The Super 8 Project (aka My Version Of The Grand Hotel!)

Hey everyone, how goes it?  It’s still kind of crazy here.  I started a new project though that I’m going to share with all of you as it progresses.  Even though I’m busy, I still have to find a creative outlet from time to time, and I just happened to have a day that I could work on something.  All work and no creative play makes Flo a grumpy gal!

By now I think most everyone has seen the new American Girl releases.  Some very, very cute stuff.  My biggest complaint though: too much plastic!  This is almost as bad as wire coat hangers!!! 😉  One set in particular caught my eye though.  The Grand Hotel.  Cute as all get out, and for this avid traveler, kind of hard to resist.

Just in case you haven’t seen it yet:

I was in love. Then reality set in. The $275 price tag was bad enough, but I thought perhaps this could be my payment from my husband for being his secretary through all of the estate stuff we are dealing with. Upon closer inspection, some things bothered me. Namely, all that plastic furniture. I held off, and then I read a review on it, and this person was very honest and verified my greatest fear. The furniture is thin plastic, more like Barbie furniture instead of American Girl furniture. To me this made absolutely no sense. The walls are wood, but the furniture is plastic??? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Not only would this piece be kind of large, even when folded up, but it would weigh a ton, and who knows how long the furniture would hold up if it’s that flimsy. This wouldn’t do.

My mind got to working overtime and almost immediately I had a beginning idea formed. It was time to start a new long term project! For those of you who followed my Broke Girl Bakery, you know exactly where this is heading. Are you ready??? Are you sure??? Last chance to bail…

I tossed a lot of ideas around, and some of those are still in the thinking stages, but I knew right off the bat what I wanted to make the walls out of. And, as luck would have it, I just happened to have the main part of this item in my possession! I needed two display boards, the kind kids use at science fairs. Mine came from Dollar Tree, so I had $2 invested. I then made a run to my local craft store to get 3 sheets of black and white scrapbook paper. I was still debating on how to get the main area design, and then it hit me. I used to be very in to paper crafting, mainly scrapbooking and rubber stamping, and I remembered that somewhere in my stash was a rubber stamp set that was very similar to the wallpaper design AG used for their background. I got everything together, and got started.

Using 3 different stamps in the set (1 large, 2 small) I then set about stamping my design all over the two boards. On one board, I left one of the small flaps blank, that would be where the striped paper went to replicate the mini bathroom area. I stamped randomly, but in sort of a pattern. (You’ll notice some stamping on the area that was to be left blank, I used that as my “test” area since I knew I would be covering it with paper.)

Once I was done stamping all over the boards, I then took a red marker and colored the centers of the larger flowers red. You could do this in whatever color you wanted, depending on what your color scheme is going to be! That’s one of the things I love about dollhouse DIY, you can change things if you want to and make it your own.

I then took my black and white striped scrapbook paper and cut it down to cover the one small flap.

This part of the project took no time at all and I was very pleased with the results.

Depending on how picky you are, this might be a fun project to let the kids participate in. I bet it didn’t even take me a half an hour to get this finished. It might take someone else a bit longer, only because I’m very experienced in this kind of thing, but that’s part of the fun!

Here you can see it all opened up and sort of set up. The nice thing about having it as two pieces is not only is it easy to fold up and store, but you can also arrange it in a variety of ways.

I will say that in this instance I didn’t cut the boards down to 24 inches high, I left them at full height. Because of the finished size of this project, I decided it might be best to leave the extra space for photographic purposes. Whether you cut them down or not is entirely up to you.

At this point, I have all of $2.75 invested in the project.  Not too shabby.  I am going to try and recycle/reuse as much as I can from my existing doll stuff, or if I am making something new, try and make it from materials I already have in my possession.  We will see how it goes.

That’s it for this part of the Super 8 Project! Stay tuned for the next installment. Till then, ta-ta!

Behind the scenes of “She’s With The Band”

I’ve had so many great comments on my post about the band and their stage, I decided I would show everyone some of the stuff in detail. It’s all very basic stuff, but I loved how it all came together.

The Stage Background:

The background was really pretty simple. It’s a display board picked up at the dollar store. I cut it down some so that it was only 24 inches high. I then added some scrapbook paper to it so it looked like a brick wall and a wood wainscoting. I loved how it looked when I was done, although I wish I had used something different to stick it to the display board as it was a real headache just using double faced scrapbooking type tape. Live and learn…

I also picked up two of these cool clip on lights at the dollar store too, although they didn’t come into play in this part of the story.

I have to say that the minute I saw Tenney’s stage set, this idea sprang to mind.  It was just a matter of getting the right scrapbook paper and I knew that the blue wood paper was at Hobby Lobby as I’d seen it there when I went to get paper for another project.  It was just a matter of getting there!  The brick paper came from Pat Catans (a regional hobby store) and the clip on lights from Dollar Tree.

The actual stage was made from a 24 inch square sheet of MDF. I painted the edges brown, then attached peel and stick floor tiles to it. I gave it a floating look by gluing 4 wooden cubes to it.  The funny part is that when I made this nearly 2 years ago, I hadn’t intended it to be a stage, but this worked out even better than my original idea.

FYI–if you buy a sheet of wood or MDF at Home Depot, they will cut it down for you to your measurements!  I think you are limited to a certain number of cuts, but they don’t charge extra for it.  Good for anyone who doesn’t have a table saw or a good place to cut a large sheet of wood.  This particular sheet was originally 24 inches x 48 inches.  I have about $25 invested in this whole project at this point, not $225!  Plus it all comes apart and I can use the stage for other things.

Now for the drum set!  Originally I was going to make all of it from scratch and had saved a bunch of different sized round containers.  But then I came across something online and it turned out I only had to make the bass drum.  Here it is finished:

I used a large peanut container for this drum, I did cut it down a little bit.  I then covered the outside with a metallic type scrapbook paper and the lid I edged with a metallic tape.

I then took two wooden skewers and covered them with the same metallic tape, poked holes in the drum and inserted them so it doesn’t roll away!  I didn’t glue them in place, that way I can adjust them according to what kind of surface they may be sitting on.

Now I just need to make a name banner for the front of the drum!

The rest of the drum set was an awesome find!  I’d seen these little drum sets on other blogs and on Amazon.  You can only imagine how excited I was to find it on a website I hadn’t been on a while for a whopping $7.50!!!  Yes, you read that right!  You can find it here:

I was going to make a stool for Jenny to sit on to go with the drum set but I never got around to it, and it’s probably just as well as there really wasn’t room on the stage for it anyhow!

I have since picked up some other things for use with the stage, so be sure to check back for what The Beacons are up to next!

A Doll Sized Blender You Can Make!

I enjoy crafting for my dolls, and I especially like when someone comes up with a great idea that is easy to execute with awesome results.  One thing that I’ve wanted for my dolls was a blender, but the only ones I’ve seen are for AG sets and can’t be bought separately.  If you do happen to find them on Ebay, be prepared to fork over some serious money.  No thanks.

You can imagine how excited I was when I saw this idea over at Brandy’s Happy Home for a doll sized Vitamix blender!  When I first looked at her photos of it, I didn’t realize it was a replica, she did such a great job.  Brandy was nice enough to share the instructions on how to make your own, and after looking over the parts list, I didn’t even have to buy all that much, just the salt and pepper shakers at Dollar Tree and two wooden cubes.  My out of pocket was all of $3 since I had everything else.

Assembly was easy peasy, perhaps the most difficult part was waiting for the glue to dry.  I did make a few tiny changes to mine, using black foam for the front part of the blender and the handle instead of wooden dowels, and I added four small pieces to the bottom of each so that they had feet.  I decided to make 2, one for the house and one for the bakery, just painting the one a different color.  Besides, what was I going to do with a single shaker if I only made one???

blender craft project

Aren’t they cool? Kudos to Brandy for thinking this up, I think it is without a doubt one of the coolest craft projects for dolls, and yields terrific results. If you are interested in making your own, you can check out Brandy’s post and instructions here: Doll Vitamix Blender

Everyone was super excited to see these, the girls couldn’t wait to try them out.  Lanie said she would show Alya how to use it, her mom has one and they use it all the time at their house to make smoothies, milkshakes and even gravy!

blender 1

blender 2

What would you make with a blender?  My favorite is a banana & strawberry smoothie, my husband likes blueberry and banana.  Yum!!!  Thanks Brandy!