This first project for my dolls was started March last year when I decided to try to find a suitable place to house them. I began searching BJD blogs, random websites, Flickr, and just about anything I could lay my eyes on about how BJD owners were storing and keeping their dolls.
I didn’t have a lot of money to spend so I thought I could make it even though I’m not handy in any way. I started with Ikea when I saw that another dolly owner had her dollies displayed in a cabinet that worked with my home decor. That cabinet was a bit smaller and pricey. There were also limitations for what I could create on the inside and I wouldn’t be able to expand it so, Ikept searching for anything that would work, and right under my nose was a DIY on turning an Ikea Lack table into a very large kitty condo.
I figured that same set-up might work for what I needed, considering how tall my dolls were (I mean really… how often are they left standing). I purchased three Ikea Lack tables for $7.99 ea. Each table would be an individual level, I would have a total of two levels with one table top used as a base at the bottom. I still hadn’t figured out how to stack them and my first attempt was a fail. So back to the drawing board…meaning more Pinterest and YouTube videos to find out how to join two Ikea tables together.
I got some basic instructions and purchased 10 L-brackets, and straight brackets from Home Depot to join one table to another (from the legs), and it worked by drilling holes on the front and side of each leg that would attach to the top portion of the table. After only 20 minutes of drilling I had a structure which was perfect.
I thought I could make furniture out of wood planter boxes and other items, and I would make cushions for seating with fabric, fiber fill, and liquid stitch. I also wanted to hide the ugly cork bottom of the lack table (which is technically their ceiling) so I got 2 rolls shelf paper from Amazon (about $12.99 ea.) which made a huge difference.
I used foam core for walls but not on all sides because I still wanted access into the structure. I also purchased some fur fabric for the floors and mimicked an off shape circle. From this point I had the basics for a home.
I knew that I wasn’t done but for the time being it served it’s purpose for keeping my dollies in a place that could be attractive and unseen at the same time. It blended in with my furniture and I was using the top surface for miscellaneous things in my room. Fast forward to Fall/Winter 2016 and I really wanted to change some things and freshen up their place. Again I searched for some guidance and inspiration, because I really didn’t know what I was looking for. One common theme I’ve noticed in looking at dolly houses and decor is that most set ups look like their for a teenager or for little girls, but I guess that truly depends on what persona you want your dolly to have. I haven’t given my dolls a persona or backstory or anything like that, but I do want their mini-condo to be neutral and not covered with pink wall paper and flowers just because they’re girls. I want to take things even further and try to build some furniture that reflects my own. My budget limits me from just buying furniture from a sellers on Etsy so I’m going to try to build it myself. Using tutorials, some drawn plans, a few supplies from the hardware store, and a lot of patience, I think I’m on to something. The best thing out of this is that I’m learning a new skill and while I have to balance everything with my work schedule, I’m up for the challenge. Check out my Projects page for upcoming DIY’s for my mini space.