Dear Friends –
Another year is about to come to a close, and I must say, it has been an exciting one for Welcome Home! New projects, new endeavours and new friends. All very good !
I know a lot of you will be taking a break from work in the coming weeks. I thought it might be fun to have a little do-it-yourself project on hand to get you through some of those long winter days.
So, I am posting my “Plastic Furniture gets a little love” article from the sold out, FDQ Fantasy issue for all to see and enjoy. You might decide to try this yourself or with your children, or friends.
I am wishing all of you many blessings in the New Year!
Plastic Furniture gets a little love – Welcome Home style!
Text, photos, and redesign by Maryann Roy
I know there are a lot of you creative types out there that would love a nice little home decor /diorama project of your own. I also realize that you may not have the desire to work with power tools or woodworking tools the way I do. To that end, I ‘d like to show you a fun, inexpensive idea that involves neither of those!
I purchased some inexpensive plastic furniture sets on eBay. Now, when I say inexpensive, I mean cheap! Literally $5.95 for each set. I chose these particular sets for a couple of reasons. I liked the lines of some of the pieces and they had what I consider “good bones” . (That’s my term for items that have good structure but need a little love.)
After checking out both sets, I chose the pieces I thought would look the best together in order to create one harmonious living space. For the price I paid, I had no reservations about tossing the other pieces aside. However, they could always be reincarnated into something else if you so desire.
The first thing I did after deciding on a set was to compare it in relation to the doll I intended the set to be used for. In my case, Integrity’s Poppy Parker doll. As you can see in the photo, even though the plastic set was meant for today’s fashion dolls, it is a little small in scale. For me, scale is EVERYTHING if you want your sets to look realistic. I am very picky about this!. The sofa and chair definitely needed some height. I cut some 1/4″ dowels in 1 1/2 inch lengths and glued them to the bottom of the piece. Since the dowels are wood and the pieces are plastic, I used Quick Grip, which is an all-purpose adhesive. I taped the dowels in place to help with the drying and to make sure that the pieces sat level before continuing.
In order for these plastic pieces to look more realistic, they will need to be covered in some type of upholstery. One of the easiest materials to work with is felt. Not only does it come in many color choices, it has a little bit of give , is inexpensive, and, it can be found in any craft store.
My color choice? A nice, neutral tan, or “camel” if you will. Since the sofa and chair make up the majority of furniture in the room. going with a neutral color makes the most sense. You can bring in other colors with the use of accessories.
Most felt squares come in 9″x12″ pieces. This size is great when you are working on small objects. It’s much easier to handle and excess can be trimmed after the piece is glued.
I am using Fabri-tac glue to adhere the material to the plastic. Start on the arms first. Wrap from the outside of the piece toward the inside. Once both arms are covered, it’s only a matter of one long center piece to cover the rest.
(*Warning – Fabri-tac glue contains acetone which may damage your plastic pieces. Be sure to use care when placing your fabric in the area you want it to be on.)
The other pieces I chose from the sets were the standing lamp, the low credenza, a few plastic vases and a neat looking stereo ! The credenza, and standing lamp got painted coco brown. I painted the lamp shade white and then adhered some circle designs from scrapbook paper onto the shade. I used this same piece of scrapbook paper as a “rug” in the new room. It really ties the whole set together.
Can you believe this is that same pink and purple plastic set I started with?! Just a few little personal touches, like magazines, pillows,and table accessories and voila ! – A perfectly tailored room at a budget price!
FYI – Have you ever wondered why some plastic furniture comes in such hideous colors? Most plastic furniture is made from plastic pellets that are melted and then form injected. These pellets come in pink, and purple because the don’t yellow over the years like white plastic can AND they cost less!
If you do try this project, I’d love to see photos ! Please send them along.
Maryann Roy is the furniture and set designer of “Welcome Home” .
*Welcome Home is a registered-trade mark business. Welcome Home is an independent company and is not affiliated with any other toy company.
All photos, furnishings, set designs, text and ideals are that of the Artist/Owner, Maryann Roy and may not be used or copied without written permission.