DIY Lighted Bakery Case for Dolls

American Girl Doll Lighted Bakery Case for 18 Inch Dolls

Still feeling inspired by American Girl’s 2015 bakery theme?  My small friends and I sure are. We made this lighted Bakery Case in just a few hours (not counting the bazillion hours spent trolling every.single.aisle in Hobby Lobby) and for about $30.  If you already have paint and other common craft supplies on hand, you can make your own lighted Bakery Case for even less!

Materials List

  • Pre-made wood cabinet from Hobby Lobby ($11.99 before 40% off coupon)  Please note that the doors in this cabinet are glass paned and probably not appropriate for play by younger children.
  • Wood plaque from Hobby Lobby (or elsewhere – I paid about $2 for the one I chose)
  • Primer [optional] and Paint – I used Krylon Paint+Primer and Imaginisce Milk Paint (but I would suggest using acrylic paint instead. If you use acrylic paint, you probably don’t need to prime before painting).
  • Glue – I used Aileen’s Tacky Glue
  • Glaze – I used Delta Sparkle Glaze
  • Krylon Webbing Spray [optional]
  • Paint Brush
  • Drill and Marquee Lights [optional – Lights $7.99 at Hobby Lobby]

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

Assemble

Glue the wood plaque (the “counter”) to the top of the cabinet.  This is an optional add-on.  You could use the cabinet as-is, but I think it adds a lot to the finished Bakery Case.  I also glued 4 small blocks to the bottom of the cabinet at each corner to give the case a little additional height.  Allow the glue to dry before proceeding.

Prepare and Prime

1) Cover both sides of the cabinet windows with paper and masking tape to avoid getting paint on the the glass.

2) Lightly sand the cabinet and then wipe away the dust with a damp cloth.

3) Spray white primer over the entire exterior and interior of the Bakery Case.  I used two coats.  Allow to dry before proceeding.

DIY Lighted Bakery Case for American Girl Dolls

Paint

1) Lightly sand the primed Bakery Case to remove the “bumps” and rough patches that spray primer often leaves behind.

2) Paint the case in any way you find pleasing.  I was hoping to achieve a marbled look, so I chose a pink and grey color scheme.  I used milk paint because I found it on clearance at Joann and I was intrigued!  If you use milk paint, mix it to a thicker consistency then suggested on the packaging.  If I were to do this project again, I would probably choose to use inexpensive acrylic paint instead.  I painted the interior of the case as well, but I didn’t bother adding much detail.

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

Marble

After I painted my case and allowed it to dry, I used Krylon’s Webbing Spray to get a marbled look.  I found the webbing spray at every craft store I visited (Joann, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby) .  It is priced at about $7 and I used a coupon to make it more affordable.

This webbing spray is odd stuff!  It’s paint, but it shoots out of the can like “silly string” or like spider webbing.  Essentially, you shoot it into the air and allow it to fall lightly onto your project.  You don’t have a lot of control with the outcome, which is both exciting and alarming at the same time.

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

I have to tell you, at this point in the project, I wasn’t sure I liked where it was going.  It has a bit of a 1988 vibe, don’t you think? 😀  I had a good laugh because once I’d seen the 80’s in this project, I couldn’t un-see the 80’s.  You guys, it’s totally rad.

I did not marble the inside of the Bakery Case, which I think was the salvation of this paint job.  When displayed with the doors open, the marble effect is only visible on the counter top, which I am very pleased with.  With the doors closed, it’s a little… much.

If I had this to do over, I might only marble the counter top and then glue it to the body of the cabinet, which I would leave solid white.   I have toyed with the idea of sanding and re-painting the lower part of the cabinet, but that sounds like a lot of work.

Glaze

Finally, I used Delta Sparkle Glaze to add a shiny finish.  I thought the glitter in the glaze added to the marble look as well.  In addition, I used grey acrylic paint to paint over the hardware on the doors.

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

Here’s how it looks with the doors closed.  What do you think? Do you suddenly feel like breaking out your stonewashed jeans and listening to Bobby Brown? <snicker>

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

Add Lighting

This step is obviously optional, and I think the case is adorable even without the lights.  However, I think the lighting really makes this a WOW piece! I found these lights at Hobby Lobby and they are exactly what I was looking for and perfect for this project.  That said, I cannot find them for sale online anywhere, even HobbyLobby.com. Here is a picture of the packaging:

Marquee Lights

I found this set near the paper mache items at Hobby Lobby.  They are intended to be used as marquee lights in a craft project.

The lights require 2 AAA batteries.  I love that this lightening doesn’t need to be plugged in, since this makes the Bakery Case very portable and without wire clutter.  Currently I’ve got the extra wiring and battery pack sitting behind the Bakery Case, but I will eventually duct tape it to the back.

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

I didn’t take photos of the drilling and lighting process, but it was simple and hopefully self-explanatory.  I drilled holes in the back of the case that were the same size as the bases of the clear marquee bulbs.  Then I pressed the marquee bulbs into the holes, and inserted the lights from behind the case, into the bulbs.

If you can’t find marquee lights, I think this could also be accomplished with a small holiday lights set, which seem to be available year round at most hobby stores. You’d simply drill the holes and press the lights through holes.  You might need some craft putty to hold the lights in place.  If you guys have other ideas how to achieve a similar effect, please add in the comments below!

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

To make the signs, I used a variety of pre-made chalkboard papers and products which are ubiquitous in craft stores at the moment.  I used a Bistro chalk marker to write on the signs.  You could also use a regular white or silver marker, but I was happy with my choice to use something erasable, since each sign took me about twelve tries to get “right”.  I’m still tempted to redo some of them! Repeat after me: Perfection is the enemy of good.

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

The mini chalkboard signs are made by the Paper Studio.  The cupcakes on the signs are actually metal brads (also by the Paper Studio) that I clipped to the back of the chalkboard signs.

DIY Lighted Bakery Case

The doll food in our Bakery Case is a mix of American Girl, Our Generation (from the new Tea for Two Set), and The Queen’s Treasures. Ada is wearing her Patisserie Apron, of course!

DIY American Girl Doll Bakery Case Tutorial 18 Inch Dolls

Please let me know if you have any questions about this project.  If you make your own Bakery Case, I hope you will link pictures in the comments below!

39 comments

  1. Winter says:

    Adorable! I love it. The extra height really makes it work. I have the same cabinet and I’ve been looking for tiny bun feet to raise it a bit.

    Btw, I was already wearing my stonewashed Calvin’s and listening to Bobby, why do you ask? 😉

  2. Becky says:

    I love love love your little cabinet. I might have done the marbling differently by hand, instead of with spray, but your effect is gorgeous. Great job and thanks for the ideas.

    • Steph says:

      You know.. I’m a sucker for a “product”. I saw Webbing Spray and thought.. OHHhoooohOOOHhh… what is this WEBBING SPRAY??!! lol. And now I’ll spend the next five years storing the leftover spray and wondering what in the world I will ever use it for again (while not able to toss it because the perfect project will present itself as soon as I do). 😀 😀 😀

    • Steph says:

      Some of the treats are AG, from the Baking Table set. Others are from the Our Generation “Tea for Two” Set. And a few others we ordered from The Queen’s Treasures.

    • Steph says:

      They are with all the unfinished “wood” stuff. There were unfinished shelves, jewelry boxes, and then all the wood bits and bobs and plaques. I saw a project online dated 2012 using the same cabinet, so this is a long time product for Hobby Lobby and I imagine should be commonly in stock!

  3. Debora says:

    Where did you get the little Eiffel tower menu holder? It’s perfict! You did a great job on the whole thing. I’m imspired! Problem…closest Hobby Lobby is three hours away for me. Huge Bummer. I look in thrift stores for possible replacements. I’ve had pretty good luck too!

    • Steph says:

      Mine is actually a little bird, not the Eiffel tower, but both are available at Hobby Lobby. The Eiffel tower was $7.99 (before the 40% Spring Discount) but the little bird was only $2.99 before discount, so I went with the less expensive option. They had a range of options.

  4. Nonna says:

    We don’t have Hobby Lobby’s so sometimes I’m sad when I the awesome stuff you guys find BUT I’m going in June to somewhere with HL’s so now I have a mission. This looks GREAT!

    • Steph says:

      Thanks Nonna! I think this could be done with a variety of “base” pieces, maybe even something found at a thrift store? I think the general shape is pretty common.

  5. Kimberley Gassmann says:

    Hi I love this project… I went to Hobby Lobby and they told me they no longer have this type of cabinet to purchase…any suggestions on where else you can find??? I have been searching the Internet this morning but no luck yet… I showed my daughter and she wants to make but we have not been able to find.. Any thoughts would be great!!

    • Steph says:

      Argh.. that stinks. :/ I would try thrift shops for similar cabinets! It’s a pretty common shape for a small curio or display case.

  6. Anne says:

    Any idea what the dimensions of the cabinet are? I also spent forever at Hobby Lobby in search of this cabinet! I am now thinking I may just build one…thanks!

    • Steph says:

      Ugh.. I think they discontinued it Anne! That cabinet has been in Hobby Lobby’s stock for YEARS! Unbelievable. Anyway, cabinet is 8″ tall (I added those little wooden “feet” to give it a little more height), 10″ wide, and 3.5″ deep.

    • Steph says:

      Lisa, I’ve heard that the display case has been discontinued by Hobby Lobby. ARGH!! But you could substitute a similar case (either new or found.. I’ve seen several suitable cases at the thrift stores meant for jewelery storage) or even make a simple one (maybe without doors?) by gluing together pre-cut wood.

  7. Aimee says:

    I too have tried several Hobby Lobby stores trying to find this. My two daughters really want to make this. I’ve searched multiple times online too for something similar with no luck. Looks like I’ll be hitting the thrift stores!

  8. amy says:

    LIKE TOTALLY RAD FOR SURE!! All that is missing is leopard print tights, a bunch of bangle bracelets, and some aqua net 😉
    In all seriousness this is awesome!

  9. rhonda says:

    Steph,
    This is so cute!!! My daughter just got Grace as an early Christmas present. I want do something similar. Hubby may have to help on this one. What are the dimensions of the cabinet? L x W x H. I have some cabinet grade plywood that I could use for this project.

    • Steph says:

      Great question! The main cabinet measures 10″L x3.5″W x 8″H. I added the little square blocks on the bottom to raise the height a little, and they are 1/2″ on each side. I also added that top plaque for the counter top, and it measures approx 12″ x 4″ x 1″. Hope that helps!!

  10. Allyson says:

    I just stumbled upon this post on Pinterest while I was browsing ideas for American Girl gifts for my daughter. This is absolutely amazing! I think the cute little baked items, menus and lightening make it extra special!

  11. Heather says:

    I am on the hunt as well for this adorable cabinet. Unfortunately I went on a mad hunt for them yesterday too not realizing they discontinued them. Has anyone found something comparable online?

  12. Patti says:

    This is simply adorable! My granddaughters and I will be mak k my this when there’s a school break. I) have to start getting the supplies.

  13. Mary says:

    I love what you have done, and would love to try it. I live an hour away from Hobby Lobby, but I order from them online, and use their 40% etc off coupons. Can’t imagine why others wouldn’t do the same!

    • Steph says:

      Mary, unfortunately they have discontinued this cabinet at Hobby Lobby! :/ I’m hoping an alternative will eventually pop up.

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