Wednesday, July 18, 2012

IKEA Doll Bed Makeover - part 1

UPDATE: The IKEA Doll Bed Makeover - part 2 has been written and can be viewed here

We all know that handmade dolls like these are something special. While we work very hard to make these dolls durable and we certainly expect them to be played with, they will age better if they are not chucked in the toy bin at the end of the day. Having a safe place to stay when they are not being played with will help your Tansy Doll live a nice long life. 

To this end, did you hear about the giveaway? (It's almost over! Hurry over to the Facebook page! EDIT: This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to the winner!) These cuddly cocoons are one great way to keep your doll safe when off-duty. Another is to give her a bed! Today I'll show you how I'm making over a basic IKEA doll bed into something a little more personal. This will be a longer project, so today is just part 1. Enjoy!

First, you'll need an IKEA doll bed. Mine was $19.99 and the Portland IKEA. 
Doll bed still in the box. 

In case there are one or two of you out there who are not as well-versed in IKEA building, I'll show you how. Everyone else, feel free to scroll past this part. First, open up the box and make sure you have everything. The opened box also makes an excellent work surface to protect your table or floor. 
You should have instructions, headboard, footboard, 2 side rails, a hardware pack, a linens pack, and a bed base. 
The bed is simple enough that you don't need any extra tools at all. The only thing you need is the allen wrench provided. Take the side rails and put 2 little wooden dowels in each end:
Rail with dowels inserted. And coffee. Don't forget the coffee.
 Next, put the head (or foot - they're the same) board down, stand the side rails up on it so the little rail rests point down, then sandwich the other end on top. Push until they're all seated tight. 
These perspective shots make it look so tall!
Thread the bolts in from the sides and tighten all the way down with the provided allen wrench.
You might have to crank pretty hard on these to get them to lay flush. 
Then you can just drop the base in from the top and you're done!
Ta-da!
The bed comes with a little linen set too. Here's Clara modeling it for you: 
What a cutie!
You could certainly be done here, but it's a little plain for me. So here's where the makeover part starts! First, I painted it. I used a nice basic brown craft paint and sponge brush. I brushed on a very thin layer of paint,  following the grain of the wood, so it still looks a bit more natural. You could paint it on thicker or use latex paint instead for a more uniform look. 
Once it looks dark enough for you let it dry then varnish it. (You could probably skip this if you used latex paint.) It may seem silly, but if you're going to hand this over to a kid, you're going to want to be able to clean it, right? So maybe 2 or 3 layers. 
I use indoor-outdoor varnish just in case. :)
End of part 1!
Ok, that's all for today! Next time I'll address the bedding situation. 

UPDATE: On to Part 2!

TTFN!
Cady

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