Saturday, 14 September 2013

Dollhouse Decorating (Part 1)

After a much-needed and refreshing 3 month term-break from Uni, I'm back to a full study schedule of readings, research, books, assignments, computer screens, files,...and, well, you get the idea! It is exciting, but challenging to be sure.

During my break I enjoyed doing many things I had wanted to do for a very long time. For example, one of those really special things I managed to do was to hone my singing skills and techniques (but more on that in some later post). One other thing I really enjoyed doing, was decorate my little sister's dollhouse! Since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of doing this. I love decorating and interior design. This was a great opportunity to try it on a nice, very small scale. I was also particularly inspired by Emma J.'s work of customising and decorating playmobil houses and Cherrybrook Village: A Sylvanian Families Fan Site

I thought I'd like to show you something of my humble attempts to decorate my sister's dollhouse! Perhaps, it can inspire you if you've got a similar hobby. 

Here is the dollhouse...A Sylvanian House on a Hill... It is quite suitable for playmobil figures, too.

The Dollhouse!
Here is how it all turned out...
The back-side of the house...

The side-part of the house...
The hardest to work on were both the attic and the winding staircase! 
The attic children's bedroom...
A closer look at the attic...
Carpeting the winding staircase was a real challenge...
To give the impression of shinny tiles, I covered the wallpaper and flooring of both the kitchen and bathroom with cello-tape. 

The Kitchen!
The Bathroom!
Here is how I went about decorating this nice little dollhouse!

Dollhouse Tutorial (Part 1)
Step 1 - Tools I used: 

  • Rulers
  • Pencils and eraser
  • Scissors 
  • Cello-tape (normal sticky tape)
  • A Cutter
  • A cutting board (or quilting board)
  • Paper (for creating templates)
  • Double-sided, Acid-Free sticky tape (available from Craft/Art stores or hardware store)
  • Wet Sponge and towel
  • A colour printer 
Step 2: 
Using a damp sponge, I made sure the surface of the walls was clean. Then, I made sure it was dry. 

Step 3: 
Then, using some paper, I made a template of all the walls of the room. I needed to make it as accurate as possible. This way I wouldn't run into problems and waste the real wallpaper.

Step 4: 
Making a template of the windows was always trickiest thing. (See image 4 to see how I did it!)
Step 5: 
For wallpaper, I browsed the internet for dollhouse decorating and miniature websites and found many printable wallpaper to use - all for free! 
Here are some links: 
My Obsession (Gives more links)

Choosing the right wallpaper was also a challenging step. I had to always take into consideration the dollhouse furniture, the style, the colours, and the historical era I wanted the house to be customised into.
Whenever I found a suitable wallpaper, I downloaded it (or 'Saved as') to my computer. Using a photo-editing programme (such as Photoshop or a free online one - Picmonkey), I enhanced, edited and 'mix-'n'-matched' various wallpapers and borders to create my own new styles.
Finally, with a bit of trial and error, I managed to find the print settings and scale required for printing the wallpaper. 

Steps 6, 7, & 8: 
The next step after finding and printing the wallpaper, was cutting it out (using the templates made in steps 3 and 4).
Then, I placed double-sided sticky tape on the back of the cut-out wallpaper. 
Steps 9-12: 
The next step was to remove the covering from the sticky-tape on the back of the wallpaper one section at a time and stick it to the wall, carefully, one bit a time. This is very important! 
I did this with all the walls...and here is the final result! What do you think?
Using the same steps, I finished the walls of all the other rooms and used the same steps for putting carpeting on the floors...using felt and the double-sided sticky tape.

The last step remaining is to put suitable curtains and put back all the furniture. So, keep a look out for another post from me when I finally get to finish it. Gracie, my sister, is just so excited with this project...and I must, too! 


  1. Beautiful dollhouse, Swister dear <3 :)
    You put so much time and effort into it, and it was such hard-work, but definitely worth the effort - Gracie is so loving it, isn't she! :).

    Hmm, I wish we had such a pretty house for our play mobile when we were little ^_^

    I love you, and this is a very pretty post :). *hugs*

    1. Thank you, dearest Joy! I really enjoyed working on that dollhouse and I love seeing Gracie enjoying it, too :)
      Love you <3

  2. Wow, what a neat idea! It looks like it turned out very well. I really like the tiles in the kitchen. :)

  3. You did a beautiful job, Sarah! I can't imagine how long it must have taken you. My sisters have a large wooden dollhouse, and we've always dreamed of adding carpet and wallpaper just like this. The only thing that keeps us from plunging in is the permanency; once you attach it, you can't change it! For now, they just cut swatches of fabric and lay them out like carpets. It works. :)

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! It took me about 2-1/2 months to finish all this, doing a little bit almost every or every other day in the week!
      Yes, I was concerned at first about this issue of permanency, too. I don't know how that would be like with a wooden dollhouse, but this dollhouse I is plastic and I used sticky-tape not glue for the wallpaper and carpets...I did have to undo a few things sometimes. It was hard work, that's for sure! However, there was no structural damage to the dollhouse in the process...thankfully :)
      Yes, swatches of fabric make great carpets...that's what we did until I managed to get on with this project!

  4. This really is beautiful! ^.^ I love dollhouses...most especially since I was little and read The Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter. ^.^

    1. Thanks, Rachel! Me, too! I love Beatrix Potter's The Two Bad Mice ^.^ It just bursts with imagination and fun! :)

  5. Just an amazing work of art Sarah wonderful to see it all step by step well done!!! thanks for sharing , Shaz in Oz.x


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