Monday, December 28, 2015

DIY Vintage Barbie Furniture REDO

oldnewgreenredo
 

Last February my husband and I discussed the idea of building a Barbie Dollhouse for our granddaughter for this Christmas (2015). I had looked online and found all sorts of pink and purple abominations, vintage and new which had no relationship to a real house or real life.

However, there were tons of vintage/new furnishings in online stores and some great plans for DIY dollhouses. We decided, I should look for furnishings-cheap---because we could afford to build a quality dollhouse but not buy all new quality furnishings---and so my quest began, long before the dollhouse was even a sketch.

I began perusing thrift stores, Goodwills, Savers and online for inexpensive furnishings for a Barbie scale dollhouse (1inch to 6 inches). It was soon obvious that the 1:6 scale wasn't always easy to find. But, I did have some incredible luck, first starting with a few pieces.

oldnewgreenredo

Here are the final plans, basically drafted around the furnishings we found and ended up using. The original plan was to have an island in the kitchen and no table as shown, but hubby found the great round wood table/set, so we readapted, but did not have to change the lay-out. We did make a drop leaf on the table, though to give Barbie and friends more room to move.

I can't stress enough how much planning we did, and how this saved time and sanity. I'm so glad we went with the stairs and 16" deep. The first thing the Grand did on Christmas was totter the dolls up and down the stairs...every time she moved them...so it was worth it. Not to mention the great views.


 Here is the potential kitchen laid out to see if it would work and fit.

oldnewgreenredo

The pink dishwasher is from a sink barcounter set in the "So Much to Do Kitchen" 1995. Because it was bar height I had to do some surgery on it. The wood table and chairs are from an antique mall, hubby found that---perfect size for Barbie. The new refrigerator was snagged from walmart for 10.97, a bargain in Barbie land. Here everything is laid out on the floor of the unbuilt house to make sure we will have enough room for stairs.

Basically the house was built around the furnishings we found.

oldnewgreenredo

The old dishwasher was attached to a counter/sink combo, next pic. Working within the plans of the house as we were drafting it, it was going to be too high and the two-sided counter not going to work in the small area allotted for the kitchen.  Pulling off the counter(again Mattel doesn' t make it easy to dismantle these things...I ended off coping sawing off the top 3/8" of plastic of the dishwasher.

oldnewgreenredo

Here the old counter is still attached. The pink is absolutely gross. The dresser was not so bad, except we were going to use it in the livingroom, so an OLD REDO was necessarily for both. We did not end up using the locker---it didnt' fit under the stairs, but will be used at Grandma's house for play here.

oldnewgreenredo

The NEW painted white dishwasher---I wrapped the basket in tape, and hubby added a shelf to the top, that might have been missing. We planned the kitchen cabinets, just like you would in a real kitchen. I never did find a vintage or inexpensive stove, so my hubby made that.

Extra cost added to the dishwasher---spray paint, painters tape and small shelf---minimal. counter top was used for all the cabinets, so maybe $1.50 extra for the dishwasher.


NEXT the VENDING MACHINE

oldnewgreenredo

Another big score came with a practically new---Barbie Dream House Fashion Vending Machine-2013-4. Not really vintage, but purchased at Goodwill for $1.99.

source
This is how it looked when i got it, jammed with shoes still tightly wrapped in shrink wrap and the vending carousel to the right was broken. Reviews on this product were dismal--and someone had basically given up trying to get the shoes, etc. out...and donated it to Goodwill, who listed it for $1.99 and a note-- broken. Well, I bought it for the shoes, etc. and the thought...maybe I could do something with it.

First thing I did was unscrew the back panel off...which consisted of two large filigree plastic panels, which I planned to use for the dollhouse windows, one in the bedroom and one in the bath.

oldnewgreenredo

This REDO turned out so cool. I loved to take photos through them, so does the Grand.


oldnewgreenredo

Isn't this neat...see the pony-tail head, center right? It's Barbie all the way.



Let me tell you----Mattel makes things really well, and I spent easily 2-3 hours trying to get this vending mechanism completely apart. The entire concept was cool, but just too many moving parts/mechanisms to make it work properly. It also had a spring load to push the chosen vending item into the slot to fall down the hole. Very complicated?


oldnewgreenredo


After some sawing, unscrewing, unratcheting,  clipping,  hammering, and prying (cursing also involved)---I finally removed the vending belt mechanism.


oldnewgreenredo

 Lots of funky screws and pins held this together.

oldnewgreenredo

Next I dremel tool-sawed the center stickered vending machine area out. WOW! It had little reinforcement ledges inside---I used to hold up shelves. Here are four small wooden shelves inserted and painted hot pink to match the plastic. Everything was Gorilla glued in place.

oldnewgreenredo

The bottom center has a trimmed plastic bottle clothes bin. A plastic pin was trimmed and glued for a handle.
oldnewgreenredo

An aluminum clothespole was added on the right for hanging clothes and screwed in place. The original left spinning turntable works for shoes and purses. I did not put a rear wall on it...as shoes can become trapped behind the turntable, another design flaw on Mattel's part...but say it makes a nifty REDO closet---Mr. Mattel. The Grand can pull the whole thing away from the wall and unjam it. She put the brush and toothpaste  on the shelf there and moved the towels around.


Cost added, minimal--50 cents for the bottle clothes bin and maybe 50 cents for the shelves paint, etc.
So two windows, shoe/purse storage, towel storage, clothesbin and closet with doors, for $2.99 and a couple hours of cursing under my breath.


oldnewgreenredo
The closet was planned for the large bathrrom on the third floor. Here it is right before packing up.

The toilet and sink were purchased for $10.97 in a 2015 Barbie kit. I never did find any toilets or sinks in the 9 months of looking for vintage or used.

Savers had great bags of miscelanneous---it took two 1.99 bags to get the parts for one bathroom and a tub for this bathroom.

The tub to the left was part of a bag of goodies from savers. Originally it attached to the "All Around Bathroom Play Set", by Mattel  2002, that I found in another bag. The only fix for the tub, was to build it in with a 'tiled' planter on the open end where it had originally attached to the funky blue shower walls for Ken's bathroom.

oldnewgreenredo

The planter was a 2x4 cut off 3 1/2" high and 'tiled' modge-podged to match the walls. Three holes were drilled and then filled with plants and the whole thing was secured to the walls, and floor, permanently like real plumbing including the toilet nad sink.

oldnewgreenredo


Here is the window panel from the back of the vending machine, the tub and planter---all installed. Don't you just LOVE IT~!?


oldnewgreenredo

Here is the rest of the goofy shower walls for that set from "All Around Bathroom Playset" from 2002.

oldnewgreenredo

All the parts were there, including yuggy decals, but the hinges went over 350 degrees...so it was very flexible to use however you wanted.

oldnewgreenredo

First, I removed the stickers and all the loose pieces that popped out.

oldnewgreenredo
 

 This wierd litttle vanity in purple was supposed to be used from both sides? But, the top flips over to reveal the sink. I just finally took it completely apart to see how I could best use the pieces.


oldnewgreenredo

Here's Ken with the proposed sink/vanity---but purple and pink, just weren't his colors...LOL. After wrapping all the 'metal' parts in tape, I cleaned everything twice with alcohol, and the built-in shower from the parts bags. I need to raise it a bit more---we did this with a small wood piece of candlestick part where the drain would be.


oldnewgreenredo

I hand-sawed all the extra plastic pieces off the shower, and replaced them with the same molding we used on the ceilings. This helped to square up the shower and give some clearance to the parts in the back that were sticking out.

oldnewgreenredo

Here is the newly painted blue shower parts, sans the add-on caps and stickers. Once cleaned with alcohol all the pieces were carefully sprayed with white gloss paint for plastic. The base is a margarine tub lid with thin piece of wood underneath to level it. Everything was glued with Gorilla glue which is permanent~including a bit of finger skin, here and there---that stuff really holds, lol.

oldnewgreenredo

Hubby counter-sunk a screw to hold it together and then glued a washer on the hole for a drain.These pieces are glued in place in the dollhouse or screwed...just like a real house...permanent. The brown mirror is removable.

All the pink shower parts were sprayed with matte silver and I hand-painted the faucet. Oversize brown knobs were added to the vanity which also was squared up with a new wood top, the shower mirror was untaped after painting. A small plastic shelf was glued on before painting, from a goody bag of doll things from Savers.

Added costs to the bathroom-shower/sink... were paint, glue, washer, screws, wood trim, wood base, and knobs--less that $3.00. I'm still looking for the towel bar for the sink---it's in a bag---somewhere, in a box--somewhere. It will turn up or I will create a new one. All the shower parts turned out so cool. Eventually maybe a shower curtain will be added. I used gloss white paint...so everything looks so new and clean.

The Living room has some vintage in it also.

oldnewgreenredo

The small chest of drawers on the right was the easiest REDO of all. It's from the Barbie, "So Much to Do Bedroom Collection" from 1995 and was perfect for the dining room area---where we needed some sort of buffet/endtable next to the couch.


oldnewgreenredo

The dresser is shallow and has one working drawer...good lines and clean design. Perfect to go with the contemporary furnishings...sorta contemporaray cottage chic. LOL. It was simply cleaned and sprayed white.

oldnewgreenredo

I didnt' even fuss with the knobs. Santa's deadline was coming down to the wire, so we decorated the top with some bottle trees, a lamp, and of course a cheese tray.

Added cost ---paint--25-50 cents for great storage in the living/dining room.

Remember this:

oldnewgreenredo

I haven't been able to find the date on this, I thought it said 1998...yet I assume it isn't very old, and definitely Mattel Barbie...so this isn't probably vintage, but a great REDO. First---that color has to go.

oldnewgreenredo

Here is the couch drying after one of three coats of green spray paint. Again very carefully cleaned with alcohol before painting...
 
oldnewgreenredo

For the cover I  chose 1" thick regular foam---$3.74 from JoAnnes.  I used fabrics from several places, all cotton, so they will be able to be washed. I enclosed the cushion and permanently sewed and attached a skirt. The cover is strapped behind and velcro holds it tight on the green couch.
oldnewgreenredo


The original Savers label, 1.99. You can see the strap and velcro on the back to the right.

oldnewgreenredo


 I also covered a bolster and made a few accent pillows. Definitely cozy enough to sleep on or for many guests or Ken's naps.

oldnewgreenredo

Couch 1.99, fabrics 2.50, foam 1.00, stuffing and velcro, 50cents. Second couch was purchased new (IKEA) in a set with other items,  and a new cover made for it another $2.00 or so.

oldnewgreenredo

And its' all perfect for Ken to take another nap on Christmas Eve. The Grand put him there, not me, Lol. Now the Decor is not pristine, because it is a three-year-old's work in progress, but she was having a ball with two family friends.

oldnewgreenredo
 
Barbie immediately took a bath, twice, and Ken napped while three little girls moved all the Barbie's and Ken's furnishings and clothes into the new house!



oldnewgreenredo


It was a MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS and have a Happy New Year, 
from the Grand, Barbie, and Ken!
Thanks always for stopping by or leaving comments. I will try and answer all your questions and comments, they make mine and Barbie's day.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be posting to these great parties: 
 Metamorphis Monday
Inspire Me Tuesday 
Something to talk about-link-party-49/ 
The Scoop 
Show and Share
Let's Talk Vintage 
Thrifty&Vintage Finds 
Tuesdays at Our Home 
Tweak it Tuesday 
Share Your Cup Thursday 
Share Your Style 
Celebrate Your Story 
Thrifty Vintage Finds 
Talk of the Town 
Flea Market Friday 





 
Sandi







22 comments:

  1. Hi Sandi!
    What a wonderful makeover. I would have loved that as a child!
    Have a happy new year.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! This is amazing! Well done!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    ReplyDelete
  3. That dollhouse would have fulfilled my dreams as a child. Am amazed that it looks like a real house remodel.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The entire impetus for building ourselves---is the unrealistic 'Barbie' Doll world, hooker clothes, and emphasis on shopping. Here we tried to make a real life house---very reminiscent of the actual townhouse my grand lives in, complete with mancave, lol. Of course she already (at 3) has her own idea of style...and where everything should go and where each doll should live. Even Elsa and Kristoff, have taken up residence in the livingroom. LOL. Yes, it was too much fun!, thanks for your comment, appreciated, Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is amazing! I love the way you re-purposed everything, even down to painting and upholstering! What lucky little girls to have such a lovingly made treasure! Both you and grandpa are very talented!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, we had a great time! Sandi and Hubby

      Delete
  6. Both my girls had the Mattel Barbies

    You did a fabulous job with the redo and what a good Grandmother you are to do this
    If I ever need a Barbie redo I know who to call LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, we tried to add up hours and gave up...! Sandi

      Delete
  7. Wow!! I have to say this makes me wish I was little again. What a house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, Grandma wants to go to the Grand's to play Barbies now.Thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  8. This is amazing! Did you feel like you were building a real house? I am off to check out all the other posts and then I might have to go get myself a dollhouse to redo! Happy New Year!

    ~Trisha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely it felt like a real house. The stairs were a challenge, but hubby found a great ap for calculating them as each floor was a little different. Have fun---and plan plan plan...i think was the secret.

      Delete
  9. Wow, the dollhouse is truly a labor of love. You are so talented, and the results are amazing. Thanks for visiting my blog, so glad I found yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure appreciate your stopping by and it was definitely a labor of love and patience! Thanks, Sandi

      Delete
  10. This is so Adorable!!! What a labor of love...your granddaughter must have been delighted with the dollhouse.
    Mary Alice

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sandi, you put so much time, work, and love into this and it shows! Turned out absolutely darling! Your granddaughter will love it! Our youngest had one, that we bought at a boutique, when she was little and played with it for hours. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete
  12. OMG!! Amazing!! Love it!! I hope to be able to play a bit more with Nelson Crest in the Spring and Summer......

    Hugs,
    Deb

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, was that a lot of work! It looks great and so unique. Reading your post was like watching a HGTV home renovation show! Your granddaughter will remember this house for the rest of her life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your kind words. We had a ball, and she loves it, and Mom and Dad said its a gift to them...as she occupies herself with her dolls for hours already. Thanks agian, Sandi

      Delete
  14. Hi Sandi, This is incredible and what a wonderful work of art. Everything is gorgeous and you made a Christmas for your grand she will never forget. I love that everything can be nearly eye level for playing. I know this was a lot of work but so worth it. She is going to have hours of fun playing.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a great week. xo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh you have been here for every week, I think. Thanks so much for sticking with it, and she completely loves it! Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  16. My granddaughter would love this. Thanks so much for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi