Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making Beds for 18" Dolls

Reacting to an email photo of granddaughters holding their new 18" dolls, titled "Two Very Happy Little Girls", I shot back an email saying that I would make beds for them. Without a clue of where to begin, I headed to a local thrift store for inspiration and, hopefully, materials.
The old silverplate casserole holder seemed a natural starting point because it had such lovely legs and was generally the shape of a bed. Next, I found a wire and wicker letter holder with an arched back that looked like it might be somehow attached to the casserole frame to make a headboard. Finally, I came across a pitiful mirror in a fairly nice, arched-top, wood frame that I thought would make a headboard for the second bed if I replaced the mirror with an upholstered insert.

Pleased with my "finds", I headed home to take things apart, cut things in half and generally get a grip on my pending project. To my surprise, the arched, wire back of the letter holder fit perfectly into the mirror frame........ It was time to reconsider.
Eventually, the handles were cut from the casserole holder and it was sawed in half to extend the length. a scrap of plywood was upholstered and screwed in place as a headboard. One of the handles adorns the top of the headboard. An old earing fills the gap at the foot of the bed where the handle stubs remain.
The mirror frame was cut to provide both the headboard and footboard frames and the wire sections from both the back and the front of the little letter holder filled the gaps perfectly. The bed was a bit too low to the ground so I added wooden beads as bun-feet.
The basic construction is simply a piece of plywood to which the headboard and footboard of each bed are attached. Blocks of cushion foam are hot-glued in place as mattresses.

The linens are made mostly with leftover sewing project scraps and fabric from old clothing with only 1/2 yard each of the pink and purple cotton having to be purchased. Spray paint I had on hand. My total cost for the two beds was $6. However, the investment in time was quite extensive but much of that was spent simply figuring out what I was going to do and how I was going to do it. For that reason, the second bed went much faster than the first.

Looking back at the project, I realize that my enjoyment of every minute was actually a gift to me from two little granddaughters who live so far away. As long as I was working on their doll beds, they felt very near and I loved the fact that I know their personalities and favorite colors and the things that make their young worlds turn. I have my daughter to thank for that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Plastic Bags - Grocery and Mesh

Don't know what to do with all the grocery store plastics?
A plastic mesh bag solves the problem of the mounting accumulation of plastic grocery bags and keeps the them handy for re-purposed use. This plastic mesh bag is heavy duty and originally surrounded a ham or a beef brisket. The stiffness of the bag itself and the roughness of it's interior is perfect for grabbing the lightweight grocery bags and holding them securely in place even in this upside down position.

The softer mesh bags are perfect for holding toddler tub toys. Simply thread a ribbon through the open end to act as a draw-string and fill the bag with the plastic boats and frogs and rubber duckies that litter the edges of your bathtub. Hang it on the faucet handle and it not only clears the clutter, it allows the contents to drain and drip dry.


Make your own kitchen scrubber using a mesh bag and a couple of heavy duty rubber bands. I will post photos of the process as soon as I'm able. Basically, you open both ends of the bag and pull on the ends to stretch it out, fold it in thirds and secure it with a rubber band around the middle. Then fold it in half, at the rubber band and attach another rubber band (close to the first). This makes a knob or handle for easy use. This is as good as any scrubber you can buy but this one is FREE...everyone's favorite price.