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!