I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving already! Boy, how time flies! I feel like just yesterday it was 90 degrees with 100 percent humidity. But now the wind has a subtle crispness and is blowing in all the sights and sounds of Christmas…along with a few unwanted allergies.
This also happens to be our busiest time of the year because this is when we start prepping the residents of our small farm for winter. The hen house needs cleaning, the horses’ blankets need washing, and the pipes need insulation before the first freeze. With all these extra chores, most of my creative work has come to a screeching halt while I tend to things outside😕
However, I have managed to continue repainting my Ever After High Castle and thought y’all might like to see the how it’s progressed so far.
The first pieces I tackled were the castle’s golden trees. They have been repainted using enamel paint suitable for plastic:
I also removed the gnomes attached to the base of each tree because they really didn’t “go” with castle’s new theme:
The castle originally had a white outer frame with purple pillars, but I changed both to an off-white color with pink and gold accents:
I know it’s kind of hard to see in the image, but, before repainting them, the castle frames were stark white. Now they are a soft, creamy color.
Each wing of the castle has a chipboard insert (at least I believe it’s chipboard?) that is covered with paper on the front and back. The front features an image of the outside walls of Ever After High, while the back looks like various rooms inside the school:
If I remember correctly the rooms are:
- Raven Queen’s bathroom
- Ashlynn Ella’s closet
- Holly O’Hair’s bedroom
- A cafeteria
- A living room
- A library.
Unfortunately, the colors of the rooms don’t fit with my whimsical theme. So, after removing the inserts from the frames, I recovered them with scrapbook paper better suited to the castle’s new look:
I also removed the swinging “doors” because I felt they were a distraction:
Next, I completely revamped the floors by spray painting them the same antique white as the castle frame, then adding some gold detailing:
The floors came with light wood parquet and purple damask paper inserts:
Again, these colors clashed with the shabby chic theme I was going for. To fix this, I created new floors by tracing the original ones onto a piece from a cereal box:
Then gluing this pretty, wood plank scrapbook paper to the cereal box template:
I was able to cover both floors using just one 12X12 sheet of paper. I had intended to paint Mod Podge over the floors to protect them, however, I REALLY want these floors to stand up to wear and tear…as well as with the occasional cat invasion. So, I ended up covering them with clear laminate instead:
While the laminate does a superb job of protecting the floors, it also gives off a glossy glare when viewed from certain angles:
I will admit I’m not thrilled about the shiny appearance, but, in this case, I think durability trumps visual appeal. Plus, I don’t think the sheen will be too obvious because the floors will be in the shadows most of the time.
While working on the floors, I also traced out a couple of extra templates for the ceilings. The castle ceilings come completely open. When you look at them all you see is a gold grid and the backside of the floor:
To hide this and give each room a beautiful ceiling, I cut out scrap cardstock (again, using the floor as a template):
Then covered the cardstock with patterned Washi tape and glued them to the underside of the floor frames:
Now when the dolls look up they will this pretty, gold damask ceiling!
One side of the castle (the left side if you’re looking at it from the inside) has a small balcony. The balcony snaps to the top of the upper floor and was originally gold and with red railing.
But now it has been repainted cream and has pink rails with gold accents:
Here is the (almost) finished balcony:
I say “almost” finished because I still need to give the balcony a floor. I’m trying to decide between stone or brick printed paper?
Finally, we have the castle’s bridge. The bridge connects the right and left wings of the castle and, even though it has a few molded details (such as locks and a heart-shaped logo) it’s pretty plain.
Sorry, but I forgot to snap pictures of the bridge before diving into its repaint😳!
Since this piece is such a focal point, I decided to make it stand out by giving it a base coat of antique white (to make it match the rest of the castle) then painting the swirls between the rails pink and adding a row of gold dots along the bottom edge.
I repainted the little locks hanging off the poles silver then gave them an aged look by dabbing on some antiquing glaze. The real stunner though is the logo! Fixing up this logo was a tricky task due to it being so tiny. The heart frame is now rose gold (my new favorite color!). The logo’s background reminded me of wood slats so I tried to simulate the look of wood by layering with light brown and cocoa colored paint. Then, to make the sign legible, I painted the letters black:
I took advantage of the bridge’s floor looking like planks and painted it the same way I did the sign–starting with a light brown base followed by a wash of cocoa brown. Then rubbed in some of the glaze I used on the locks:
The glaze not only darkens the color (making it look richer in my opinion), it settles into the nooks and crannies making the “wood-grain” appearance of the planks stand out. If you don’t have antique glaze handy though you can get a similar effect using dark brown paint and a dry brush.
Overall, I think the castle is coming together nicely and looks pretty darn good. I was a little nervous going into this project, however, I am thrilled with the results so far and can’t wait to show you the finished product! Until then I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of the progress I’ve made and check back soon for more crafty fun!