Browsing Tag



.Washi Tape the school books.

After packing up to move house a few months ago, it became clear to me that I have way too many craft supplies. I mean, I knew that I had a lot, but it wasn’t until I counted my boxes of fabric next to my boxes of kitchen items and realised that they were pretty much equal that my eyes were really opened! And that was just fabric…not everything else!
So, I’m trying to become less of a hoarder and more of a user. It is a bit tough at times but I’m just gonna do it because if I run out of a precious supply I can always replenish, right?!
Our kids start school in a couple of days and the start of the school year brings the book covering marathon. It seemed to go on and on and on this year with three kids to cover books for! To make the job less of a chore, I am the sucker who tries to get crafty at the same time! Lil’s books are much easier to “pretty up” as a lot of my craft supplies and papers are girly looking. The boys require a little more thought and I resort to using printed wrapping paper on some of their books. 
These washi tape covered school books, however, are both boy and girl friendly, and take much less time and effort to make than they look. In fact, they are so easy to do that Oscar and Lil even covered a few books each using this method with great results! Because the washi tape can be repositioned without tearing the paper underneath, they can pull a misplaced piece of tape up and have another go at sticking it down if it ends up in the wrong spot.
Even if you think you’re not a crafty person, I can guarantee success with these books! And if you have covered your kids school books already then maybe you can make yourself a special washi tape covered book to write important notes in or to use for journal keeping? 
To start with, you will need your book to be covered and a selection of washi tapes. If you don’t have a big supply of washi tapes, don’t let that put you off. Some of the books I like best are covered with a repeated pattern of just 4 or 5 different tapes.

Before you start sticking down your tapes you will need to cover your book with a piece of plain copy paper. Most washi tapes have clear or opaque areas in the design, so if you don’t start with a white base you will see the colours and patterns on the cover of your book through the tapes. I just stick mine down with a couple of pieces of double sided sticky tape. For most of my books, I only cover in washi tape and then stick a patterned paper on the back. If the book is smaller though, I will cover the front and the back. Do what ever you like – but just make sure that you have white paper on any surface you want to cover.

 Decide on what direction you want your washi tape to run (diagonal, horizontal, vertical, etc.) and stick one of your tapes in that direction, leaving a little bit of tape hanging over each edge of the book.

Open the cover of the book, and fold the overhanging edges of the tape to the inside cover and press down.

Take your second piece of tape and line up the edge with the first piece. Press down, break off and fold overhanging edges to the inside cover.

 Continue adding strips of washi tape…

 …until your book…

 …is completely…


Decide what you want to put on the back cover – I mostly use scrapbook paper cut to size (yep, using up those hoarded craft supplies!) and stick it down with a few pieces of double sided sticky tape.

To keep the spine of the book nice and neat, choose a washi tape to run down the folded edge. Make sure that half of the tape is hanging over the spine…

 …and fold it over to the back cover of the book.

Fold the short, overhanging edges of the washi tape to the inside of the book to finish.

And there you have it! A washi-tape covered school book that is way cooler than any Disney or Minecraft character contact!!!

I like to finish my book off with some protective plastic. If the book is A4 size, I buy plastic book covers (way easier than contact!) to pop over the top. And I use clear contact on smaller or odd shaped books. If you are covering your whole book (front and back) in washi tape you could probably skip the plastic covering, I would skip it for myself, but not for the kids!

Happy covering, and here’s to using up pretty hoarded craft supplies!  


.Necklace in a Jar Gift


I’m a big fan of gifts “in-a-box” or “in-a-jar” they are a fun and interactive surprise for the recipient. Recently I made a “Necklace in a Jar” gift for a special friend of mine. 


Included in the jar were a heap of handmade polymer clay beads, some wooden geometric and circular beads, leather necklace cording and a set of instructions to make your own necklace.



The amount of necklaces you can make up with this jar full of beads is endless – meaning that you can literally have a necklace that matches every single outfit in your wardrobe! This is a great gift for someone if you aren’t sure about what colours they would usually wear – be creative about what you put in it too…I’m sure you could hunt around your favourite craft stores and find lots of fun beads, pendants and charms to include!


.The dollhouse.

It feels like ages ago we were staying up late at night working on the dollhouse. We managed to get it “finished enough” for giving on Christmas, it was a big job though! I didn’t realise that the painting would be such an enormous task. We used a regular interior wall paint with a sheen, the only reason we choose to use this particular paint is because it was reduced to $10 for a 2L tin – way cheaper than buying a $40 tin of enamel paint. It seems sturdy enough to withstand playing and we can always touch it up if needed. We ended up having to apply SIX coats of paint to the dollhouse though to get a nice, even coverage. It took forever! In hindsight (and if we ever build something like this again) we thought we should have painted the big MDF sheets BEFORE cutting and constructing then we would only have had to touch up bits and pieces instead of trying to get our little rollers into every crevice!

I say it is “finished enough”because it is done enough to start playing with, but I still want to get around to more decorating, maybe some floor coverings, fake windows and curtains, and of course furniture to finish it off some more. But I definitley need a break from it for awhile before I start getting crafty again!

The back walls were all covered with scrapbooking paper. I measured each wall then cut the paper slightly bigger and carefully trimmed little strips off each side until it fit perfectly. I found a decent layer of PVA glue painted to the back of the paper with a paint brush to work really well, then I quickly stuck it in place and rubbed it all over with a soft, dry cloth to get rid of any air bubbles until the glue took hold. Once the glue had dried I painted a layer of mod podge over the sheet of paper to give it a bit of extra protection also.

I added a few little decorations to some of the walls to give it a bit more detail.  This little bunting was made with triangles cut from washi tape. 

For this wall, I covered different sized buttons with fabric and stuck them to the wall using a raised double sided tape.

I found some wooden cut out shapes at the scrapbook shop and stuck them to these two walls with double sided tape.

 This “room” of the house has potential to be the pool/deck area. I want to eventually add a pool to the left-hand overhanging piece and make it look more like an outdoor area.

I spent HOURS rolling these felt balls from wool roving to make a mini freckle rug. The balls are tiny – about 1cm in diameter and I sewed them together with some strong thread. Lil helped me make some of them and she was so excited to see them made into a rug in the house.

I filled the house with some cute mini La-La-Loopsy figurines I found at Kmart before Christmas, as well as some of our wooden dolls. Tommy got the Peppa Pig figurines for Christmas and they have since taken up residence too! We wanted this to be Lil’s big present from Santa, but didn’t want the mystery guy to be given all of the credit for our hard work, so told her that we helped Santa out by making this one for him! That way, it will hopefully be more meaningful to her and she will treasure it for a long time.

So that’s it all done for now! Feels good to have all of the hard work finished and now we can add little bits and pieces as time goes by to fill it up and give it a bit more character.


.Things I’m Crushing…Dollhouses.

I’ve showed you the dollhouse so far. We’ve got lots of big wall and floor spaces to play with and I’m flooded with ideas to get decorating with. The problem is, that I like too many different styles and designs! I’ve just got to settle on a basic colour scheme and get to work based on that I think.

Anyway, I wanted to share some of the cool dollhouses that I’ve come across in my research. The traditional hip roofed dollhouses are lovely, but there are some mega-cool, modern ones out there too that I can’t go past…here are some that have caught my attention:

Love how bright and funky this is from Modern Mini Houses:

The interior design of this house blows me away! Although the house is a lot more traditional looking than ours would be, I’d die to be able to decorate it as well as this lady has. The intricate detail she has included is amazing – check out the close-up photos of each room underneath…she even has a sewing room!!! (From Mousehouse.) I don’t think I’ll get close to that much detail in our house, but it has given me some great ideas.

This one is cute from Hilda Grahnat. Shows how the simple rectangle shape can still come to life when decorated and filled with furniture.

 I came across this amazing house on Etsy from Qubis Haus. This was our absolute very favourite and if it didn’t cost over $600 we would have snapped it up! See how the walls can move to different places using the slots in the floor and roof? I love it so much. This was probably the main source of inspiration for the rectangle, flat roof look we went for. This shop also sells really cool furniture that comes made from individual blocks with magnets on the sides so that you can pull them apart and create new pieces of furniture – ingenious and so much potential for creativity.

I always love the things that Made By Joel creates. They are modern and basic and achievable but never lacking in style.

He also shares some great furniture he has made himself using wire, wood, fabric and a hot glue gun – love it! Did you know that dollhouse furniture costs an absolute fortune and most of it is really ugly? We’ve decided to get the house painted and decorate the walls for Christmas with a few little bits of furniture for now, but leave the rest for other birthdays and Christmases and slowly build up the collection. Plus, I want to have a go at making a few things myself and don’t have the time to do everything before Christmas. The kids can use their imagination for now and make their own furniture! I think with a bit of time and imagination I can come up with some cool little pieces to include.

Also found on Mini Modern, this dollhouse made me smile. The family are perfect.

And check out their spectacular pool!! Once I saw it, I knew we had to include one too! The naked, skinny dipping family makes me laugh 🙂

This is sweet – looks as though it is made from a bookshelf. Very simple if you didn’t want to bother with building anything yourself.

Another modern style house – love the boxiness and big, open rooms.
This house from The Land of Nod was also high on my “would buy it if I didn’t care about how much I spent” list. Isn’t it cool? This shop probably has the best furniture that I’ve seen around so far so I might use it for inspiration to make my own or splurge and buy a set or two for Lil’s next birthday.

As for people to occupy the house…I’m going to leave that up to the kid’s imagination for now. We’ve got tonnes of wooden people below and I might paint a few like Jessica from Running with Scissors has done. The house is pretty big – each square room measures about 30cm x 30cm. So a barbie can just stand up in the house – but her head hits the roof! We also have a few Polly Pockets, Kimmi Dolls and Fisher Price Little People floating around so there will be plenty of people to live in the house for now and if I see anything else that I really like along the way, I’ll pick it up. I don’t want to rush into fully finishing and furnishing everything for the sake of having it done for Christmas because I know that I’ll discover other cool things along the way and want to be able to include them over time.

And, just incase we aren’t totally over dollhouses…I’m keeping this up my sleeve for a future Winter school holiday project – making dollhouses with popsicle sticks! This could be so much fun and I think the kids would really get stuck into completely handmaking the house, furniture and people to live inside.

What about you? Do you have a dollhouse in your family? Where did you get your furniture? What dolls do your kids use in it? Did you decorate it yourself – let me know what things you love the most!

You can find these pics and other cool Dollhouses on my Dollhouse Pinterest Board.


.The makings of a modern dollhouse.

Making a dollhouse has been top of my list of presents to give Lil for about a year. We were going to make one for her birthday, but ended up being in Queensland for it and were too busy to make something leading up to it anyway. So it has been on her Christmas list since then. 

Yesterday we (well, mostly Jaron – he did all of the designing and I gave it the nod of approval!) bought and cut the wood and put together the framework for the house. We had originally intended to go with something a bit more traditional – with a hip roof and square body, but I had been doing some very extensive dollhouse studying and wanted to come up with something out of the ordinary. Something different to everyone else’s and that reflected our modern, style. It didn’t take much for Jaron to agree and his mind went to work designing something that was a little different and funky, whilst making sure that it would be really simple and hassle-free to build (remembering that it is just over 2 weeks until Christmas so wanted to get the main part of it over and done with in an afternoon!)  The house includes four interior rooms with two undercover outdoor areas (one upstairs and one downstairs). These can easily act as regular indoor rooms or decks and outside play areas. Not having walls on two of the rooms will make it easier for little hands to get dolls and toys in and moving around. We are even including a pool on the overhanging flooring to the left-hand side. The whole thing is really simple and looks a bit boxy at the moment, but once we’ve finished decorating and filling it with furniture and bits and pieces then it will change the appearance altogether.

These photos don’t do justice to how cool it looks all made up. When I’ve finished with the decorating, I’ll take it to a better location where I can get some decent photos, but I was forced to settle for a quick garage pic without the kids seeing anything this afternoon!

So now the building is done, it’s time for me to get painting and decorating! I’m so excited about this! I know that deep down I wanted to make this dollhouse as a fun project for me to work on – I don’t really care if the kids end up playing with it much or not!! I can’t wait to get painting and cutting and sticking – my problem is that I can’t settle on WHAT to do…so many cool ideas floating around.  I can see a dollhouse interior design reno taking place in a year or two so that I can try out some new things.
I’ve found tonnes of awesome dollhouses online – heaps of great modern ones with a funky twist on the traditional dollhouse. I’ll gather the pictures and links up tomorrow and share them with you – please feel free to share any cool decorating ideas you have, I’ve got lots of walls to work with and want to pretty this baby up!