When the Kid was very little, we once did an entirely handmade Christmas. Even with our conservative gifting list, I'm not sure how we'd go about that now. So, instead, I do a little here and there, and enjoy it all the more for the novelty.
My favorite "semi-handmade" gift this year was Little Miss's dollhouse.*
I say "semi" because a lot of the pieces were just things I collected and arranged, but it turns out that I really love interior decorating. Especially when the house and furniture are so adorably tiny.**
If you'll indulge me, a quick dollhouse tour....
The dollhouse itself is this one, from IKEA, and a lot of the furniture came from IKEA as well. The carpet, bed, and wardrobe are all part of the HUSET set. The butterfly quilt on the bed is mama-made to match the big quilt on Little Miss's bed, and all the wallpaper is decoupaged scrapbook paper.
The little flags draping from the ceiling are round stickers glued to a piece of embroidery floss, and the wall art is a set of three Black Apple mini-buttons.
In the bathroom, the green table is part of the HUSET set, but the sink, toilet, and mirror came from ELF miniatures. (You could spend your life savings there, just FYI.) The "poster" is an image I found on the internet, and "laminated" with a piece of packing tape. And the little hand towel is mama-knitted--size 1 needles and a scrap of sock yarn.
On to the kitchen, where I lucked out, big time! I was originally thinking I was going to have to make kitchen appliances out of wood blocks, but I wasn't loving similarly constructed versions I'd seen. Then I was at Target, looking for something else entirely, when I found this Shopkins set that fit the space perfectly. Yay!
To give it a bit more whimsy, I added the pots and a hand-knitted dish cloth (once again--tiny, tiny needles!), as well as the printed map of Great Britain and the little grey throw rug. (The pots and the print came from Michaels.)
And last, we have the living room. The HUSET couch and bookshelf took up most of the space, so I didn't worry about other furniture. I did put a framed photo on the wall--a picture of one of Little Miss's favorite lovies, photoshopped to look like a painting and glued in a mini-frame.
Oh and we must talk about that light! I got the idea from this tutorial, but it's basically a piece of beaded ribbon superglued to a tap light. So clever!
I bought some miniature books and plants from Michael's to make the bookshelf look more "lived in". I superglued them down, not so much because I was worried about Little Miss swallowing them (she's largely past that), but more because I didn't want to be stepping on them all the time.
And then, because our Lottie dolly needed to celebrate, of course, I scavenged a tree and some presents from Christmas decorations we had around the house. I had just about given up on finding a stocking, when I stumbled onto a small set of stocking shaped erasers in the Target dollar spot--perfect to prop up on the little red (again HUSET) chair.
Sometime in the week right before Christmas I realized that--as with decorating any house, I believe--the dollhouse will never be "done". I'll probably add little things here and there for as long as Little Miss cares to play with it. But, for Christmas-sanity-purposes, once I found the stocking, I had to draw a line and declare it "done for now".
So far, Little Miss loves tucking her dolls into the bed and onto the couch under a blanket, but isn't really doing much with the kitchen or bath. I'll be interested to see (and maybe even update, eventually) how her play changes as she and the dollhouse grow.
[*Sweet Husband says I must warn you all that, while I'm claiming credit here, this was actually a gift from Santa. So, you know, if you are one of the handful of people who reads this who might also talk to my kids, be careful.]
[**If you want to see more dollhouse ideas, I have a Pinterest board here.]