About Me

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About Me: I am the creative person behind Ribbonwood Cottage. A mother, wife and grandmother. My goal in life is to leave a lasting legacy to my family that life is incredible. God gave us this one life and it is worth the journey! A believer. A pianist, church music and worship director. Focused on intentionally living the best life possible.

October 20, 2014

DIY Easy ROOM DIORAMA and Tons of Decorating Ideas FOR YOUR 18" Doll

Welcome to my blog!
I design doll bedding and sell on Etsy...and in so doing I felt the need to make a backdrop, diorama, for the bed that I take pictures of bedding on. Once I got going I thought it would be good to share my basic directions in making this. It was EXTREMELY EASY!
This is made out of foam core board...
not wood...
hence the easiness of the project.
 Here is a supply list of what you will need. Feel free to use the colors that will suit your doll and your doll area's needs. I wanted spring colors...but also something that would interchange with the holidays for a fun look. I actually am making a second one with more traditional colors. I will show what I have done on that one too...it is not complete.

2-3 pieces of white foam core board-can be found at Michael's, Joann's Fabric store, and Hobby Lobby.
Measuring tape or ruler
3 small canvas' for wall art
1 round dowel to use as a curtain rod-paint to paint it
1/4" yard white fabric for curtains, or any color...I chose white since I am taking pictures of different bedding sets.
craft knife, or razor blade
Scrapbook paper-for bottom of wall, top of wall, and then insert for window...I chose a bird on a branch...but you could use snow covered trees, a magazine page of a Christmas or winter scene, pretty forest, meadow, neighborhood...you decide.

Doll furniture...I found unfinished furniture with drawers at Michaels and Hobby Lobby that I painted white. ($9.99 for a chest of drawers)
The bed is from Michaels, I got it on sale with a 40% off coupon. $40.00 regular-%$24.99 approximately with coupon.

Little bird houses $1.00 unfinished...optional. I got three and painted them white, pink and light blue. But for Christmas it would be cute to do your Christmas colors, or all white for a shabby look!
Small placemats that are textured like burlap make great rugs.

I used a large piece of burlap (beige) and cut it to fit after I had my basic size room board in place.
Foam core piece

to see bedding ideas, color combinations or bedding for sale please visit my shop too @ 

 Laying the board on your work surface lengthwise use your measuring tape or ruler and measure in 6", and mark on the bottom of the board and the top of the board. 

The first board I measured in 6" and realized ...I needed more wall space for the chest of drawers and the Christmas wreath I wanted to put above it. You might want to measure your doll furniture that you are using to make sure your wall space you are measuring is big enough for your items.  

Leave enough center room...area for your doll bed to fit. 
This should decide your measurements.

Draw a light line....using your razor blade lightly score the foam core board....being careful not to cut all the way through. Scoring the board allows you to bend the foam core board where it has been scored.  This is also why I bought 3 pieces...the first one I botched and had to use for a smaller doll scene for Blythe.

When done scoring carefully fold your sides forward to see that they are how you want them.
Next I took a rectangle cutting mat on the front side of the board to trace around for my window. You can use anything...It was approximately 5" x 7". I wanted it the window to be to the side of the bed, not over the bed....
 So I moved it more to the side and I traced around it then I cut around it.

 Cutting carefully with my craft knife till the piece popped out. This is our window.
 Next take your round dowel and place it above the window...for measuring...to see where you will cut it. Small dowels can be cut with razor blades sawing back and forth.

 I used a small mitre saw to cut mine...I am not allowed to use a skill saw...I am a church pianist...and My hubby said a big "no" when it came to using a saw. The hand saw took 60 seconds to cut through the dowel. Easy Peasy....
 You can paint your dowel...I was in a rush and didn't and now I wished I had!

Next I decided to add a little Martha Stewart Glitter to the branch our little bird was on to give it a glistening snow feel.
 Using Elmers glue, I drew along the branch and the tips of some of the leaves and sprinkled glitter on top of this....Set it aside to dry. Sorry the bird paper I have had from a long time ago. I do not know which scrap paper pad it came from.
 Below is the scrap paper pad I used...found this at Hobby Lobby.  I used the old distressed white wood paper for the bottom and pink paper for the top...I adhered it using a sponge and Mod Podge.

Color options are: 
black and pink
yellow and gray
pink and gray
all white
creams and beiges
white and aqua-maybe a touch of red

 Make sure you smooth out your paper as best as possible to get a clean look. But also keep in mind....you will be placing doll furniture up against your walls and imperfections probably won't show.
 After the walls dry...which takes about 30 minutes if it is hot that day...you can embellish a little more. I found some striped scrapbook paper that I cut into strips for the window edging. You could also use strips of balsa wood painted.
 I used a small hot glue gun to glue the strips on around the window....using a tiny line of glue.
 Next I turned the wall piece over and glued the paper piece on, placing it so the bird would show.
 Here is the mess I had about halfway through! I pulled out the little canvases to see how I wanted to use them on the wall.
 I quickly decoupaged a couple bird and branch designs on the canvases, letting them dry. Then I figured out where I wanted them to be on the wall and used tacks...a few tacks in fact to get them in the right place above the bed.
 2 tacks side by side holds the pictures in place so they don't lean the left...lean to the right...any which way but straight!

Next I added the furniture, a little Christmas tree that is 24 inches high that I found at Hobby Lobby. They are very inexpensive, and the little decorations I had on hand...it added a lot to the room.
 I used White muslin to make curtains...and then actually glued the whole curtain rod on to the wall above the window. I made tie backs using white ribbon...glued them to the wall where they pull the curtain back and then glued over that and attached a small rose, you could use a button, or silk flower, etc. (Sorry that is a tutorial in itself...)
OBVIOUSLY some of this won't work...the smaller the child is. 

This is not a museum piece, nor is it made out of wood.  But it does work well in that everything folds up and can be store behind a chest of drawers and pulled out for playtime. It can be brought out downstairs and used by a Christmas tree for Christmas morning to set up an amazing Doll room vignette. That is really what I had in mind!

Can you imagine a young girl walking downstairs to see a play area, that is easy to move around...set up with a new doll, doll bed, doll bedding...etc. A little tree, with small toys around it...
Add lights to the tree, make it as magical as you want to.

 If you wanted to do a non traditional look you could go for a Shabby, Cottage or French look with neutral bedding.

 This is just a part of the room...but a wide angled view...

You could add other rooms....for other bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens....


Ok last but not least...
I want to leave you with some ideas for decorating your little room....
Chests, drawers, the one above is from Big Lots I found  at Christmas time that got spray painted white.
I used small votive candle holder and put little flowers in them. 

Little frames with Christmas sayings or pictures in them.
Little birds and nests, Small birdhouses
Doll pajamas lying across the bed
Small kitten or puppy on the bed
Doll shoes or outfits on the chest of drawers
Hairbrush and comb set on chest of drawers or end table.

Small plates, cups, pots and pans, baking tins, cookbooks, cookie cutters....here are some below that I have found at stores, Etsy and Ebay. I added these to my Kitchen Christmas tree but they could work in a little doll kitchen or on a doll shelf.
At Christmas you can easily find small baking toys in the toy section, or in the Christmas section...keep your eyes open! 
I have actually bought little pots and pans in the toy section to use with my vintage stove vignettes.

Cookie sheets with cookies on them, small trays, cups for cocoa, little reindeer, snowmen, Santa, a small handwritten letter from the doll to Santa..
Tiny presents.
Little Christmas books, or other tiny books that could be set on the bed, on a tray with little fake cookies...or real candy.

Cut a piece of polyester fleece 18" x 18" for a throw...fringe the edges
Make a doll basket for the doll with bakery items in them...little cooking utensils, baking items, tiny cookie sheets.
I love vintage toys and use them in scenes for everything...but this is to give you an idea...how you can group it all together for your doll to make an incredible Christmas or Holiday scene that is spectacular for your special little ones. This was in my kitchen...obviously you wouldn't use glass for little ones...
but the stove, the baking and cooking items....

 Take these small ornaments and use them for your little dolls' kitchen!
I have found all kinds of vintage toy baking items that could be easily used for American Girl Dolls, or little dolls...most of it is in great condition.

I collect Vintage Toy Metal stoves...these would look adorable with baking items on them, a doll apron, cooking utensils and a new doll nearby...
I have tons of ideas! Hahaha...probably too many at one time. But I hope I have stirred your ideas so that you can do something special for your sweet little one!
If you have questions please email me I am happy to answer questions or help you with your own vignette!
Joining in with Beverly @


Brenda and Sophie said...
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Betty said...
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