Monday, November 30, 2009

A Labor of Love...

This handmade doll house was a labor of love. Four of us worked on it for about four weeks.  Dad did the construction and electrical work.  Anne, Katherine and I did the painting, sanding, staining and design plans.  When you go to a hobby shop and buy a doll house kit, it sounds sooooo easy, but then you open it.  It contains thousands of tiny parts.  You even have to build the windows!  It doesn't include all of the parts.  It came with one set of stairs in a three story house.  There were no doors, but were doorways.  It had floors, but no flooring. 

We went to three hobby shops, a hardware shop and did some online shopping.  We put electricity in every room.  Baseboards and crown molding adorned all the rooms, except the third level, we couldn't put crown molding in because of the shape of the ceiling.  Each room has different wall paper; a couple had chair rails too.  Most of the floors are wood, but the kitchen and bathroom are simulated tile.  If you look at the stair wells, they have a landing and hand rails.  We built them from scratch!  If you look in the nursery you'll see a tiny doll house.  It's the same color as the real doll house.  Each room is wallpapered the same as the real doll house. 

So, if you are planning on putting a doll houses together for someone for Christmas...You Better Get Busy!  It was a wonderful experience, the four of us working on a big project.  It gave all of us special memories that will last forever.  Perhaps someday I'll have a grandchild and we'll put one together together. 



  1. A couple years ago I decided to build a green house. Luckily my wife wanted a green house too. So we ended up working on it together. It turned into a huge project. Now that it's finished, we love it!

  2. What a wonderful family project. It looks beautiful and it will always hold special memories. Your girl is so lucky! :)

  3. Paul--Don't you live way up north? Is your greenhouse heated? I've always wanted one. Do you grown vegetables year round?

    Shannon--Katherine kind of ignores it right now, but I'm sure that has to do with her age. She loves my dad so much. I know it she treasures it. I treasure it because he wasn't a significant part of my life until I was about 32. He's a wonderful grandad.

  4. Wow, what a project!! My husband and I built our house in NC together. Literally, built it ourselves. I ran wiring and installed fixtures. Everyone framed. Scott did all the siding. We both roofed, tiled, painted, installed cabinets, put together shelving etc. The only things we didn't do were the sheetrock, HVAC, plumbing and concrete work. It took fourteen months of working after work and on weekends. And we loved our beautiful house on 11 acres of NC forest. We lived there for seven years, and then we moved here. :\ I miss my forest.

  5. Sharon,

    It doesn't matter how big the job is -- if you are going to stand around watching me, you are going to help. Just ask the young man who arranged the nativity at church on Sunday.


  6. Amy--It's hard leaving a home you loved. I can't imagine leaving one Walt and I had built. It was hard leaving the one we had done so many renovations on in STL.

    Sue--That sounds like something you would say. LOL I hope you got some help.

  7. This is a gorgeous doll house and I especially like the aqua blue exterior color.
    I can see your team did a lot of hours of work on it.
    Definitely not a Christmas eve put it together project :)

  8. Love this project, such a bonding experience! And did the dolls' dollhouse have a dollhouse inside it too?

    As to your question, I always feel I've bitten off more than I can chew with every novel I start, and I wish I didn't have to do it all alone!

  9. DWCandy--I bought the little doll house at a different hobby shop than the big one, but I used the same colors on the outside and the same wallpaper on each room in the inside.

    Do you have a critique group? I never feel like I'm writing alone, 'cause my girls are always there when I need them.

  10. Thanks, Terra...It was a lot of work. I was quite scared of the blue, but Katherine insisted. Christmas morning when she opened the package I thought I was going to die! It had millions of pieces!

  11. Wow, that is such a wonderful gift and a beautiful experience. Me and my sister each got a handmade dollhouse that our grandfather spent weeks and weeks constructing. Once they were in our hands, we went with our mom to pick out wallpaper, furniture, lamps and last but not least, the families to live in them. Today when we're all grown up, they remain the most valued childhood treasures we have. Beautiful post and reminder!