The Dollhouse

I was picking up some paint the other day and as I driving away I noticed a new secondhand store. There was a dollhouse in the window that caught my eye so I decided to take a peek. It reminded me a little of Tara from Gone with the Wind….I loved the fireplace mantel, the tin lattice shutters, the hanging porch light……and it was marked down to $50. Guess who left owning a new dollhouse? Yep, me.

The woman who owns the shop said that a local woman in her late 70′s had owned the house since she was Boo’s age and finally decided to part with it. All the dolls and furniture came with it. It needs some work but I thought it would be a fun project for Boo and I to work on over the years. I’m trying to get in contact with the original owner because I’d love to hear the story behind it and maybe get a photo of her when she was also Boo’s age and hang it over the dollhouse mantel:

1940's Dollhouse via lilblueboo.com

Funny how things just seem meant to be at times. I was randomly picking up some vacuum bags today for my older than old Electrolux and next door was this place:

I stopped in out of curiosity and started talking to the store owner.  She had a shelf of books and I saw a few that reference “dollhouse” on the spines. Flipping through one I said “can I take a photo of this page?” and the woman said: just take it! It felt like Christmas….I’ve been flipping through these books all afternoon looking at the amazing process of making things in miniature:

One of the books was a picture book about Queen Mary’s Dollhouse.  It’s incredible. It even has electricity and plumbing.

Tiny sewing notions! Eeek!

Miniature toothbrushes and soap:

 

Queen Mary’s Dollhouse kind of set the bar high. We’ll see how far ours goes….

You can tour the Royal Dolls’ House here and see all the little objects. The books in the library are the size of postage stamps and one even has a stamp collection in it….I can’t handle the adorable miniatureness!

 

I guess I’ll have to start a series called “Boo’s Dolls’ House”……

Any doll house miniature experts out there? I’d love some resources on where to buy supplies and get ideas!

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Comments

  1. 1
    Brittany W says:

    Not an expert over here but would love this series. We found (and are fixing up) an old beat up doll house for my daughter. Im not doing too much right now, just some new paint and flooring, as I hope she will jump in and help me with the rest. :)

  2. 2
    Dawn says:

    If you ever get to Chicago you might like to see Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle at the Museum of Science and Industry.
    I tried to paste a link, but not being pc smart for some reason it won’t let me. You can look it up and take a virtual tour. It is truly beautiful.

  3. 3
    Delaney says:

    At Windsor Castle, right outside of London, the dollhouse is still on display! It takes up the whole room – I could have spent hours looking at it. I have no doubt your finished product will be equally awe-inducing, although on a smaller scale! x

  4. 4
    Nicole says:

    I can’t wait to see what you do! I have my old dollhouse sitting in my closet and would like to give it a makeover before I gift it to my daughter so I’m excited to see your ideas. Are you going for a specific decor like modern or victorian?

  5. 5
    Shari says:

    Check out this blogger who is an amazing “cottage” style miniature artist. She also has links on her blog sidebar for a miniature book she has written as well as the Etsy shop where she sells her miniatures.

    cynthiascottagedesign.blogspot.com

  6. 6
    Jenny says:

    I also love building dollhouses and my current dollhouse in progress is covering our dining room table. We’ll just eat Christmas dinner on the coffee table! I get a lot of my basic supplies from miniatures.com I also love Cynthia’s Cottage Design that a previous commenter mentioned. Pinterest is the PERFECT source for mini-inspiration. I have several different boards decorated to miniatures and the specific projects I’m working on or dreaming about (the bakery, the French winery, the Key West house). I’m SewFabulousQuiltShop on Pinterest if you want to take a peek! Have fun! It’s a highly addictive hobby and you are probably about to become completely obsessed with it like I am!

  7. 7
    Mindy says:

    My grandfather took it up as a hobby after he retired. He built two nice, very large doll houses before his diabetic neuropathy affected his hands so that he couldn’t do the fine wiring and cutting the shingles for the roof.
    He would go to flea markets and buy bundles of furnishings.

  8. 8
    Debra says:

    Queen Mary’s dollhouse is incredible! It was one of our must see places while we were in England. I could have stayed there all day!

  9. 9
    beth says:

    Some great mini blogs:

    call of the small
    otterine
    mini modern

    There are lots of them out there but those 3 guys have all of them linked in sidebars. Good luck with your house. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with it and I’d also like to see the whole thing. My favorite furniture is Lundby and Petite Princess. Check it out. Really cool vintage stuff.

  10. 10
    Nancy babb says:

    I have a board on pinterest on miniatures you might find fun. http://pinterest.com/nancybabb/miniatures/

  11. 11

    I believe the Art Institute of Chicago has a huge display of different rooms in miniature. You can view them here: http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/category/18 They are just amazing! I love miniatures, but the latest thing is building sets and making stuff for kiddo’s American Girl Doll movie set :-)

  12. 12
    Katia says:
  13. 13
    Katia says:

    Look what little green notebook did. http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-playhouse_28.html?m=0

    Love, love u, and ur blog, merry x-mas. Xoxoxo

  14. 14
    Karen C says:

    i built a large dollhouse 20 yrs ago and recently gave it away since we moved to a tiny house. OH how I miss that house. It was imperfect but great fun to make miniatures. I may have to make a ‘room’ so I can do a few new miniatures. So glad you have a new hobby to share with Boo.

  15. 15
    Kristi says:

    I purchased a Victorian dollhouse kit at Goodwill for $10 about a year or so ago. Unfortunately, it came without the instructions-but it did have aVHS! (That’s helpful!) So, I’m under the delusion that I’ll be able to piece it together simply by examining the thousands of pieces that it came with. Wish me luck! Haha :)

  16. 16
    ira lee says:

    i L O V E dollhouses!! love them!!! and i tend to always by barbies and the little rooms and accessories for all my little family members and friends birthday parties. i spent soooo much time living out my barbie fantasies as a child. and my daughter (who is now 15!!!) and i would play with her collection for hours on end!!!! i think kids don’t get to explore their imaginations near enough now days. chirstmas lists are full of ipods, tablets, and electronic games that the small wonders like miniture toothbrushes and a complete make belive world of barbies and little dolls are overlooked. imagination is such a unique and important part of childhood! i would have spent my last $50 to grab that house up!!! lol

  17. 17
    Brooke says:

    My grandma made me a doll house with a greenhouse when I was little. The plants inside were easy to make and looked georgeous. Wish I ad a picture