Jump to content
  • Sky
  • Blueberry
  • Slate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Emerald
  • Chocolate
  • Charcoal
Kailash

Working on a dollhouse

Recommended Posts

Kailash

Is anyone here into dollhouses? We're redoing one for my daughter. She gets to pick everything out, and she did most of the painting, but I'm hanging the wall paper and installing the carpet and other flooring.

I was curious if anyone else had any experience with this. It's actually fun, and very satisfying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depressed
polecat

Ooooo, yes.

I have built a total of two.

The one was a starter model that I basically used to learn how to build one (and it looks like it!). The second one was a pretty pricey dollhouse made for hardcore crafters that my husband bought me as a gift. It took a long time to build it, and I'm only just now getting to the roofing part of it and will soon be decorating the inside. I enjoyed the heck out of it. And am still enjoying it. I have no daughters. This is all me, lol. 

I realize I'm late on responding to this -- but if you are still working on yours, I highly encourage you to be creative when it comes to finishing it. I had some leftover marbling paint from a home improvement project (we redid the bar) that I used to paint one of my dollhouse's floors. It came out STUNNINGLY. I have also used felt as carpet. There are some amazing dollhouse blogs out there that can give you so many clever ideas for finishing/furnishing. 

Here is mine on last Christmas -- it wasn't finished yet, but we felt like it needed to get into the holiday spirit. The next is the picture of the flooring. As you can see, it is VERY unfinished as yet. The wallpaper is actually scrapbook paper. I have some -- ugh, cannot remember what it's called, wood dowel-like decorative things for a chair rail that will go on top of that as a trim. 

christmas dollhouse.jpg

flooring.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kailash

@polecat Wow, that floor is stunning!! Our doll house is actually complete already, but if we redo it or get another one (I'd love my own!) I'll have to look for that type of paint.

I love the christmas look too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alisamer

Wow, that is GORGEOUS. Dollhouses are such a fun-looking hobby, you can get really intricate or keep it really simple, and they seem to always look nice in the end.

I have a kit for one sitting in my dad's shop, but we haven't even started it yet. Largely because I've got to do a major de-clutter, I have no place even for the doll display room-box-niche thing I made, which is still at my parents' house. It needs to mount on the wall in my bedroom, I think.

I do have a doll close to dollhouse scale, I'd love to have one for her to hang out in. A friend of mine found a mostly-finished one (with some damage) at a thrift store for pretty cheap, and she's going to do it up as a kind of run-down old mansion. I can't wait to see it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kailash

@Alisamer doing one as a kind of run-down mansion sounds too cool! It could be an awesome halloween decoration too.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed painting and doing the wall paper in my daughter's. I think starting one from the very beginning, all by myself, would be even more enjoyable. There are so many options for everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depressed
polecat

I follow a few dollhouse blogs that are guilty pleasures. This is not a hobby I could sink a lot of time or money into (because I don't have nearly enough of either), but I love getting a glimpse of other people's work. 

This one has some incredible -- like mind-blowingly incredible -- houses: http://smehreen-dollhouse.blogspot.com/

This one is similarly mind-blowing: http://robincarey.blogspot.com/

And this lady does so many fun things with hers but hasn't updated in a while: http://jocelynsdollhouse.blogspot.com/

 

My mom built me my first dollhouse when I was nine or 10, and I played with it often, but it wasn't until I saw this http://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/colleen-moores-fairy-castle/   that I became really obsessed with dollhouses. I wish I had more time with them.

And thanks for the nice words on my floor! It was really a stroke of inspiration! I don't often have them!  I used this https://gianigranite.com/, which might be a BIT pricey just for a dollhouse floor, but like I said, I'd redone our bar countertop and I had some leftovers from that. It was easy peasy! Now I just need to finish the wallpapering and get the chair rail in there, lol. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unimpressed
Palimpsest

Ooooh!  Fellow doll house enthusiasts. :)

That is a wonderful floor @polecat.  More pictures please.

This is a new hobby for me although I've always liked tiny things and crafty stuff.  I fell in love with half scale (1:24) not the usual 1:12 doll houses though.  I'm still working on a half scale house (the Lyndeborough from Earth and Tree) v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.  It has taken a couple of years because I am a perfectionist and research every step and I am trying to make it as historically accurate as possible.  I also redo things because my first attempts don't satisfy me.  I'm also trying to do as much as I can from scratch because this can be a very expensive hobby.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alisamer

Wow, half scale sounds super tiny! I love all the tiny dollhouse stuff that's available, but most of it's too small for my dolls (most I collect are 1/4 and 1/3 scale or so). I have to restrain myself from getting a ton of bitty little things for the one doll I have that's around 1/12-ish. On the plus side, 1/4-ish stuff is not terribly difficult to find (Christmas ornaments and 18" doll stuff especially) so I have done up two shelves in an Ikea Pax unit as rooms - not QUITE a dollhouse, but the closest I've done just yet. As it turns out, placemats make wonderful floor coverings in that scale.

Spoiler

This is a super old photo and I've improved it a lot (and got more doll residents) since then, but there's the bar on top and the living room below! The rug in the bar is an in-scale braided rug, which is really a placemat. I'd like to cover the sofa in the living room in more time-period appropriate fabric, as this is supposed to be a sort-of steampunk Edwardian sort of thing, but with full-on sailing the Spanish main pirates. I'm not a stickler for accuracy, though, and started the decorating before I decided on a time period. I can't bring myself to give up the in-scale scrolling LED sign in the bar just yet...

24567343605_412d3c0962.jpg

I have one more shelf I intend to do, which I want to make the chart room of a pirate ship, but will probably turn into an inventor's workshop (the pirates are content hanging out in the bar upstairs, and don't need the extra space). In order to do that I'll have to get another shelving unit and eventually turn one of it's shelves into a 1/3 scale (vaguely Edwardian era) archaeology professor's office, so that's a long-term plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depressed
polecat
On 9/16/2016 at 7:29 PM, Alisamer said:

Wow, half scale sounds super tiny! I love all the tiny dollhouse stuff that's available, but most of it's too small for my dolls (most I collect are 1/4 and 1/3 scale or so). I have to restrain myself from getting a ton of bitty little things for the one doll I have that's around 1/12-ish. On the plus side, 1/4-ish stuff is not terribly difficult to find (Christmas ornaments and 18" doll stuff especially) so I have done up two shelves in an Ikea Pax unit as rooms - not QUITE a dollhouse, but the closest I've done just yet. As it turns out, placemats make wonderful floor coverings in that scale.

  Hide contents

This is a super old photo and I've improved it a lot (and got more doll residents) since then, but there's the bar on top and the living room below! The rug in the bar is an in-scale braided rug, which is really a placemat. I'd like to cover the sofa in the living room in more time-period appropriate fabric, as this is supposed to be a sort-of steampunk Edwardian sort of thing, but with full-on sailing the Spanish main pirates. I'm not a stickler for accuracy, though, and started the decorating before I decided on a time period. I can't bring myself to give up the in-scale scrolling LED sign in the bar just yet...

24567343605_412d3c0962.jpg

 

I have one more shelf I intend to do, which I want to make the chart room of a pirate ship, but will probably turn into an inventor's workshop (the pirates are content hanging out in the bar upstairs, and don't need the extra space). In order to do that I'll have to get another shelving unit and eventually turn one of it's shelves into a 1/3 scale (vaguely Edwardian era) archaeology professor's office, so that's a long-term plan.

 

Oooo I LOVE it!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unimpressed
Palimpsest

@Alisamer, that is great!  I think you have a lot of leeway with steam punk and the pirate idea is wonderful.  I saw a blog where someone was doing a lot of steam punk and I'll see if I can find it again.

I also recommend joining N.A.M.E.  (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) if you are really interested in miniatures.  I don't belong to a group yet but I've been to a couple of workshops that were a lot of fun.  People are really generous with help - and free stuff!

The concept behind my doll house is that it is a first period house circa 1716  somewhere on the NE coast.  It belongs to Widow Phoebe Weaver who supports herself and her children by spinning and weaving.  Three generations live there - her 2 unmarried daughters and her eldest daughter, her husband, and their 3 - 4 children.  I may decide that Widow Phoebe has a lodger too.  People were packed into dwellings in those days!  One room is going to be the dedicated to her weaving.  I'm making a tiny loom and a couple more spinning wheels.  I'm not sure whether I'm going to make dolls to put into it.  The 1:24 dolls and accessories are hard to find.

I forgot to include a ruler in the photos but the house is 18"w x 11" d x 16" - not including the base. It is enclosed on all sides (the front and back are held on with magnets) and the ceilings are only 5" tall.  

It is "close" to being done.  I still have to: install the interior window molding, install the lighting (wiring is done), glue down the floors, finish and install the cupboard staircase, and finish making and install the pin-hinged interior doors.  Oh, and landscape the outside.  I think I want some ivy on the exterior sides.

OK, let's see if I can get photos to work.  The exterior, the inglenook fireplace I made from polymer clay, and some of the furniture.  I started with furniture kits but I'm now designing my own furniture. 

 

IMG_0298.JPG

IMG_0296.JPG

IMG_0299.JPG

IMG_0300.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alisamer

Thanks @polecat and @Palimpsest! I will definitely look into N.A.M.E. - most of my interest in miniatures has to do with outfitting my doll characters, but they sound like a good resource regardless since I'd like to have rooms for them and I do occasionally set up sets for photos. I have a new (secondhand) doll coming tomorrow - he's 70cm tall! I'm hoping he'll fit in one of the shelves while sitting, but most of what I have will be too small for him.

Palimpsest - that house is lovely! I particularly like the rope bed and the spinning wheel, but everything looks fantastic. There's so much detail, and so tiny!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unimpressed
Palimpsest

Aw, thanks. @Alisamer.  I am a complete amateur!  Muddling my way through and learning all the time.

The rope bed was a kit from Cassidy Creations - and has the honor of being the most difficult kit I ever put together.  I had to redrill all the holes and used button thread (not the "rope" she supplied) to get that little stinker to go together.  Cassidy does have good designs - but they are not for a first timer.  The spinning wheel kit was from SDK.  They are a mother and daughter team and so darn nice and helpful.  They make kits in several scales.  I recommend them.

If you are creating environments for your dolls - think outside the box.  Not necessarily doll houses but room boxes, bookshelves, or even adapting furniture for them.

This is the steam punk/miniature person I was remembering.  http://jane.walkerillustration.com/  I first came across her because greyhounds!  She's adapting a piece of furniture to fit her vision - and you could do that too.  She has some steam punk gift wrap and fabric that could be wall paper.  Also check out the steam punk boiler.  Not all the links on that site work but most do.

 I am sad to see that Jane (I do not know her personally) has been sick and hasn't updated recently.  I'd love to see what she eventually does with that apothecary cabinet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depressed
polecat

@Palimpsest -- that's gorgeous! I really love the colors you chose -- and that spinning wheel is adorable. I found a little sewing table/machine complete with sewing, but I haven't yet bought it because I'm still working on the interior (I don't have nearly as much free time as I need). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depressed
polecat

@Palimpsest -- I wanted to ask -- did you make or buy the paneling? I really love that. 

I am currently working on the bathroom flooring in mine. It's going so-so, time-consuming because I have no money (Christmas-time bills, lol) and no talent. I wanted a tiled floor but couldn't find anything I really liked. I DID have a "Decorative Tiles " coloring book, so I found a pattern I liked. Then I hunted up Victorian tile color schemes and found one I liked. (This one won). I used glitter gel pens in similar colors because I didn't have exactly the right shades. I loved how the tile part turned out but am sort of iffy about the floor itself. I think once I get the floor fully glazed and add the trim/baseboards, I think it will look fine, though. We shall see, I guess.

 

DSCN2338.JPG

Edited by polecat
eta: Shoot, that's blurry. Sorry. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unimpressed
Palimpsest

I love that bathroom floor!  What a great idea to use a coloring book.  I can see the colors well and they look lovely, but if you can get a less blurry image I'd like to see that too.  What are you using to glaze it with?

Thank you.  I made the paneling.  I glued individual strips of stained birch wood single ply to a card stock template and then added the molding over the top once it was installed.  I used the same technique for the wide plank floors but used a darker stain for the wood there.  I want a very uneven rustic look and the pre-made flooring was too even - and too expensive.

I've been working on my interior doors and I'm rather proud of them.  I'll see if I can get a decent photo soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depressed
AliceInFundyland

I am just an enthusiast of tiny things. Always been a dream to design a dollhouse. I loved mine, and the extension- Shera's castle as a kid.

I was fortunate to have access to this place growing up http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org/.

If any of you ever find yourselves near the Kansas City metro area...it is a must-see. I don't have many of those for KC :)

Edited by AliceInFundyland
Forgot the other reason for posting-you all are impressive!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unimpressed
Palimpsest

Just popping in to see whether @Kailash, @polecat and @Alisamer had any updates.

I was hoping to have my house finished by Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and now it is sometime in the early New Year.  I'm blaming the lights because I had problems with a couple and I'm waiting for replacement bulbs.  

Here are a couple of photos though.  This is a prototype of the additional wall for the cupboard stair and the doors.  I decided that this lot were too "rustic" so remade the whole thing.  I already installed the better version but this shows how I made them, I think.  The door on the left opens to show a glimpse of the stairs.  The fake door on the right leads to the imaginary cellar.

Also a couple more pieces of furniture.   The loom is a kit.  The kitchen dresser I made from scratch to fit the space.  The little things on the dresser are either bought or found.  The pewter "tankards" are actually beads, for example. :)

 

 

IMG_0318.JPG

IMG_0314.JPG

Edited by Palimpsest
and now the photos work ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depressed
polecat

I can't wait to see photos, @Palimpsest !  I haven't made much progress lately. I HAVE been eyeballing some furniture for it, but I am not really to the point of really furnishing it yet. lol. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unimpressed
Palimpsest

Chrome isn't loving me today. :)

 

 

 

IMG_0311.JPG

IMG_0315.JPGAnd trying again:

IMG_0318.JPG

Aargh!  Those were supposed to go under spoilers. :(

Edited by Palimpsest
can't delete the duplicates :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kailash

@Palimpsest Those are fantastic! So realistic. Really nice job. 

I don't really have any updates. My daughter loves the dollhouse as it is. I hope that she'll be interested in finishing details in a few years. Right now she uses it for her stuffed hedgehogs and has it decorated for christmas. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unimpressed
Palimpsest
5 hours ago, Kailash said:

My daughter loves the dollhouse as it is.

Aw!  :562479a21db1d_Somethingsinthatthurairlove:

And isn't that the whole point?  That is fantastic and long may she love it.  It is so cute that she decorated for Christmas.

My dollhouse is more of a scale and historically correct model, but I'm indulging in my youthful (and never fulfilled) desire for a dollhouse every step of the way.

Second childhood?  Perhaps.  

I think of it as an experimental work of strange but creative mini art.  So sue me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tired
FecundFundieFundus

Thanks for resurrecting this link! 😍 You guys are all so talented and dedicated! I love the photos 

  • Upvote 2
  • I Agree 1
  • Thank You 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Giddy
PumaLover

Hi friends!! I saw this thread on the Jill Rod thread but didn't have a chance to comment before the thread closed. I have always been fascinated with miniatures and collect all kinds of them. 

I will confess that I love and collect Calico Critters. I started out just collecting the cats but now I have all kinds of them. Last year I built them a house out of a cardboard box and decorated it and bought some furniture. I also have made some furniture for them, as well as blankets and pillows with my limited sewing skills. 

My little nieces and nephews love playing with them and the cardboard house has fallen apart. Actually the roof came off like a tornado passed through my bedroom. So I have been researching how to build a sturdier and larger house for all of them. It also needs a garage or carport since my husband bought me the Calico Critters van for Christmas last year (he wrote "Duggar Van" on the box, LOL). 

I will look more closely at all the posts and pictures in this thread for some ideas. I have a basic idea of how I want to build it. I want it to be 3 stories with a balcony and separate rooms. I want to put actual windows and doors and trim and stuff. 

Lastly I am not sure what scale the Critters are. The adults are roughly 3 1/4" tall. The van is 9" long. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spanger

I followed here from the JRod thread as well.  I’m just starting to build my first dollhouse, and my theme for it is “Jana Duggar’s single lady farm house.”  I’ll come back later with a longer explanation post for the folks that don’t read JRod, and some pictures.

@PumaLover- to figure out the scale, just compare your doll to the height of a human and math it out.  If you compare to a 5’6” adult, your scale is about 1:20.  An average house has about 10 ft ceilings, so the height of your dollhouse ceilings would be about 6”.  The most common scales I see for premade stuff are either 1:12 or 1:24, 1:12 will be a bit big for your dolls.  1:24 might be a little small, but close.  Maybe try just buying one piece of 1:24  furniture (like a chair or something) and see how it looks with your critters?  It might be close enough.  You can always build stuff at whatever scale you want, but it might be easier to try to make a “standard” size work so you can find premade stuff and don’t have to build everything from scratch.

I went 1:12 for mine because I didn’t already have dolls to fit, it seemed way easier to math things out with 1 in= 1 ft, and I’m hoping it will be easier to buy things for it if I end up deciding to buy a few things.  I’m really hoping to make as much as I can for myself.

Here is one blog I found that the lady built a functioning garage door for her house.  It’s so cool, but I’m at a simpler level than that for now, lol.  She has a lot of cool ideas for “modern” style doll houses.  

https://blueprintminis.blogspot.com/search?q=Garage

I totally had big dreams with 3 levels, balconies, bay windows, corner-turning stair cases, etc, but I’m starting with something much smaller just to see how it comes together and get a little practice before I go all out.  Maybe you could build a detached garage first before the full house, to see how it goes?  Then you have somewhere for the van to live!

 I’m way more excited about the decorating/furniture aspect of the dollhouse than the actual building, so I’m really hoping that will hide some of my f-ups too.

Heres one more blog I found, this lady has lots of how-tos for furniture and her diagrams are easy for me to follow for measurements and how to put together.  http://1inchminisbykris.blogspot.com/search/label/How to make a miniature vintage sink

 

  • Upvote 1
  • Thank You 1
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tired
FecundFundieFundus

@PumaLover I'm not sure what the scale is, butnif it's for both your enjoyment and for kids to play with I've seen people turn Ikea Kallax-like shelves (storage shelves with the 12" square shelves) or similar into dollhouse rooms. With overhead lights your set ups are decorative but still accessible (and sturdy enough) to be played with. 

  • Upvote 1
  • I Agree 1
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×