This is part of an ongoing saga that I may as well call Alice v Barbie – although in real life I would never, EVER take on Barbie. Yes, she is skinny and very top-heavy, making her all to easy to knock over, but have you seen the shoes she wears? Stilettos like that should be classified as weaponry if you ask me. (I do realise, by the way, that Barbie is not a real person. Just thought I should add that.)
So, I needed somewhere to house our growing un-Barbie collection. At the time of writing, this includes two Lottie Dolls, a Moxie Girl who can RIDE A HORSE which therefore makes her very exciting to my pony-obsessed seven year old, a Vintage Sindy Doll, and Fleur, who is a Dutch version of Sindy from the 1970s , who has endeared herself to Tilly because you can take off her head. I’m not entirely sure why this makes her so much fun, but it makes for some amusing ‘look what’s on the table!’ jokes. We also have Swimming Barbie, mostly because she came with a swimming pool, and the girls needed a swimming pool. It’s tropical in our playroom, you see.
But, guess what. I don’t like the Barbie house you can buy. It’s very big, and very pink, and very plastic. Not that there is anything wrong with that in the scheme of things. It’s not made from asbestos, or built by slaves on greenbelt land or anything. It’s just a personal taste, er, ‘issue’, shall we say. So I did what any other slightly-less-than-sane person would do, and went and got a Billy bookcase from Ikea. White, three shelves, probably wouldn’t stand up to an earthquake, but cost just £20. This is based on the Sindy House me and my sister had when we were little. It was a bookshelf that someone (not us, we had it second or thirdhand,) had made a full-size door for, with windows and a front door, and they had covered it in brick-design paper to make it look like the outside of a house. We thought it was beautiful.
The first thing I did was wallpapered the piece of cardboard which acts as the backing for the shelves with some samples of Orla Kiley wallpaper and some stripy wallpaper that I found in John Lewis. I told the woman working in the wallpaper section that I was wallpapering a dolls’ house, and she was most helpful and didn’t object to giving me the samples. THAT is why they are the best department store ever. Well, that and excellent quality, and customer service and stuff. For anyone who wants to try a similar thing (well, there might be other slightly insane people into mini interior decoration, no?) it is useful to know that you don’t have to use wallpaper paste. You can just use regular craft/PVA glue. I think wallpaper paste might bend the cardboard. Another tip might be NOT to put the wallpaper in upside down, even when you have already checked it is ‘the right way up’. Or to make sure that all of your dolls can stand up in the ‘floors’ that you are creating. Only the little girl dolls fit in the kitchen section in our house. In real life this would be liberating, but ultimately quite annoying.
And this was the end result:
It’s a work in progress. But I’m really pleased with it, as are the girls. And probably, the dolls too. But they haven’t said much, frankly. Rude.