alternating seams and then stained it.
Fishing Rods (see below)
These are made from kabob sticks that have been cut to size and painted. I glued small mental washers that I found in my husband’s tool cabinet where he keeps tiny nuts, bolts, screws and so forth. On top of that I glued a small bead to make it look like the reel. Glue a thread or string from the tip of the rod to the reel and add at tape at the bottom for a handle and you’re ready to go fishing!
Wall Mounted Taxidermy (see above)
I don’t even know what animal this is but it was originally a full body plastic toy. I cut the head off, glued it to a cardboard cut out and then glued that to the wall.
Rock Fire Place (see below)
This is the lid of a box with a section cut out for the logs. I covered the box in plaster and added tiny rocks and the painted it with a protective clear coat. The logs are little sticks cut to size and glued in place.
Wall Mounted Fish (see above)
This fish was part of a Christmas ornament I bought at a flea market. For the mounting plaque, I glued two Popsicle sticks together and cut them to size and shape and then stained them. Finally I glued the fish to that and had a perfect wall mounted fish to hang above the fire.
Wood Bed Frame (see below)
This is the lid to a box with 4 twigs cut to size and glued to the corners for the bed posts/legs and covered in a piece of old plaid fabric.
Leather Couch and Coffee Table (see below)
This was the original couch that I stained and then glued on a piece of leather from an old purse. The coffee table use to be a regular table for the house but I cut down the legs and stained it to go with the couch.
The rest of the furniture is second-hand finds in keeping with my efforts to always reuse and recycle.
I do commission projects so if you would like a doll house redo and you’re in the Edmonton area – email me at email@example.com