All posts by sarah

How to decorate your cardboard dolls house

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Once you have made a basic dolls house from a cardboard box it is time to get creative. I got my toddler involved in the first one below, just painting the background white. We then printed off some wallpapers and floors for a couple of the rooms from Jennifer’s Printables, an extensive source of dolls house stuff.

Cardboard dolls house hintyprint.com

Cardboard dolls house hintyprint.com

 

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It was all looking great until my husband stuck Pedro the Pony on my Voysey wallpaper.

Download your own free wallpaper from hintyprint
Hintyprint wallpapers

You can now download some exclusive hintyprint wallpaper pdfs from our printables and patterns page.

We have three different designs on offer, a gorgeous Voysey wallpaper from the 1920s – The House that Jack Built, reproduced with kind permission from Trustworth Studios. We have made their full-sized version mini just so it will be cardboard dolls house scale. Be sure to visit their site and check out all the other Arts and Crafts items they have for sale.

Then we have bricks for an exposed brick wall look and mixed tiles for a bathroom or a floor.

Here is a little taster of some decorating inspiration to come in a future post. Literally straight from the pages of Country Life magazine.

Magazine dolls house

 

How to make a cardboard dolls house

IMG_20140406_0001Fig.2 How to make a cardboard dolls house

Printable PDF diagram

Here is a diagram which shows how to make a bog standard cardboard dolls house with four rooms and a slightly interesting roof. The most fun you can have with a cardboard box, in my opinion. The stronger the cardboard the better but you will usually find that your horizontal floor needs an extra cardboard floor adding for strength and to stop it sagging. No glue required. No paper fasteners required (though I am trying to find a way to work them in) just slots cut in the walls and the partitions so they fit together.

Check out the printables and patterns section for some free dolls house scale wallpaper to decorate your cardboard house or keep an eye out for future blogs posts with more decorating ideas.

 

Make a quick cardboard ship

Cruise ship? Pirate ship? Cargo ship? Cardboard ship. If you have everything to hand this is a quick 15min cardboard project for hours of toddler fun.

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You will need:

A cardboard box
A sharpie
Scissors or a stanley knife
Brass paper fasteners

This project centres around my new craft wonder accessory the brass paper fastener. I am trying to use them in everything I do.

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1. Cut the flaps off the top of the box and keep them to make the anchor.

2. Cut circles in either side of the box for port holes. These then become your steering wheel.

3. Draw a wheel on the circles (does it have a technical name? I can’t think) and then fix it to the front of the box using a brass paper fastener

4. Draw an anchor on a chain and fix it to the side of the box using a brass paper fastener.

5. Draw waves on the bottom of the box.

5. Put a small chair in the box for the toddler captain.

 

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You can also make a telescope from the leftover cardboard.

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Set sail.

Stitched BBC Micro logo

Venn diagramThis is a diagram to illustrate the categories that most of my friends fit into and when I cross stitched the BBC micro computer logo I found what should go in the centre. It was the most liked thing I have ever put on facebook.

It was the also the first thing I ever cross stitched. To me it had always been intended as a cross stitch pattern. I haven’t been able to find anything else since that matches this and I doubt I ever will.

BBC micro cross stitch owl

I turned it into a keyring and gave it to a friend. She fits into the craft circle of the above diagram.

BBC micro cross stitch owl

(My husband will either be proud or mortified at my venn diagram. I have no idea which way it will go.)

 

Bedside table to play kitchen

kitchen detail

There are some great play kitchens out there, particularly the Brio one but after discussing present ideas with a friend we decided that it should be pretty easy to make one from an old bedside table.

First you have to find a bedside table. Luckily I have a second hand furniture shop round the corner so this was mine for £5.

 

Play kitchen before

Then all that was needed was a nice coat of paint and some knobs. We decided that it would be great to double up as a blackboard so we used blackboard paint for the oven front and the hob top. My friend painted the whole of the back of hers with blackboard paint so she can just turn it round for a larger blackboard.

Kitchen whole view

We keep some utensils in the drawer and a basket of shopping in the oven and some nice wooden bottles and play biscuits in the shelf. The bottles are from Plan Toys as is the saucepan on top. The wooden tea party biscuits are brilliant, especially the wooden party ring. We got them from the Southbank Centre shop

Kitchen inside

 

It is played with quite well although like everything it does go in and out of favour. It is currently in favour as a shop with a toy till on the top. Everything you see here is currently £5, slightly steep for a party ring, even a wooden one.

Our first dolls house

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Back in the day, before we discovered the joy of dolls house structural engineering with cardboard boxes, I was desperate to find something new to do with a cardboard box, and a toddler who had been inside for too long.

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Out came the sharpies and a knife to make a little house. It’s pretty good for a younger toddler, at this stage mine was obsessed with putting things in things so on several occasions ALL the toys disappeared in this box.

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It’s very quick to make. If you are not 100% confident with your drawing skills (and I am not) have a browse online at some basic illustration. It’s sometimes just good to get a bit of inspiration to start you off. Basic sharpie line drawings can also double up as colouring templates for kids so they can help to decorate the house.

 

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And always build a cat flap. It’s amazing how occupied a 2-year-old stays with a cat flap, or a corgi flap in this instance.