Superhero Headquarters

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Before I dive into this craft, I want to share a strong opinion I have: Dolls are not just for girls. I will say it again, dolls are not just for girls!

It’s a simple statement but it can be controversial. My almost four-year-old loves playing with all kinds of dolls. Lately, he has taken a liking to action figures but before that, he had lunch parties with the Paw Patrol gang and took care of a baby doll like he would his baby sister. He covers his toys with blankets at bedtime and shares his snacks with them. He’s been doing this since he was one year old and I never want him to stop. But one day, he will stop. That’s why I am trying to encourage every last drop of this beautiful kid’s imagination and ideas.

When I told my husband I wanted a dollhouse for our son, he looked at me a little sideways. He tries not to put our kids into boxes based on outdated gender roles but his first reaction was a noticeable hesitation.

I explained that Michael, our son, would love the house because he is always trying to create houses while he’s playing. I scoured the internet for firehouses, superhero houses, even pool houses for barbies but nothing seemed quite right. Michael did not prefer pink and I did not want to buy something new only to change everything about it. That’s when I found a cheap dollhouse on Facebook Marketplace and had my husband pick it up.

(Funny story about that… I was adamant that the house wasn’t too large and I insisted it would fit in the back of the pickup even with my husband’s toolbox in it. Turned out the house was way bigger than I anticipated and it broke the logo off his toolbox. Oops! Note to self: always ask for the dims before pickup!)

For this project, I just used acrylic craft paint purchased at Hobby Lobby. My husband wanted to take the house apart and spray paint it (which I would recommend if you can do that!) but I wanted to try to renovate the dollhouse myself, with Michael’s help, since my husband is doing a lot of work at our real house. I let Michael pick the colors and we got to work.

After we finished cleaning, a little sanding, and painting the house, I knew we were not done yet. It was cute but kind of plain-looking. After staring at the superheroes for a while, I was inspired by Captain America’s costume and decided to make a stencil on my Cricut with star cutouts. I added removable vinyl stars to the poles and used the rest of my vinyl as a stencil. I painted them on the headquarters secret side door which was already a dark blue. Even with that, it wasn’t enough to just paint it because I started to get some fun ideas to make it extra special. Surprisingly I didn’t get any inspo from Pinterest! I made a superhero banner to hang inside the house to match a banner I made for Michael’s bedroom.

It was hard to think of unique things to do with the house because I am not into superheroes and haven’t seen any of the movies but one idea got me excited. I thought, what would superheroes even do inside a headquarters? Eat, sleep, repeat? Or maybe they’d brainstorm how to take down villains. And that’s when I got the idea to hang pictures of villains inside the headquarters. I printed out some “Most Wanted Villians” signs using my Cricut. I bought a cheap cork board and hung the signs up like I’ve seen in crime dramas on TV.

Michael requested that the house have a slide so my husband and I worked together to make that happen.

My mom-in-law had a great suggestion, too. She said the headquarters should have a recreational gym. Once I started picturing Hulk laying down on a bench press I got really excited about that idea, too.

I am sure there are tons of other things to add to the house so if you have any idea, comment below!