Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Renovation: Replacement Closet and Doors: How To...

When faced with an incomplete house and no budget to buy replacement parts there is a solution you can do. At the dollar store you can find large sheets of thick paper and smaller sheets of craft foam squares. I simply traced the original onto the sheets and cut out. For the doors, I reinforced the foamboard with yellow paper to which I made a simple door handle out of which wasnt hard given the molded shape of the original. I am still working on a good way to transfer the pattern of the front door to the replacement. The closet takes a little longer but is worth the time. Be sure to use the shiny side as the outside of the closet and score along the outer edges for clean edged corners and add tabs for attaching the corners. I used a clear ruler to ensure proper scoring and taped the tabs on the inside so they dont show. Follow the same procedure to make the shelf, and I used a small wooden food scewer cut with wire cutters to length and glued with elmers glue. You can click on the photos here to enlarge them. I had a clear rear patio door thats edges were faded to white. I found yellow tape from the hardware store, aligned it with the inside edge of the frame part and used an exacto knife to trim off the excess and it turned out well. I dont think theres a way to make the inside go from brown to clear again, but the renewed yellow edges do freshen it up and contrast nicely againsts the white walls. You can see the tape in the left photo, below it is clay from the craft store you can bake in the oven and it cools to a plastic like durability. I am going to try rolling it out with a kitchen roller, imprinting a door on it, baking it and seeing how it turns out post the results. =-)

Replacement entire house

Alternately, one can measure and fit a piece of foam board in it's place, using a carpenter's square helps ensure a perfect rectangle to snugly fit into the opening. 

Miscellaneous: Things That Make You Go, 'Hmmm...'

There are many unanswered questions I have about the Mattel California Contemporary DreamHouse that I'm sure many of you have as well. For one, just why are there so few patio triangles? How ironic is it that ebay sellers throw away the big pieces to sell the smaller ones where the value is, when they are selling it to buyers who love these houses and are buying them to complete them? Why is the 1982 Cottage so hard to find? Why do some houses turn brown, and others are almost as bright and white as the day they rolled off the factory assembly line? Why is it that when you buy a house there is more than one window with heavy scratches that look like they were cleaned with a brillo pad? Was ruining one not enough? Same thing with broken hinges. Why dont more people stage these houses with green outdoor carpet that looks like a lawn? Why cant I find a suitable driveway? Why didnt they make a staircase for this house like the 1974 Bionic Woman Carriage house, or subsequent Barbie houses in the 80's and now? Why does the pink house currently cost as much as the original? Its a regurgitated holdover because Mattel was too cheap to design a new house for the 1980's (the Me decade of Dallas, Dynasty and Wallstreet coudlnt even get its own house?). Why do some weeks on ebay I have bought them for $10 plus shipping and other weeks they sell for hundreds of dollars? Why is the 1980 pool so hard to get ahold of, while the 1973 pool is all over the place, with box for like $15 bucks? Same thing with the 1976 Camper versus the 1971 camper. Why are there so many sellers out there that think its okay to use no packing material (or just thow a few walmart bags in there) and a box thats falling apart, when I would never dream of doing that? I pack it extremely well and only get any feedback at all about 1/2 of the time. Why cant I ever find one at a thrift store to save on shipping? Why didnt they ever make another such wonderful house? A pink, hinged victorian does not come close, nor does Hannah Montana's 'swingin' pad'. Why couldnt they have issued different color furniture (besides pink/lavender) in America instead of just Europe? I would love to have an orange and white China hutch and dining room set, or a red and white bedroom set or yellow desk. And why does the couch look like a bean bag chair? The bedroom set comes with a single size bed, so where does Ken sleep? Why didnt Dallas ever get his own stable? Thats all I can think of for now, but I am sure more questions will come up.