An Old Armoire Gets a New Life as an American Girl Dollhouse: A Before & After

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My girls (and I) have developed a little bit of an American Girl doll obsession over this past year and the accessories were starting to take over the room. It was time for a dollhouse. Only problem...these American Girl dollhouses are HUGE!! In order for these 18" dolls to have room to move around within the house each room has to be at least 2 feet deep, 2 feet wide and 2 feet tall...each room. When put together some of these doll houses are 6-8 feet wide and sometimes 6 feet tall. Not happening here. The space constraints coupled with the fact that I didn't necessarily want everything out in the open 24/7 (crazy clutter) meant that we needed a different option. After scouring Craigslist and some online yard-sale pages I discovered the perfect solution for us. A handmade solid wood armoire for $70!! Yes please! It was 2 hours away so the hubs and I spent one friday night making the 4 hour round trip to go pick this thing the rain. Then I spent the next 2 days painting and waxing until my arms felt like they would fall off. However it was so worth it! Here is the finished project!

Here it is with humble beginnings. A nice solid piece of furniture but boring. I painted the entire exterior in Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White. I made sure to paint the places that would eventually be pink as well so that there would be multiple layers of paint to peek out after distressing. The door and drawer panels were then coated with a mix of Old White and Scandinavian Pink. Then lots of distressing. Finally it was waxed with Annie Sloan clear wax. The inside got a coat of gray paint leftover from our walls. 

This little lady is actually not an American Girl but is a Gotz Little Sister doll. Gotz made Pleasant Company Dolls which were the original American Girl dolls before Mattel took over the brand. She has the exact same body as an American Girl doll just a different face mold. These sweet dolls had a short run between 2000-2001. They can sometimes be found on ebay. She fits in quite nicely with the other dolls :)

I created a bedroom bathroom space on the upper level. The canopy bed is actually from Pottery Barn Kids. The AG dolls fit perfectly in it. The chandelier is actually a locker light.

The bathtub is the retired AG bubble tub. I bought the dresser/vanity from Hobby Lobby and painted and distressed it. For now a little porcelain bowl serves as a vessel sink but I am getting an actual tiny sink with faucet to replace it.

Tutu says "hi"!

BonBon is the new French Bulldog that is a part of the new Girl of the Year, Grace's, collection.

On the lower level I created a bakery space. The girls enjoy setting up a doll restaurant and taking orders for treats! The string of heart lights are a Target Dollar Spot find ($3). The ornate overhead light is actually an upside down candle holder spray painted and then a tap light is placed inside.

This adorable counter is the retired AG sweet treats bakery counter. I love the faux marble top.  The girls have actually not seen this yet. I'll give it to Halle for her birthday tomorrow but I wanted to add it to the dollhouse for photographs. The treats are from various places. Some came with the AG counter and others are handmade from etsy shops.

Walmart sells these snack stands and they work really well with American Girl Dolls. It's made of plastic but fits in nicely with the AG items.

One last view of the entire project! The girls and I are thrilled with how it turned out. And the best part? It all closes up at the end of the mess :) Hope you enjoyed our little doll house tour!!

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