Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Make a Bathroom For 18inch American Girl Dolls!

Greetings and Salutations Doll Friends!

As I may have mentioned before, I am a member of a group on Facebook called "My Dolls House". It's a group of people, mostly women and their daughters or granddaughters, who love all things American Girl or other 18" Doll related. They make the most amazing and intricate houses for their dolls! I get so much inspiration from them. Which leads to today's post! It had never even occurred to me to make a bathroom for my dolls before having joined the group. I mean, I guess I always thought one of the perks of being a doll is you don't need a bathroom. Teehee. However, after seeing all the clever and imaginative bathrooms being created by the ladies in the group, I started to think it might be fun. Didn't really pursue it though because you really do need to buy a few very specialized components for a bathroom. The most important thing, which makes it look like an actual bathroom, is a toilet

Well, I guess this doll bathroom was providence because, low and behold, I found this toilet at Goodwill for $2.99. It's made to be a change bank but the bottom door, where change is meant to be kept, is broken off. However, was perfect for my intended use!! Nearly perfect scale and even more like a real toilet than a lot of the ones actually made for dolls! So I bought it and set it aside to think of how I might make the other components of a bathroom... A bathtub is really, well, a large tub of some sort. 'Real' bathtubs come in all shapes and sizes after all. I just needed to find the right basin or tub to make it. Another trip to Goodwill later, I found this awesome silver box that I am guessing came with gifted bath products or something. It was only 99cents and so I figured I had very little to lose! Ironically enough, I found the roll of fancy printed duct tape during same Goodwill trip for 99cents too! I thought they'd make a perfect tub when put together!

As an aside, two things; First, yes, I go to Thrift Stores a lot. It is, I find, one of my best sources for things to make over for dolls but you have to go pretty often to find the gems. I stop in a couple times a week as I am out on errands. Secondly, about the duct tape, it was a really great find because I am pretty frugal and would never probably spend the $4 a roll it costs in the stores. So, it was providence, truly, that it be part of my tub design. It's even in a 'modern fun print' as I wanted to make my bathroom a bit modern as a nod to my sweet daughter. She loves the doll house but the kitchen and living room's are certainly decorated to my taste, not hers. She, like many girls her age, loves bright colors and fun prints. So, I figured the bathroom would be a great place to do those fun colors.

So here are the first components of my tub. The regular duct tape I owned already. I wanted to tape around the whole thing so it would cover the "handle" holes and wanted it to be sturdy so I figured I'd do the plain tape around it and then cover it with the fancy type.

It came out pretty great! The tape is a bit puckered in places which drove my TypeA personality a bit nuts but it looks good enough. I wasn't sure how I'd do the "plumbing" on my tub and it looked pretty un-tub-like still without it. (Forgot to photo without, sorry! You can imagine it though right?) So I asked my dear husband if he had any thoughts and/or supplies I could use to make a faucet and handles? He is a genius! He also has a lot of plumbing supplies in our garage because of his job. So he helped me out with this faucet handle combo and I love how it came out. It looks old fashioned because of the copper! He used 1/2inch copper tubing (I think, I'll come back later to correct if I am recalling correctly but Dear Husband is still sleeping like most normal people at 5AM) and some various hardware to create the plumbing. As you can see, the 'handles' needed to be put in place with hot glue because they were 'loose' around the pipes. I'll try and find names for all of the hardware and come back to tell you the information... Essentially you can to just try and find hardware or whatzits around your house that might work but I realize that not everyone keeps such things around. Sometimes, it pays to be a packrat. Eh?

So here is the completed bathroom!! In these photos, I hadn't 'plummed' the sink yet. I was so excited about the tub that I just put it all together and took photos because I was excited to show it. What's funny is it didn't even occur to me immediately that the same 'pipes' that worked for the bathtub might also work for the 'sink' but... After I took these photos, the light bulb went off in my head.

So here is a photo with the 'plumbed' sink. It's just a length of that copper tubing, cut to size and bent over to make it look like a tall faucet. It doesn't have handles, the sink but I don't think it's all that big a deal. I used the 'bowl' as the sink because I wanted it to look like a lot of the modern day bathroom sinks that have a 'bowl' basin. The bowl is an old school melamine sugar dish, minus the lid. I think it's perfect and I, being me, had it on hand. You could find any bowl that suits you for your 'sink' though. The 'dresser' portion of the sink was also found at, you guessed it, a Thrift Store! It was only $2.99! I am considering re-painting it to match the bathtub and/or using some of the fancy duct tape on it so it really matches but I am holding off because I could also use it as a dresser in the 'bedroom' of the house... So I am holding off on painting it for now.

As you can see, I am very technical! Um, no. I just duct taped the faucet to the back of the dresser. Another cool part about being able to take off the faucet is that I'll be able to use it to make a 'kitchen' sink in my kitchen scenes. A lot of the ladies that are in the My Doll House group make every thing in their houses more 'permanent' because they actually have big 'box like' rooms that they keep everything in. So if that is you, you'll just have to make two of the faucets! 

I am really pleased with how it turned out. I need more 'art' for the walls and may make a special background.... but all things in good time. It's fun that it's all always a work in progress. It always keeps me coming back to create more fun stuff!

In an upcoming Blog post, I plan to tell you all about the recent arrival we had in the doll house. I bought a Liberty Landing doll on eBay recently. She was only $7.50 and I was very curious about her because I guess Liberty Landing dolls were a 'cheaper alternative' to Pleasant Company (American Girl) Dolls back in the 1990's. However, when she came, her dress smelled a bit musty, like she'd been in storage a long time and her wig was a nightmare. Just horrid! So, she screamed "I need a makeover!!" to me. I am working on her as we speak and will have the big reveal soon. The reason I bring all this up, other than to let you know what is coming, is to say that it was a perfect time to have a new doll bathroom! Liberty needed to clean up!!

Here she is in a nice hot bath run by Saige, who, like all the other dolls, is trying to make her feel right at home. Always room for another doll in the Doll Sorority! Love abounds!

I forgot, earlier, to take a good photo of the 'plumbing' on the tub, so here it is. I will photo the back side of it too and update later! My husband was so clever in how he did it!

Doesn't Liberty have the cutest feet? I think she does! Can't wait for the big reveal of her makeover! Stay tuned!!

Thanks again for dropping by, Doll Friends! We will see you next time!

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