Go out and price a dollhouse gazebo and you’ll find that it’s definitely going to hurt the wallet. Make it yourself, though, and you’ll have a useful doll accessory that your child will enjoy for years to come. Think you don’t have what it takes to make a nice gazebo? You’d be wrong. For pennies you can make an impressive gazebo that will rival one from a department store. All you need for the unusual project is a gallon-size bleach bottle. When the laundry’s all done, and the bleach bottle is empty, rinse it out and get creative! It takes very few supplies to make a gazebo that can sit outside the main dollhouse and add a little more charm to the entire setting. Although the gazebo is likely being made for a child this is not a child’s project. You’ll be using a very sharp knife to cut the bleach bottle so it’s absolutely an adult craft. However, when you finish the gazebo you’ll enjoy watching your child play with it for hours on end.
Remove the label from the gallon bleach jug and remove any lumpy glue pieces that might still be attached to the bottle. Remove the lid, apply a little glue to it, then screw it back onto the jug. Decide what type of covering you want for the new gazebo. You can choose fabric or decorative paper. Contact paper that has a wood look works well, too. Cut a piece of the paper or cloth to the size of the former label. The new piece of cloth or paper should reach only from the top of where the label used to be to the ridge around the bottom of the jug. Do not cover the ridge itself with the paper or cloth. Glue the decorative material onto the jug using ordinary white glue and allow to dry completely.
You’ll need a really sharp knife to cut the openings in the gazebo. The actual designs of the windows and door are up to you. Use a square of cardboard, a shaped foam piece or another item as a pattern. Draw around the pattern and onto the jug to represent where you will position the door and windows. Cut one large opening to be the door and several smaller ones which are the windows to the gazebo. The door should be fairly wide and should reach from almost the very top of the fabric to near the ridge at the bottom. The door doesn’t necessarily have to be rectangular in shape; you can cut a door that looks more like an elongated stop sign. The unusual octagon shapes for the door and windows is perfect for the overall look of the finished gazebo.
The look of most any gazebo is wide-open and breezy. Therefore, as you draw the windows and door onto the jug, place them so that there are many openings, and so that there are only narrow strips between them. Make sure the door design looks somewhat different than the windows for the best results. Make it much larger, shape it differently, or make it more distinct by leaving slightly larger spaces between it and the windows on each side of it. After drawing the openings you’ll begin to cut them out with a craft knife.
It’s very important that the windows and doors to be cut perfectly. Avoid starting and stopping often, while cutting, which often leaves tiny protruding pieces of plastic around the window or door. After cutting out the openings you can then concentrate on creating the roof of the gazebo. For that, you have a couple of different choices. You can use thick scrapbook paper to match a paper covering on the bleach bottle, or you can use thin cardboard with material to match a fabric-covered bleach bottle. Or, the roof can look totally different than the rest of the gazebo.
If you’re using cardboard apply white glue to it then cover it with cardboard. Or, use tape on the back of the cardboard to secure paper or fabric. If you’re using scrapbook paper or another thick paper you’ll likely need two pieces, taped together, end-to-end. No matter if you’re using cardboard or paper you’ll twist it into a cone shape and tape to secure. Trim the wide opening of the cone so that the edges are all even and so that the cone is squat and not really tall and pointy. The cone should be just long enough so that, when set on top of the jug, it hangs to the top edge of the fabric or paper which is wrapped around the jug. Make sure the cone does not feature a very large hole at the point. A small hole, though, is fine.
Since the lid of the bleach jug is not in the center you will need to affix the side of the cone to the lid. So, set the cone over the top of the bleach jug and hold it in position. Mark where the inside of the cone meets the lid of the jug and also where the cone meets the handle of the jug. Apply a piece of tape to those areas and secure the cone to the jug. Now you can add a topper if you want, like a painted wooden ball, to the point of the cone.
If you want, you can cut a piece of felt, cork or other material to use as the floor of the gazebo. Simply cut a circle of the chose material and glue it to the inside bottom of the bottle. You can finish the windows with tiny strips of wood or cardboard or you can leave them as-is. The finished gazebo can hold furniture, dolls and more. Your little girl will have hours of fun playing with the new gazebo while you sit and admire your handiwork!