a rock star-style house trashing

The “Find-Trash-On-The-Street-And-Decorate-A-House-With-It” Project is finished and ready for your consideration. To finish the interior, which ended up being sort of “boho chic cum rock star” I needed trash I could turn into wall coverings, furniture, art, textiles, lights, and miscellaneous accessories. Here are the photos, with captions that explain the refuse involved. I used Greenleaf’s Orchid dollhouse kit as a base. It was a good sport and offered no complaints being subjected to such humiliation.

Wall coverings

If this was my real home, I’d stick to paint. Likely, white paint. No muss, no fuss. Even with the Trash House, I wanted to keep it simple, but then, part of the challenge was to fill the house with found items, and that included the walls.

I was a little surprised that with so much trash on the street, there was so little usable “wall paper.” I mentioned previously the jewel of the collection was a signed/numbered print by artist Stephen Hickman called Jhereg, found creased and smudged in a parking lot. But after finding that treasure rather early in the game, I had to get creative.


I am a person of moderate talent and limited patience. My motto is, “It’s fine,” usually stated with heavy resignation after my latest project turns out less well than I’d hoped. The “furniture” in the trash house followed that pattern. It vaguely resembles the object it’s meant to represent, and that’s good enough for me.


This was the easiest category. I found all sort of gewgaws that worked for wall art. As I mentioned in a previous post, one fun find was a series of mini slides, as pictured below.

Textiles (Fabric and Rugs)

When my aunt and I used to walk around her neighborhood in Pasadena, California, we always encountered pieces of inexplicably discarded clothing. I told her I saw the same in my area. In my head, I picked it up, washed it at the coin laundry (I’m not so magnanimous to use my own appliances), and dropped it at the thrift store. It all looked perfectly usable. What a waste!

So, I was surprised and disappointed that when I began the project, I found almost no usable fabric. That’s not to say I didn’t find any–some was too unsavory to pick up, or a bad color/pattern, or an unworkable fabric–I just didn’t find as much as I expected. I finally came across a bandana and silver sateen pillow case. I had already planned for a sort of boho chic bedroom, so I was thrilled to find the fuzzy tail of a cat costume that I used for pillows tucked into the bedroom’s window seat.

I found three “rugs”–one, a real remnant that I cut; another, an open-weave burlap-like textile; and a third, some sort of elasticized physical therapy wrap that I cut/taped/printed.

Light Fixtures

I liked that there was no need for electrification in this house. I always love the finished effect of lighting, I just hate doing it. For the Trash House, of course, I committed to only using things found on the street, so no real fixtures. The “lighting” just needed to be a fair representation.

The Rest

“The rest” consisted of random findings that I used as clutter and accessories.

And that’s it! This was a fun project. And I learned something, too, which was to be selective with future dollhouse furniture and accessory purchases. One thing that frustrated me about mini homes was the difficulty in avoiding imported products. Now, if I can’t find “made in USA,” I have the confidence to try making it myself, or else, just going without. It won’t be as “perfect” as a purchased item, but it will tell a better story.


  1. aprintzencoxnet says:

    Oh, my! By far, this one captivated me the most. So much story telling. Fun, fun, fun! šŸ˜€ My favorite, was the Mardi Gras beads, and the sofa with the matching yellow pillow and rug used as accents. Love those two colors together. It really worked. My final thoughts… “Creativity is intelligence having Fun” -Albert Einstein


    1. patti p says:

      Oh, I never heard that quote from Albert Einstein! I love it!


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