Upcycling An Old Dolls House

Dolls House
My actual dolls house, in the process of being built!

Just recently, I was having a conversation with my sister and we both agreed that some of the best presents we got when we were kids were things that had been bought secondhand and upcycled by our parents.

One of my favourites was a bike I got when I was around Burrito Baby’s age. My dad bought this bike month ahead of Christmas and spent weeks in the shed stripping off the old paint, re-spraying it with a cool flame design and sticking custom stickers all over it, so that by the time it was given to me for Christmas and it looked brand-new and actually way cooler than it had looked before he started upcycling it.

As you’ll know if you’ve read my blog, another toy from my past that is precious to me is the dolls house that was made by my Nan and Grandad, from scratch. I’ve talked about renovating this for many years and just recently I’ve had some new ideas of ways that I can update it and get it looking back to brand-new again. Here are a few of the ideas: despite having been up in the loft for many years now,

Update the Exterior

Despite having been up in the loft for many years now, The exterior of the dolls house is actually in pretty good condition. There are however a few areas where it could do with a little bit of renovation and while I don’t have the same level of skill as my Grandad, who made the brick effect on the outside of the house from actual brick dust, there are now brick patterned wallpaper for dolls houses on the market which will make a really good replacement for my grandads original method.

New Wallpaper

As you can tell from the brickdust anecdote, my Nan and grandad were all about authenticity when they made this dolls house, which means that the inside is decorated with real wallpaper. The house was made in the very late 80s which means the decor on the inside is very “of the time”. Something that I’ve been planning to do is grab some samples of some more modern wallpapers from a decorating store and use these to repaper the inside of the house to give it an updated look.

New Lights 

My grandad was an incredibly skilled person in so many ways and one of the things that he did in the original dolls house would put individual lights in each room that could be controlled with separate switches and were connected to a battery pack in the loft. Over the years some of these lights have stopped working and I don’t have the same skill as Grandad so fixing individual lights is a little bit beyond my capabilities. There are however individual battery powered LEDs that can be stuck in each room without needing to rewire the whole house and this is something that I would definitely consider doing.

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