Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Imagination Booster: Paper Doll Furniture

When I was little I used to love going to my grandma's house, not just because the cookie jar was always full or because I loved the smell of coffee even when I was 11, but because she always had fun and creative ways to play together.  My innovative grandma was a second grade teacher for over two decades, and always had amazing stories since she grew up as the baby in a family with no father during the Great Depression. To this day, one of my fondest memories is creating paper dolls and paper doll furniture with my clever grandma from scraps around her house.

To make your own Depression Era paper doll furniture, start collecting boxes from around the house. You will only need a few cereal and/or food boxes to get started. I also saved some of my son's birthday cards to make a few colorful pieces. Anything that is made from thin cardboard material will work.  You will also want to have scissors, scraps of felt or material and any old magazines or catalogs you may have lying around.
This craft is geared towards older kids who can cut and glue well, but younger kids will also enjoy playing!

To make a simple table, cut your cardboard in the shape of an "H" then fold the legs down.

Finished Table made from an old birthday card!
To make your couch, take a large rectangular piece, fold it in half and cut slits in the middle. Then fold down and up- voilĂ . Couch!
Next, I cut up a few felt pieces to make a bedspread and pillows.
To make a chair, follow the instructions on the couch, only make it half the size!

To finish decorating your room, the possibilities are endless. I like to keep old issues of Pottery Barn, for example, and the pictures are perfect for decorating. If you like to play with Mod Podge like I do, then you and your big kids will have lots of fun cutting, gluing and decorating to their heart's content.  You can break out paint, stickers, cotton balls, anything! 
I used large cereal boxes for my walls here, but another option is to glue walls onto file folders or sturdy folders that you can use to create a space for your furniture. The folders also double as storage if you want to keep your room design for longer than just a few hours!

The final step is to make  your very own paper dolls from catalogs and/or printouts, but we will save that for another day. In the meantime you will notice that Taylor Swift and a Yoga friend stopped in to see our Paper Doll room.  They had a great, relaxing time in our creative new living space!  


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