Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Polka Dot Bakery

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I  went to a Barbeque last weekend and the hostess carried a big cardboard dollhouse out into the yard for some of the kids to play with. This group of socially awkward, clingy kids suddenly had a lot to talk about and it was a majorly successful icebreaker. My daughter has a huge Greenleaf dollhouse that weighs a ton and is not going to get carried in and out of the house at will. Ditto for my son's even heavier wooden farmhouse. I started thinking about making a small, lightweight dollhouse toy that we could take with us places like that barbeque or even when we go on vacation and leave the rest of our toys at home.

There is a site called The Pretty Penny that has really adorable kits so that you can make fabric fairy houses. I love these "wee folk dwellings" and suggest you check them out! I wanted to do something easier. I am reasoning that the structure itself is not as important as the cute things that go inside. Therefore I took a Hafflinger clog shoebox and a lot of odds and ends and made my bakery out of felt and glue and cardboard. I had a lot of different trim which came in handy to cover corners, window edges and door.  On the two smaller sides, I glued on decorative windows and did not cut them out. For the front I wanted actual see-through windows. I cut two squares out and a door. Then I glued pieces of plastic over the window holes. I used a presentation cover from Staples but there are probably lots of other sources for a square of plastic.

The side that opens has a loop of embroidery floss sewed to it so that it can close and latch onto a button sewed onto the top.

I made ample use of trims, ric rac, pinking shears and ribbon to hide the flaws and I think I cam up with a cute building. The inside is wallpapered with polka dot paper so I decided to call it the "Polka Dot Cafe."

Now for the fun stuff: the interior! Bakery shelves were assembled out of tiny thimbles (found at The Family Dollar) and microscope slides. I used superglue to connect them. You could put a third slide underneath to make your shelf steadier or just have it stand on the two thimbles. 

Fimo or Sculpey baked goods are fun for the whole family to make. The loaves of bread and hot cross buns were easy to make by mixing brown and white to get a nice bread color. We also made some cute trays of tiny cookies, and had mixed success with cakes and pastries.

The table is made of thimbles and a cork top from the awesome American Science Surplus store (where I also got the glass slides.) I glued the whole thing to a flat button so that it will stand up nicely. You also can buy the tables and shelves at our Etsy store.

Now you are ready to play with your bakery!

Please join us at our Tumblr page. We are a little late to the game but are finding it to be a really good vehicle for sharing our own dollhouse photos as well as pictures of other dollhouse art out there. Also you can submit pictures of your own dollhouse crafts to add to the mini blog!

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