Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Craft Project: Barbie Doll Bedroom Set

Barbie has ordered a bedroom set. Now all she needs is a
nice quilt for the bed. Yeah, that's on the list.
I have a habit of saving small boxes and scraps of cardboard with the idea that someday I may have a use for them. (Remember the cardboard rounds from the pizza I used for the decorative knight's shields?) Today I put some of my tiny boxes to use. This Easter, the Easter bunny got my kids some small boxes of Russell Stover candy. I have been hoarding the empty boxes, looking at them every day trying to decide what to do with them. At some point, and idea began to gel: small chest of drawers for Barbie to go beside her bed. Which brings up the next problem: Barbie doesn't have a bed.

Among the gifts my daughters got for their birthday was a crate of plush fruit and veggies. Don't worry, the making of the doll bed did not involve destroying the kids' fruit. I wouldn't do that. No, this matter involves the crate: a cardboard box with a woodgrain finish. Knowing my kids, if I gave them the crate to play with it would be smashed in 10 minutes, so I rescued that for my own nefarious purposes, after all, it was a really neat cardboard box.

The boxes that inspired the project, before I tampered with them.

I started by removing one of the end pieces from each Russell Stover lid.
The lid will be the drawer support that the box "drawer" will slide in and
out of when the chest is finished.

From my stash, I found a piece of cardboard that I cut to size for the sides
of the chest of drawers. I glued the three lids to the first side, upside down
with the open side flush with the front. Hot glue is best for cardboard.
Repeat with the other side, back, and top.

I used button replacements from the dollar store as drawer pulls. These are
pins that fasten with a metal clip on the back, but are a little loose to just
fasten that way, so after I finished with the surface treatment, I hot glued
them in place.

When the construction was complete, I covered the whole thing in contact
paper, sealing the edges with packing tape because contact paper doesn't
adhere well to cardboard. If you try this project, you may prefer to paint the
surface or cover with scrapbook paper using glue or Mod Podge. The drawers
slide easily in the finished dresser.

Hmmm.... the bed looks a little short..,

I made legs using some stiff scrap cardboard, folding them for extra strength.
Hot glue holds them in place.

A bit of eyelet lace glued around the bottom edge makes a pretty bed skirt
and hides the non-woodgrain cardboard legs. I glued a piece of print fabric
to the bottom of the bed for a sheet and sewed a matching pillow case which
I stuffed with some polyester fiber fill. Barbie still needs a quilt, and to be
honest, the bed's a bit short for her (although it might be perfect for Skipper
or Stacy), but I think this made a pretty nice looking bed, with a good firm
mattress for back support :)

When my son saw the finished product, he really wanted it for his GI Joe house. I think, however, this might be more appropriate for my niece who has a birthday coming up. Maybe the next project will be for the Joes... and on that one, we'll leave off the eyelet lace.


  1. I always want to keep the boxes that oranges come in, it would be good to decorate each one for a different holiday/season...I end up throwing them away though. I never get around to crafting and I end up storing them somewhere where they either get broken or lost. Some day!

  2. Luckily, I now have a craft room to store all this stuff... although now it's overflowing and bursting at the seams, so it definitely needs some organization! It's so full, there is almost no room to work in there. Hopefully soon I can invest in some shelving.

  3. just stumbled across this site! i have been looking at your barbie items and love this one and the doll doctor one! i have bookmarked so i kan peruse more later on! =) i wonder did you ever get your room organized? LOL enjoy your time off!