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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!

  11. #11
    Senior Member allie1448's Avatar
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    I have a dollhouse! it is a three storey victorian with all Victorian style furniture and decor and I love it. It is on a 'lazy susan' board and I have also made the board area into a garden. It is not quite finished as I have quilting to do! I am only sorry it is in the basement and dusty as there is no where in the main house to show it off.

  12. #12
    Super Member great aunt jacqui's Avatar
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    me again. My dad made a stone fireplace with small stones picked up from his garden. Just glued them on a cardboard form. Still intact after all these years.

  13. #13
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    Yes, I have a kit that is about half way put together. However, it is in a big box in the storage shed. Guess I need an incentive to get it out and finish it. It is an English Tudor. Like someone else said, it will need a place to live when it gets finished. Our house is rather small and it comes down to quilt frame or doll house....

  14. #14
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I have two doll houses. My BFF builds custom doll houses and sells them. Hers are more collectible houses and not kid's toys though. I think both of mine are on her website. I have a Lilly and a Laurel. http://www.debsminis.com/

    I have a big lazy susan for the Lilly to sit on. I haven't got it set back up yet since we moved.

  15. #15
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    What a creative bunch of ladies on this board..Made a doll house years ago and my only hint to you is to make sure you use elmers wood glue to glue together..you can also get scrapbook paper and make the wallpaper for the rooms.
    Have fun and post a picture for us with your progress!

  16. #16
    Super Member jbj137's Avatar
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    A real Victorian beauty.
    J J

  17. #17
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    Check out miniatures.org. This is the website for the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (NAME). There is lots of info out there for folks like you, I've been a member of NAME for 30 years and have found it to be a wonderful hobby and I have made many dear friends around the world (Just like quilting).

  18. #18
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    My dgd and I are making a cape cod doll house I have made one of the bed frames out of fimo clay mattress out of foam rubber and of course made a quilt/ I will make the dresser and accessiories out of the clay also I made a flagstone patio out of clay also just rolled marbled clay out thin and after baking broke into small chunks. one floor is also made of clay to look like real marble floor as well as counter tops. one floor has a carpet made from a upholstery square we made minature pictures for the walls and small flower arangements for the window boxes these flowers were made from seed beeds. one wall is papered with scrapbooking paper. we are trying to make as much of the furnishings ourselves rather than buy them ready made. my bathtub I made an oldfashioned claw foot tub and for the sink I decided upon a vessel sink all made from clay including the faucet
    When this house is done I am going to go to Miachels and buy a ready made frame house and make a christmas house for the holidays I will make it on a large board so that I can have a yard with snow trees and carolers and ect. One thing I have found a must is to put on large lazy susan for turning

  19. #19
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    When my oldest daughter was about 5 we bought a kit for a Colonial dollhouse that we remodeled into a Victorian style. The furniture was made from kits from a hobby store or hand made. Carpeting was velveteen or a soft corduroy glued to the floor. Hubby even put finishing touches of worn looking floor boards and porch steps, broken pieces of siding etc. to make it look lived in. She and second daughter played with it constantly. She is now 33 with a 3yr. old daughter {& two older boys}. I hope to get it refurbished for her by the time she turns 5.

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    What fun to read about all these dollhouses. It brought back so many memories of collecting treasures, decorating, and yes, playing with my dollhouse. One of our sons made a victorian dollhouse and gave it to me the Christmas of I think it was 1981 or 82. I had so much fun decorating it. Our granddaughters played with it when they were growing up. I would let them dust it with paint brushes. It now lives on the chest of drawers in our bedroom. Someday it will go to our granddaughter Elisabeth. She has requested it for her special treasure from grandma. Have fun with your dollhouse. You're making memories.

  21. #21
    Super Member DonnaB's Avatar
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    I too love miniature doll houses, I have 3 completed, and 2 in the making. My GDD love to play with them, with supervision of course.

    If you ever get a chance to go The House on The Rocks, near Spring Green, WI - an ecentric man (can't remember his name now)_ collected everything, his dollhouse collection numbers well over 200 miniature houses....you can spend hours just in the miniature area. He also has numerous collections that your hubby would like such as guns, ocean liners, knives, cars, war memobilia. It takes all day to go thru this museum, but well worth it.

  22. #22
    Super Member Midwestmary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaB
    I too love miniature doll houses, I have 3 completed, and 2 in the making. My GDD love to play with them, with supervision of course.

    If you ever get a chance to go The House on The Rocks, near Spring Green, WI - an ecentric man (can't remember his name now)_ collected everything, his dollhouse collection numbers well over 200 miniature houses....you can spend hours just in the miniature area. He also has numerous collections that your hubby would like such as guns, ocean liners, knives, cars, war memobilia. It takes all day to go thru this museum, but well worth it.
    Thanks, Donna B for the info. House on the Rocks is not too far from me but I've never been there. Sounds like it would be a great place to visit.
    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  23. #23
    Senior Member Becka's Avatar
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    I have a plum pudding that I've been working on for about 15 years. I love to hand-make the stuff to put inside (food, flowers, rugs, curtains, etc) and "redecorate" every little bit. It's wired, too, so it's lots of fun to light up at night :)

  24. #24
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I made my daughters a doll house out of a rotating mechanism for a swivel rocker. I attached the swivel to a 3' by 3; piece of plywood, then made walls by attaching to pieces of plywood for the walls in an 'X' so it had four rooms. We had a blast making furniture for it, and decorating it. It ended up just the right size for the "Barbie" dolls. Great memories. Thanks.

  25. #25
    Dee
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    Long time ago I helped a neighbor make a Victorian one for her DD. I even made the drapes and braided rug for it.

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