Vintage Children's Book DIY

There's probably nothing I love more than a straightforward and easy DIY, especially when inspired by a charming vintage children's book.

One of my youngest son's favorite books is How to Make Flibbers, etc: A Book of Things to Make and Do, by Robert Lopshire (Random House, 1964).

The book is filled with easy crafts with simple materials -- mostly paper, scissors, and glue. It charmed me from the first read, and my son and I even shared some of the simple to-dos with his preschool class. But, the mini potential did not occur to me until recently, and I was able to give the "Limp Lamps" activity a go!

Here are the pages from the book for the lamp:

Super easy, right? I figured it would be simple to replicate this activity on a smaller scale (I chose to eliminate the handle), and indeed it is. Here is my mini tutorial (not that you need it!):
Choose a paper. I used origami paper with a pattern, like these sheets.

Cut the paper into a rectangle shape, measuring about 2-3/4" x  3-1/4", but feel free to experiment with different sizes

Fold in half and score

Cut strips from the score and stop just before the top

Unfold and glue at the tops, with the score oriented along the center

I used other papers as well and tried out the activity in different sizes -- works!

The sofa is a new acquisition, purchased on my trip to Denver in July

I even used one of my flameless tea lights from Pottery Barn as a base -- neat!

Let me know if you do your own "Limp Lamps!"

Two other crafts from the book that have mini potential are these: "Party Mats" and "Stickit Picture"; I might try them next!

By the way, one of the reasons I was able to see this craft through was because I cleaned up my entire mini space. Remember my "struggle with clutter" post? Well, I just got in the right frame of mind and did it! We took some vacation time at home and I had a four-hour block of time to myself and just powered through. The only thing left to do is un-box and sort about 40 sets of Re-ment, purchased over the past two years! Yes, TWO years!

Here's some pics of my newly organized dollhouse room...hope it stays this way for a while.

Welcome Home

Nothing like a new set of doors to call a place home! My large VERO, while in lovely restored condition when I received it from Germany earlier this year, was missing the original front doors. I emailed the very talented Elizabeth Le Pla of Elf Miniatures and she agreed to make custom doors based on a picture of the original.

The original:

And Elizabeth's custom pieces to recreate them -- the threshold is first to go in...

Then the left side filler piece, since the door frame is uneven (some creative holding of the glue bond)

Followed by the top bar and doors (kids' blocks come in handy!) and then the right side filler piece, also requiring sanding and fitting.


Thanks, Elizabeth! They look great and your directions were superb, even for a carpentry-challenged gal like me. I truly hope I did not get anything wrong.

Now that the doors are in, I want to turn my attention to the wallpaper on the second floor of the house; a reminder:

The previous owner used vintage papers, but the flowers are really not to my taste and do not match the nice original papers on the back wall. I have been looking for new (vintage) replacements for a while, and came across two (perhaps from the 1960s) 1:1- sized papers on US eBay that I think will work very well:

Aren't they great? They are both labeled "Eisenhart," which is a wallpaper company that is still around. I can also put them to use in my other VERO, and perhaps even the Citadel. By the way, I received a very large roll of each, so I might be up for a little swap with someone down the road who might be interested in one (or both) of these lovely papers.

Fitting these doors and thinking about changing the wallpapers reminded me to share this wonderful little book, The Doll Family, which was printed by Wonder Books in 1962. Here are a few pages, which show the family of Erna Meyer dolls packing up to move into their new home. I sure like those glimpses of vintage German furniture, lamps, and plants!

Good night!