This post really should be called Finishing the Handmade Christmas Gift in the Nick Of Time. This project took way longer than it should have. I may have gotten a little carried away and kept adding things to my list of things to make. You see, my Minwax post this month was to make a dollhouse of sorts, only a doll won’t be the one living here. To help explain this project, let’s get a bit of a back story…
My youngest picked out a 99 cent stuffed mouse from IKEA one time when he was about three years old. He named him Mousey and he has been his friend ever since. Actually we are on Mousey #3 since they can only be washed about 89 times before looking really sad. I think my son likes to imagine that he is alive and his little buddy. He carries him in his pocket all the time. He even sneaks him to church sometimes. My son loves to read books about mice and especially loves The Mouse and the Motorcycle. He even requested a mouse birthday party last year!
He and his brothers also like the book The Indian in the Cupboard, where a toy Indian figurine comes alive when placed in a special cupboard. Since my son is at that age where he is not a fan of things that are “girly” and pink, I thought that creating a house for his mouse that was like the magical cupboard in the book would be a fun twist.
I headed to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to look for a cupboard. While I didn’t find one the size I wanted, I did find a whole wall of cabinet doors. I found one that I liked and figured it would be easy to build a box and shelves to go with it. I shared pictures on my Insta Stories of the wall of doors. It was quite impressive!
I picked a tall door so I would have enough space for three rooms. I didn’t want it too big because I knew that he would want to move it around. He likes to play in whatever room I am in or where his brothers are. I think 6 inches deep and 2 feet tall is perfect!
I used Minwax’s Dark Walnut oil based stain for the door and cabinet box.
Once it was dry, I painted the inside white. I really wanted the house to have a lot of fun details so I added real wood floors! I cut the ends off of popsicle sticks and used wood glue to adhere them to the top two floors.
I figured Mousey is a pretty trendy mouse, so I went with a gray toned floor that seems to be so popular right now. I used one of my go-to colors of stain, Weathered Oak. It is such a pretty color!
I also stained some wooden beads that would become the feet to make swinging the door open easier. When the cabinet box, door, feet, and floors were all dry, I sealed them with polyurethane. I waited for the first coat to dry then sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper, wipe it down, and added a second coat.
Once they were all dry, I added the feet and added hinges to the door. I really wanted a knob with a keyhole to be like the actual cupboard in the book, but I settled for this old looking pewter one from Hobby Lobby.
It didn’t take long for Mousey to feel at home!
He has a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom!
My favorite things in the living room are the gallery wall and the TV with a tiny remote! The drawer on the table opens and the remote fits inside. I made some of the items for the house out of clay and others I ordered (like most of the furniture). I had fun creating and printing off tiny art for all the frames.
This kitchen! I loved the little set of appliances I ordered but they were all white. I didn’t want them to blend in with the mouse or the walls so I painted them silver (stainless steel). I love that the stove and under the sink open and can be used to store the extra pots and pans as well as dishes.
I made some food out of polymer clay while watching Hallmark Christmas movies. I think I will make some more so his poor little fridge won’t look so bare :)
I stayed up one night (because I could only work when my son was gone or sleeping) to sew bedding, the apron, the chef hat, and this night cap. While I don’t love sewing, I have to admit it was pretty fun!
We are a family of readers so it is no surprise that Mousey likes to read as well.
I was obsessed with dollhouses and all things tiny when I was a little girl. Since I have all boys, I didn’t think that dollhouses were in my future. When my son asked for a house for his mouse, I knew it would be so fun to make that happen.
Minwax has more project ideas on their site as well as more details about their Made With Love Campaign.
Do your children or grandchildren have a dollhouse? Or did you play with them as a child? I’d love to hear your stories or memories!
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This post was sponsored by Minwax but all ideas and opinions are 100% my own!
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