American Girl Dollhouse

Ask me what books I’ve read lately, or what I’ve needlepionted, or what workout class I’ve been to, and I’ll just stare at you blankly. Not just because life feels very full {two little kids, a husband with a demanding work schedule, and my work} but because I’ve been over here renovating an American Girl Dollhouse. ha! I suppose falling asleep to HGTV shows over the years made me think I could shingle a dollhouse or something. Lack of skills aside, this was such a joy-filled project to do with Maxi. When I think back to my fondest memories of play as a child, it ALL centers around my American Girl Dolls. I named my sister after my doll Kirsten after all!

So how did this life-size house end up in our house? A grandfather in Fort Worth made it for his grandaughter. She loved it for years and then handed it to a girl at our dance studio. She enjoyed it, and then last fall her mom texted me asking if Maxi would like to have it. A house passed down through three little girls? I sent Paul the address immediately. It was in the middle of some football game and I said, “Nope! We can pause that. This is urgent.”

Talk about Christmas for the kids. Harry got a kick out of it he could fit inside {seriously} and Maxi spent hours setting up the furnishings “just so.” My husband stared at me wide-eyed knowing I was scheming with ideas. This doll mcmansion had to be sawed in half to fit in the last house, so we put it back together, and I made mental notes of all the things we could do to give it a little more life.

And for the past few months, we have done just that! I added shingles to the roof, repainted it all, installed wallpaper leftovers we had and friends donated, and hunted for a few pieces of decor and furniture. This house brings old memories together with new. Some of the furniture items were mine or my sister’s as a child {which is why the bedding says Katey}, some of the items are brand new {I took the leftover fabric from her drapes and made pillows to match}, some are handed down {the school desk and accessories are from the girls I nannied in college}, some were gifts {the gardening pieces were gifts from her dance teacher}, and some were found on Etsy. This was a slow process that we savored. On nights Paul would work late, Maxi would crawl in my bed and we’d look on buy/sell/trade groups for dollhouse furniture. We took it room-by-room and then would hunt through my old toy boxes at my parents’ house.

I wanted to share it on the blog and source a few of our favorite Etsy finds for y’all in case your little one loves dolls, as well. This little project has given me such great perspective in the things I save for my kids. I have boxes upon boxes of clothing saved, but I was always eager to donate a toy or two. And while we live in an older home, storage isn’t great, and I have to purge; I choose to hold on to their favorite books and toys more now. Maxi wears a few of my dresses as a child, but not boxes full. However, she plays with so many of my Barbies, reads my favorite childhood books, and plays with all my American Girl stuff. Hold on to those toys, mamas! They bring back the fondest memories.

coffee table | locker | art set | calendar | bookcase | bulletin board | mixer | doll candles | small dollhouse | doll kitchen | Little House on the Prairie books | tea set | groceries | kitchen rug | frame and flowers | bow hooks | shingles | mirror |  shelves

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