1:6 scale furniture makeovers

A little while ago, I wrote about some doll furniture I repainted for a friend. I just finished a pair of chairs for the same friend and thought I’d share those as well.

Before … plastic Mattel Barbie chair
After

I hand painted the chairs in brown, cream, and gold and glued on brass stampings I found on Etsy.

1:6 scale furniture makeovers

I’ve been working on refurbishing some Barbie furniture for a friend. I finished the first two pieces today. I used FolkArt multi-surface craft paint. I first painted everything white to get a solid base. While the paint is thin, it adheres well to plastic, and having a white undercoat allowed the brush strokes of the brown paint to appear as wood grain. Then I used FolkArt Treasure Gold as an accent.

Before
After

Refurbished Susy Goose Barbie vanity and hope chest

I’ve been working on painting this vanity and hope chest for a few weeks now. When you use so many colors, drying time is definitely a factor! But I finally finished them this morning.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know how much I love the Susy Goose Barbie furniture. Manufactured in Jonesville, Michigan, in the early 1960’s, these delightful French provincial pieces are unique. Mattel hasn’t come up with any Barbie furniture quite as wonderful as these vintage treasures. Over time, however, the white plastic yellows, so a good paint job can bring these pieces back to life. Available and on sale now in my Etsy shop. Set includes vanity, bench seat, hope chest, and everything shown on the vanity top.

Waiting for paint to dry

It’s a drizzly day outside, which makes it the perfect day for crafting. I have a bunch of doll furniture stockpiled, just waiting for a new coat of paint. So I’m starting out with a vintage Susy Goose Barbie vanity and 3 Barbie Fan Club chairs. I’ve got the first coat on everything, and it will probably take 2-3 more coats before I finish with sealer. I also just got a package in the mail with a vintage Susy Goose Barbie piano that needs some love. What color shall I paint this piano …. Previously, I’ve done blue, white, cream, pink, vertigris, black, and green. Revisit one of those colors, or try something new? Suggestions? How about lilac?

Minis for Barbie and friends

I’m always on the lookout for minis to include in my Barbie dioramas. Here are some treasures I’ve added to my collection that you can find in retail stores or on Etsy.

French feves from the Etsy shop ValueARTifacts

Feves (French for “bean”) are tiny figurines that are made to be put inside a “King’s Cake” for the “Epiphany” Holiday, which is celebrated every year on January 6th, the 12th day of Christmas. Tradition states that this is the day that the three wise men or “Three Kings” came to Bethlehem, to honor the birth of Christ. Traditionally it was a fava bean that was placed inside the cake. Whoever finds the feve in his or her slice of cake, is king for the day. SInce it was good luck to get the feve in your cake – these little items were saved and treasured.

In the 1870s the bean was replaced with small porcelain figurines; good luck charms, religious figures, saints etc, and a collecting craze was begun! The oldest feves were porcelain. As the years sped by, designs became more elaborate; different glazes were used, they were hand painted or gilded. Following WWI, due to supply shortages, plastic feves were made. Now this tradition of Feve production and collecting has been completely commercialized, and there is a vast assortment of porcelain, plastic and metal figures that are made. A lot of the newest feves are sold in series – more for collecting than for actually placing in cakes. Designs include everything from Harry Potter and Disney to the high fashion shoes and purses. Collecting Feves is very popular in France. The series are generally only produced for a single year.

Corset ghost chair from the Etsy shop TheParisianApartment. Rug from Etsy shop TinyHomeGoods.

My parents gave me an Etsy gift card for my birthday and with it I purchased this lovely corset ghost chair and rug.

DIY Modern Mini miniatures from Michaels

I stopped at Michaels this morning and discovered the dollhouse craze is back, this time with modern minis. While most of the minis are strictly 1:12 scale, I thought these would work well for Barbie. I think I’ll use the little ceramic trays to hold jewelry on a vanity or dresser, and I may or may not paint the mirror frame. The little storage basket is simply a plastic bucket with twine glued on the outside. These pieces are very affordable at $3-4 each, plus they were on sale today!

Waiting for paint to dry …

I have a little stockpile of vintage Susy Goose furniture to paint and re-home. I have a complete bedroom set for Skipper (which seems like a daunting project to do all at once), a wardrobe, and a Barbie vanity. I’ve repainted many Susy Goose Barbie vanities in the past, but it’s been a while, so I thought today was the perfect day to tackle it.

Susy Goose Barbie furniture was manufactured in Jonesville, Michigan, in the early 1960’s. These pieces are truly designer gems. They’re made of a hard plastic which yellows over time, so I don’t feel bad about painting these vintage pieces and giving them new life.

I’ve been looking at furniture repaints on Pinterest and found some gorgeous (people size) vintage pieces repainted in dark pink, black, and gold. The combination was so striking, I decided to try it. I’ve typically stuck to pastel colors for the Barbie vanities, so this is quite a departure for me. I started with a base coat of pink … which looked decidedly like Pepto Bismol. So I took a trip to Walmart and picked up some deeper shades of pink. I ended up with a nice rich fuchsia, which was perfect. Several coats of paint later and I’m waiting for everything to thoroughly dry before I put on a coat of sealer and make a cushion for the bench (debating between a black or gold cushion … suggestions welcome). But so far, this is my favorite vanity repaint yet. Stay tuned.

You’ll fall in love with Brunbelle Barbie!

This morning, I spent some time searching for other Barbie blogs. I got so caught up in one blog that I delayed breakfast for over an hour poring over her posts and awesome projects. I’m convinced Rieka can make anything! And most projects are made from Dollar Tree items and found objects. I was so inspired I had to visit Dollar Tree, Goodwill, and Walmart after breakfast!

I especially love how she customized a Glitter Girls sweet shop for Barbie. In fact after seeing what she did, I found a used sweet shop on eBay and ordered it to customize for my dolls!

Here’s a comparison of the original sweet shop to Rieka’s customized version.

Check out her blog at https://brunbellebarbie.com/

and her new Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/brunbelledesigns/

You’ll be glad you did!

Refurbished Susy Goose Barbie piano

It’s getting very difficult to find Susy Goose Barbie pianos to refurbish, but I managed to snag one from eBay a few weeks ago, although I had to spend more than I usually do. The Susy Goose Barbie pianos were manufactured in Jonesville, Michigan in the early 1960’s. Since Jonesville is only 90 minutes from my house, you’d think I’d be able to find these pianos in antique shops in the area, but alas, no. This rare vintage piano and matching bench seat have been completely repainted in castle gray and gold acrylic paint. I added cameos to the oval insets on the sides of the piano to replace the stickers that were there. After painting, pieces were sealed with poly acrylic matte finish sealer. Cushion on bench was upholstered from gold silk fabric. Includes candelabra.

The keys are reversed in color. The Susy Goose pianos came this way, as they are modeled on historical pianos. In Mozart’s day, most piano’s had ebony keys with ivory sharps because ebony wood was cheaper than ivory. 

Note: The music box did not work, so it has been removed from the piano. Available now in my Etsy shop.