Doll sized finds: Yes, that chair was as hideous as I originally thought it was!

I’ve been busy lately with a number of projects so I haven’t been doing much in the way of thrift store shopping.  I’ve actually been working on thinning a few things out and re-homing a piece or two.  I’m really trying to stick to my “it has to be better than what I have already” mantra.   I did find a couple of cool things though.

A trip to the Salvation Army yielded this very cool glass basket:

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I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with it yet, thinking maybe flowers?  Or maybe fruit?

The little shop that Barbie Girl showed me had two things that came home with me:

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This cool bowl!  The glaze matches that awesome pitcher I bought there perfectly.  I think it’s funny that it says Arizona in it, can you imagine someone bringing this home to give as a gift?

I also found this:

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It’s a toddler toy, but I’m going to disassemble it and after removing the sticker, repaint it.  Still working on instruments for the garage band!

A few weeks went by, but I had some stuff to donate to the Salvation Army.  Of course I had to go in and see if there was anything good.  As fate would have it, I found this:

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Isn’t this awesome?!?!?!  I’ve been wanting an overstuffed type chair for a while now, at $4.99 I could not pass this up!  It’s a rocker but I’m seriously thinking about taking the rocker part off and changing it into a regular chair.  Part of the reason is that because of the way 18″ dolls are stuffed, the chair tends to pitch forward from the weight and looks weird.

Speaking of weird, anyone else remember this chair?

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I’m going to brutally honest:  I never really liked it all that well.  But when I bought it, I was just getting started on the dollhouse and I was willing to take it with all of it’s ugliness and deal with it.  In the meantime I found something else to take it’s place and donated it back to the Salvation Army.  That was well over a month ago.  Apparently my dislike of it was warranted, I’ve been to this store twice since then and it’s still there.  Too funny!

A few days later I decided to stop at Joann Fabrics, looking for something for a craft project I was working on.  Didn’t find what I was looking for, but did find this!

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Another Adirondack style chair frame! I plan on converting this one the same way I did the other ones. I like this one better than the others I bought, the dolls fit even better in the seat. It was regularly priced $19.99 but they are running massive clearance sales on summer merchandise, so I got it for $5.99, good deal!

I decided to make a run to Pittsburgh to check out my favorite places. For once in a very long time, I came home with more stuff for me (clothes, shoes, etc) than I did for the dolls. I did make a really fantastic find though.
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Yep, another horse! Only this one is in fantastic condition and won’t need any painting. It has a few scratches on it, they were worse before I took a Magic Eraser to it. I may try a little bit more. It also had the saddle and bridle with it, I took them off because the saddle was already starting to cause a melted spot. I wish Battat/Our Generation would line their items with something so this wouldn’t happen, all of the horses I’ve purchased so far have this problem. Fortunately where it’s at on this horse will easily be covered by the saddle and blanket. I was very happy to find one of the articulated horses this time around, it will make posing much more interesting. Now all three of my horse crazy girls will have their own too!  Only $4.95.  I’ve managed to get 3 horses which retail for around $35 each for less than $15 for them all.  How can you beat that?

That’s it for this time! Have you found anything cool in your travels?


Doll Furniture Rehab Projects AKA “This Old House For Dolls”

One of my favorite things about thrift store shopping is finding items that aren’t necessarily intended for doll use, but can be used, either as is, or altered with a little imagination.  In my last “Doll Sized Finds” post, I shared two items that I recently picked up:

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Somewhat similar in style, but decorated completely different, and each needing some “rehab”.  If you remember, I made a rule a couple months ago that I really couldn’t buy anymore furniture pieces unless I could use it to replace another item within the dollhouse (or bakery).  Both of these pieces fit that bill perfectly!  What was even better was that the work to redo these pieces was minimal and at no additional cost as I had the materials needed to do both.

First up: The ladybug jewelry box.

I got this for $2.99 at a Goodwill store near Pittsburgh.  Even though it was missing it’s drawers, I saw great potential in this piece, it didn’t appear to be too badly mangled and wasn’t even all that dirty.  After I got it home, I noticed a sticker from Kohl’s, so I looked it up online.  While they no longer sell this exact jewelry box, most of what they had on the website retailed for a regular price of $34, but frequently are on sale for somewhere around $15.

I started out by wiping it down carefully with a bit of soapy water, the rag I used was rung out well so that there wasn’t much moisture in it.  I let it air dry for a while, then I used a purple Sharpie marker to touch up any of the spots where paint was knocked off.  It was easy to find these because they came out a bright white, but the Sharpie did a great job of covering them up.  There weren’t all that many, so it was an easy job.

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The shelves where the drawers were supposed to be weren’t finished the whole way back, so I used the same technique I used on the Bakery Display Case to make them so things wouldn’t drop through.  I measured and cut poster board to fit, then covered the poster board with a suitable piece of scrapbook paper, then stuck it in place.  I think it worked very well.  I then used some additional scrapbook paper and made bins to slide into each of the shelf openings.  Please note that this paper was heavier than traditional cardstock, so it should be fairly durable.

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So, where is this piece going to go you ask?  It’s going to replace the chest of drawers I made from a jewelry box last summer that is currently in Marie-Grace and Rebecca’s room.  The girls have quite a bit of stuff in those drawers, but they really aren’t as big as they appear.  Add to that the fact that one drawer is full of necklaces that are turning into a tangled mess, the one side of this cabinet was perfect for solving that issue!


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What a mess!

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Much better.

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I also thought that if you didn’t want to use all of the bins, those would be nice storage slots for a pair of shoes or a couple of purses.  I definitely think it will be much easier to find what I’m looking for when I need it this way.

The next piece was the cabinet that I picked up in my shopping travels with Barbie Girl.  It was at another Goodwill, marked $2.99 but Barbie Girl had a coupon that day, so I actually got it for $2.25.   I knew immediately that this was going to replace the chest of drawers that we were using as an entertainment center.  I was never totally thrilled with that piece for several reasons:  the “bamboo” top made it difficult to set things on it and the piece was far too big for the living room, it hogged the one side of the room because it stuck out too far.  However, as cute as this new piece was, it wasn’t without it’s flaws.

First, I’d like to take the Goodwill employees and draw all over their bodies with Sharpie marker!!!  This drives me INSANE!  I can’t tell you the amount of time that I’ve spent trying to remove Sharpie marker prices from different things I’ve bought with varied results.  Barbie Girl has the same complaint.  Most of the time it comes off.  This wasn’t one of those times.  Plus it had some other sort of stain on the top.

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I’m also really puzzled about this mark in the one drawer, it looks almost as though it is burned.  I’m wondering if some idiot thought it was a good place to put an incense cone or something.  Stranger things have happened.  Again, I gave this piece a good wipe down with some soapy water and let it dry, while I thought about the best way to handle it.  I really wasn’t gung ho about painting it, I liked the wood tone of it.  Then it hit me!  To the scrapbook paper stash again!

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I found a piece that I felt reflected the colors that the living room is decorated in.  I then cut a piece for the top, for the bottom of each of the drawers (gotta cover up that burn!) and for the two shelves.  I then adhered the paper to the top and the shelves with my scrapbooking adhesive.  I just laid the paper in each of the drawers, just in case I change my mind later down the road as I thought it would be very difficult to get it out of there if I glued it in.  I took a Sharpie furniture marker I had and touched up some of the nicks on it.

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It also fits in the room better and looks much more like an entertainment center than the previous piece.  Oh look, I see Kit’s been watching Downton Abbey again!  Lots of storage space for games and such.  I need to get busy and make some DVD’s and Wii games.

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do over 13Guilty as charged!

So what am I going to do with the two pieces I removed?  Good question!  At this point I’m going to put them in storage as I may need them should I decide to do temporary room layouts for Louisa, Abby and Zara or Fiona and Kanani.  I’m not going to make any rush decisions.  I also thought that one of them might come in handy in the bakery, but I have to think about it.  We’ll see.  If I don’t come up with any ideas for them, I will probably rehome them.

Overall, I’m super pleased with how both of these pieces turned out.  Sometime after the holiday, I want to get to work on the chair I picked up in October, as well as that little pink cabinet.  I’m thinking that the pink cabinet will become part of the bathroom, and it may just need a really good cleaning along with some bins made for it.  The chair is most definitely going to go in Kit’s room to replace the chair that I’ve never been very wild about.  That will probably be a project for later as I’m seriously thinking about covering it with fabric, and I’m still working out the logistics on that in my head.  I’ll be sure to share it with you when it’s done though.

There you have it, two pieces that cost me less than $6, that both turned into very functional and attractive pieces for an American Girl dollhouse.  Keep your eyes peeled, you never know what you might find.

Doll Sized Finds: Super cheap!

September was not a great thrifting month when it came to doll stuff.  I mentioned before that my trip to Pittsburgh yielded nothing.  I did a little better close by though, and my first items I didn’t even have to leave the comfort of my own home to find!

I did a major cleaning in my craft room.  In the process of doing so, I came across two items that I thought would work great in the dollhouse:

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The item on the left is a craft storage container that is designed to hold tiny items like beads, buttons, eyelets, etc. I have a bunch of these with stuff in them, but I forgot I had two extras. I’ve seen where several different people have used these as divided servers for their dolls which is exactly what I intend on using it for.  The lid comes off easily too, so that was a plus.

The item on the right is a Heinz Ketchup bottle pin–or perhaps I should say it WAS a pin. I thought it would make a nice bottle of ketchup for the dolls, so I carefully cut the pin part off it using my jewelry snips. It will go well with the snack cart too.  You can never have too much ketchup.

A trip to the Salvation Army yielded two adorable items, and I spent less than $2:
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I loved this sign and at 99 cents, I couldn’t pass it up. ‘Tis the season!
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The details on the basket are fantastic, it’s made from resin but looks like real basket materials. 69 cents!!! Not exactly sure what I’m going to use it for just yet, might be nice for keeping small items from getting lost on desks, in the kitchen and so forth.
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Met a friend for lunch, but before getting together with her, I had to check out the Salvation Army near there. They had a huge bin with stuffed animals and these two cuties were sitting on the top of the pile:
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Yes, that’s an authentic Bitty Bear! It’s in great shape too. The little dog is a Mini Ubi Petz toy, judging from the info on the tag it was a premium in a Wendy’s kids meal. There was a little bit of red on the dog around it’s nose, not sure what it was but most of it wiped off with a Clorox disinfecting wipe. Each of these cost all of 29 cents! Too cute to pass up, especially at that price.

October has been a little better, but not amazing.  Our local thrift stores have been pathetic.  The hubby was on vacation for a week and we weren’t going anywhere, just trying to get caught up on some outdoor work.  When the weather wasn’t cooperating on two of those days, we decided to go poking around in some other areas.

Our first day was by far the best and yielded these 3 finds:

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I think the chair is really cool, I just need to decide exactly what I want to do to it.  I think it’s going to go in Kit’s bedroom when it’s done though, I’ve never been all that wild about the chair I put in there.  The Halloween pumpkin just needs some minor touchup work and the little shelf?  I think that might make a fun place to put dishes!  I am not positive but I think it’s originally a shelf meant to hold ceramic measuring spoons.  On this day I spent a whopping $2, last of the big spenders. 😉

Day two wasn’t quite as exciting, but I did find something really neat for all of a dollar:

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I am not absolutely sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but both of us saw an entertainment center or something similar when we looked at it.  (Cassandra thinks it would be a great place to store all of her Minion toys, um, no.)  It’s missing the bottom drawer, but that’s not an issue, I like it as is.  I’m still scratching my head on what color to paint it.  It needs a good scrubbing first though, I haven’t purchased something this dirty at a thrift store since I bought the chair that is currently in Kit’s room.

Did you find anything fun in a thrift store or at a yard sale recently? The weather is getting cooler here, so yard sale season should be wrapping up which means it might be a good time to find some better thrift store finds. It’s been a rather poor past few months, not completely disastrous, but not as good as in the past. Fingers crossed!