Does anyone else struggle with unfinished doll crafts? I sure do! Seriously, how hard is it to complete one task before jumping ahead to the next? For me, impossible!
Well, that’s got to change. I’m determined to wrap up the half-baked rooms, furniture, and whatnot scattered about our house so I can move on to new ideas. Which craft am I tackling first? A little project I like to call:
The Farmhouse Apartment!
I started building this room last October. It’s based on My Froggy Stuff’s Doll Apartment with Fall Decor. As of right now, it belongs to Elsa.
Elsa’s previous abode was great. It was also VERY BIG (check it out here-—Let’s Decorate A Doll House For Christmas). So, I decided to scale it back and give her a folding room that takes up less space. I didn’t want to trash the original one, though, so I carefully deconstructed it so I could reuse the foam board.
The old room was about 20″ long, but I needed 25″ for the new room’s long, folding wall.
I could’ve connected two sections of foam board with paper; however, this didn’t sound strong enough for our household.
To get the correct length, I cut a different piece of foam board to 14 1/4″ by 25″. I then measured over 14″ and scored a line from top to bottom, creating a single sheet of foam board that bends.
The wall is now divided into two sections. One side is 14″ wide (the back), and the other is 11″ wide (the front).
This wall is not as flexible as the one in the video, but I hoped it would be sturdier since the pieces were never truly separated. In fact, I was so determined to keep it from snapping that I reinforced the scored area with more paper!
For the other two walls, I was able to use foam board harvested from the old room. The back wall is 11″ wide and 14″ tall, and the right is 14″ wide by 14″ tall.
Notice the right side also swings out, making our apartment even larger.
Because it’s the biggest, I’m focusing on the left wall first. Using a My Froggy Stuff printable as a template, I cut out a door with a large window in the center. Since only three sides are cut (top, bottom, and left), the door can open.
In hindsight, I wished I’d skipped this step. Having a working door sounded fun, but it turned into a real pain. Getting it to hang straight and swing smoothly was challenging. Plus, the cutouts weakened the wall, which I’m trying to avoid.
Both sides of the wall are covered with scrapbook paper. The inside is a combination of green shiplap and white brick, and the outside is a pale wood-grain paired with red brick.
I trimmed the inside with baseboards, then left this piece to dry while I constructed the back wall (aka the kitchen).
Crafting Tip: Whether I’m making doll rooms or doll clothes, I’m a big believer in letting glue fully set before moving on to the next step. It’s not uncommon for me to leave a project all day to ensure everything has time to bond.
Everything you see here was done pretty much according to the video. The floor is a 14″ by 11″ piece of foam board covered with scrapbook paper.
The tile backsplash, cabinets, and appliances are all printables from My Froggy Stuff. I made the fridge, microwave, and cabinets 3-D by printing an extra set, cutting them out, and gluing them to more foam board. These pieces are then glued to the wall over the printable.
Once everything was dry, I glued the left wall to the back and floor. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of this all-important step—probably because it was midnight!
It doesn’t matter, though, because the entire wall fell apart a few days later. That’s right. IT FELL APART!
The seam I’d worked so hard to strengthen split. I felt like crying. What went wrong? Why did my beautiful (yet very fragile) house crumble like confetti?
The answer was simple. Trying to save a few pennies, I used inferior foam board. You see, not all foam board is created equal. Some are firm and robust, while others are spongy and flake when cut. The board I used was one of those flimsy brands. That’s why it gave way so easily.
I tried salvaging the broken bits, but it was no use. The wall was toast. Thus, it went into the trash, and I went to Hobby Lobby to buy a sheet of good-quality foam board that would withstand the stress of bending back and forth.
Fast forward a few days, and the room is back in one piece. Yay!
A few things changed in the process. First of all, I was fresh out of the scrapbook paper I’d used on the outside. The only thing left in my crafting arsenal that resembled siding was a roll of beige dollhouse wallpaper.
Not my favorite but beggars can’t be choosers.
For the bricks, I resorted to using a printable. I hate printing out walls and flooring for doll rooms. They require so much ink! But, in this case, I had no choice. There’s a slight difference between the new bricks and the old ones, but I’m hoping it’s not too noticeable.
After re-papering the exterior, I used strips of 1/2″ foam board to trim out the edges and door frame and add some decorative details.
Lucky for me, I still had some green shiplap and white brick leftover. My interior color palette is saved!
I nixed the idea of cutting out a door, opting for a printable one instead. The house still has a door, but it’s also structurally sound.
Since I don’t need two doors, I glued white brick paper over the one in the kitchen, creating a little recess perfect for a pantry.
I wasn’t sure what to do with the right wall. Leaving it blank seemed boring, but more wood-print seemed redundant. Then I stumbled across this floral scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby.
I generally shy away from flowery designs, but this paper is perfect for Elsa’s room! The beautiful tones compliment the colors on the opposite wall and keep the apartment from becoming overly rustic.
The last thing this room needs are a few floor extensions. For this, I cut three 11″ by 11″ squares of foam board and covered them with the same white planks I used in the kitchen.
The extensions aren’t glued in—they’re simply laid next to the walls and kitchen floor.
This apartment is turning out splendid! It’s exactly what I need.
The whole thing measures 25″ wide by 22″ deep when fully open, then closes up to a space-saving 15″ by 11.5″ rectangle.
This gives Elsa plenty of living space and solves my storage woes.
Time To Move In?
Tink’s right–this place needs some seating and a bed, pronto!
Like me, Elsa loves multifunctional furniture. I mean, who isn’t somewhat intrigued by fold-down desks or convertible coffee tables? So, to create a bedroom without losing a lot of floor space, I made Murphy Bed like the one in the video.
At first glance, the bed looks like a centerpiece with shelves and cabinets.
What no one knows is that there is a mattress hidden inside. Just pull out the upper cabinets to transform this normal-looking bookcase into a cozy sleeping nook!
The framework is painted a deep blue that matches the wallpaper. I covered the underside with dark navy scrapbook paper since this area will be seen when the mattress is stored away.
I used Terra Cotta Folk Art Acrylic Paint in Ocean Cavern for the bedframe. This particular paint is slightly textured, which helps to hide any imperfections in my paint job.
Because a doll can never have too much storage, I made the upper cabinets openable.
Now Elsa has a place for extra bedding, clothes, and other random knickknacks.
The next step is gluing the bed to the right wall. But do I really want it to be a permanent fixture? Or is it more versatile as a freestanding piece? Hmmm…this is a tough decision.
Good idea, Elsa! Every kitchen needs some shelving!
The shelves need to be the same depth as the cabinets; otherwise, the kitchen will look unbalanced. This means they’re going to be quite narrow—a mere 1/4″ deep, to be exact.
The shelves are about 1.5″ apart. That’s just enough space for a Mini Brand box.
Now that we have a place to stack our mini groceries, our dolls need somewhere to prepare their meals. Again, following the instructions in the tutorial, I created this small kitchen island.
The island has a marble countertop and faux cabinets in the front. The backside is recessed so the dolls can pull up a chair and eat their breakfast.
Since it’s not glued down, we can move the island around and play with different layouts. I doubt I’ll stray too far from my current configuration, though. I like how it separates the kitchen from the living room.
I haven’t gotten around to making chairs yet, but it’s on the list😉.
After giving it some thought, I’ve decided to go ahead and glue the bed to the wall. I believe the bed will look and function better if it’s stationary. Besides, the wall could use the support.
This apartment is almost move-in ready! I just want to add one last detail—a ceiling!
I usually don’t put ceilings on my doll rooms because they obstruct much-needed light. However, I miss the puck light Elsa had in her old room. Even though I hardly used it, it was a neat feature! So, I’m going to compromise and give this room a half roof.
The roof is roughly 11.5″ across and 6.25″ deep. It covers just the kitchen area, leaving the rest of the room open and bright.
Why didn’t I paper the ceiling? Because the only papers I have that resemble roofing are wood-textured, and this house has enough of that. So, I’m going a different route. I’d like to try replicating the look of a metal roof. But first, I’ve got to run to Hobby Lobby and grab some paint😉!
Aside from painting the roof, this apartment is pretty much complete. It just needs some decor—but I think we’ll save that for another day.
Now it’s your turn!
I hope you all enjoyed helping me finish Elsa’s apartment. Although it gave me some trouble, building this room was a lot of fun. And I can’t wait to start furnishing it with cute signs, books, plants, and other doll-sized miscellanies!
At the same time, I can’t forget the other dolly DIYs calling my name. I’ve got everything from clothes to printables and even a few clay crafts underway. What about you? What projects are you working on?
I love Elsa’s new apartment. I have that same Ducktape, but I hadn’t thought about wrapping shelving in it; I wanted to use it for a baseboard effect. Of course cats will jump into a box whenever one becomes available. We’ve never allowed our cats on tables, though, so I’ve avoided the cat-proof dilemna. Cans like canned kitten food also make good fabric weights, if you didn’t know that already. Don’t worry, Tink, I have some of my best ideas at midnight too! I often didn’t dive into a college paper until the night before.
Boy, do I know about the stacked up projects thing! I’ve had those two doll dresses that I just put up on Instagram, sewn for a few years now, but I wanted to swap out the snaps and switch to Velcro! I sewed on those snaps really well; it took me forever to take them back off, which was probably why I put it off for so long. I have a bunch of wood things lying around that need to be sanded and painted, I want to start sewing some fall clothes for the dolls, and I am still in the process of really organizing my craft/photography area.
I love that wood-grain duck tape. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to wrapping small furniture pieces and shelves. I bought mine on Amazon, but I’ve also seen it in stock at craft stores. And you can get other patterns too, like marble and burlap.
Yes, cat food cans come in very handy for crafting purposes🤣. Whether it’s to weigh things down or prop stuff up, I use them constantly.
The doll dresses you made are gorgeous! I totally understand wanting to switch out Velcro for snaps. Even though I use it a lot, I’m not a fan of Velcro.
Right now I’m working on a couple more doll rooms. One is the fashion boutique shown in the Mini Fashions review, and another is a mermaid-inspired room. I also have quite a few sewing projects underway—some for Barbie and some for my EAH collection.
I’m so glad you like Elsa’s apartment. Building it took longer than I expected (due to my busy schedule), but changing to a foldable room was totally worth it.
The Ducktape headquarters (and I think a factory) are within a couple of miles of our home, so you can find Ducktape for sale everywhere here. Believe it or not, I substituted snaps and put in Velcro on those dresses! Because they are curvy Barbies, the snaps didn’t work as well covering the curve of their, um, posteriors. I usually don’t use Velcro, but it was useful for that, and I also use it on knit shirts. Best of luck to both of us with our projects!
Ah, I see. I haven’t made dresses for my curvy dolls yet (been working on pants and t-shirts), so that’s good to know.
Wow, a duck tape factory! I didn’t even realize they had those here–I just assumed it was manufactured overseas. From what I can tell, patterned duck tape seems to be fairly popular. I just wish there were more textures, like brick and stonework.
It really turned out great, looks like a fun project!
Thank you! Yes, it was fun to build. But my favorite part is still to come–the decorating😉!
That apartment is the cutest! I do love the farmhouse style. The Murphy Bed was probably my favorite feature!
And the picture of the cat in the moving box? ❤
Yes, the apartment is turning into a very pretty place. I especially love the color palette. And the Murphy Bed is awesome—totally worth making!
Yep, just like my cats, Elsa’s kitty (Gabby) had to check out the boxes. Gabby’s real-life counterpart is the cat who was hiding in the still-under-construction room in the picture. She’s one of my bottle kittens and thinks whatever’s mine is also hers😁.
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