Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Creating a French Bakery of Our Own

With each AG release, I am always amazed by the new products American Girl creates.  The debut of Grace, girl of the year 2015, is no different.  As soon as I saw her collection, I wanted each and every piece!  I simply love each piece.  The little blender is just adorable, and the cafe table and bakery cart are darling, but the bakery is AMAZING! But, when I saw the price, I was shocked.  At $500, even if it went on sale at 30% off it would still be $350.  This is simply out of my price range, so I put my imagination to work and decided to try to make the exterior of a French Bakery as a backdrop.  But, as I got going on this project, soon I had an entire bakery!  It certainly didn't cost me anywhere near $500, but it did take me two full days to make it.

I am not going to give step by step directions, as I didn't really create a plan before I started. But, I can tell you what I used, show you pictures along the way, and tell you what I learned as I went along.


To begin, I purchased: 2 large sheets of red foam core, 3 aqua sheets of foam core, 1 black sheet of foam core.  The back of the sheets of foam core I used were white. I also bought some pre made chalkboard signs (Walmart), 'bistro' chalk board marker (I bought medium tip, but a small would be much better- my store only had med. and large) exacto knife, letter stickers for the store sign, LOTS of hot glue and a yardstick.






I began with pencil, but just till I got the hang of it.  I realized that the chalk marker is removable. The directions say with water, but once dry, I just used a pencil eraser when I messed up.

The medium tip chalk marker was too thick to write the descriptions on the menu, so I used a fine tip acrylic paint pen, but that was still a bit thick. I added the descriptions after this picture.
Using red foam core, a full sheet for the front of the bakery, I began by cutting out the rectangle windows. I actually cut one large square, then fit strips of red back in to create three windows.  I opted for squares as cutting straight lines was much easier than a curve.

I felt that the window side was a bit plain, and added an awning. I also made this out of foam core.  I cut through the top paper layer and the foam then the paper is still connected to make the front of the canopy.  I added the white to the awning with the chalk marker. I made a sign next to the window out of black tag board.  I think if would be more fun if I used chalk board paper, then the girls would be able to change the sign.  I might change this!

To make the roof, I made a long rectangle.  Figured how tall I wanted the roof, made a partial cut through the black and folded back the bottom.  This gave me a surface to glue on, and gave the roof dimension.   I drew the shingles on with a white colored pencil.   I used strips of white foam core for the trim, and clear plastic from a toy wrapper for the 'glass' in the windows. I drew the design on the store front (under the windows) with an ultra fine black sharpie. I made the sign out of the aqua foam core with stickers for the words.

Here you can see I stuck the diner inside....and realized that I need to do something with the two windows in the left. (please excuse the mess I made around my work!)
 With the outside done, I began to retro fit the interior. I used the aqua foam core to make the little shelf in front of the counter.  It squeezes perfectly into the space, so I didn't need to use any adhesive to hold it in place.  But, as I kept looking, the phone and tall wall just bothered me.  I remembered that it folds down, so that is what I did next.
 Much better!
Not perfect, my 3 donuts had to be stacked to fit in a row, but it looks pretty cute! I like having the plated dishes on the bottom and frozen deserts in the case that is part of the OG diner.
I finished off the interior, by cutting aqua foam core the same as the exterior, trimmed out the windows, added some simple décor. Then, I made a 'counter' work station over the folded wall, using some faux marble contact paper.
 I like out beverage station too!
 A view from above.

 Folded down the window by the booth, and that made it!
 
 The doll couldn't wait to get to work baking!

 A view looking in...I covered the phone and chalkboard that I folded down with aqua foam core too.
Maybe we need a sign or display in  the window, in front of the blue.  I definitely need a café table and sign, but that is for another day! Be sure to share how we inspired you!   If you don't have the OG diner, this surely could work as a bakery, you'll just have to make your own display shelves and work counter! You are welcome to share links of my post, but please do not repost my images without my permission.
 
Let me know if you have any specific questions, and I would be glad to help as best I can!
 
Thanks!
Amanda,
Gracie and Lily

44 comments :

  1. Wow! What an inspired project, and much much better than spending $500! I know your AGs will love it.

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    1. Not to Easy but still worth it

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  2. Can I just say wow? This takes my breath away. It's so cute and awesome! I am amazed at how detailed it is!

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  3. Wow, amazing. What a great job you have done here. Most of the time, I'm also making things for my dolls inspite of buying them. First to spend money and second to make it exactly as I want it. But this is a real masterpiece!

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  4. What you did is simply fabulous! You are very creative and talented! I love your bakery/restaurant/store! It is very versatile and looks very professional!

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  5. Super et tres ressemblant! wow it is really super cool, great job. Hope you daughter enjoys it....while I know it is super fun to build from the gown up perspective!

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    1. Yes! I always live having an 'excuse' to create something!

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  6. Wow, amazing, I love it where did you get the foam core from?

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    1. Foam core is available at most craft stores or specialty art stores (possibly dick blick, Nasco or Utrecht online) I have only seen white foam core at Walmart. I got mine at pur ACE hardware.

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  7. Yes! Yes! Yes! I knew it could be done. Thank you! It's amazing and exactly what I had in my head that it should look like. I haven't begun this project but it's next on my list (after Julie's egg chair tutorial is done, that is.) I placed the retired AG Baking Table and Accessories with the diner a few days ago, with a turquoise backdrop I had from another project, and I knew it would take a few days for ideas to formulate. Thank you for sharing this, as I'm going to follow it closely to transform our OG diner into an eaterie/bakery!

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    1. Can't wait to see your egg chair!

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    2. I made a YouTube video tutorial for the doll egg chair. I am user name: lab-den 18-inch doll fun. I will finish Grace's room, then onto the diner/bakery.

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  8. This is awesome. You did a GREAT job. For those of us not buying the beautiful AG bakery, this is so much better as it can be customized and uniquely accomplished. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  9. OMD (oh my dollies)! Just wow. Excellent reproduction/adaptation. I LOVE IT MORE THAN THE ORIGINAL! Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Wow! It looks so similar to the real thing!

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  11. Awesome! I am going to try to make that.
    - american girl doll artist
    smalldollsinabigworld.com

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  12. Oh my gosh! It looks just as good as the AG one!!:D
    -Emma-

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  13. I love it! I have an idea for business cards, counter tops, french food, and more!

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  14. Looks fabulous! I have to share this post! you did a great job!

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  15. How much would you change to make and ship another one? I already have the diner but not your talent :(

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  16. Wow! You are so talented. How did you get the awning to stay like that?

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  17. This is awesome! I'm in the process of working on my own, thank you for the inspiration!

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  18. Oh thanks for posting this! You have inspired me to make the bakery as Grace will be coming next week to our home.

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  19. I am in love with this project. Thankfully Target Our Generation Set is available until we can get A/G Bakery or Find a Talented person like you to make us one like yours. You are awesome. God bless

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  20. That looks great! Awesome job.

    Lulu

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  21. Amazing! You did a fabulous job of creating such a great ag bakery.

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  22. I love your crafts and you inspired me to make my own

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  23. How did you make symbols on red foam. Do you have step by step instructions and dimensions?

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  24. Where do you get your foam board or does it have a brand?

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  25. This is incredible. We are building ours right now from Oak because that is what we had around. Trying to build for My Daughters 5th Birthday Party. At her Parry Grace and her two Buddies Ella and Maddy will cater a Annie Birthday. We Fell in love with two thems. Annie Movie and Grace and her Bakery.

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  26. This is AWESOME!!! I had to double check the post because I thought this was the AG version lol. I can't wait to try this out with my daughter over Spring Break.

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  27. This is SO cool :)
    ~Lilah
    www.worldofmagic-ljs.blogspot.com

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  28. Congrats for making that awesome bakery !!!!!!

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  29. My mother and I made one just like that except smaller. Did you use wood or red foam? When I did it I used wood, and it has a back. I wish I didn't put a back on it, as now its sooooo small and I can barley fit my accessories in it! I wish I had grace to run the bakery, but sadly my mother says I have too many American girl dolls, and I cant get her. I love your bakery and all of your other crafts they are sooooo cool and I just love them. I am such a fan of American girl and It is so cool to find a site with just all of these accessories for AG!

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  30. Amazing! I love it :) Great AG bakery. Thank you for another fantastic project.

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  31. If you decide to make mroe of these an sell them please let me know. I need one of these for my girl. Thanks!

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  32. If you decide to make mroe of these an sell them please let me know. I need one of these for my girl. Thanks!

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  33. Love, Love, Love..... My granddaughter received Grace for Christmas and I so wanted to make a play station for her. With your pictures for inspiration I feel confident that I can create something similar for her doll. Thank you!!!

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  34. What size did you make it? It is awesome

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