Broke Girl Bakery: TA DA!!!!

I bet you guys never thought we’d get to this point–something you can play with! It’s actually been mostly finished for a while now, but I’ve had so many other things going on and stuff I wanted to share, I kind of shoved it to the back burner.

Besides the high price tag, one of the major issues with Grace’s Bakery is the size. I’ll just say that it is VERY large, and would take up a lot of space. I know that I don’t have this kind of space in my house and I’m sure that there are plenty of people that have the same issue. I know that it is at least as big as the top of my sewing machine cabinet. Hmmmmm…

One day while in a craft store, I noticed that they had a lot of presentation boards–in colors!!! Red, blue, yellow and green. After some serious thought, I decided that I was going to go a completely different direction with this and make this project my own. Something that my husband and I have fond memories of from our travels to Ireland are the tea rooms scattered about the country. One in particular stuck out in both of our minds. Inspired by that memory, I decided to go with the green and my Irish tea room and bakery was born! My husband named it for me: Connemara Cakes Bakery and Coffee Shop.
connemara cakes sign
Connemara is a region in the North West area of Ireland, very rugged and very pretty. The photograph is of Kylemore Abbey, taken by me when we were there in 2003. It is one of the most photographed locations in all of Ireland!  Unfortunately my printer is on the fritz, so I wasn’t able to print my signs for in the shop. 😦

Now that I had my inspiration: Off to the craft store! I picked up my green board. Dimensions on the board: 36 inches tall, 22 1/2 inches wide and the flaps are each 13 deep. Only $4.97, not bad. They do make these boards in all white as well, so if you wanted to stick with the original colors, you could easily spray paint it turquoise blue or cover it with paper. I also picked up some scrapbooking paper while I was there that I thought would work well as wallpaper.

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After looking at it, I decided it was way too tall, so I cut 12 inches off the top of it so it was 24 inches tall. I set aside the piece I cut off, I had an idea for it as well. Then I started my wallpapering. I ended up using 5 sheets of the scrapbook paper, at 50 cents each, so that only cost me $2.50. I also picked up 2 book lights at Dollar Tree for $1 each. The book lights are held in place with Velcro, making them easily removable for storage.

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Here we are with the furnishings:
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So, let’s add some baked goods, dolls, and wave the magic wand…

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Alya and Rebecca are all ready to wait on customers!

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“I think I’ve been baking all morning, I hope we have enough!”

bakery finale 5 Look at all of those yummy things Rebecca has been working on, mmm…

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I found a great use for that little cabinet I picked up at the Goodwill, perfect for storing dishes and extras.

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Abby and Kit were the first customers to arrive.

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“This coffee is delicious and will go really well with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich as well as the macaron I got!”

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Abby decided to go the “all sugar” route–a peanutbutter kiss cookie and a cupcake.  At least she got plain tea to drink.

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Just then, Zara showed up.  “Hey guys, how are you?  Everything looks delicious!”

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She ordered a muffin and a chocolate chip frappe. “That will be $5.89.”

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“Don’t forget your frappe!”

 “No, don’t want to forget that, it looks wonderful. I need that chocolate boost too!  I’ve been dragging all morning.”

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“Looks like business is going to go well today” said Rebecca.

Just then, Marie-Grace and Cassandra walked in.

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“Oh dear” said Cassandra, “everything looks sooooooo good!  I don’t know how to decide.”

“Try the pumpkin pie” replied Rebecca.  “When I was cutting it I messed a piece up and OF COURSE I had to try it! I can vouch for it, it’s wonderful.”  “You’ve convinced me, pumpkin pie it is!”

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Marie-Grace didn’t have any trouble deciding what she wanted, she got one of the giant chocolate cupcakes to go.

Then Shivan came in–carrying a flower arrangement.

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“Hi guys!” said Shivan.  “Congratulations on your grand opening!  I brought these flowers for you to celebrate.”

“Awwww, that was so sweet!  Can I get you something to eat?” asked Alya.

“Can I just get a lemonade?  I’m on my power walk, so I don’t want the carbs dragging me down.  But I’ll be back later.”

“One lemonade, coming right up!”

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I think the girls have a very busy day ahead of them, what do you think?

A couple of things that I wanted to point out–if you notice, the bump out that I used to make the dining area was that extra piece from the display board that I cut off. I put the white board behind it so you didn’t see the mess in my living room. You could just buy a second board and decorate it as well.

That piece I picked up recently at the Goodwill made such a great storage cabinet. It’s not going to be a piece only used in the bakery, so I’m not going to count it in my final totals along with the baking area piece, I bought that last summer. I’m not going to count Grace’s baking set because I bought that before I even had the idea for this project, as well as the table and chairs I already had. This is one of the things I did like about this project though, I was able to use quite a few things that I already had, just a matter of repurposing some of them.

Amount spent already as of April 20, 2015 $57.86
Display board: $4.97
Scrapbook paper: $2.50
Book lights: $2.00
Bags: $1.00

Total spent as of June 12, 2015: $68.33

Even if I added in some of those items, we would still be well under $500!!! I think this is every bit as cute and functional as the American Girl set, plus a whole lot easier to store when not in use. I’ll just put all of the things that go in the doll house back, fold the boards up and store them behind something and the few odds and ends pieces that are more bakery specific can be stored in a small box. I’d say I accomplished what I set out to do, don’t you agree?

19 thoughts on “Broke Girl Bakery: TA DA!!!!

  1. So good!! What a great project to do with kids as well and to teach them that home-made is just as good and fun to play with. I think your point about storage is a huge plus as well. I think I am starting to develop a little bit of that “crafter’s eye” in that I am starting to look and see things as potential miniatures for my dolls! Thanks for sharing your amazing photostory and project. It looks so great!

    • Thanks! Storage is a big issue for me and I know it is for so many people. I think toy companies forget sometimes that not everyone lives in a mansion! Good luck with your looking for miniatures, it is so much fun.

  2. We used one of those white presentation boards as the log cabin backdrop for camp doll diaries… We just painted it.
    The bakery looks amazing and it’s fun to see all the little pieces in place that you have shown us over the past few months. I see Shivan is starting to show us her personality… Good manners and health conscious! Love the AG cycling outfit.

    • Those presentation boards are so handy for so many things, and easily stored afterwards. I wish AG would do more things like this, they used to and got away from it. Poor Barbie lived for years in a flatpacked house, what changed? Not everyone has tons of space to leave things set up. I look forward to seeing your log cabin!

      The AG cycling outfit was very much an impulse purchase for me, and it is so cute!

  3. Hey Evil Twin,

    Kudo’s to your latest adventure. Yess, what a difference between $500 and 68.00. I really like the fact that everything folds up for storage, those big accessories can take up a lot of room. This is something a little girl could probably do herself, and what a good idea giving the instruction howto’s Looking forward to a trip to the Irish Cake and Coffee shop when me and my girls come to visit. What a great theme, not everyone wishes to go to a French Bakery. Sorry Grace!
    Evil Twin 2

    • Maybe by the time your girls get here I’ll have my printer straightened out and I’ll have signs! I agree that this is something a child could probably do, and that’s part of the reason I tend to share (or maybe overshare) the process. My favorite doll blogs are the ones that make a lot of different things, whether it be clothing, backdrops, props, etc–anyone can go pull out the cash or credit card and buy these things, but it takes a bit of extra effort to create something instead. Kudos to all of those creative people out there!

  4. Great job! This bakery is just as nice if not nicer than the $500 one. Great finds and creativity went into making this one and it looks like the girls are enjoying it a lot. 🙂

    • Thanks! Another plus is that so many of the items were repurposed or could be repurposed, including the backdrop. So after the novelty wears off, super easy to turn it into something else, extending the value and the fun! They had a very busy first day of business.

  5. WOW Flo!!!! It looks great!!!! I use tri fold boards in my displays. I have thought of cutting them down, but a lot of the time I have a lot of dolls in my scenes. Therefore I have to take pictures from a distance and things outside of the boards show.

    • Thanks! You make a very good point too, it doesn’t always work to cut them down. I debated on this one just for that reason.

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