Barbie Project

This whole story started last summer when we were visiting my parents in Hungary and I found my old Babrie dolls in the attic. I brought them down and let the kids play with them. First I thought my nieces will enjoy playing with the Barbies but as it turns out, my sons did, too!

A few months later I came across a picture on my phone: my son was playing with a Barbie back in summer and it reminded me how poorly those dolls were dressed because they only had the few dresses I made when I was about 7-8 years old! Can you imagine? Then the idea hit me: I should make a couple more dresses, so the kids will have more fun playing with the dolls.

So I borrowed a Barbie from a friend here in Germany and started manufacturing a few new outfits. My son nr. 1. also requested a wedding dress, so here are the ones I made:

Mostly I used left over socks from an other project and a few floral cotton prints I already owned.

For the wedding dress I used the left over from my own wedding gown! I only had about 20-30cm of the lace (which was from Italy!) and a little more from the silk. It’s been waiting for who knows what in a bag for over ten years.

But the story is not over just yet because I also made a complete Barbie Doll House! To be honest I am sorting out our basement and I had an old suit case which we did not need anymore but was too nice to just trow out. I wanted to tune it into something useful and with the help of Pinterest, it has become a doll house.

The Barbies are at my parents’ house, so will be this doll house. This is why it needed to be one which can also be closed up and put away because it’ll be only used when the grandchildren are there to visit. After weeks of consideration I came up with an idea how to solve this problem: I added wooden bars and L-shaped metal “hooks” (or whatever they are called in Engish…)  to hold the floors (by screwing them into the side panels of the suit case).

I also changed the inside linens on the sides because they were in a very bad shape…

Then with the help of my son nr. 1. we made the floors:

Let me tell you that for this project I used my hot glue gun a LOT! I added windows, curtains, a lamp and picture frames to the walls by gluing them.

The kitchen furniture were made of an old tide pod box and some blue adhesive. The counter top is a piece of pvc flooring, the sink is a bottom of a yogurt cup. The pictures on the wall were drawn by my son nr. 1. so at least one of them had to be a space ship…

For the big sofa I used card board, duckt tape, foam and covered it with real upholstery fabric (left over from my husband’s laptop bag). The smaller sofa was cut out from a laundry detergent bottle. I just sanded the edges, added a cushion and a the legs are dowels.

The bed is from card board again, but I added a shiny fabric to the head board and plastic spools became the legs! You can actually open the top of the  chest of wardrobe and store the Barbie clothes in it.

The rugs were given me by a friend who works in furniture reupholstering and these were some samples in the store. I think I found them a great afterlife, don’t you agree?

For the table I used popsicle sticks and once again: card board!

And when the kids are finished playing, they can just pack up the whole thing and close the suit case! I designed even the floors, so they’d fit in the suit case.

The nice thing about this project is, that I didn’t spend more then 2-3€ on it (I needed to buy some screws and glue) because everything I used, we already had it at home! I needed a lot of glue for my hot glue gun and time! I can’t wait to see what my nieces will think of the Barbie house!

I’ll be back with a new post after Easter, until then: have a happy Easter!

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5 card board project for the kids

This summer we had some pretty long vacation time first in France then in Hungary. We came back to Aachen about a week ago and finally things start to get back to normal which also means that I will (at least try to) write posts regularly again.

First I would like to start with a collection of paper projects. The reason for this is that we tend to order more and more stuff online which brings us to a new problem: we have tons of boxes all the time. Mostly good quality card board boxes and I hate to throw them away although recycling in Germany is quiet good, I sometimes still try to find a second use for those boxes.

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1. Once I simply drew a map on the box for my son. But it wasn’t just any map, it was the house and garden of his grandparents! All the rooms in the house were there, the garage in the garden etc. Then we grabbed a couple of Duplo figures and started to play like we were visiting Grandpa and Grandma. My son even “went for a bike ride” with his Grandpa on the board. Then we switched to the other side of the board and the other side of the family: drew a map of the other Grandparents’ house, as well.

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I think if we played the same game with his favorite places, it will be also a big hit.

2. The other project was a doll house.

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I didn’t make it very girly, since I have a son but it still has a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom. And of course a garage.

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This house is called “Uncle Kalman’s house”. We named it after Kalman Kittenberger because my husband is related to him: he was a famous traveller and biologist in the early 1900s. He went to Africa six times and collected animals for Hungary’s zoo. We have a Duplo figure that we named Uncle Kalman and we sometimes play that he is travelling to Africa and catches elephants and other animals. My husband even tells family stories about “Uncle Kalman”, and my son once asked if  he was a real person. I think this is the way how to teach history at an early age.

IMGP91873. The third project would be a fire truck, unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of it. So you just have to believe me: we painted a large box red together, made wheels, lights and other important features. My son only played with it for a couple of weeks but it made him very happy.

4. The latest project was a Foosball table. To tell the truth, my son is not appreciating it as much as I hoped he would. My guess is that he doesn’t understand the concept just yet but he still tries to play sometimes with us.

DSC_0047For this project you can find a great tutorial on this site. I made a couple of details differently, as you can see and I only spent about 4€ on the wooden sticks and wrapping paper.

DSC_00505. The last project is actually four in one but it is not made of card board box. Around May there was a big sale on calendars in the local book stores and I found a great one. Of course we already had a wall calendar and we didn’t need an other one, so I cut this one up: The pictured part was used as a book. It’s kind of a “Wimmelbuch”. In German it means books like “Find Waldo”: tons of detailed picture on one single page. I didn’t even give this book to my son right away, instead I put it aside for when we are travelling by car.

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I cut down the actual calender part: we used the back side as twelve piece of beautiful drawing paper.
The big front page was put on my son’s wall above his little desk. Very nice room-deco for almost free.
The forth use of this calendar was the card board back. I cut out and created two shield for my little knight.

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