The Great DIY Doll Table Challenge! part 1

I’ve been making end tables lately.  That’s doll sized end tables.  They make great accessories for doll photography.  Today you’ll see the first one I created.  After finishing, it occurred to me that it was fairly complex and required quite a few tools to accomplish.  This created THE GREAT DIY DOLL TABLE CHALLENGE!  I decided to make two tables out of the same pattern – one out of oak – and one out of foam board.

Yep.  Foam board.  You know, the big box craft store kind of foam board.  I challenged myself to make a simple but totally cool table that the average DIY doll owner could accomplish without a workshop full of tools and expensive materials.  That’s what you have to look forward to next week since they still need a few final touches.  I think you’ll be surprised with their look and ease of construction.  Today, you’ll see how the first table turned out.

Classic Doll Furniture by My Little Big Chair

Doll Furniture by My Little Big Chair

Pretty cool, huh?!  I love to decorate the table with personal items of my own and the personal items of my dolls. That’s me and my Dad in the photo.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

The whole process starts with a pattern.  Searching the web for designs is fun with tons of creative ideas.  Feel free to combine elements from different pieces that you love.  The legs on my final choice are made from two parts.  I know I know, more complex than was necessary, but that’s just the way I am.  The style of THE GREAT DIY DOLL TABLE CHALLENGE! tables will be sleek and simple.  (Love to write that in all caps and hear a booming baritone voice saying it.)

Drawing the design so that it fits the size of your dolls is important.  I use heavy drawing paper which is sturdy enough to cut out and use as the pattern.  Here you can see the pattern pieces and the finished cutouts.

DIY Doll Furniture The bottom leg sections have been glued together and the table top cut out.

BJD furnitureYou can see what the table will look like at this point in the process.  However, don’t actually attach the top to the bottom, because painting or staining is much easier with the top and bottom still separate.

Classic Handmade Doll FurnitureI liked the table top but remembered my old router, which was gathering dust on a shelf in the garage, would enable me to add some detail to the edge of the top.  With dolls…..more is always better.

My Little Big Chair Handmade Doll FurnitureA bit of extra shaping was added to the bottom.  Then a coat of primer and some vinyl spackling is applied and sanded to cover the joints.

DIY doll tableOn top of the primer, a couple of coats of black went on first.  Then a couple of a teal, both of which were water based wall paints.  I like the small jars of “test” paint you can purchase for $3.00 at Lowe’s.  You have to be careful to keep the paint off the rim of the lid, or they can be almost impossible to re-open.  Once you know to be careful with that, these inexpensive little pots of color will last a long time over many projects and can be combined with other colors to get beautiful blends.

You can see the last of the black being covered in the photo below.  My intention was to paint the bottom since I had to cover the joints of the plywood legs. The top was intended to be stained and left natural.  Cutting on curves is cutting against the grain at some point and that area will take stain at different rates, usually much darker.  The edge was dark and uneven and more importantly didn’t photograph well.  So, masking tape was applied top and bottom to protect the stain on my beautiful routed edges and a coat of primer applied to seal the stain before being painted to match the bottom.

Most sophisticated handmade bjd furnitureHere’s the finished product.  If you look closely (click to enlarge first photo in post for even closer view) you’ll see the black paint has been exposed along the edges of the legs and at the “toes” by very lightly sanding away the teal color.  Tiny little dots of black paint were “spattered” all over the for a vintage look.

DIY Doll Furniture

Of course, this idea is intended to inspire DIY doll owners from 24 inches plus all the way down to dollhouse size.  Use these ideas to make coffee tables, dining tables, desks, etc.   I hope my process will stimulate your thinking and creativity around the possibilities for your photography & accessories for your dolls.  It’s a lot of fun!

 

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DIY Doll House Floor

pinkmarblefloorA

You can easily make this pink and white marble floor for your doll photography or for a dollhouse floor.  I’ve pick a pattern I saw in a magazine, but you can google marble floors and find ultra fabulous patterns that can make you crazy looking at them.  They’re not that hard to figure out and since there are no rules…..you can’t go far wrong.

Start with your materials.  I’ve chosen a large piece of pink poster board which will serve as the base for the tiles and will show through as my “grout”.  Honestly, it’s a pink grout floor, but that didn’t have the zing that “pink marble floor” has, and I was going for subtle pink.  Also shown below (click on any photo to enlarge), are a couple of pieces of white poster board and some darker pink wall paper which will be used as accent tiles for this floor.  Some of the white poster board has already been cut into small rectangles which will be my white slate/marble tiles.

Pinkandwhitefloor1

I started by drawing a very very very light pencil line on a diagonal across the pink board as a guide line to get started.  All you have to do is start placing the white marble tiles on the pink board with a touch of glue.  You don’t have to be perfect.  I only made the one guideline and eyeballed it from there, but do whatever you have to do to keep things in line and fairly square.

Pinkmarblefloor2

Keep adding more of the white tiles.  Below, you can also see that I’ve cut up the piece of wallpaper into small accent tiles.  You will have to figure out the scale of your floor to suit your needs at the start of the project.  I wanted pink “grout” to also show around the little accent tiles, so they were cut with that in mind.  Paste them in just like the big tiles.

PinkMarblefloor3

Here’s a close look at the finished product and then a photo of the whole scene.  You might notice that the accent tiles are made from the same wallpaper as the wall.  These kinds of touches are fun to make and can add so much visual appeal to your doll photography or dollhouse.  The garden door in the last photo is fun to make and you can learn how here.   Hope you like it.  Thanks for looking.  Ask questions if you have any.  Best Wishes, Melanie

Pinkmarblefloor4

pinkmarblefloorB