Saturday, December 25, 2010

Homemade Holiday - Part Two

In my previous post I showed the dollhouse that our daughter received from her father made out of cardboard. Now, I'd like to show you the plush stuffy and accessories that I made her. It was a real challenge not to buy materials for this challenge.

If you have kids, she may look very familiar to some of you. My daughter's been wanting the vampire, "Draculaura", Monster High plush doll for some time now. I just couldn't see buying something I can make. So I attempted Draculaura's close cousin, which my daughter named "Batsy", and her pet "Batley".

She and her clothes are almost entirely made from remnant polar fleece I already had around. Even her hair is thin strips of fleece. I made her a two piece black dress, red dress, black coat, apron, and a spare skirt. Batley's body was made out of a pom pom with red button eyes and polar fleece covered chenille stem wings. (My daughter said the bat looks like the crystal bats from the Jim Henson movie "The Dark Crystal". I hadn't thought of that 'til she said it. :) )

Polar fleece is great to work with. It doesn't fray and my messy stitching doesn't show too badly. :) However, there is one thing about it that I could do without. That's the shedding. I had to take the lint brush to everything several time before I was finished.

Here hair is a removable wig that is velcro'ed to her head. I will probably make her a few different hairstyles/colors to mix and match with her clothes, in the future. She has button eyes and embroidered mouth and teeth. I even added some bite marks to her neck. The necklace was a wine bottle charm my sister had given me a long while ago. She thought it might come in handy for something, and it did!

The coffin was made of cereal and other cardboard boxes that were covered and painted. I added the remnant satin lining. The lid has a pocket for her accessories.

Well, that pretty much wraps up what we did for Christmas. Hope you've enjoyed taking a peak and are inspired to try this yourself next year. :) Happy Homemade Holidays!

Homemade Holiday Dollhouse

Daddy and I made what I think was a challenging decision this year for Christmas. Since "Santa" was getting our 8 year old daughter popular name brand items, we thought we'd try something a little different and make her gifts. This wasn't new to me. I 'm accustomed to making my gifts for the holidays. But, for us both to only make gifts and not buy anything was the challenge. It's always nice to have a backup gift just in case your idea doesn't actually work in reality. I'm glad we made this decision, though. It was interesting to see her reaction this morning. She really did prefer the homemade gifts more than the store bought ones. Probably won't be the case when she's a little older. :(

So daddy, being an architecture major in college, set out to create her a cardboard dollhouse inspired by a $250+ dollar plastic Calico Critter Manor house.

It folds out just like the original version. Forgot to take a pic of it closed. He started building it 2 weeks before Christmas! I must admit, we (mom and I) didn't think he'd have it standing in time. But, he brought it thru the door at 10pm Christmas Eve. :) Whew! Time to spare! ;D Of course, it needs some paint and details still. He wants her to help him out on the colors and furniture. :)

It has lots of large windows, and the little doors actually open! Pretty amazing for cardboard.

He still has some supports to add at the corners in the interior. They'll be needed to withstand the weight of her plastic furniture pieces.

The Calico Critter families couldn't wait to move in to their new home (even if it's not finished, yet). :)

I really liked the spiral staircase. It looks so delicate, but is surprisingly sturdy. I'm really proud of him. This was a LOT of work to take on. But, she loved it. Making a unique gift like this is truly worth every bit of the effort. I'm sure she will treasure it for years to come. This is Samedi's first year to make gifts. He doesn't really even give gifts. Being Asian, he really doesn't celebrate Christmas.

I'll post about my gift to my daughter next. And, I'll be sure to post some progress pics as they start decorating. Until then, Merry Christmas!

***** UPDATE 01/06/11 *****

Just wanted show a small addition to the house, I posted this image on Craftster, so you may have seen it already. He won't leave well enough alone. He finished the front balcony railing and a round attic window. I'll keep you posted when more improvements are made.