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I was quoted £250 for my daughter’s dream Barbie house but did it myself for £20 using old lollipop sticks & ham packets

A MUM, who was quoted £250 for her daughter’s dream Barbie house, has revealed how she made one herself using old junk for just £20.

Faith Sheppard, 31, a mum of two and beauty therapist from Bristol, wanted to buy her daughter a Barbie house for her birthday.

However, when she looked online, most doll’s houses cost around £250 - and were largely made of plastic.

Faith decided to make her daughter her very own Barbie house using an ingenious variety of recyclable products in her home.

She used everything from a used sushi box to an old packet of ham to create the stunning home for her daughter’s Barbies.

Best of all, the Barbie house cost her just £20 to make.

Faith told money-saving community "I came up with the idea when I wanted to get my daughter a Barbie house for her fifth birthday.

"I looked online for hours and I couldn't find what I wanted without it costing hundreds of pounds and everything was mostly plastic.

"Looking at the images of the Barbie houses I decided that I thought I could make one that would be bigger and last longer.

"I started to watch YouTube videos about miniature interior design and it gave me so many little tricks.

"I was inspired so I set about finding the main frame for the house.

“I found a pine cabinet with doors on Facebook marketplace that was just stored in someone's garden about three miles away from home.

"It was free and I knew it would be perfect!

"Once I had collected the cupboard, I then figured out how I wanted it to look inside.

“My husband made some shelves from wood that we already had in the garage.

"I went to a hardware store and got some wallpaper samples to decorate the walls.

“I also went to a local carpet shop where they allowed me to choose whatever I wanted from the skip for my flooring.

"So far it had cost me nothing.”

With no dent in her budget, Faith then set about making a few cheap purchases to bring the house together.

She said: "We already had primer and paint at home so I used that to paint the cupboard.

"Once I had painted the whole thing, I ordered some vintage style handles from ebay that cost me £4 in total.

"I used hot glue gun to make all the handles and taps, and nail varnish to paint them.”

But Faith made her biggest savings by rummaging through her recycling bin.

"Lollipop sticks were used in almost every room of the Barbie house,” she says.

"I went around the house and found recycling that I could use.

“For example, the shower is made from a plastic sushi box and the shower screen is from a packet of ham.

"I was kindly given some Barbie house accessories and furniture that someone I know was getting rid of.

"I made the rest myself from anything we had lying around.

"I used fairy lights to create the lighting, washing up sponges covered in old fabric for cushions, tin foil for mirrors, and boxes for the kitchen.

"I added images of my daughter and family to give it a personal touch.

"It took me about two or three weeks of spending every evening from about 6.30 until 10 doing it.

"In the end the total cost of the project was £20!”

It's better than I could have hoped for and I am so excited to play with my daughter when she finally receives it for her birthday

Faith Sheppard

Faith is delighted with how her project has turned out, especially considering how much she could have spent buying a brand new one.

"I am so so happy with the way is has turned out,” she adds.

"It's better than I could have hoped for and I am so excited to play with my daughter when she finally receives it for her birthday.

“My main tips are to try and find a use for everything you are getting rid of.

"Old clothing can become bedding and cushions, plastic can become showers and sinks, toilet roll tubes can become fireplaces and so on.

"Use your imagination!

"We all know that we have a huge problem with landfill.

"By recycling and creating something from materials that we already have, we save money and don't unnecessarily add to the ever-growing mounds of rubbish.

"When she no longer plays with it I can convert it back into a cupboard!”

“This is an unimaginable amount of waste, and it can often seem like such a huge problem that we don’t even know where to start when it comes to helping the crisis.

“However, taking small steps can really make a huge difference.

“Faith’s project is a wonderful example of reusing and recycling rather than buying new and throwing away.

“Instead of buying a plastic doll’s house online, she reused someone’s old pine cabinet for free, and made household items that would have gone into the recycling bin into doll’s furniture.

“She’s not just saved herself money, but she’s helping to teach her kids eco-consciousness at a young age - and her lucky daughter will have a totally unique, bespoke doll’s house!"

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