So, the tool came that we needed a while back. But finding the time to start the project has been a bit hard. We had all of the materials gathered and ready, we just didn’t have the tool to cut the pieces of wood. So then other stuff became a priority while we waited and then this new project was pushed to the side for a couple of weeks after the tool came.
A couple of months ago, in June actually. My daughters were going through the Big W toy sale catalogue and circled all of the houses in it. It didn’t matter if it was a dinosaur house, fairy house, barbie house etc. They circled them all. The main ones they really wanted was the LOL Surprise Doll house and the Barbie house with the slide. Their doll house was from before my second daughter was born so I thought it would be a good idea to get them a new one for Christmas. I looked at it for a bit and asked my littlest one what she would want in a doll house (the eldest one was at school). She rattled off a few things and the only thing the other Barbie house had that was on her extras list was a slide that went into a pool, . The other things were a room for Sam (her boy doll) Chelsea (the girl doll) a room for the mum and dad their babies. (When the big one came home she was happy with what her sister had chosen), with some added things. So I asked them if they would like me to make them a doll house and that is how the doll house journey began.
My inspiration came from a picture I found on Pinterest. My doll house is kind of based off of it:
With the picture of what I wanted to do in mind, next was working out how big and what measurements I needed for a good sized barbie house. I tried to base my measurements on the 1:6 ratio for barbie houses, but if I am being honest and to all the people who know me, know this: my maths is terrible! I had no clue how to calculate it. I even spent a few hours watching videos on youtube and reading things on the internet. That was not sitting well with me. I think all up I wasted a whole day trying to figure it out. I did end up with the conclusion, (with some help from the brains of this operation), that I would need to picture a doll in a 100 x 100 x 300mm rectangular box. (I also got a big headache).
My next move was to make a couch. Yep. I made a prototype couch out of left over MDF I had from making the sections in my drawers. I thought that if I made the couch it would give me a rough 3D view of how big the furniture and space I will need for the furniture would need to be.
I got a rough idea in my head and then we headed to bunnings to check out the wood… and then came home. So many options! I decided to google what type of wood was good for doll houses and alot of them were MDF. The ones I saw on youtube had the plywood stuff so I was a little worried I was choosing the wrong wood. But went with MDF any way. (No Regrets, yet).
When we went back to bunnings we found a piece of 1200 x 600mm MDF and the choice was made. The floor space would be 1200 x 450mm. We would only need to cut 150mm off of the side. I taped some sheets of paper together and measured the size of the board onto them. I had 3 storeys in mind with a little attic type thing at the top with a roof. I made all on the paper except for the attic. I wasn’t sure what to do with that part yet.
I spent all day figuring out the measurements of the loungeroom, dining room and kitchen furniture and drawing it onto one of the pieces of paper. I had figured out what I wanted and the measurements. The kids room floor were the same the next day. I didn’t worry about the top floor before the attic because I just based the measurements off of dividing the rooms up and making the master bedroom the biggest.
With a few calculations and some drawings it was time to go and get the wood needed. We worked out that if we were to get 2 1200 x 600mm and we would cut 150mm off of them, we would have 2 floor spaces and the roof (which would be a little on the thinner side, but didn’t matter). No wasting here! We then chose to get 4 1800 x 450mms and cut the excess 600 off of two of them to make 2 more floor spaces and the left over would be for the wall dividers. The remaining two would be the sides. Which calculated to be 1140mm. The excess would be wall dividers also. Then for the backing a 2440 x 1220 x 3mm sheet of MDf. The left over is to make furniture for the doll house. So all up we had: 2 1200 x 600mm, 4 1800 x 450mm and 1 2440 x 1220 x 3mm pieces of MDF. (Try storing that with no shed space). For about a month it was just crammed into my sewing room and the biggest sheet on the floor covered in a bed sheet because we had no way to cut it.
We ordered a jigsaw after we bought the wood, and because of Covid-19, they were out of stock so it was a little bit of a wait and then like I said previously, other things got in the way.
Then when we got the jigsaw, we thought it would be an awesome idea to cut the two 1200 x 600mm together, looking at the blade thing it looked long enough to get through the two at once. Big mistake. Big disaster. But… fatter roof pieces could be cut off of it, WIN). Back to bunnings to get a piece that was 1200 x 900mm and cut straight down the middle. Fixed.
So for the past week and a half we have been busy bees. Measuring, cutting (well I didn’t cut, I tried and I am still wayyy too wonky donky), making mistakes, measuring again, cutting again, then painting (that was the girls and I) and building. (Brent and I). It wasn’t until we were building the project that we decided on the exact positioning of the sections but in the end it turned out great. The girls are very pleased and I am quite excited to start decorating it for them.
Here is the shell of the awesome little doll house I am hoping the girls will treasure and make some cool little barbie stories with: