The Fixer Upper


So, my followers,  its been a while since we last spoke. The back is doing extremely well following surgery, and I went back to work. Then suddenly, in December, BAMMM, work injury to my knee. Fell like a wounded water buffalo, and injured the PCL. So needless to say Gma found herself sentenced to 8 weeks house arrest, and a huge amount of bored. So while visiting our somewhat local Habitat for Humanity Restore, I found this darling little 1 bedroom 1 bath fixer upper. It came fully furnished, but was in bad shape.

(no amount of peptol bismol pink from the previous owners could save it)

But the price was right $25.00 bucks!

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So, the first step in any fixer upper, (after closing escrow) is demolition! Stripped the wall paper off, peeled up the vinyl flooring, removed the windows, and unsafe railing on the upper deck.

Made a couple structural improvements, to the base and back wall.

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We removed the hinged roof and decided to give it a shake roof. unfortunately, the cost of dollhouse shingles is over $20 bucks a square foot, Luckily, I found craft sticks at the dollar store and bought 2 packages for $2 bucks! Taped them together in bundles of 20, cut them to 2″ shakes. Used the yardstick to make straight lines,  and glued them on with wood glue.

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While the glue dried, we painted the entire place with Kilz paint. Cures all evils, stains, smells, bad paint choices, and seals the bare wood. Making it a nice blank canvas to create!

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The back roof panel is glued and screwed secure, and the front is hinged so they can open and play inside the attic.

Next, I decided on my color palette, the pink I was stuck with, Hubby convinced me not to paint the vintage Barbie furniture it was mostly pink. But I had some leftover Minnie Mouse print and added a few fat quarters in a pretty blue to balance out the pink overload! Yep, there was sewing and construction involved! I painted the outside walls “Tiffany” blue, and added white trim molding. It helped stabilize the house.

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Flooring is next, since there was a kitchen and bath, of course I tiled it! After doing projects on our real homestead, I consider myself a self-taught expert! I had leftover tiny hexagon tiles and added 2 sheets matching tile with black tiles (looked like flowers to me) I still had adhesive and silver sparkly grout leftover from the wishing well project, so it really only cost $6 bucks for tile. ‘

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The bedroom, living room and attic needed wood floors. I was in the local flooring store, and found 3 planks of snap together dark stained real wood flooring. The guy just gave it to me since they were samples. All I had to do was measure, cut and snap together. Since is was so thick, no need to glue or nail it down. (hope she doesn’t trip between rooms, lol)

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Windows needed replacing, looks like they used page dividers and a sharpie to make them. I splurged on Ikea 5×7 frames ($1.99 ea) and just glued them in place.

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It’s not complete unless the patio is covered. Lowes kindly donated a scrap of Astroturf so she can relax with her shoes off. (all I had to do was ask!) Decided to do a more substantial railing. Since I was using black as an accent, decided to try it on the top rail. Used the same molding I had put on the corners of the house, but painted it gloss black

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So this whole renovation took about two weeks, with drying times, so I had plenty of time to sew accessories and cover the 70’s Barbie fabric.

The sofa and chair pads got recovered and the pillows. Made all new bedding (yes, I did fitted and flat sheets, duvet cover, bed skirt and pillows) all new curtains and drapes with fancy beaded finials on the curtain rods.  I hung them with command hooks, the rods are 1/2″ dowels, cut to fit the windows.  I was considering cup hooks but the walls are paper-thin and they would have come through the outside. I sacrificed a white bar towel, cut it up, hemmed it and added appliqué hearts for the bath.

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I decided to put “puck” lights in the rooms, easy for them to operate, but they kept falling off. I used my go to E300 super glue to attach the bases and problem solved.

The attic isn’t complete yet, think I want to put a closet pole (small metal towel bar?) across the side and hang her clothes up and maybe some cuter storage bins for her shoes and accessories. You know ladies, make it a “dream” closet, right?

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And lastly, don’t miss the family picture above the sofa, it’s the best part!!

So I encourage you to do your own fixer upper, it was a blast! Maybe I can tackle a real size one?

Enjoy!!

Debbie

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Playtime in the Car II

Another quick way to entertain that back seat driver. This one took literally minutes to assemble, but days to collect the teeny tiny items for inside.

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Yep, why spend over $20 bucks on the store eye spy jars when you can do your own.

Hardest part was cleaning the labels off the Voss water jars. I found mine at Burlington for under five bucks each. The plastic ones have sticker labels on them and are lighter for little hands to shake. The glass ones have painted labels and are heavier. I did both, plastic for Dolly and glass for Gma’s camper. You can use any empty, clean, clear and dry bottle you might already have. The Voss bottles do have a larger opening then the water bottles so we could add slightly bigger items to them.

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All you need is an empty water bottle, lots of teeny tiny items for them to search for, and some rice to hide them in. I think I put over 50 different items in each jar, I also kept track of what I added so I could print out a checklist later on the computer.

Finding items was like a grown up scavenger hunt, Even Papa got helpful once I showed him the project. I’ll give you my list at the end.

Just use a funnel to pour the rice in, and drop in your bits and pieces as you go.

Be sure to leave some room at the top for shaking around, And be sure to super glue the lid on. You don’t want this spilling out all over the backseat!

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We did ours during a camping trip and the “helpers” played with them all weekend. Think we offered a prize for the person who found the peppercorn.

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All in all a fun project, I still find things I want to add, but the lids are glued and I think 50 plus is enough to find. I did print a checklist of items inside. Think the adults are more competitive about finding the harder items but it gives the kiddos what to look for.

ENJOY!

DEBBIE

 

Items in my bottles included: Lots of Bead and Buttons, Items from Papa’s garage, and a few minis I purchased.

BASEBALL 

LADY BUG

BASKETBALL 

LEAF

SPARKLY BEAD

LEGO BLOCK

BEE BUTTON

LIGHT BULB

BIRTHDAY CANDLE

LOCK

BOLT

MATCHSTICK

BOTTLE CAP

NAIL

BREAD TAG

NUT

BULLET

OWL

BUTTON

BARBIE SHOE

CHENILLE

PEARL

DOG

PEPPERCORN

DR SUESS ERASER

POMPOM

FISH

POPCORN KERNEL

FLOWER

PUMPKIN

FOOTBALL

QTIP

FEATHER

ROCK

FUSE

SCREW

SEASHELL

SMOOSHED PENNY

TOY CAR

SPOOL

“H” for HAILEY

SPRING

HAIR CLIP

STAPLE

HAIR TIE

STAR

HEART

SPIDER

JELLY BEAN

TACK

JINGLE BELL

TEDDY BEAR

KEY

WASHER

KITTY

WIGGLY EYE

 

Playtime in the Car

Here’s a quickie I made for my Grandniece Dolly’s car trip to Disneyland. They’re driving down, and I remember those days of trying to keep an excited

5-year-old entertained in the backseat. I made her a travel box with stuff to hopefully make the ride smoother.

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First up was a travel tic tac toe tin. I found a small metal tin in the dollar bin at Target and it was already red! So I added some cute washi tape around the bottom and painted her a Minnie Mouse on the top.

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I used a small ruler and permanent marker to put the grid on the inside of the lid.

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Collected some bottle caps from Papa, he was happy to help. You need 10 total, 5 of each color. Some button magnets and outdoor glue, attached to the back.

I painted mine black and red, and put a mouse outline on top. You can do whatever shape, or theme suits your kiddo.

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I also made a backup set of caps, using a punch and putting the images inside the cap and the magnet on the back. (I’m sure some of these will end up under the seats! Sorry Mom and Dad…

Enjoy!

Debbie