Last year, I was browsing my pinterest boards for fun ideas and kept finding adorable kitchens and dollhouses made from old bookshelves and entertainment centers. I kept saying “if I had a daughter I would so be making this!” But I have a little boy with countless action figures he calls his guys. Then the light bulb went off. Why not make a dollhouse for his guys?! In the garage we had an old bookshelf (older than me) that just happens to have a peak on the top like the roof of a house and many different compartments that were perfect for little rooms. Seriously, I could not have found a better bookshelf.
The first thing I did was clean it. I scrubbed every nook and cranny because it was so old and endured the six of us beating it up and throwing things on it.
After that, I sanded down all the kinks – there were a lot! It felt good to use my hands and work with the wood, though. I think I want to learn to build things!
The bookshelf was a baby blue. I wanted to work with something neutral. I painted everything white. I knew I was going to cover up most of the shelving later on so I only put a coat or two in those areas. I mainly focused on the sides and top of the bookcase. I put on several coats until I was satisfied.
Next, I took a trip to Home Depot. I wandered over to the flooring section of the store and found some laminate tiles I thought would look great in my tower. I picked up several kinds of the wood floor tiles and a few dark black granite tiles. They cost around $.20 each. The cashier was confused by my assortment of tiles and had to ask me what kind of room I was working on. I also picked up a few of the free samples of hardwood and carpets. They’re free. Why not? Surely I’ll find a use for these.
I decided I wanted this to be a Super Hero tower. The majority of guys are super heroes, after all. Luckily, I had already picked up a 12 x 12 paper pad specifically for Superheroes from Michaels. They still have them on sale there. I picked out which papers I wanted to go in each room, thinking I’d put them on the walls of each shelf as wallpaper. Then I decided where the tiles would go for flooring. Since this was going to be super hero related, I wanted to make the bottom the BatCave and put the black granite tiles on the walls. That’s where all the heroes’ cars will be parked.
I used spray adhesive to stick on the paper which worked great and went by pretty quickly. I had to measure everything before cutting. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun.
Then I cut the tiles using a straight blade. (Technically, I had my dad do this part. He’s very precise.) We put the tiles in and voila, we have little rooms for the heroes to play.
After this, I took a long break (a few months) to find suitable furniture and accessories. I’ll write another post later on that includes everything. I hope this inspires you to use some of your old furniture pieces for play! If you don’t have any and really want to make something unique and fun for your kid, check out your local thrift stores, consignment stores, and yard sales for inexpensive pieces (big or small!) and remember that whatever it looks like, you can definitely spruce it up yourself with a little work.