If your little girl loves anything to do with dolls and dollhouses, yet you find it’s simply too expensive for your budget, there are many things you can make yourself. Sure, if the dollhouse is an expensive type, filled with nothing but the best furnishings, your simplistic offerings might go unappreciated. However, if your daughter is used to you making things for her dollhouse, and she’d like even more handmade things, why not start her a barnyard collection? No, not the plastic animals you purchase by the bagful; make the animals from flat foam!
Craft foam is available in nearly every color known to man. This makes it easy to cut shapes of pigs, cows, chickens, sheep, dogs and other animals you might spot at a farm. Since the craft foam is flat, your animals will be flat, but they won’t be as one-dimensional as you think. To get started simply cut out the animal shapes you want. You can draw them freehand on the foam or use pictures cut from magazines or coloring books as patterns.
Glue on wiggly eyes and other embellishments or use markers to draw features on the animals. Draw on curly fur or glue cotton balls, yarn and other materials on to represent fur. When you’re finished, grab a couple of clothes pins to make the animal stand. Open two clothes pins and clip them to the bottom area of the animal. Each clothes pin will make two legs for the animal. Now they’ll easily stand anywhere you set them. Use large clothes pins for big animals and mini clothes pins to make shorter legs. Paint or color the clothes pins with markers or just use them as-is. You can even use markers or paint to draw hooves on the bottoms of the clothes pins.
Make more three-dimensional animals by cutting more than one of the same shape. Cut four, six or more cows, for example, then glue them together in pairs. Glue two sets of two, two sets of four, or two sets of six to make a much wider animal. After making the two separate stacks use dowel pins to make the legs. The dowels you choose should be very small in diameter. You can purchase them in sizes you need or buy a long dowel and easily cut it down to size using a serrated knife.
Glue two of the dowels to the bottom area of one of the stacks of cow shapes to make the legs. Glue only the very end of the sticks to the foam, then apply glue to the entire surface, and position the second stack of cow shapes on top. This traps the sticks in the middle and gives you a way to stand the cow.
Don’t have any craft foam? Use paper! Cut out images from coloring books and glue them to thick paper or thin cardboard. Or, just draw simplistic animals shapes from thick paper and attach the clothespin legs. Use markers, wiggly eyes, yarn, ribbon and bows, tiny foam hats, pom-poms and similar items to embellish paper or foam animals. Roll out a piece of green, indoor-outdoor carpet and stand the animals on it. The grassy plain with a collection of farm animals will thrill any little girl!