Does any one else do Dollhouses or miniatures?

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

I love dollhouses and miniatures. I have had a dollhouse for 14 years. My daughter and oldest granddaughter built one but never got it painted and decorated so I have volunteered to paint it. We haven't decided what colors just yet. Most of the wall paper has been picked out and cut to fit the interior.

My son and I built "The Allison" by Artply for my youngest granddaughter for Christmas. I painted the interior pink and white so she could just play with it until she decided how she wanted to decorate it. We bought lights for it. I had furniture left over from mine that I had saved for her. The Fisher Price Loving Family fits in it perfectly. She was so excited.

Does anyone else do dollhouses or collect or make miniatures? I would love to see your work, and hear your stories, adventures, etc. Please share!

Jeanne

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

My oldest Granddaughter's doll house (My next project).

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

My youngest granddaughter's dollhouse, "The Allison" by Artply (kit). We finished it at 8:30 pm Christmas Eve night. Good thing we had our celebration Christmas night.......!

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Inside the Allison.....

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

I had always wanted a dollhouse. I was in Dollar Tree in 1995 and found 1/12 scale furniture for $1 each. I stocked up!!!!!!!!!!! I had no dollhouse, so I found a large cardboard box, made dividers, and put my furniture in it. They later moved to a gutted out old TV stand. One day I was in the Goodwill and found a 9 room dollhouse $46.00 for half price....yes, $23!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, I was so excited! It would hardly fit into my Sunfire but it made it home all in one peice. DS had a time getting it back out. It looked a sight. It was not painted. It was not trimmed out or decorated....just the raw thing, but much better than the box or tv stand!

What color to paint it was the question. We watched the video "Bear in the Big Blue House". Yes....blue with white trim it was! My grandchildren ages 2 and 3 helped me paint the exterior. We painted the interior white.

It became a family affair decorating it. My daughter helped to shingle the roof. That took hours. We were tired. Monday I was asked what we did over the weekend, and I told my coworkers "My daughter and I roofed the house." The poor baffled engineer, repeated what I said....and I said, "Yep! Boy am I TIRED!"
Of course he questioned the truthfullness of that statement......I carried on for awhile and then finally when time would allow no more discussion on this topic, said, "Yep, good thing it was cool.......had the house on top of the dining room table with the A/C going!!!!" Of course he looked at me, shook his head....and said, "What??????" Then I very seriously explained that it was "the dollhouse".
HaHaHaHa! It was hilarious! We laugh about it to this very day!

My Mom sculpted most of the dolls so they are "one of a kind dolls" and she sculpted most of the accessories. The gentleman in the black suit and the lady sitting holding a mirror are porcelain figurines I got at Dollar Tree for a dollar each. Some the accessories were bought at Dollar stores, Hobby Lobby, Michael's when they carried doll houses and miniatures or doll shops in Houston.

Here are a few pictures of the interior of the dollhouse. The pictures of the exterior were on my computer when it crashed. The dollhouse faces a wall and I can't get to it to take another picture. I do have an exterior picture of a similar kit painted in pink and green.

My dollhouse has a blue with white exterior and doesn't have the circular window in the front. However, this is very similar to mine before we added on the addition.

This message was edited Feb 10, 2009 10:37 PM

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

The interior of my original dollhouse.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Kitchen

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Foyer

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Half Bath

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Living Room

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Nursery

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Sewing room

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Master bedroom

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Little girl's room

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Little boys' room.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Teen girl's room

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

I have always wanted to add a "music room" and a reading room or "library". I finally decided to do that after we had completed the one in December. I have been working on it, but it's still in the rough stages.

This is the music room.....which is a work in progress. There are still lots of touch ups to be made, trim. baseboards.....etc.

This message was edited Jan 24, 2009 1:54 AM

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

The other two rooms will be a guest bedroom and the "library". They really need a lot of work. For the library I would like lots of bookshelves with books. I'm not too sure how steady my hands are or my eyes in trying to get shelves that are level.
Do they make miniature levels that work? haha.

Please share your stories, adventures, experiences. I would love to see and read them all. I just love miniatures!

Jeanne

(bestest fairy)Tempe, MI(Zone 5b)

purpbutfly does them-her name is Cindy-I will have to send her this link:)

TabacVille, NC(Zone 7a)

Jeanne... awesome work there!! The details.. how did you do it??

Thanks for letting us know Stacey.

(Cindy) Auburn, CA(Zone 10a)

My boyfriend and I are in the process of making this Barbie doll house for my grandaughter who will be 7 on July 11. We are even making all of the furniture. I've painted the medicine cabnet, bathroom sink etc in pink her favorite color.


http://www.foreststreetdesigns.com/Forest_Street_Designs_widened-s/Barbie_House_Plan.html

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

purpbutfly, those are absolutely darling! I especially love your canopy bed! What kind of a saw do you use to make those tedius cuts? Y'all are doing great! WoW!

Heavenscape......My dollhouse was already built so I just had to paint it, frame out the windows and doors both exterior and interior. ( I walked around looking at the real thing and read alot of dollhouse books. One book I read suggested making a template of each wall then cutting it out of posterboard and putting the wallpaper (adhesive paper, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper with an adhesive or white glue that gives you time to get it right before it sets up. Then glue the wallpaper to the wall. I try to do the back wall first. Add a little extra to each side of the back wall to overlap the corners and then the sides. Put in the floor and the ceiling. There are many options you can use for floors. You can simply stain the dollhouse floor, or put very thin veneer (iron on) to posterboard cut the size of the room. Stain it and apply a sealer. I like using minwax. You can also use the adhesive paper that looks like wood, floor coverings, tiles, carpet....you are only limited by your imagination! I think it looks "finnished" once it has baseboards in. You can either buy special baseboards at doll shops or sometimes Hobby Lobby, or just use plain balsa or bass wood. They can be painted white or stained a dark wood stain.

For my ceilings I just painted them white or if they were bad, I covered them with posterboard. You can paint them, add sand to the paint and make designs, or use ceiling tiles.

I did not read up on how to do the electric properly, so mine is Jerry-rigged. The way they say to do it means that it is pretty well permanent and if you have a problem it is hard to get to. They suggest you keep an electrical diagram. I'm just not that organized. Most of my lights are either ceiling lights or lamps that is going to have a cord run to the floor. I try to run them along the edge of the floor or wall and then cover it with balsa wood. I try to hide the power strips under the dollhouse. I am thinking of switching tables and use a desk that has a center drawer, so I can keep all of that in the drawer.

None of it is hard, just time consuming. If you do make a mistake it can usually be fixed, or covered up!!!! Alot of mine was trial and error. A true miniaturist would probably look at mine and say....."Boy.....alot of errors!" But like I said, before I did mine, I had no previous experience. That was 14 years ago. I'm still reading and still learning. There are alot of books at our Library, and Half Price Books usually has alot of books also.

If you google "Dollhouses" or "Miniatures" you will get so many hits. People of all ages do them, both male and female. Some of the best professional miniaturist are male. They have National Shows and clubs. I just do mine for fun.

Both of my granddaughters' dollhouses were kits. We read the directions first to see what we were up against. Since my daughter had never painted her daughter's I decided that we should paint this one first before assembling. It is sooooo much easier! The one thing to know is that balsa or bass wood really soaks up the paint so you need to use a primer first, then paint it. We used Valspar exterior Satin and glossy white craft paint for the trim. You can also wallpaper the interior at this point also.

The one thing before you get started is to be sure that you go around each piece with a sharp knife before just punching it out of the sheet. Some of the pieces are very fragile and can break. Each piece needs to be sanded, some more than others. It is much easier to do it in the beginning than later. Safer, too, as it prevents much unwanted splinters.

It is best if you "prefit" your pieces to make sure they line up correctly. You may have to make some adjustments. The picture on the box was often more help than the directions. HaHa! We looked at it often. We used "Elmer's Glue All" to assemble it. Do the base first. Those large black office clips work great as clamps when you add the side walls. Hobby Lobby has this masking tape (Tartan $1.99 roll) that will hold tight without leaving the adhesive behind when you try to remove it. It is great to help hold things in place while they are setting up! It's like having an extra hand!

DO NOT USE WOOD GLUE to assemble a kit. It dries yellow. Only use a clear drying glue. After it is assembled reapply the clear glue to all of the seams to help seal it together.

After the interior is wallpapered then you can frame the interior windows and doors. Then you can add the baseboards and shingle the roof. When you apply the shingles then you need to use wood glue or the water based glues will make them curl. Be very careful, and apply sparingly. Have a wipe cloth to clean up any excess because it will dry a hard yellow that can be hard to clean up later.

My youngest granddaughter's roof is just stained. I didn't get it sealed. It would be better to add a polyurethane sealer that dries clear if you aren't going to shingle it.

I found painting and assembling it to be very relaxing. Even tho we did have a deadline to meet, we took our time. There were some "OOPS" moments, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. It really was alot of fun. So much so that I decided to add the extra rooms to my main dollhouse. I already had the one side of the structure, I just needed the other, back and floors. "Where there's a will there's a way." It has definately taken time, but again it has been so rewarding.

My daughter came over this morning. I asked her if she wanted to see my new addition, and she said, "Yes!" And then spent two hours helping me select the wallpaper for the reading room and rearranged the furniture, put the dishes in the Curio Cabinet ( we secured them down with "glue dots" that you can get at Hobby Lobby. Now if you accidentally bump something not everything goes flying every which way! The accessories are time consuming to make or costly to buy. The last thing you want is for them to end up in the vacuum cleaner!

We added a fireplace and some more knick knacks. Two hours later she had to fly out the door to go pick up my Grandson. The time had passed so quickly and we had so much fun!

I've taken pictures but haven't uploaded them yet. We still have to pick out new wallpaper for the Guest Room. I would also like to make a different bed for in there also.

So......in answer to your question, "How did we do it?" "Read alot of books, look at alot of other people's work and experiment!"

More later!

Thanks for your interest and sharing your experiences! I hope more people will also. It is so much fun to see what everyone is doing!

Jeanne



This message was edited Feb 10, 2009 10:52 PM

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

I've been adding pictures and accessories to the reading room. It best shows in two shots. so here's the Left half first.....

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Right side of the reading room.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

I'm not a very good photographer, and did not have the lights in the right place. When I tried to get it all in one shot the right side ended up too dark.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

My new "guest room" ended up an "artist studio". I think it looks really cute. If the granddaughters' want to pick some pictures out to hang in their dollhouses then they can choose from these or we can make some more! I built the easel and glued magazine pictures to peices of wood or cardboard, posterboard for the artwork! I want to get a gold frame for the matted picture on the right wall.

The clock on the left wall is from an add for a watch from a jewelry sale glued to an old earring. The plaques on the back wall are old buttons.

The tacky yellow stuff that you see behind the plaque or through out the house is "Handitak", a reusable adhesive. It's not as noticeable to the naked eye (especially my eyes haha) but the camera really picks it up big time! I got it at Hobby Lobby. It is great for hanging things in the house, or keeping things in place.

Jeanne

This message was edited Jan 27, 2009 1:45 AM

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

The music room got a new clock also on the right hand wall.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

And so did the Kitchen. Plus added the usual notes and pictues to the refrigerator.

I'm thinking of making new valances for the kitchen windows to match the pads on the chairs, if I have enough material left.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

The young mother is now rocking her baby in the nursery.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

The little girl in pink has a new picture on her left bedroom wall upstairs by the vanity and mirror.

I'm going to paint her dollhouse pink like my youngest granddaughter's. ( I still have paint left. I've decided to leave my dollhouse blue.)

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

The boys have more toys to play with now.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

The big girls room now has a different table and chairs in the way back near the little piano.
She also got a new picture over the bed, but I don't have an updated picture of that one loaded yet.

This message was edited Jan 27, 2009 12:57 AM

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Hopefully this is the right picture this time.......

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

The settings have changed a little in the living room....

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Overall shot of the house with the new addition.......

I still need to replace the lights in the kitchen, foyer, and living room.

I have a light for the front porch, but it will probably be a little bit before I can get to it.

I really love the "new addition". I am so excited that it is a work in progress. I still have work to do in the music room.

Some of the lace curtains are missing so I'm thinking of making new curtains. I bought little round wooden dowels (for curtain rods). I'll have to look thru my material scraps to see what all I have.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Oh, I almost forgot. I found these wooden bowls at Hobby Lobby....4 / $1.47. Aren't they cute?????? Mom and I have started making fruit and vegetables. Mom made the really cute little apples and pepper and I made the oranges, lemon, and bananas and squash. I also made some carrots, but they aren't in this picture.

My little books and vase or goblet didn't come out very well....you know the saying, "Practice makes perfect.....I guess I need alot of practice!

Jeanne

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Hillsborough , NC(Zone 7a)

Your doll house is incredible Jeanne! Such detail that I am going to have to go back through each picture again and study them carefully. Thank you for posting - what fun!

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

We made books for the dollhouses this weekend. We cut out the pictures from the magazine add for the book club and then glued them to two thicknesses of cardboard. We also put a spine down the back.

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

We made items for the pantry and frig by using the same method as for the books but using items found in the grocery sales adds.

My granddaughter also used super sculpey to make fruit. She made grapes, oranges, bananas, and some carrots. I didn't get a picture before she had to go home.

We also made her a new bed and a pink dollhouse for her dollhouse!!!!!

She went shopping in the artist's studio and got four paintings for her dollhouse. You can't even tell there are any missing.....

We had a really great time!

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Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks Jen for your kind words! I appreciate it. I really enjoy working on it and making the little things. Youngest granddaughter needed things for her dolls room so I made her a few things to go in there. There are games, comic strip, newspaper, and a Bible and a compote dish for her kitchen.

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