Probably something you would like…

I have been sort of obsessed with dollhouse for a while now. Do you know anything about them? I have really only scratched the surface but it’s an entire world that fascinates me. I wasn’t interested in dolls at all as a child but I was obsessed with tiny things and fully realized worlds that I would creat. I’m also fascinated by the projectness of decorating one, if that makes any sense.

Jenny, the Bloggess, actually sparked my obsession back in 2009, when she posted pictures of the haunted dollhouse she had been working on for 10 years. It’s an homage to her favorite horror books and it’s absolutely fantastic. The attention to detail is amazing! More photos here.

It seems to me that it’s important to choose when and where your dollhouse is from the get go. Since Jenny has totally nailed the haunted thing, I’m thinking I would most like to make a World War II, small English village dollhouse. Think Foyle’s War. Or maybe a crime scene dollhouse to go along with my love of mysteries.

I’ve done a little internet investigating and  I can’t seem to find a dollhouse to be decorated that isn’t a kit. I’m not so good at the building part, so I’d rather find one fully assembled. Also, even the un-put-together kits are mad expensive! These are three of my favorites and they are all between $250 and $400, unassembled. Click on the picks for buying options.

The fun part is furnishing your dollhouse with people, furniture and everything else. Etsy is a great place to find just anything you have in your actual house in miniature form.

Tiny silk cardigan

Peanut butter sandwich

Sushi

Anatomical heart in a jar

Tiny art work for your tiny walls

Charcuterie

A collection of butterflies, presumably for a tiny entomologist

Seed packets

Just when you thought this post couldn’t get weirder, Minute Grave Rubbings, from the tombstones of tiny, fictional dead people.

Itty-bitty Knitting Magazines

A Garage Sale Sign, for when your tiny family gets fed up with all the stuff you’ve been buying for their house

It doesn’t take much research to figure out that the people who are into dollhouses are committed, and I honestly don’t have that kind of time for a hobby in my life right now. But someday, when things slow down, I will build a dollhouse.

Do you have a dollhouse or some other hobby that you long to do but just don’t have the time for? I’d love to hear about it.


25 Comments

  1. Wow. I have no time to do this but it is cool

  2. When I was 12 or 13 I put together two dollhouse kits for my younger sisters for Christmas. They were undecorated unpainted and lots of fun. Hopefully you’ll find what you are looking for. I *loved* Foyle’s War and was so so sad when we finished them. Also, I just lovely the actress Honeysuckle Weeks’ name.

  3. I was seriously into miniatures when I younger–and like you, I hope to have a lot of time for it again one day. In the meantime, here are some amazing dollhouses and miniature rooms to inspire you:

    Colleen Moore’s fairy castle—includes paintings by Walt Disney himself!–at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry
    http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/fairycastle/

    Queen Mary’s Doll House (at Windsor Castle)
    http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/queenmarysdollshouse/house.html

    Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago
    http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/thorne

  4. Somebody I know in Maine, Lynn, makes little woven rugs for dollhouses! Hmmm… looks like she’s branched out into larger items. Here’s her url,
    http://www.riverdogdesign.com/

  5. When I was a kid I was fascinated by the Stettheimer Doll house, the art and era in particular. It’s at the Museum of The City of New York and is worth seeing.
    http://www.amazon.com/Stettheimer-Dollhouse-Sheila-W-Clark/dp/0764948024

    This book is amazing as the Queen’s doll house is over the top!
    http://www.amazon.com/Queens-Dolls-House-Dollhouse-Queen/dp/1905686269/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

    Check out this website: http://www.teresalayman.com/
    Teresa lives in my town and used to own a great fabric store nearby. She’s super talented and also make CRAZY gingerbread houses. http://www.amazon.com/Gingerbread-All-Seasons-Teresa-Layman/dp/0810933950

    My sister and I were so into doll houses as kids, but not necessarily the doll, it was more about the deco and furniture. When we out grew the house our grandfather made us, we took over an antique barrister bookcase that my mother had. We were so pleased with it, the glass front shelves lifted up so you could move things around easily but it also gave the appearance that you were in a museum.
    I was so crazy for miniatures that I begged my mother to duplicate a navajo indian rug that I’d seen. I believe it was around $200.00, which was more money than I could imagine at the time. The rug is burgundy, navy and white with a train motif. It was perfect for the “kids” room of my dollhouse. My mother made it out of petit needle point with the tiniest canvas I’d ever seen. It took her forever to finish, even with me hounding her constantly…anyway it’s a work of art!
    I don’t have a dollhouse anymore but can’t seem to stop myself from buying old mini barns when I see them at flea markets. I have a couple in the attic just waiting for when I have time (and space) to create my fantasy doll farm :-)

  6. My grandmother had a dollhouse that she spent years furnishing. And bless her, she would actually let us play with it (carefully and while supervised) when we would visit, even though we were some crazy rough kids.

    There was a hobby shop in my hometown that was half trains, half dollhouse enthusiasts, and we used to LOVE going there at the holidays to pick out new furniture or decorations for her house for Christmas presents. Looking back on it now, I realize probably means that her house was a nightmare of clashing styles since we wouldn’t have know one period or another in any way, but she always found a place for everything we gave her.

    If you’re not up to trying to build one on your own, I am sure that if you spend some time on some of the the boards where dollhouse people congregate, you could find someone who would be happy to build a kit for you.

  7. Oh, stop. I’ve been resisting the siren call for the better part of a year now since my 5 yr old became interested in paper dolls and miniatures. I especially love the look of the unpainted doll houses but I’m sure my daughter would have a totally different decorating scheme in mind. I guess this is what happens after you’ve finished designing and filling your real house and have no desire to move.

  8. Ah, finally something I know a bit about! A good friend of mine whose background is in theatre set production started making dollhouses from scratch several years ago that are unlike any houses you have ever seen. Many are based on rustic Italian villas complete with faux tile floors and stone facades. She will design and fabricate, at a very reasonable cost, any sort of home you desire. Also, for someone just getting into the hobby, room boxes are a great first step. It’s fun, and much less intimidating to paint and decorate a single room, rather than an entire house. Take a peek at her website http://www.smrdstudio.com/# MR also conducts classes and ships her homes anywhere in the US and attends dollhouse shows on the East Coast.

    • OK – I found it- it was buried in our Spam folder after all. I’ve clicked “not spam” and then approved it, and here it is. We have no idea why it went to spam, usually that will only happen if there are 2 or more links, but for some reason it did. Thanks for bringing it to our attention so we could find it.

      ETA: Your original post shows up earlier in the thread, at the time that you originally posted it.

  9. I used to work at a local crafts store that sold lots of dollhouses and accessories….and yes it is addicting! And I agree, expensive :)

    I just wanted to throw in some enabler two-cents. The houses are sooooo easy to build. Only takes some wood glue and a little saw to chop some of the sticks in half.

    Also, I always justified the price of dollhouse because most of the major houses (and accessories) are USA made ( last I checked both Dura-Craft and Real Good Toys Houses lines are USA for sure)….and I had a good experience with Real Good Toys, I found that I was missing a piece of my kit about 9 years after purchasing (my awesome father got one for me when I was little and, uh, too much life happened so it hibernated for a while!)…I called up the company and they replaced my piece no questions or charges!

    I must admit I never thought to look on etsy…..probably for the best! (its currently in storage due to a move so I’m not tempted for now). Love that heart in a Jar.

  10. I remember having a funeral with my grandmother for her family of dollhouse dolls. They were old and falling apart and she buried them in her garden!

  11. Wow! Just looking thru etsy takes time. I got up to page 42 and saw items that brought memories – tiny cuckoo clock (my grandparents had one in their kitchen), a bookshelf of Beatrix Potter books (I bought the tiny ones for my niece when she was young). I hit last to see how many pages and it goes beyond 200. I bought a kit to build a house way back and never used it. Sold it. Would love to do something now with snippets of time. I wonder how eyes can see well enough as one gets older, even with glasses for tiny things. It does bring back the magic in life felt more easily in childhood. Thanks for this post!

  12. http://www.amazon.com/KidKraft-14600-Kidkraft-Dollhouse-Bookcase/dp/B000AAIZRU

    Doll house book shelves! They aren’t expensive, and could get you started…..

  13. If you google dol house book shelves, there are a lot in google images, and probably on etsy.

  14. Barb from Duluth

    August 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Those dollhouses are wonderful….when my daughter was just little my husband made her a dollhouse for her Barbie dolls. (Yes, to scale, it is Big) She has long outgrown it and it sits in the corner of a storage room and she will never part with it. We had so much fun decorating it and making quilts and curtains for all the windows and using wallpaper scraps with tiny prints for the walls. It makes me smile thinking of that time….(she is 38 and needs to have her own daughter to play with that house)

  15. When i was 19 my gram bought me a dollhouse kit. Needless to say it got dragged with me all around new england to hawaii even and i never was able to put it together. Now we have settled and 5 years ago i did build one. It is constantly changing and i still have plans for it, lol. I took it on as a 1880 farmhouse, pre electric etc. Brings out the pioneer farm girl in me!

  16. I don’t have a doll house, but a have a doll house sized leather recliner, end table, with a drawer that works, a piano and bench (that doubles as a music box) and a dining room table and chairs. My uncle built them for me when I was 10-14. They are amazingly detailed. The table and chairs are based on the one my grandmother (his mom) had at her house, and the piano is based on the one my mom and her siblings learned to play on. My aunt has it now.

  17. My grandparents bought me a dollhouse when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It was totally piecemeal with dolls that didn’t quite match each other and furniture that was collected slowly over the years but I loved it! It was 6 (doll sized) stories tall with wallpaper, fleece carpeting, and a even a little staircase. Later, my mom and dad bought me one of the nice dollhouses like in your post (though I doubt they paid more than $50 for it). My grandfather and I began assembling it but it was huge and time consuming and between his health slowly failing and my 10 year old impatience we never finished it. I still have fond memories of my original dollhouse though.

  18. I am so offended that you did not post my response. Is it because I am friends with someone who makes dollhouses, and, that my “plug” was more overt than those here who “plugged” Real Good Toys or Duracraft? Like your business, she is internet-based and relies on word of mouth, as you do. It is truly unfortunate that while you shamelessly plug yourselves, you don’t do the same for other small businesses. You also could have afforded me an email to explain your actions.

    Since I’ve been a follower of this blog it has always seemed a very exclusionary community, not at all open to others. Your deletion of my response only made my suspicions crystal clear.

    Peace……..

    • SuzyMcQ- I’m very sorry- we never received a comment from you. There is nothing in Pending Approval and there is nothing in our Spam folder, which are the two places a comment will go if for whatever reason it doesn’t get directly posted (WordPress has some rules regarding comments, so sometimes we have to find the ones that haven’t been posted and approve them.) It seems as though the comment you wrote just didn’t fully submit.

      We plug small business ALL the time, and would be more than happy to post whatever you wrote in your comment if you’d like to rewrite it. We had no intention of being exclusionary, in fact we try very hard to be open to everyone. We exist BECAUSE of our community, and I’m very sorry you feel that way. :(

      We never deleted anything at all, and would have absolutely no reason to, especially if you’re posting a link or plug related to what the blog post was about. That sounds like exactly the kind of thing we WANT to read about!

      Please repost your comment, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by WordPress, and are completely baffled as to where your comment went.

      -Jenny (who is answering for Susan because her internet is out.)

  19. Susan, you always find THE coolest things in any area of your interest! That’s a skill within itself. The fictional person grave stone rubbings is spectacularly fun! So much thoughtful realism in the idea!

    I suspect that when you do make your dollhouse it’ll be done with every inch of the formidable gusto and fine accomplishment that shows in everything you do!

  20. Last year, I started getting into miniatures and I can say that it is totally awesome! The best thing about it is that you don’t have to do it all in one go (as evidenced by my still unfinished projects…) and you can change things whenever you feel like it.

    So far, I have two “shops” done, one in progress, and several others in my head. This is my Collection on Flickr with all three projects in it, shared for no other reason than I don’t get to talk about them much. ;)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ambersambry/collections/72157624340862985/

    So much fun!

  21. Dina (dinaknitsinct)

    September 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve been in love with terrariums since I was a kid. My mother had several around the house, each in a glass container and each a different theme. One was a dry desert-like scene complete with sand, mini cacti, a miniature horse, and rider. My favorite was the “wet” one filled with ferns and even a small tree. It had rocks with moss on them. And was decorated with a teeny tiny porcelain winged fairy. And a trio of tiny porcelain mushrooms. Oh, and a porcelain snail that I loved. I imagined all kinds of stories for that particular world. We moved and suddenly the terrariums were gone never to reappear. I was very sad they were gone…I guess mom got tired of them. Mom is gone but I think I know where that snail is…okay, I just now talked myself into making one….will let you know how it goes.

  22. Hey all you fiber fanatics! I wanted to thank you for including my work on your great website. (I am the creator of the Etsy store with the butterfly collections, grave rubbings, seed packets and garage sale signs!) My mom is actually a fiber fanatic herself and I will be referring her to your fun website. Sending all my love and warmest wishes to you!

    • Susan

      September 4, 2011 at 1:28 am

      Lauren, your shop is AMAZING! I think you finally pushed me over the dollhouse edge. I’m going to order one and start decorating this Christmas.

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