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Thread: Miniature Doll Houses

  1. #1
    Super Member Midwestmary's Avatar
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    With all the crafty, creative people on this wonderful board, I wonder if any of you are into doll houses? I just ordered a kit for a wooden dollhouse - a big project that my 11 year old gd is very excitied about. Any stories, tips, advice would be welcomed :thumbup:

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hen3rietta's Avatar
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    I started one about 14 years ago and still haven't finished it, but hope too. If it is one of the more complicated ones, it may be a big project for an 11 yo. OTOH, if it's anything like mine, a great project for grandmom and gd together. Mostly the reason mine is still incomplete is that it required a dedicated fairly large space to work on where it needs to live until completed and I had to pack mine away for some reason or other.

    Good luck! and post some pics.:-)

    Diana

  3. #3
    Super Member great aunt jacqui's Avatar
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    years ago we made a second empire victorian doll house for my neice. It was about 3ft high approx. The whole 3rd floor turrets could be removed to reveal 2 bedrooms. Some of the short cuts we used: cheap:
    put in hardwood flooring...use popsicle sticks or thin pieces of scrap wood. I just used elmers glue
    other flooring...I glued fabric on thefloors for carpet, rugs even using perm. marker to make fringe.
    smal print fabric for wallpaper, , make wainescoating out of wood too
    used a tic tac box(took a pic of my fish tank)and cut it to fit the box. Glued rectangle boxes fo beds, to the floor and made headboards from fabric and padded and glued to the wall.
    bought furniture at yard sales . when my neice got older every xmas we would buy a room setting ($$at doll house store)
    Take a far away pics of your family and hang them on the wall.
    We used poly urethene or something like that to seal the floors..
    Oh yeah....on the stairs you can put runners of fabric for carpet..for the ballusters on railings we used the decorative toothpics from" cracker barrell" restaurant.
    This brought back a lot of memories. Our neice loved the house. She passed suddenly at 34 years. and her girls hve no space for it so I have it. So in 30+years the fabric and flooring have yellowed but an antiqued shade and acceptable still.
    Hope you have a great time building it. It willbe a treasured gift.
    If I think of any thing else worthwhile I will PM you. jacqui PS make a room to resemble hers!

  4. #4
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    I bought this doll house at a thrift shop. Check it out.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-60933-1.htm

    Someday when the girls don't play with it I plan on furnishing it with better furniture. My daughters hd dollhouses when they were young, so some of the furniture is 30-35 years old. At that time miniature furniture was cheaper. I enjoy it. It does take up alot of room though. My granddaughters love making blankets, quilts etc for it.

  5. #5
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    I've made several over the years, my DH and I were woodworkers and made a lot of stuff in the house.

    I love Victorian houses..and doll houses feed my addiction. I have a lot of books on Victorians with lovely pictures.

    I save deodorant plastic balls, hot needle in them and glue in wires or wooden pegs, they make lovely hanging lights. Since the kids play with them I don't put real lights in them. And in every doll house I make a tiny frame and reduce a picture of my Mom and put her over every fireplace. She'd love that.
    In every den I get tiny, accurate fishing lures that look like fish (remove the hook) and glue them to a wooden back for a man's bragging room. Picture frames of any size, from full to doll house, are easy to make. Glue on whatever pattern, from yarn to shells and plastic flowers, prime and paint with gold. Look at real frames with Victorian touches, all can be made at home.
    Bricks can be bought or made for fireplaces, from paper mache to plaster to accurate boughten ones. Roof tiles can be boughten ones or made ones, just get a very strong pair of scissors or a small electric saw, and lots of sandpaper.
    Paint I usually make from a cheapie off light color one at a paint store, then add whatever I want in the new half pint canning jars. I use everything from shoe polish to cocoa powder, but a lot of the lovely colors come from Kool Aide and food colors. Even a drop of instant coffee will add richness to a color. (Aside..for making "Antiques" some not too honest folks add a touch of chewing tobacco in a tiny bit of water to make it smell old"and paint on the liquid)
    The clapboards outside the house I put on with Elmer's Glue, and use wooden coffee stirrers, which are the perfect size. Got a whole box of them in a flea market!!
    Since kids play with them, windows are plexiglass and never real glass, except in the quarter sized ones not for kids. In that case I use some lab slides found in a yard sale.
    Tiny cups with cheerios (covered with clear nail polish and sugar) make nice "donut" and coffee treats.

    This is an addiction just like quilting, and can take hours and hours away from sewing.

  6. #6
    Super Member no1jan's Avatar
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    While my MIL was convalescing at our home, my husband and I designed a dollhouse together.

    We would work on it every night while she was watching her favorite show "Murder, She Wrote!'

    Although it is not finished, I hope to start working on it when we finish our cellar. The memories it holds of my husband and I and my dear MIL, are truly treasures.

    I made a lot of the pieces myself as I work to work for a miniature company that made metal accessories, including pans, pots, knives, bowls, etc. The owner was in the middle of making a birdcage when I left. I basically worked there at night to learn how to make the items.

    I love the miniatures!

  7. #7
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    40 + years ago my Dad made Mom a doll house.Dad has been gone 30 yrs. this Sept. They spent many hrs. designing there dream home, three floors, 3 1/2 bath, 4 BR, den, family room, lg kitchen, you name it they put it in, outside porches even a yard. it sits on a lazy susan set up in the corner of her living room,takes up a 4 by 8 sheet of plywood. its on casters and can be rolled out from the corner when her great grand's come to visit. Mom never got her dream home but she has redecorated this place about every other year. Dad even wired it for electricty 6 D batteries. She deco. it for all holidays. She has used fab. for wall paper felt for carpet,lace and ribbon for table runners,you get the Idea, over the years she has saved everything ever made or purchased for this doll house and now has 5 full plastic tubs and asked me to pick her up another one. I think she is starting to redecorate again LOL She has health problems, and can no longer do a lot of what she used to love, GK and I visit as much as we can and she loves to turn the kids loose with her doll house just sits back and watches and listens to there Ideas. We hear a lot of -Grandma you really need--------! Almost scared to see what she has up her sleeve this trip. She has been calling the 9 yr.old GD my DD said she heard the words sayran wrap, tin foil and water mentioned in the same breath!LOL No telling what MOM and this special Gd have planed!!!! These 2 could be twins except for the 80 yr diff. in age!

  8. #8
    Super Member great aunt jacqui's Avatar
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    me again. for the slate tiles on the roof I cut strips of cardboard and notched it like shingles would be. then spray painted a dark grey. in all these years they havent curled.

    If there are pets in the home it is cute to have minis painted to real life ones.

  9. #9
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    If there are pets in the home it is cute to have minis painted to real life ones.[/quote]
    ----------------------------
    I did that too, and even now I can see them and immediately start to miss my beloved Zabo and Warlock, they were members of our family for over 20 years. Their lookalikes sit on the second floor porch railings, one all black and one a Tuxedo cat, forever reminding us of the original ones. These started out in the 90s as rubber pencil toppers, and were so life like that I couldn't resist buying them.

  10. #10
    Super Member Midwestmary's Avatar
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    I so appreciate all the tips and memories you have all shared. Now I am more excitied than ever - I have always wanted to do one - and will definitely use many of the tips you have given. I am sure we will make some of our own furniture - at least to start while the grands are young (three girls ages 11, 9, 7).

    I'll keep you posted on our progress....we hope to have it done by Christmas!

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