I fell in love with dollhouses while growing up and spending time at Laura and Sarah Mueller’s house just down the road from where I grew up on Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls, WI. Their Dad had built them a huge dollhouse and had all filled to the brim with adorable little furniture. I loved going to their house and rearranging the furniture and decorating the dollhouse. I could spend hours enthralled and engaged with that dollhouse. My love for that dollhouse is what motivated me to begin building dollhouses as an adult.
I built my first dollhouse while I was working on my PhD in the early 2000’s. It was a good way for me to decompress from my studies. I really enjoyed the building process. I inherited the crafty, building tendencies from both my Mom and Dad. They are both very handy, good at building things, and have made a good living doing it over the years. I have built 5 dollhouses total. Two of which I still own. Two others I have built are in the home of others and one was thrown out by me (more to that story).
Here is one of the dollhouses I built for family. My cousin asked me to make this for her daughter Emma. I was happy to do it, as Emma was a sweet little girl I adored!
For my daughter Brielle’s fourth birthday we gave her all the furniture for the dollhouse in her bedroom. Prior to this birthday the dollhouse had not been played with and it was simply a piece of décor or furniture in her room. I built it for my future baby girl, well before she was even conceived. I had faith God would bring a baby girl into my life, so I held onto that dollhouse for a number of years waiting for her. There were a few years it was actually in storage even. I was holding onto it though, knowing it would someday be played with by my own daughter.
It was a joy for me to give Brielle all the furniture so she can now actually play with the dollhouse. We had to wait until she was old enough to be able to play with these small pieces. Now I just need to keep the twins out of her room so they won’t destroy the dollhouse or its contents. They are in the destroying phase of the terrible twos at this moment.
Brielle loves playing with the dollhouse! I knew she was ready for all the dollhouse furniture and contents when she began playing Shopkins. I saw how she loved to tinker with these tiny toys, organize them, and arrange them for long periods of time. Now she has the dollhouse to organize and arrange its contents.
One of the best things about the dollhouse furniture that we gave Brielle for her birthday was that several of the sets of furniture were hand painted by my Mom! If you didn’t know it by now, my Mom is a talented artist. Not just a hobby artist, but an artist with a degree, who teaches art classes and sells artwork for a living. I love every piece of the artwork of hers that I have in my home. I do have to say that the dollhouse furniture pieces are some of my favorites of all the things she has painted for us. Here is some of that beautiful furniture she painted. Keep in mind, these pieces are small- 1 inch scale!
Of the five dollhouses I have built the one I made for my daughter is my favorite. There is a difference between the dollhouse kits that are available for purchase. My favorite company is Real Good Toys. In my opinion they make dollhouse kits that are far superior quality materials in comparison to the rest available. The dollhouse that I ended up throwing in the garbage after about 50 hours of work into it, was a kit from Greenleaf. I probably should have returned the kit because the wood appeared slightly warped when I began. In my naiveté, I thought slight warping wouldn’t matter, but it does. It matters a lot in the dollhouse building process. Any flaws in the materials and the building process becomes more difficult than it needs to be. The dollhouse kit for my cousin’s daughter was also from Real Good Toys. Here is the actual kit I used for Brielle’s dollhouse on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UTpjhK
Dollhouse building isn’t that complicated. The kits come with instructions. Most of the materials come pre-cut too. For the trim pieces that are not pre-cut I was able to use my mitre box to cut them. The actual building of the dollhouse structure is not too time consuming. However, painting, cutting, and gluing on every piece of trim takes some time. If you are like me and enjoy working with your hands and creating something, you may like building a dollhouse. It is worth every moment of time you put into building it, if you have a little girl in your life who appreciates it. I sure do and I feel blessed that she loves dollhouses as much as I do.