Making Do With What You Have

I don’t know about you, but I love Kira’s accessories.  So many cute sets and I picked up several not too long ago.  However, when I buy doll stuff, I try (but don’t always succeed) to buy items that I can get multiple uses out of.  An item that I can only use for one or two doll shoots to me is not worth the effort it takes to try and store it, let alone the expense.  Two things in Kira’s collection fall into this category, although I still may break down and buy the one if the price is right on it as it’s not a huge item.  The other, no, as cute as it is, I don’t want the hassle of storing it:

I think Kira’s tent is very cute, but I really don’t need another large piece to have to store, I’m having enough trouble with the Surf Van and the piano!  Plus, for what I do, the use of it would be somewhat limited.  Then it dawned on me…

Why not do my own version with what I have???

After I thought about it a bit, I realized that I had a number of things that would work for this project, so I got to work.  A trip to Dollar Tree prior to me even thinking of this yielded a few fun things that I cannot only use for this project, but several other ideas I have as well.  For me, that is always a plus.

So here goes.  Warning in advance, this post is going to be long and photo heavy, but you’ll understand why I’m sure.

A while back I had an idea to make a club house, but it never really got off the ground.  No real reason other than too many distractions!  I took a piece of MDF cut 24 inches x 24 inches, painted the edges brown, glued some blocks to the bottom to raise it up off the ground and then used 12 x 12 inch self stick vinyl tiles to add a floor to it.  This piece has actually come in handy and can be used for a multitude of purposes, ranging from a stage to a room extension, etc.  It weighs a ton though and my husband and I have both accidentally kicked it more times than I care to think about, oops.  It is now up on a shelf out of the way when it’s not in use!

 

(excuse the backdrop of my dining room wall, it’s not very Australian, but it’s February in Pennsylvania, I’ll be darned if I am dragging this outside)

Then I grabbed my Our Generation Beach House.  Not only was the space about right on it, but my “tent” was going to have some modern conveniences!  I set it on the platform and we were set to go.  (Yes, I did do some measuring before I started this to make sure it was going to work.)

I set the little table outside, never know where you might be able to use that!

And added my Journey Girls folding beach chair! (I still regret not buying that second set…)

To make this work, I decided that the bed would need to be opened on this.  Anyone else who has this set knows what a nightmare this thing is to get back into place when you do this, so it wasn’t going to be an option to switch back and forth,  it was either opened or closed with something else for a bed.  Then I realized that my old American Girl sleeping bag was the perfect width for bedding!  Opened it is!

Now it was time for some crafting!  I had an assortment of parts that I had picked up at Dollar Tree, I spent $11.  At the time I bought these items, I had absolutely no idea what I would use them for!

I also had a package of these wooden pieces I’d bought for another idea I had.  And Sticky Tack.  Great stuff for projects that you want to hold together, but not permanently!

In my bundle of goodies from the Dollar Tree haul, I had these nifty wooden pieces, they called them pallets.

And 4 wooden crates!

As well as 4 things also called pallets, these really did look like mini pallets.

I took three of the crates and stacked them, making a storage area for toiletries, towels, etc.

I then took the pallets and attached two of them together, made two sets of these.  They made great railings for the “tent”!  They were also remarkably sturdy and stayed together really well with just the Sticky Tack.

I wish I could say the same about the steps…I got some pics, and a few days later, they collapsed.  The insurance underwriter would not have been pleased with this shoddy workmanship.  And I decided we didn’t really need steps, these are young dolls who can jump and climb.

I took the two “not” pallets and set them on top of the remaining crate to make a table, perfect!

I really wanted to reproduce the wall decor in the tent just to make it feel a bit more like we were in Australia.  I did some digging around online and found this nice picture of “Wild Flowers of Australia”.  It isn’t identical, but it is very similar to the one in the AG tent.  I then played around with it and resized it in my printing program and printed it out on white paper.  (Please feel free to “borrow” this, but you will need to resize it for your particular program.  Please don’t ask me how because all programs are different.  I used Paint Shop Pro.)

When I printed it, I left a bunch of the white paper at the top because I knew that I wanted to attach this to something in particular.  I then cut it at an angle to make it easier to assemble without having to worry about lining things up.  I cut a kebob skewer the length I needed, just slightly longer than the width of my paper.

Then I used Super Sticky Tape on the backside of the angular part of the paper.  Set the skewer on the paper and folded the paper over so it all stuck together and held the skewer firmly in place.

   

I used some thin ribbon, tied it to the ends of the skewer.  Voila!

It worked great, I hung it from the existing hook in the “tent”.

Another item I wanted to recreate was the photos hanging, this was super simple.  I used a piece of ribbon, tied a loop knot in one end and then used some of the mini clothespins I already had.  The postcards/photos from Kira’s accessory set were perfect for this!

Looped it over the end of one of the oars, and we were in business!

The next thing I wanted to do was make my own version of the camping accessories set.  (Thus, my lamenting not having bought a second Journey Girls beach set…)  I already had a number of the items or something similar.  However, the fairy bread was presenting a problem…for a few minutes anyhow.  If you’ve read the reviews, there is one that says the fairy bread design is simply a sticker.  Hmmm…to the laptop!  I did some searches for some good photos of fairy bread and this is what I ended up with.  (again, feel free to borrow, just NO SIZING QUESTIONS!)

I resized it so it was the right size proportions to fit the existing doll toast I had and printed it out twice.

Using the garlic toast I had already from the lasagna set, I traced the shape onto my printouts.  Cut it out, adjusting a bit to fit.

Here is the final result!

The lemonade and the “wicker” plates are from two Our Generation sets I had, the plant (which is just out of view) is one that is usually in Mimi’s room, a gift from Xyra.  The fruit bowls are AG from another set (I can’t remember which one though!).  The fairy bread stickers are simply held on with Sticky Tack.

I added a small square mirror to the top of the stacked crates and then dug around in my stash of stuff to find some toiletries and towels.

Some more digging…little Bean was all set!!

I used the bolster from the sofa up against the wall, it can be laid down as a pillow.  This piece is one of the most poorly thought out things in the beach house set, I’m glad I at least have something to use it for!  And I added the throw pillows.

Added Kira’s hat and backpack.  Lea’s camera on the counter and a little lantern I found several months ago while out shopping.  I think we are all set!

I did buy some netting that I was going to use for this, but then decided it was more hassle than it was worth.  I’ll hang on to it, maybe I’ll come up with some fabulous idea for it, fortunately it was really cheap.

Overall, I think this turned out really well and it was fun to do!  The only things I purchased just for this project were the stuffed koala’s (which I mentioned before in my “Meet Kira” post).  Everything else was stuff I had on hand already and just repurposed for this project, or the few items I had to craft.  Have you made any of your own Kira items?   I still may buy the camping accessory set, I think it would be perfect to have the two folding chairs and the short table to go with the surf van and you can never have too much doll food, can you?? (That’s a rhetorical question…I think.)

A Nice Little “Ooops!” (sort of a “Doll Sized Finds”)

In November of 2019 my husband bought a new car.  He wanted a set of Weathertech floor mats for the front since he is on the road a lot with his job and wanted to be sure the floor was well protected.  Unfortunately because his car was a new body style, they weren’t available.  Ugh!  We’d kind of forgotten about them until I saw an ad on TV for them, so I decided to check and see if they were available yet, and lo and behold, they were!  His birthday was coming up soon and he is just about the hardest person in the world to buy for.  Score!

They don’t just make floor mats though, they have a nice assortment of different things, ranging from coasters for your car to dog bowl stands, so I decided to look around a bit.  I needed some other fun things, not just for his birthday, so I decided to look around.  In the process of looking around, I found a perfect and amusing stocking stuffer–beverage coasters shaped like floor mats!  He has never been a fan of the Irish marble ones we have to begin with and these made me chuckle, so I ordered a set for him, along with some other stuff for gifts.

I started getting shipping notifications within a day or so of the order, and the coasters were on their way along with something else I ordered.  Unfortunately, they arrived on a Saturday when he was home, so I couldn’t even open them.  I took the two boxes I’d received (assuming there was an item in each) and stuck them in my office.  Monday rolled around, he left for work and I decided to check them out.  This is where things get confusing…I got TWO of each item I ordered, both boxes had one of each item.  I’m not sure what happened, and I’m not going to ask any further questions because I don’t think anyone knows the answer.  All I knew was now I had two sets of mini Weathertech coaster floormats.  Hmmm…

Here’s what they look like:

They actually work really well too!  My husband got a kick out of them when he pulled them out of his stocking, so they were a hit.  But now…what to do with the second set?  I thought about putting them away and saving them for another male family member as a fun gift, or just hang on to them.  And then as I was looking at them, it dawned on me…

These are the perfect size for an AG vehicle!!!!  To the Surf Van!!!

If anyone had seen me doing this, they would have thought I was totally off my rocker, I was giggling.  And then after messing around a bit, I had success.  Now, they don’t fit the standard way a floor mat would in a normal automobile, but hey, they work!!!

Now I’m curious if they fit in an AG or other car the right way–but I don’t have one, so I guess I won’t know since I really don’t plan on buying one just to find out.  But Alex and Wendy now have a van complete with high end floor mats.  Top that!

More World’s Smallest Goodies!

At the end of the summer a Facebook friend posted about getting a notice from Ebay, telling him he’d received a $25 credit for being one of their first members.  I thought it was pretty cool.  And then I thought to myself “Wait a second?!  We were onboard pretty early, maybe I need to check our account!”  Low and behold, in our e-mail was the same message.  Whoo hoo!!!  It was good for only 10 days so I didn’t have much time to waste.  I puttered around for a day or two and then it dawned on me what to use it on.  DOLL STUFF!!  (Sort of.)

I have been eyeing up a few more things from the World’s Smallest line for my collection so I started looking.  I finally settled on three different things:

A Hot Wheels set, some more My Little Ponies and a Kerplunk Game!

We already had some of the My Little Ponies but Mimi wanted more, so I was glad I came across another set with ones in it she didn’t already have.

“Check it out, looks like I have a little stable now!”

The Kerplunk game was pretty cool, it needed the tube attached to the base and it was ready to play!

Mimi let Wendy go first…

Then it was Mimi’s turn.

Oh no!  Some balls came through on Mimi’s side after a few rounds.

After a few more rounds, Wendy ended up winning.  They played several games of it and then it was on to something else.

The Hot Wheels set is just about the coolest World’s Smallest set I’ve ever seen.  When I was a kid I had this same set and the attention to detail is incredible!

The girls laid out all the pieces and started assembling the track.

We never did figure out the way to attach the track to the table with two tracks, but we still figured out a way to make it work.  The finish line was even accurate with the way the flag drops to determine the winner.

Mimi decided it might be best to set a notebook at the end of the track so the cars didn’t go all over the place and get lost under a piece of furniture.

Wipe out!!!

They did find that the blue car always won, and it’s quite a bit heavier than the pink.

After they were done with that and cleaned it all up, they decided to do something else a bit more quiet that didn’t take up as much space.  They got out Mimi’s Lite Brite!  I didn’t get this with my Ebay bonus, I’ve actually had it for a while but I don’t think I ever wrote about it and it’s probably one of the nicest things they’ve done out of the World’s Smallest line that works for 18 inch dolls.

They made a pretty flower!

Here it is lit up!

I know the World’s Smallest line isn’t necessarily made for dolls, but I think they have come out with several really good replicas of actual items that are perfect scale.  Have you found any really cool ones?

I do have to say that playing with a miniature Kerplunk game or a mini Lite Brite when you’re tired and trying to be quiet while someone else sleeps isn’t always such a great idea.  At one point I bumped the Kerplunk game–balls and sticks everywhere!!!!  I did manage to find them all on the floor and such.  Then at one point while doing the Lite Brite pics, I bumped the box the pegs were stored in and that made a noisy mess.  Note to self:  No more late night shoots with small items!