Ideas and inspiration for young crafters!

Category Archives: Vintage

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in to the craft area!…

As promised, though possibly a day late, here is the next step in our dollhouse project:

Decorating The House

You will need:



Tissue paper

Card/thin cardboard

Fabric or patterned paper



  • Before we got decorating we looked at different styles of houses on the internet. The style we have chosen is quite a traditional dollhouse one, but it’s really up to you how you want your house to look. It doesn’t even have to be a dollhouse – it could be a mad scientist’s lab, a shop, a Pokemon Centre, a Moshi Monster home, a haunted house, a toy’s hospital, a vets, a cafe, a Gormiti lair…as usual, let your imagination go wild!
  • Let’s start with the inside. Again you have lots of options. You can paint your walls, you could wallpaper them with pictures from magazines, wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper or material. We chose to use fabric. An easy way to make sure you cut your paper/material etc to the right size is to push a scrap of newspaper into the house and use your fingers to crease around the sides of the wall (fig. 1)
  • Then you cut around the creases and use the newspaper as a template for your fabric, which you then glue in to place (fig. 2)
  • We cut our material slightly longer at the bottom so it overlaps on to the floor. That way when you put your floor in it looks nice and neat with no gaps showing (fig. 3)
  • For the floor you could use more material, maybe some cord or felt, you could use card, cork tiles or – if like us – you have scraps of old lino or carpet lying around, use that! (fig. 4 & 5) Use your glue to attach it. You could even make rugs to fit your house using our rag rug tutorial.



  • For the outside, pick what colour/s you’d like your house to be and get painting! You can add details when the paint is dry with pens, or you can do slightly different coloured layers of paint and use an old pencil or crafting tool to scrape patterns in to a wet layer of paint so the layers underneath show through. We used this for a tile effect on our roof (fig. 1)
  • When we had finished painting and the house was dry, we added some white trim which we cut from card and glued on (fig. 2)
  • If you do this remember to leave a gap to ensure you can still fit your lid on to the box (fig. 3)
  • Then we used more card and tissue paper to glue on windows and a door (fig. 4)



  • For a final bit of colour we added a rose bush growing around the door of our house. We spread glue on the area we wanted covered and scrunched up tiny balls of tissue paper for the bush and roses.

And we are almost done!! Stay tuned for the final stage…making dolls and furniture.




This is quite a big make, so we’re going to post it up in three stages:

  • Making the house
  • Decorating the house
  • Furnishing the house

Everything in the house will be handmade, including the dolls. We’ve had lots of fun designing and brainstorming for this project, so we hope you will enjoy making along with us!

Making The House

You will need:

2 cardboard shoe boxes with removable lids




pva glue


white paint

a pen or pencil

  • First, select which box you are going to use for your main house – the largest box is best – and put it to one side (fig. 1)
  • We’re going to start by making a roof, which will also provide a third/attic floor for the house. Take the lid off your spare box and put to one side. Cut one end off the box (fig. 2)
  • Now cut right down the sides stopping at the other end (fig. 3)
  • Flatten the box out so it looks like the picture in fig. 4
  • If your boxes are the same size you can skip to the next photo diagram. If, like us, your spare box is smaller you will need to place the house box on your flattened card and mark where the edges are (fig.5 & 6)


  • All of the area between the lines will be the floor, press hard over the lines (using a ruler) with your pen or pencil so that you can fold up the sides to form a triangle roof shape, trim it if you need to and tape this in place (fig. 1)
  • Now, using the natural crease of the box, fold the triangle back on to the card and draw around the triangle, to form the back wall of the attic (fig. 2)
  • Cut it out and tape it in place (fig. 3)
  • Take your roof and tape it firmly to the top of your house box (fig. 4 & 5)


  • To make the second floor we just need to divide the main box using card from the spare box (you might need to use the lid for this) Measure a piece of card and make sure it fits, it should be tight rather than loose (fig. 1)
  • Roll up a piece of newspaper in to a tight tube and tape it so it doesn’t unroll. Cut it in to two pieces and tape them to either side of the box, these will be our supports (like on a shelf) to slide the floor in and keep it in place (fig. 2)
  • Insert the floor and tape firmly in place to the supports (fig. 3) We put tape on the top and underneath.


  • Next we need to make sure the lid of our house box (which will be the front of our house) fits around the roof. So, start by cutting slits down each end and measuring it against the roof. Mark where the triangle of the roof starts and trim these bits off your lid (fig.1 & 2)
  • Then using a bit of card from your spare box, mark out the rest of the triangle and tape it to the lid so it matches the shape of the house and roof (fig. 3)
  • Now you need to make sides so that it fits like a proper lid on to the main house. We used the sides from the lid of the spare box, which we trimmed to fit (fig. 4)
  • Tape the sides firmly on, use as much tape as you need so it’s sturdy, taping the apex together aswell. Check it fits your house box and that’s the main construction done! (fig. 5 & 6)


  • With all that tape everywhere it’s going to be hard to get your paint to stick, so we’re going to give the outside of the house a layer of paper mache. Mix some pva glue with a little water and use this to glue strips of newspaper all over the outside of the lid and box.
  • The next day, when it’s completely dry, you can give your paper mache a few coats of white paint.

Ok, that’s all for today. Check back on Sunday for the next step in our dollhouse DIY…interior and exterior decorating!

The Steam Extravaganza comes to our village once a year, staying for the weekend, giving the locals a chance to peruse the vintage vehicles, stalls, re-enactments, traditional fun fair and even the Wall Of Death!

The Wall Of Death is very dear to us, as Ruby’s Great Grandad was a Wall and Globe Of Death rider for many years:

But our almost equally favourite thing is the merry-go-round. We could have stayed on it all day!

Looking through our photos the next day, we were inspired by the beautifully painted horses and brainstormed until we came up with…

Carousel Horse Name Plates

You will need:


PVA Glue


Pens and Paints

A piece of card (from a cereal box is ideal)

A piece of plain paper

Sticky tape

  • First, draw a horse’s head shape on your piece of card.
  • Cut it out and put to one side.
  • Tear up bits of newspaper and scrunch it in to balls. Fit these on to your head shape, taping in place with plenty of sticky tape. You need to cover the card entirely, so your head is now 2D, but keeping to the outline so you can still clearly see a horse’s head.
  • Tear or cut more strips of newspaper. Mix some PVA glue and a little water and cover the head with the strips completely. It doesn’t matter if the strips overlap, are stuck in different directions – just go mad!

  • Leave to dry overnight.
  • The next day, paint it with a coat of white paint and leave to dry again.
  • Once this is completely dry, pick your main colour you’d like for your horse. Ruby chose pink. Paint the head in your chosen colour.

  • While you are waiting for this to dry, you can plan your design on a piece of paper. Remember to include a sash round the bottom of the neck to paint your name on.

  • You are now ready to paint your design on to your head. Use whatever colours you like, you can even use pens to add fine detail once the paint is dry.
  • When you are finished, attach the head to your bedroom door using blu tac, glue dots or perhaps a double sided sticky tab – ask your grown up what would be best.

How did yours turn out?