From Barbie House to Bookcase Dresser “Hutch”

Last Christmas, we made our daughter a Barbie “dream loft” out of a bookcase. Less than a year later, The Bear was over it. “Barbie is soooo bored being in the house all day, Mom…” (Coincidently, Barbie overcame her agoraphobia around the same time our daughter started going to preschool five days a week.) Barbie wanted to see the world. To get out on the town. Paint it pink.

No arguments here. I was sick of The Bean, now 14 months, constantly trying to snack on tiny hairbrushes and shoes, which were always haphazardly left lying about the doll house. (Between me and you, Barbie is a freaking slob.)


The Bear was also tired of her little sister ALL UP IN her stuff. When I suggested we turn Barbie’s loft back into a bookcase, The Bear pointed out that we needed to put it higher on the wall so Mini Godzilla didn’t terrorize the books. Agreed.

The solution was simple. A bookcase dresser “hutch.” Say whaaaat? Yeah, we will get to that. But first, I had to dismantle the doll house. If you check out the original post, you’ll see that I foresaw the diminished attention span of my preschooler and knew this Barbie house was only going to be a fixture in our lives for a short bit. It seemed like such a waste to convert that $10 bookcase into Barbie’s dream loft only to throw it away when Barbie was ready to head to the ‘burbs. So I attached all the “wallpaper” and accessories with double sided tape so it could be easily removed when the time came. I forgot to take pictures of taking the paper off the “walls,” so please use your imagination for that part of the demolition.


After removing the door, “elevator,” and hook that hung the “TV,” I set those items aside for another project. (Yes, I will find a way to reuse a Dollar Store pink vase elevator–spoiler alert: I’m working on a wicked busy board for The Bean for Christmas this year.)


The next step was to attach the bookcase to the stud with a bracket. The corbels were already attached to the dream house to mimic a roof, but it’s almost like I knew we were headed towards a bookcase dresser hutch!


With the bookcase secured, it was time to settle the books into their new home. I put the books we read from most often, and the books The Bear would most likely want to look at on her own on the bottom two shelves. I saved the top shelf for the chapter books that we only read before bedtime.


The final touch was reusing one of the push lights that lit up Barbie’s loft.


If I have to be honest, this project was just my attempt cover up more of the “Botticelli Angel” pink walls we inherited in the move and ARE NOT allowed to paint over per the insistence of our oldest half pint. Just kidding… as pink walls go, at least I didn’t have to paint them.


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