Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Barbie's New Bathroom - Of Course It's Pink!

Three guesses how I'm going to use this stuff...
After building the G.I. Joe/Barbie mansion, my kids were pretty fluid on the function of the rooms. Bedroom, living room, library, whatever... It didn't matter. That is, for most of the space. The pink room was always intended to be a bathroom.

Barbie seems pretty pleased with this room... I'm sure it
has nothing to do with it being pink.
We have a mix of secondhand doll furniture and homemade accessories, but we don't really have any bathroom furniture to put in here. So I made some :) The kids requested that the furniture be permanently installed, but you could easily follow these same steps and make movable furniture.

Barbie is used to luxury. This jacuzzi tub has 8 jets!
I used a recycled deli container for the jacuzzi tub. I hot-glued 8 white buttons around the sides of the tub to simulate jets. We had originally planned to use a styrofoam meat tray for the bathtub, but the shape of this container inspired me to take it to the next level. It reminded me of a hot tub, so that's kind of what I went for.

This paint is also a primer. 

I planned to make the tub white, but it turns out I am out of white spray paint. I am also impatient. I had everything else I needed for the project, so I just went ahead and painted the tub brown inside and out as well as this canister which will be the vanity.

Painting by hand takes longer than spray paint, but
it will do in a pinch.
When the brown paint was dry, I painted the inside with white acrylic craft paint. It would have looked better with spray paint, but well... impatient. Meanwhile, when the paint was drying, I got to work on the sink for the vanity.

A bottle cap or a plastic egg would have worked as well,
but since I couldn't find anything more suitable, I used
a Wendy's cup for the basin of the sink.

After cutting the cup to size, I traced the circle and cut
the opening in the "vanity" lid.
After a little trial and error, I got the cup to fit in the hole and I hot-glued the two pieces together. A little more white paint over the glue helped to unify the two pieces.

Aren't these some cool beads? Gabriel Brothers sells bags of broken
jewelry pieces. 

Once all the paint was dry on both pieces I dug through my collection of mixed beads and found some pieces that would work for fixtures. It took a little mixing and matching, but I found some pieces that would work. I hot-glued a few beads together and then glued them on to the sink and tub. Next, I installed the pieces in the house, securing them with hot-glue.

I'm not sure Kohler makes this set, but hopefully it's
close enough that the imagination can take it the rest
of the way. We also found beads to make a bar of soap,
a flask or lotion jar, and a toothbrush cup.

The bathtub faucet and knobs are similar to the sink, but
not identical. I found 2 little gold rings for the sink and
tub drains.

Pretty luxurious!

We didn't put together a toilet for this bathroom, but the chair Barbie is sitting on was originally a candle holder and has a hole in the seat, so a few modifications (or a bit of imagination) and the room is complete. My daughters drew the pictures that we hung on the wall. I found the tiny frames at Goodwill a long time ago and kept them, intending to put them in a future dollhouse. This is the only room in the mansion with a skylight (my son's idea). 

There is still room for a little more upgrading to this bathroom. I would like to hang a mirror over the vanity and put up curtains. There's room on the walls for more art. But at this point, the room's in pretty good shape. Chelsea seems to be enjoying her bath!

Cardboard "Mansion" in the Snow

Last week was spring break for my kids. There was snow on the ground. Lots of snow. We were unable to escape to a beach, so we had to get creative to stave off cabin fever. So, of course, I got out the cardboard...

Spring Break 2014 - Woo hoo!!!

My son took the lead on this one. He said he wanted to make a cardboard "mansion" for his G.I. Joes, and yeah, Barbie can probably live there too. This project kept us busy for three days. Check it out:

Our mansion has stained glass windows; marble, tile, and hardwood
floors; custom wallpaper, and landscaping!

Our windows are made from sun catchers that the kids
painted a while back. Shutters are made from foam with
Sharpie lines (suggested by my son the architect).
Landscaping is pretty simple - layered flower stickers,
which seem to be attracting a variety of sticker butterflies.

This is the room I put together, with "wood" floors and
white paint, as my son suggested. The gilded frame on
the wall was originally a Christmas ornament.

My son chose orange wallpaper and red floor tiles,
sealed with Mod Podge. They match the stained
glass ladybug window pretty well, don't ya think?

Daughter #1 designed the bathroom. She made the
marble floor by drawing lines in Sharpie on the cardboard
floor and gluing crinkled tissue paper on top. We sealed
this down with a double coat of Mod Podge. My girly-girl
chose pink wallpaper. Mama helped with the jacuzzi tub
and sink a bit ;)

Daughter #2 designed the upstairs room, drawing a custom design on the
wallpaper before hanging it. It's one of a kind! She also laid the tile pattern
all by herself. Not bad for a 4-year-old!

Barbie loves her new house! Her favorite thing is all the
natural light and color from the stained-glass windows.

Now that the kids are a little older, they were able to participate more fully in the design and construction processes of this endeavor, which meant that they were entertained. Maybe not the ideal way to spend spring break, but certainly not the worst. Now all we need is a sunny day to light up those windows!