Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The one where we are invaded by Calico Critters and a DIY dollhouse.

My house has been taken over. It's like the second coming of the Beatles. Except instead of Beatles, it's these adorable fellows:


I mean as a girl, how can you not be entranced by these adorable things. I mean there's babies! There's adorable country houses, they all have clothes! I mean, hell, I want to play with them and I'm a grown-ass woman. They rope you in with their adorableness and then you see the price tags. That cute little townhouse there, $50! The family of rabbits, $22.99 and then the babies are separate, so those will run you $8.99. And the house doesn't come with any furniture, so you are looking at least $100 to even have a playable set of stuff. You sly bastards, you. 

But, alas, my daughter is totally obsessed with it, so I have been scouring resale pages, eBay, everywhere looking for these little guys at a semi-reasonable cost. I found a mislisted eBay listing that had 20 of these babies and a house that doesn't go with them that they may or may not be able to use for $35. That's pretty exciting when you consider that the dolls cost anywhere between $4 and $6 a piece. I'm going cheap and thrifty on this as much as I can, because I'm a stay at home mom. As I've said a billion times before, we broke y'all. I'm going to try and make clothes for them because the ones I got don't have the clothes. 

Harper and I spent all morning Monday making a Calico Critter house out of a box. Cheaper than the cheapest home that costs $50, by far. I've actually got a vintage Calico Critters house that I had received from my Grandma as a little girl. But, we are expecting 4 families and I know my daughter and so everyone is going to have to have their own place. Our playhouse may not look that pretty, but it's seriously my daughter's favorite toy right now because she helped make everything. Take a look:



Let me take you over some of the finer points of making a quick and easy dollhouse. First we took a box and cut all the top folds off of it. We saved 2 of the pieces to make our walls. It's the easiest way to do it because they will be a perfect fit. Next, we cut out our windows and a door using a sharp knife. Don't let your kids wield a sharp knife. Not a good plan. I did that part. For the outside of the house, we covered it in construction paper to make it look a little less like a box. We reinforced the corners with some duct tape. For the inside we decided to make 2 rooms and a hallway. First I set up the walls with some duct tape and the box edges I'd saved. I cut doors into the walls. I should have put them more in the middle, but I didn't. Live and learn. While I did this, Harper designed the "wallpaper" for the kids' room. I cut down and sized the wall paper on to the walls. I used felt for the "carpet". We let that all dry and while Harper napped I made the finishing touches for the rooms. I cut egg shaped pieces of felt out for rugs to put in the rooms. I had some trial pill boxes from the last time I went to the doctor and I covered those in brown shipping paper to make beds. Basically, you will unfold one side of the box and stick it straight up to make a headboard. I took some infant socks we had lying around and cut the cuffs off of them and stuffed the foot part full of cotton for pillows. Then I took some receiving blankets and cut them up for sheets. I didn't know wtf to do with all of that stuff anyway. 

When my daughter got up from nap, she had a ready to play with dollhouse! In fact, most of the dolls have moved out of the fancy calico critters house into the box dollhouse. She is so proud of herself for making it and it saved me anywhere from $50-$180 (seriously, why are they so expensive?)! Now she just can't wait for Santa to get here and bring her some Calico Critters! 

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