Posted in diorama, Dollhouse, Fashion dolls, Photography

Building Lily’s world

Lily is the first of the dolls to have two permanent diorama spaces – one outdoor diorama space (in her secret garden) and one indoor diorama space (in her room).

The indoor space was simple to put together – it only has a few elements.

Lily's indoor diorama

  • Three walls (two taken from Daisy’s room, and one new). I used real wallpaper on one of the walls, and a roll of decorative paper on the other two.
  • One window (also used to be Daisy’s) covered in a clear acrylic sheet to mimic glass
  • Two 12×12 wood laminate tiles (as from Daisy’s room)
  • A printout of a rug. I just happened to find one that almost perfectly fit an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.
  • One Barbie bed, covered in contact paper (because the original bed is a pink monstrosity)
  • Two scarves – one as her bed cover, and the other as curtains
  • A beautiful dresser (probably a jewelry box) that I picked up at Goodwill

A note on putting acrylic in doll house windows: I put a sheet of acrylic on the window, thinking it would make it more realistic. In fact, it ended up doing the opposite – reflecting me and my dining room in the background of Lily’s room.

Here I am – looming in Lily’s room

Lesson learned – in the future I’ll leave my windows empty (as I did in Rosie’s room). The only time the reflection might be nice would be when the doll is sitting right by the window and you can see the reflection. But, that seems like the unusual case. The usual case is where you can see my camera’s reflection in the doll’s room.

Her outside space is more elaborate, and still a work in progress. It’s made up of:


  • A few great hauls from Goodwill, including the moss like ground cover, the picture frame door, the folding wall, and the amazing wooden creche (or whatever it is) that really makes the space.
  • It’s surrounded by a corner of “real” wall (made with individual bricks) and a corner of fake wall (drawn on foamboard). I feel like the wall is too short for the space, so I’ll probably be casting bricks over the holidays 🙂
  • Twigs and sticks with fake flowers (from the Dollar Store) hot glued onto them.

It’s missing its normal enclosure picture – that’s just the wall covering in my garage workspace behind the diorama. In Lily’s earlier episode previous shot, I hung a print behind the space. In this most recent episode, I hung a flowered scarf behind it. What I really want is to be able to see part of a town around it, but I’ll need to make more space in my garage for that to work.

A note on Lily’s paintings. Someone asked me about the paintings in Lily’s episode of the lost doll. They’re not really paintings – they’re just a Photoshop Elements trick. I take a picture, then I go into Elements and paste the picture over Lily’s canvas in the photo. I turn it from a picture into a painting by using the “oil painting” effect on a brush and brushing across the panel, giving an effect like this:





In my (almost) 60th year on earth I decided to set my fashion dolls free of their clothes and accessories and send them on adventures. This is your window onto my own adventure into a land of crafts where I have zero skills, talent or mentors. Wish me (and my dolls) luck!

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