Dolls house bed

Dolls House Bed and Storage Cube: DIY Instructions

My daughter and I have been busy renovating our lovely dolls house, as she wanted a contemporary and modern house, rather than the previous Victorian style. However, it’s harder to find modern beds or shelving units to buy. So she found some images of a minimalist bed and shelving unit and I turned them into these designs. As the style is minimalist, this made it easier to do (I did try a more complicated design for the bed frame but the angles were too tricky and I gave up!). I’m not a carpenter (and please don’t look too closely at the storage unit because it’s a bit wonky!). Even being a few millimetres out makes a big difference when you’re working in miniature! Follow the instructions below to make your own dolls house bed and storage unit.

Supplies and equipment:

Storage Cube

  • Wood (I used pine) – w 3.5 x d 0.6 x l 50 cm (buy a longer length in case of mistakes)
  • Wood glue
  • Small saw
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Ruler and set square or protractor
  • Patience – wood glue dries slowly!

Bed and Bedding

  • Wood (I used pine) – w 0.8 x d 0.8 x l 120 cm
  • Wood glue
  • Small saw
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Ruler and set square or protractor
  • Sewing machine – or hand sew
  • Fabric scraps or old tee shirts or plush
  • Wadding 2.5 cm thickness (for mattress)
  • Toy stuffing (small amount for pillow and cushions)
  • Approx 100 x 0.5 cm pom poms and cardboard – if you want to make the rug as well!

Making the Bed Frame

Start by measuring and marking with pencil the following lengths on your 0.8 x 0.8 cm wood:

  • 4 x 11 cm lengths for the upright corner pillars
  • 4 x 13 cm lengths for the long edges of the top and bottom of the frame
  • 4 x 7 cm lengths for the short ends of the top and bottom of the frame

Then cut each piece of wood to the correct length using your saw. Lightly sand the newly cut ends to make them smooth and make sure that they are not wonky.

Next start to construct the one end of the frame. To do this place 1 x 7 cm length on a flat surface and glue 1 x 11 cm corner pillar at each end. Then glue the second 1 x 7 cm length at the other end of the two 11 cm corner pillars. The corner pillars sit on the outside of the other lengths of wood. Leave to dry for the recommended length of time, making sure before it is dry that all of the pieces are at right angles using a set square.

Repeat to make the other end of the bed frame.

When both ends of the frame are dry, glue them together using the 4 x 13 cm lengths of wood. To do this, I did one side at a time – propping the frame up against a wall whilst it dried to make sure the angles were correct.

Bed frame with wadding

Making the mattress and cover

Cut a piece of wadding to form a 7 x 6.5 cm rectangle to form the mattress. To make the mattress cover, cut a piece of fabric 35.5 x 11.5 cm (14″ x 4 1/2″). I used a grey plush fabric because it’s soft and cosy but other fabrics would be suitable. Fold the fabric in half so short ends are together and right side in, then sew along the long edges to make a pouch.

Then pinch and flatten each corner of the folded end and sew a seam about 1.5 cm from corner point – see photos as it’s hard to describe.

Trim the excess fabric from the corners and turn right side out. Stuff with the wadding. Then fold raw edges in, like an envelope, and hand stitch closed.

Making the Duvet and Pillow

From your chosen fabric (I used a tee shirt with a cute Unicorn pattern on – smaller patterns are best for dolls house scale projects) cut 2 rectangles 15 x 14 cm (6″ x 5 1/2″). With wrong sides together, stitch a seam around all four edges, leaving a 5 cm gap. Trim the corners and turn right side out. Push corners out, then press – folding in the remaining raw edges. You can either leave it as it is, or add some stuffing. Then sew the gap closed by hand to finish.

To make a pillow, follow the method above – but start with a 7.5 x 5 cm rectangle of fabric. You will need to stuff the pillow at the end before sewing up the hole.

Pillow making

Cushions

To make the cushions, I used scraps of coordinating fabric and the same method as the pillow. I drew the faces on the cloud using a fabric marker pen.

Cushion making

I also made the pom pom rug – this is an easy make. Just cut a circle of cardboard about 10 cm diameter. Then glue (I used PVA glue) pom poms in circles, starting from the centre and working out.

Making the storage cube unit

Start by measuring and marking with pencil the following lengths on your 3.5 x 0.6 cm wood:

  • Top and base 2 x 8.5 cm
  • Side pieces 2 x 7.5 cm
  • Horizontal shelf 1 x 7.4 cm
  • Verticals 2 x 3.4 cm

Then cut each piece of wood to the correct length using your saw. Lightly sand the newly cut ends to make them smooth and make sure that they are not wonky (mine were a bit wonky…)

Place the base piece on a flat surface on its side and glue the two side pieces and the top piece together, making sure the corners are all square. Leave to dry.

Next glue the horizontal shelf between the side pieces and the two vertical pieces to the top and bottom of the horizontal shelf. Make sure the shelves are all square and leave to dry.

Finished shelving unit

Happy Making!! Let me know how you get on.

Make a Cuddly Unicorn – Free Tutorial and Pattern

Sew yourself a cuddly unicorn friend

Unicorns are everywhere at the moment – for good reason.  They are magical, colourful, cute and poop rainbows!  So I decided to create a cuddly Unicorn for my daughter.  Her full name is Princess Unicorn Yasmin the Third.  Follow the instructions below to make your own pet Unicorn to play with and enjoy.  Just don’t complain when you have to scoop rainbow poop from the floor (they don’t come house trained)!

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Pokemon Deck Holder – 15 minute sewing project

Pokemon card holder

My son has just got into Pokemon trading cards in a big way and as I’m always sewing things for my daughter I thought this time I’d make him something.  As he’s always carrying around his Pokemon cards I decided he needed something to put them in!  I found some red, black and white felt and made this deck case.  He now wants me to make lots more so he can trade them with his friends to get some good cards.   Here’s what to do…

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Sewing my first Waldorf Doll, ‘Lucky’ 

I first came across ‘Waldorf’ style dolls browsing Pinterest.  My daughter (and me, secretly) both fell in love with a gorgeous Waldorf doll last year made by Kathe Kruse and being given away in a competition by the UK doll shop Petalina.  We didn’t win and without thinking I uttered the words ‘I’m sure I could make one…’ (I wasn’t sure – but that’s never stopped me trying!).  So my New Year challenge has been to make a Waldorf doll for my daughter and if anyone else is thinking of doing the same I thought I’d share my doll making journey.   This is Lucky’s story.

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Sew an ‘Instamatic’ Tote Bag – free tutorial

I am slightly obsessed with bags and I love being able to design and make a bag that does just the job I want it to do.  This easy to sew Tote bag is the perfect size for a lunch box, water bottle, journal (or ipad) and an umbrella for those frequent rainy days! You can play around and make it with your favourite fabrics – I fell for the cute Instamatic cameras on this fabric, hence the name of the bag!

What you need:

  • 1m fabric for lining and side panels
  • 1 fat quarter fabric for main panels
  • 1m interfacing (if you want a stiffer bag use a thicker interfacing)
  • 140 cm coordinating bias binding

What to do:

Print out Tote Pattern 1 and Tote Pattern 2 (make sure the 1″ square is the right size when you print it out) and join the pattern pieces where the dots indicate.

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Skort for school: essential for summer

 

School skort

Every summer my daughter has to wear shorts to school under her summer dress or skirt if she wants to do any gymnastics on the playing field (it’s a modesty thing I presume).  This year, I forgot to buy any new shorts and she forgot to mention that last years were too small! I decided that there had to be a better solution out there, surely someone would sell a school skort (skirt with shorts built in underneath)?

Apparently not.  All I could find was culottes.  So I then went on the hunt for a pattern.  All I could find was culottes or tennis style skorts.  But, being a brave and fearless seamstress (!) I decided I could alter a tennis skort pattern.

Making the skort

I found this lovely Heidi and Finn Tennis Skort pattern on Etsy.

Tennis skort pattern and tutorial PDF 6y-12y easy sew skirt shorts uniform

We then went to my favourite fabric shop, The Eternal Maker, and found some really nice grey jersey (Robert Kaufman – Laguna Jersey Heather Pepper).    It’s super soft and has just the right amount of stretch.

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Alterations

The Tennis Skort has an extra skirt layer on-top which I left out.  I also had to adjust the width of the shorts and skirt as my daughter has a tiny waist.   I used her old school skirt to work out the length of the skirt (but I still made it too long and chopped some off at the end and re-hemmed it!).  I used a pair of her leggings (fold in half and line up the curved edges to the pattern) to adjust the width of the shorts. The shorts I made longer as my daughter likes them long – but you could leave them the original length.   I pinned the shorts together with safety pins and made her try them on – it worked as they fit nicely.

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…but I don’t have a serger so I can’t sew jersey…

Neither do I!  I followed the instructions on the pattern for using a stretch stitch, and it worked fine.  I use a walking foot and ball-point needle which worked well.  The instructions are clear and have photos for each stage.

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I’m still fairly new to sewing with knit fabrics, but I think that the better the quality of the fabric, the easier it is to sew – so don’t be put off giving it a go.  I didn’t have any problems with it rolling up at the edges or stretching out of shape – which I was expecting.

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The result?

For once I’ve managed to make something my daughter likes and her school friends were impressed so it must be good enough!   I tried to get a good photo showing the shorts underneath but she was spinning so quickly the skirt stayed in place!

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And it’s not only good for cartwheels in the playground, but trampolining in the garden!

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Plus I can now make her one for tennis (if I can get her out of her leggings…)

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