Saturday, March 31, 2012

Leather Boot Turned Dollhouse

This is somewhat of a tutorial and is picture heavy. If you have trouble viewing the pictures here then try this link to my facebook page  that has the pictures all together in one album.

Since I was a little girl I always wanted a shoe dollhouse most likely because there was an old lady who lived in a shoe or so I was told  ...

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth without any bread;
And whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

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Ok, abusive yes, but the shoe dollhouse still appealed to me even if the story made me wish I could help those poor children!

So now that I've grown with children of my own I still have
a fascination with that shoe dollhouse. And not too long ago I saw a leather boot on pinterest (look for my miniature board) that someone turned into a dollhouse and I instantly thought I could do that too!

So off to the thrift store to find a pair of leather boots and I found them! They are vintage leather boots made in England by Bally.


Next, I cut one to expose the inside of the boot then I removed the lining. Using a hot glue gun and pieces of a cereal box I re-lined the inside. This made the leather stand up on its own. I then covered that with thin poster board to get a flat, clean surface.

Using a paint brush and modge podge glue I decided to use pink scrapbook paper for the wallpaper but once that was on and dried I couldn't decide if I liked it... which means I really didn't like it

I then got a super great idea and off to the thrift store again and got a vintage song book. Again, using a paint brush and modge podge glue I went to work and covered that pink paper with the song book paper!


Ok, so now you see I jumped a step in the picture above. I got carried away and forgot to take pictures of the floors going in. But all I did was use paper to make a template and then transferred those templates onto cardboard and cut out 2 boards for each floor. So I had 2 boards and glued them together to make the floors sturdy. I then glued down my paper flooring that I printed off from this site , (go to wallpaper then to wood Brick and Floors).

I then hot glued around the cardboard edges that fit inside the boot and held the boot firmly with my hands as the glue dried for each floor. Hot glue dries fast! Once those were dry and sturdy I cut leather strips from the other boot and outlined the open edge of the floors.


Now for the roof!

I really never had a plan for any of this, I only had a general idea which always turns out great I find... just letting go and building on ideas as they come to me!

I decided to use cardboard again and made a little peaked roof and edged the front of it with leather strips off that other boot. Once I got that done I really wanted a textured feel to the roof itself. I tried all sorts of ideas then I came across this old leather bible that I was saving for crafts and *Wa La* I had my roof! The covers, once cut from the binding, fit perfectly as if it was meant to be! OH wow, I just love the look of it too!


Now for the stairs! 

I wanted wooden stairs but I'm no carpenter and tried different things to build them and finally decided to use these wooden blocks my son no longer plays with. I had saved them for crafts and I'm so glad I did! And again, I used hot glue and built up the stairs, once they were dry I sawed off the ends and then painted them black with acrylic craft paint. I did glue them right to the heel of the boot to make the boot stable. They turned out great!!


Ok, all done I think! I'm very happy with the final results. I hope I've inspired you to make one of your own and that I've given you some tips to help you along. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask... below are the finished pictures and I'll be posting again once I have a little family to move in and furnish the place!
finished size: 20 inches high
See you again soon... I wonder who's going to move in?!

UPDATE: Click here for pictures of this boot full of furniture!

22 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea, it's so cute! I'm in love! I definitelly have to try (even if I don't have children)!

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    1. That's great Eilinor! I hope you do make one and then show us the pictures :)

      Sharon

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  2. Ingenious! I'm going to have to try this now!!!! What an AWESOME talent you have!

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    1. Thank you Karen! I love building, fixing, decorating! I have ideas for windows and I'll be making some ladders too. I'll post more pictures as it progresses.

      Good luck in your project. If you build one please share pictures on my facebook page, I would LUV to see it!

      Sharon

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  3. This is AMAZING, I would love to see the space under the heel become a wine cellar or crawl space. Absolutely gorgeous idea, so creative and I love a good recycling project.

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    1. Thank you Ruby! Those are great ideas... I was planning something because we have a tiny bike and some other outdoor stuff that will need a place. This will be a long project, because everything so small I am making all the furniture. So far I have a twig bed, a bookcase and a kitchen sink made! Fun!

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  4. I saw this via craftzine.com, and since I am a person who LOVES dollhouses, I had to head on over here to check it out... Your dresser dollhouse is also wonderful! When I was in high school I made a dresser dollhouse in which each level was a different apartment with unique inhabitants each of whom had a different decorating style, but since I neglected to install stairs, I'm not sure how the people who lived in my little apartment building got to their homes...

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    1. Hi Stella! I just went over to craftzine and that is pretty cool! I also signed up for their newsletters, lol Thanks for stopping by and so glad you like the houses :)
      I am currently thinking of ways to get some stairs or ladders into the boot before someone moves in!

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  5. This answers the question: "What do I do with those boots that I don't wear anymore. Your boot abode is totally fantastic and so very unique!! You did an outstanding job! Can't wait to see the occupants.

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    1. Thank you Brenda! I worked on it late into the night and now it has a chimney and a furnished bedroom, kitchen and reading room!! I'm feeling a little obsessed right now, lol
      I want to make the occupants myself so that will happen once it is fully furnished. No idea yet on who and how many.... :)

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  6. Hi Sharon! I love your project. I'm a writer at Apartment Therapy and would love to feature your boot dollhouse with links back. Can you contact me at bethc@apartmenttherapy.com? I'd need a photo of the whole house that's 540 px wide.

    Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Beth! I sent a message to your email.
      My email is sojala@hotmail.ca

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  7. This is fantastic! A great idea. And I love that you used sheet music to line the walls

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    1. Thank you Craft Arty! I really, really like the look of the music paper too. It seems to flow nicely with the look of the house :)

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  8. I just saw this pinned on Pinterest which led me to Apartment Therapy which led me here!

    This is amazing. I have always been a fan of The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe and this fits perfectly. My 7yr old has a ton of tiny little dolls and fairies. We were looking for something to build a new fairy house out of and I think this would be perfect! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Hello again Chrystal, I enjoyed your bookshelf story on pinterest and it's so nice to see you here on my blog!
      I'm really happy you found this and it sparked some ideas for you. I find that the things I build with or for my kids are the things they love the most. And a nice keepsake for them to have when they get older too.
      I wish you and your little one all the best and lots of fun building!

      Sharon XO

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  9. Thank you for your inspiration. I used your boot idea and entered two interpertations of the boot in our State Fair. One of them won 1st place and Division (dolls) Champion. Since we are a military community, I entered a white bunny boot in the Recycle Reuse Division and received a 2nd place ribbon. Thanks for a really fun idea.
    Sincerly,
    Penny in Alaska

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    1. Wow! I am so glad to hear that... amazing! If you are on facebook and don't mind sharing stop by my facebook page "Dollhouses and the Things That Go In Them" and post pictures of your housess, I would really love to see!
      Thanks so much for your message and have a super day :)

      Sharon Ojala

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  10. I don't have a facebook page, but If you want, you can send me your e-mail and I will e-mail you the pictures, You may post them.
    pjdean@ak.net

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    1. Hello again Penny, I just sent you an email. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.

      Thanks so much!

      Sharon

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