Parenting · Saving Money

Making a doll wardrobe for free

Does anyone else become completely frustrated with the inflated price of doll furniture? I do.

While I love my kids, unless they receive it as a gift, I’m not spending $60 on a wardrobe (as seen in the Target version, called Our Generation, in the picture on the left) or a whopping $120 (as seen in the American Doll furniture picture on the right).

Seeing these sticker shock prices is what drives our creativity. We decided to make one of our own and for FREE!

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My daughter had received an American Doll gift in an adorable box, which we chose to use. You could also use an ordinary box and paint it and/or cover it with your favorite stickers to make it more special.

First, I removed the lid, laid the box on it’s side and cut one side off with an exacto knife (or any blade would do).

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Sitting the box upright again, this is what it looked like. While it was on it’s side, I reinforced the bottom with gorilla tape we already had on hand. Packaging tape would also work because it’s clear, as well, but being that’s it’s on the bottom and not viewed, duct tape would also be just fine.

I then cut two small slits in the middle of each side of the box. This is to hold the support that is to go across for the hangers. I had originally tried placing string across the box (pictured) but found the weight of the dresses/hangers to be too much.

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We then decided to use 2 strips of cardboard that we cut off the side I had removed, glued them together back to back to reinforce the cardboard, and then placed the strip in both slats and taped it down to reinforce it. It would be even better if you had a small piece of wood/dowel to place across the box that would hold even more weight.

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This was the end result which we found adorable! It was the perfect size for what she needed and we didn’t spend a dime. (She used hangers she’d saved from build a bear visits and hangers that came with different doll clothing purchases and gifts over the years.)

What have you/can you create that saves money and is functional and adorable for your kiddos?

Life · Relationships

What everyone should know about their significant other and what I learned too late.

Does this situation sound familiar?

Husband walks in the door, wife is instantly annoyed because husband is late from work and has thrown his socks on the floor tired from his long day. Wife says “Thanks a lot. Now I have to pick those up AGAIN,” under her breath. Husband becomes annoyed because the last thing he wants is to be nagged straight when he gets home and counters with “Seriously? This again?”

All of this could be prevented and especially before it gets worse. If husband knows socks on the floor are a hot topic, why are they on the floor? The kind act would be to place them where they don’t then have to be picked up. When wife made the snide remarks about his socks, it instantly made husband feel defensive escalating the conversation.

Here’s another situation. Husband walks in the door and places socks in the hamper knowing wife likes that. Wife says “Thanks for keeping those picked up. That means a lot to me,” adding positive reinforcement to his kid act. Husband gives wife a huge kiss and kids shout “gross!” from across the room. Beautiful, right?

Both set off by each choosing one small change.

Reading The 5 Love Languages, by Gary D. Chapman, recommended to me by a good friend (Thanks Dawn!), has completely changed my perspective on my past marriage and all relationships (including my kids, close friends, and family). 

It states that there are 5 love languages which are “spoken”. Many people have more than one. 

1. Words of Affirmation: Expressing affection through spoken affection, praise, or appreciation.

2. Acts of Service: Actions, rather than words, are used to show and receive love.

3. Receiving Gifts: Gifting is symbolic of love and affection.

4. Quality Time: Expressing affection with undivided, undistracted attention.

 

Physical touch? I’m not going to go too deeply into this one since you can use your imagination for most of it, but a back or foot rub after a long day is a big one that gets overlooked. Holding hands more and making sure to get small kisses in more often. It’s too easy to let each day go by and not set time aside for the small things in this one because of work, kids, and housework and remember… “Hugs… release oxytocin, the bonding hormone that appears to build trust, reduces fear, and increase compassion and generosity.” Sounds good to me!