Renovating an old dresser

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I guess one up from recycling is up-cycling!

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The BEFORE shot

I love taking something old and giving it a second life. Until now, that usually happened with things on a smaller scale, e.g. turning old sheets into pillows or quilts. However, when I saw this dresser for sale on “BFC Buy, Sell, Swap shop” for only 70 euro, wondering if I have bitten more than I could chew, I decided to commit to this project, and bought it! I did have to sell my not-so-old chest of drawers from Ikea. Oh well.

It just so happened that for my 30th birthday I got a professional sander from my dad – what a present, right, but I could not be happier! It is almost as good as a bag of red red apples he got me for my 13th birthday (we were poor then, and that was all I wanted). Thank you, Dad!

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The piece is very exciting – I love how it has a column of narrower drawers in the middle and wider drawers on the outside. The finishing was a little too orange for my liking, it had to be re-varnished. The long and tedious process had began. There are nine drawers and the main unit itself – that’s a lot of sanding! And a lot of dust! Note to self, next time sanding, close the door!

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The large round 80s looking handles were not my favourite and were replaced with some silver geometrical shaped handles. The ones on the smaller drawers I decided to have triangular shape and square handles on the larger drawers.

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Though I have made a few mistakes, I have thoroughly enjoyed the process, love the outcome and definitely will try something again.

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The AFTER shot

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Sweeping Betty Vector

Sweeping Betty

One of my first vectors used in a business

Family is great! No matter how much of a beginner you are (which I am), they are your first fun club members, first blog followers and definitely first customers. This is one of my first vectors that my family in Scotland have used (actually used!) as their business logo. There is definitely room for improvement, but family is great, and encouraging, and I am pretty sure willing to set aside their preferences and taste just to support me in my little endeavors. They deserve a party!

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That fuzzy feeling, seeing your work displayed!

DIY – Doll House Sofa and Loveseat

old blog photos

This is probably where it all began.  Just over a year, when my daughter was slightly less than two and was starting to play with dolls, the idea for a doll house was born. There is always a “it all began with…” story. This one is mine.

I made these super cute sofas while our doll house was still being made. There is an excellent step-by-step tutorial that takes you step-by-step through the process of making your own sofa. Again, this is one of those crafts where stars align perfectly and all you have to do is just enter the parallel DIY universe (anyone who is into DIY will know what I am talking about).  My husband took my daughter away for the day; I had perfect fabric for these sofas, as well as poly-fill, cardboard, glue and all the other necessary equipment (I love improvising, but when you do have all the ingredients, I am more than happy to leave it for another day!) It only took one day, and, ~ JOY! ~ how happy was my little girl coming home to find a bookshelf cleared and little Lallaloopsies move in with such Glamour style!

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Once the actual Doll House was completed, the sofas fit in perfectly.

Do check out this tutorial, and get yourself started on this super-cute sofa project! Make it and love it!

If you liked this, check out my other related posts:

Blog thumbnail - DIY Dream Doll House   Blog thumbnail - Doll House animl rug   Blog thumbnail - Doll House corner couch

Charlie’s Blanket

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Play mat / Blankey

Now both of my children have mummy made quilted blankets. I made one for Lexie couple years ago, and I love its legacy and practicality. We used it as a play mat, decorative cover and now a blanket. Charlie had to have one too, and when I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it.

play mat, quilt, blanket, baby boy

It was one of those crafts, when things are coming together in almost a miraculous way. I read the tutorial, and as I am reading it, I am realising that I posses all the necessary know-how, the required equipment, the right fabric and even ink in my printer to print the pattern!

You will find the tutorial and pattern following this link:  http://seekatesew.com/modern-ombre-bw-triangle-quilt-tutorial-pattern/

I wanted to use fabrics that were suitable for a boy, but were not too common. I had some IKEA material with origami pattern on it, some grey and blue stripped fabric, white and red. All in all, I think it went together very well, and quite suitable for a little dude.

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My gorgeous baby boy

DIY Dream Doll House

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Love the Doll house my mum and dad made for my daughter for her 2nd B-day!

Another dream fulfilled, with the help of my wonderful dad who can do absolutely anything, and my mum, who loves my visions, understands me at half a sentence, and executes my requests better that what I could have ever imagined.

A doll house is not only every little girls’ dream. It’s every little girls’ mother’s dream, too! I thought about getting Lexie a doll house probably before she was even conceived. First time Lexie picked up a toy was my signal to get to it! Plans for this doll house were born in my head, discussed with my dad and it suddenly all came together.

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Lexie was super-excited even with two walls. 🙂 Could have stopped there!

We used only left over boards from old furniture or other projects to keep the costs low.

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We used wrapping paper as wallpaper

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Front of the house

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С Днем Рождения Лекси – Happy Birthday Lexie in Russian

The house can be rotated to reveal a beautiful town house front painted purple and decorated with colourful bunting. The roof was painted with black chalk board paint to add yet another fun element. The walls inside were covered with wallpaper (some of which is just fancy wrapping paper).  The greatest find I would say was the non-slip material to use as carpets on the floors. It keeps all the furniture in place and looks great too!

As the Doll House was Lexie’s birthday present, all her other gifts were coordinated around the house. She got most of the doll house furniture from ELC (Early Learning Centre) the same week.  A few bits and pieces were added the following Christmas. There is one lady in Cyprus that sells doll house furniture, and although its very detailed and fragile, I managed to find two pieces that would go perfectly into our doll house – a light blue high chair and a white fire place. Perfect!

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New addition

When I was packing away Christmas lights, I got this brilliant idea to wrap them around Lexie’s doll house. These lights are quite unusual in a sense that its not a string of lights. They are meant to be hung in the window, cascading down. Which is perfect for the house, as the strings of lights went through all the windows on all the floors.

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Using IKEA Christmas lights to light up the Doll House

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Baby room, completed with a bunk bed, a doll house doll house (what?!), some tiny wooden toys, a pony and a kitchen set that came with a Lallaloopsy.

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Master bedroom on the 2nd floor.
The super posh wallpaper is actually wrapping paper. The baby cot is in the bedroom too, which I love! I nipped a small make up mirror from my mum and now you can see it glue-gunned on the right.

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Poly pocket is about to have a bath in the bathroom on the 1st floor.

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Ground floor holds a huge kitchen which occupies the whole of this space. Christmas tree is seasonal. Lallaloopsy fits well in this Doll House.

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Living room on the 1st floor. A fridge magnet of New York is playing the role of a TV; as soon as I find a miniature TV, it will be replaced. I have made the pink chair and the beige couch you see in the picture. Tutorial will follow.

This truly was one of the best presents! Lexie and I love our Doll House! The best part? The fun isn’t over yet! Over the next few years, we can repaint, redo wallpaper, make new curtains, carpets, etc. My hope is that as Lexie grows, her love for craft will grow too, and this will be her medium for expression.

Thank you, Dedushka! Thank you, Babushka!

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Redecorating the house is one of my favourite craft activities, so please check out my other fun projects: corner sofa tutorial, fun ideas for doll house curtains and an animal rug.

You may also like:

Blog thumbnail - Doll House animl rug Blog thumbnail - Doll House corner couch  Blog thumbnail - DIY Dollhouse decor

Russian Alphabet Cross Stitch

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While pregnant with Charlie, and trying hard to teach Lexie both English and Russian, finding this cross stitch idea on the Internet was perfect! I knew that I had to have exactly this hanging in Charlie’s room. I did make a couple of goofs (but I won’t tell you what they are, maybe you won’t notice!), but nothing I can’t live with. 🙂

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DIY Toddler Kitchen

BA-toddler kitchen

I have been researching different designs for a toddler kitchen. People are so creative – I have seen some amazing designs out of old dressers, TV cabinets and even chairs!

I shared my ideas with my handy dad, and he brought the following: an old shelf with vertical (!) partitions, a very old bedside table and an old Ikea cutting board.

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I played around with the arrangement, twicked here and there, removed the shelves partitions and suddenly – I could see my vision…556561_10151225013336120_267727278_n

Then I painted, added a few horizontal shelves, and got my dad to cut out a hole for the sink.Image

As I never like to pay for anything, especially when its DIY, I like to challenge myself to keep the costs to the minimum, so I ventured out on “one-of-those” scavenger hunts. Every Home Centre has a discounted  section where they sell paints that were mixed but not purchased. You can get a good colour at half price.  Out of some purples, creams and oranges, I liked a pine green hue best. In another department store, I also bought half a can of green chalk board paint, some white paint and some drawer handles which I planned to use for the hobs.735162_10151225013826120_856342823_n

A short weekend plus valuable experience with power tools minus a few euros, and “ta-da!” –  my toddler kitchen was completed! At least the “architectural” part, as I have to admit that I still needed the following: a metal bowl for the sink, a tap and drawer handles for cooker hobs.

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Finally, I found the missing pieces. The tap is not exactly what I had in mind, I am still looking for something smaller and with personality (can you say that about a tap?), but for now, my daughter is happy, and that makes me happy. 🙂

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