My 7 year old got her first American Girl doll recently and really loves it. I have been looking for a little project that she and I might work on together this summer for a little quality time together.
We recently went to the American Girl store and I could not believe how much the furniture and play structures for the dolls were. Completely crazy! Like hundreds of dollars. We did need some sort of container for her doll’s clothes and I decided to just make my own little house/ closet when we got home.
This was a really inexpensive DIY- easily less than $30 if you have to buy all the materials and I think it turned out really cute. More importantly, my daughter is delighted.
When we were at American Girl, I found this darling little house in the Welly Wishers section and decided to base my closet on this design. This little house is really cute but it is priced at a whopping $250.
I started with a basic crate- I actually had this one left over from a party but these are maybe $10 at craft stores. Use a coupon and get them for a great price.
I painted it with a new Chalk Paint from Folk Art in Cascade. The color is a pretty light sea blue. I recommend using a primer on the crate- the unfinished wood really sucks up paint. Mine was stained and I just used the chalk paint over that and wound up using the entire container of chalk paint. I do wish I had taken the time to do a basic white primer coat. Next I went over the chalk paint with the wax finish. That is a super fast process of just putting on the wax and then wiping it right off. An extra step but I wanted the texture that you see on the blue above.
I took an inexpensive dowel from the craft store and drilled a small hole in the side and slide it in. This will serve to hang her clothes. Be sure to put your hangers in the closet before you drill to be sure there is plenty of space for the hangers.
The dowel was a little wiggly so I added a dab of hot glue on each side just to be sure it would stay in place.
Next I drilled a second set of holes near the front of the crate. This is a curtain rod for the closet. I just used one dowel rod and cut it in half. The closet rod is painted the same blue and the curtain rod I spray painted gold.
Once that was done, I took some little knobs I found at the craft store and spray painted them pink and then attached them to the bottom with glue. I think it adds a little something to make the closet look nicer.
Then my girl and I went about decorating the box. First I purchased a sheet of brown felt and used a piece of chalk to roughly draw out a tree. I cut that out and hot glued it to one side. I also drew some flowers freehand on pink, yellow and blue felt and then some grass on green felt. The felt was $.49 a sheet at Joann’s. I hot glued it all on and then used buttons for the center of the flowers. We happened to have little felt sticker birds left over from (I think) Valentine’s Day so they joined the party too.
For the other side, the Welly Wishers house has a little sign on it and I decided to duplicate that. I used leftover brown felt for the tree stump and then I planned to use popsicle sticks for the signs and realized we were out of popsicle sticks so I used a brown paper sack instead. I just wrote a few of our favorite places- the 100 Akre Woods, Strawberryland (home to Strawberry Shortcake) and Fancy Nancy’s Oh La La Beauty Spa. I also jazzed up the top with a quick little mini bunting with
Oh and the Welly Wishers house has a little rug on the floor so I quickly cut cardstock into a circle and wrapped a little fabric around and hot glued. Quick and simple little rug.
My 8 year old had to add a final touch and made a little chandelier from old jewels we had in a craft bin.
The last step- I just quickly sewed little curtains from a 1/4 yard of scrap fabric.
And all done!
And for a bunch more American Girl DIY Crafts, you might like this post.