Thursday, February 26, 2015

Barbie DIY Dream Ballroom Complete...a thrifty furniture and topiary how-to

I must be in denial about my winter lay-off time coming to an end, because I'm getting silly things done and not the big, important things.  

The silly things are much more fun.

This is one project I've worked on this week.
Sara's Barbie ballroom is finally complete with furnishings and plants.
But now that I'm looking at it, should those topiaries have one more ball of green stuff on the top, or would that off-balance the room? Maybe they would just look like green snowmen.

What do you think?  Please tell me in the comments below.

The idea to make furniture out of cereal and cracker boxes was inspired by

This woman is a genius. Her youtube videos leave me exclaiming things like "She's brilliant!!!"..."That's amazing!!!" out loud to Sara every time.

Sometimes, if she uses an idea that I may have had...I'm like "I'm brilliant too!"  "Did you see that Sara?!"  "I'm brilliant too!"

Here is the one that inspired the ballroom furniture set.  I made a few changes, but kept the overall idea.
Here's what I used...

Cereal boxes
Cracker boxes
Small regular box for the ottoman
Ruler (optional if you prefer free handing the pattern)
Pink fabric, up-cycled from a pretty shirt (saved and never worn from 18 years ago)
Sample upholstery fabrics (gifted)
Fabric from a Dollar Tree Christmas stocking (gifted)
Trim (yard sale)
Liquid laundry detergent lids
Lots of hot glue for my hot glue gun
I used some duct tape when I made a mistake, and quickly learned that it is better to have two identical boxes for one chair or couch. To make this couch "solid", I glued these liquid laundry detergent lids to the bottom.  That worked perfectly.

I decided to step it up a little from the original idea by adding fabric over the felt, which meant much more time hot gluing seams, so there were no frayed edges.
Wanting a more formal look for the ballroom, I decided not to add couch cushions (to sit on) like she did. 
The top of the trim was glued into place with hot glue.
I cut the dangling part off of a long piece of trim, then followed her general directions twirling that trim around and down the arms.
Next, a person and a half chair with an ottoman.
Same idea, only I used some of the cushiony layer from the Christmas stocking to make a pillow-top for the ottoman. Thread, four pieces of sequins, and a regular cardboard box were also used for the ottoman.
If you look closely here, you can see the arm rests were not as thick after rolling them with a pencil. To fix this, I glued some cushiony material down until they were they were uniform, then continued to cover with fabric.
I marked the bottom of the cushiony stuff for the ottoman.  At those four spots, I sewed the cushion and the fabric together, like sewing a button.
This is the result.
I covered the ottoman box in felt and fabric just like the rest of the furniture.  I trimmed the trim and glued it around the now fabric-covered box.  Then hot-glued the pillow top to the ottoman. The four threaded places were covered with one sequence each.
Next up, the love seat.
Then throw pillows.  No sewing here.

For pillows I used...

Stuffing from goodwill stuffed animals
Fabric from The Christmas stocking again
Fabric from upholstery samples
Hot glue
Here's a bag of dogs with no ears and bears with no heads.
Finally, the plants.

For the double-sphere, maybe should have been triple sphere, topiaries, I used:

Styrofoam spheres (Dollar Tree)
Floral foam (Dollar Tree)
Reeds (Dollar Tree)...because I didn't feel like twig-hunting in the snow
Reindeer moss (Dollar Tree)
Little seed starter planter kits--for the planters--(Target dollar section)
Craft paint (Walmart)
Cushiony layer part from the Dollar Tree Christmas stocking-- for a tree skirt
Fabric from the Christmas stocking to cover planters
Gold beads (yard sale)
Hot glue
I wanted to make the plastic-cotta pots glimmer gold, using three quick coats of this metallic craft paint, using one of those spongy painter things from Dollar Tree (think sponge brush instead of paint brush).
But they looked more bronze than gold.

Theses two pots don't really look much different here, but it was true.  So I wrapped the bottoms in gold the one on the right.
Thread the spheres through the reeds, hot gluing them in place.
Then I hot glued the reindeer moss around the spheres, pressing down on the moss, and NOT burning my fingers.
 Trim them up if you'd like.  I did.
The one on the right is trimmed.
Next I placed and glued them into the floral foam in their little pots, 
made a tree skirt pacman, 
 and glued it around the inner rim of the pot.
The beads were glued on by hot gluing a small section, sprinkling them over the hot glue, then pushing them down...and not burning my fingers.

I choose gold pearl beads, but you could use anything...If you'd rather have a more natural look, maybe find something more dirt-like...leaving the plastc-cotta pots looking more terra...and keeping the moss this natural, almost dead-looking color.

But these were for a glamorous ballroom.
(see that one in the middle...that was a bonus one.  I found these gold twigs in the craft stash.  The silver napkin holder was 49 cents at Goodwill.

Finally using the spongy-paint brush thing and green craft paint, I painted the moss and gave them a final trim when dry.
Here's the finished set that cost us next to nothing, but quite a bit of time...
And here they are in the ballroom...
a party! 
I painted the back of the hutch with two shades of pink.  In the pattern there are hearts spread about and when looking closely in one corner, the pattern spells out sara.

The "panels" are simply food boxes cut out and wrapped in gift bags found at the dollar store.  The pink panels have birds and the white/silver panels have that swirly heart design.

The floor was painted pink, covered in pink glitter, and then two or three coats of poly for shine.

The chandelier is a locker room magnet, hung from a Christmas tin.  It's turned off here, but it has a motion sensor!
The fireplace is made from a Christmas gift box from Dollar Tree.  Two boxes in a pack.  Inside are battery operated tea lights, so they can enjoy a fire when it gets cold.
The silver picture frames are from Dollar Tree.  The hearts are earrings that came in a set with a tiara and a little pink sequence purse from Dollar Tree. 

I used the tiara as the headboard on Barbie's bed, and the fabric from the purse to line the inside of the ballroom picture frames.
Here Ken was talking with these ladies.  I must have been messing with his style, because he turned to me and was like "Lady?! really with all these pictures?"

I was like "Ken, you know you're posting 12 selfies a day. chill."
bonus tree

This is a favorite of mine...
Raven Queen is trying to take off with the only silver throw pillow.
It matches her outfit.
   You know how Raven Queen is.

What do you think?  Double or triple-sphere topiaries?
How are you making your today world beautiful?
Please share your latest project photos and stories with us on our group fb page here!


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