Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I built a HOUSE!!!

No, not this one.  But this one inspired me!

photo from "Young House Love"

I've been really enjoying a blog by a sweet young couple called "Young House Love."  They recently built this adorable dollhouse for their daughter.  Their blog gives step by step instructions on how they did it.  I think it turned out amazing!

And it got me thinking.  I have always wanted to build a dollhouse.  When my kids were little, I put one of those cheap kit dollhouses together.  But it didn't hold up well.  And it wasn't what I really wanted.  What I really wanted was this:

Photo from the Smithsonian

The fabulous dollhouse from the Smithsonian!  

"This miniature house was designed, decorated, and furnished by Faith Bradford. It is five stories tall with 23 rooms and is built on a scale of one inch to one foot. There are 1,354 miniature specimens in the model. The house contains furniture, linens, toys and other household items. Calling this small house home are Mr. and Mrs. Peter Doll, their 10 children, two visiting grandparents, five servants and 20 pets."

I used to take my children to see it when they were little and we never seemed to have enough time peering through the glass at it!  It was fabulous!  

Then, of course, there is Mouse House.  A gift from my brother when I was a little girl.  

He and my mom spent all night making it---behind closed doors.  And I just couldn't wait to open it up on Christmas morning.  My brother and I played with it for hours and hours.  

 It has been a much treasured toy ever since.  And I still get it out at Christmas time and set it all up.

So, it is only fitting that this Christmas I decided to make a dollhouse!  A BIG ONE!

It started out as a simple drawing on paper.

Lumber was bought.  And cut to size!

Pieces were glued.

And screwed.

And pretty soon, it was starting to look like a structure!

I accidentally made the last upright too tall for the backer board, so I had to cut it down a little.

Then I put the roof boards on.  They were a little tricky.

And didn't fit quite right.  

Actually, a few of my joints weren't perfect.  It turns out that lumber can be warped---even when you try your best to get the straightest pieces.  (It's also true that my measuring might have been less than perfect.)

But nothing was so off that the structure didn't come together.  A 12 bedroom dollhouse!  Now that's living!

But I wasn't done yet!  I still needed to add the base (for stability and for outside space!)  And the lean-to barn!

Some little people (thrift store finds) knew their house wasn't completed yet, but they just had to try it out.

"Yes, Gretel, I think this is a much safer house to live in that that gingerbread one!"  

And everyone knows that pet giraffes need a place to stay.

I will still be painting the house, and decorating, and finding more friends and furniture to live in it.  But the building part is done!  And it fits perfectly in my "grandkids' playroom!"

(P.S.  I made this all by myself!  I drew up the plans, bought the lumber, used the circular saw, nailed and screwed and glued, and figured out all the fixes to all the little problems that came up.  And I still have all 10 fingers!  If I can do it, so can you!)

I can't wait to show Charlie!!!  

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