Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Doll House Part 4: Finished!

It's taken me a long time to post this, I guess I'm still getting things back to order after the holidays, and trying to nest and get ready for the baby (due in 3 weeks).
I was worried it might not happen, but did end up getting the doll house itself finished in time for Christmas morning!!
Previous doll house posts:


I wish I could say it was a magical moment when Ellie saw it and she flipped out.
But her Christmas morning was spent lounging in the princess chair her dad got her and eating candy.
She was so excited about her own pack of tick-tacs, she wouldn't put them down, so trying to open gifts one-handed turned into her brother opening most of her presents.
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She did take a look at the doll house, put her tic-tacs in a bed, then picked them up and went back to her little couch.  So this may be something she plays with more as she grows up, (hopefully) which I kind of expected.
Maybe our next daughter will love it. 

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So the details!
The intricate stuff on the exterior was mentioned here, where my mom saved the day.
My favorite element on the exterior is probably the rounded front door.
A total pain to design around, as both sides had to meet up to make the arched doorway, and in the end it's not that functional.
But it just so cute to me, and has proved useful to throw lost little pieces in the house when I'm too lazy to open the drawer!

There's a chest latch near the top to close the doors and keep them shut which makes it nice when moving it.
It was gold, so I spray painted it with gray Rustoleum Hammered.
You can also see the dentil molding I added to the front, as the space between the shingles and the tops of the windows seemed too bare.

 My mom cut extra windows and window sills which I just glued to the sides of the house for extra detail, along with the rounded little windows at the back.

The gray wood for the front half of the roof, front door, and drawer front were upcycled from my neighbor's fence they tore down last summer.  The back roof of the house was just the same 1x8 pine boards used for the rest of the build.
I was pretty excited when I discovered a new stain by Minwax:
Minwax Classic Gray stain
It was only available in the quart size and only at Home Depot in my area.
It's a really opaque stain when you apply it, half way between paint and stain in my opinion.
But I really liked the results.  I was planning on painting all the wood, but was so glad to find real stain because paint can chip off, but stain becomes part of the wood and is more permanent.
It also allows the natural wood grain to show through rather than covering it up.
More info on the door if you care:
I cut fence boards into the thin strips, then glued and clamped them to a 1/8" hardboard scrap.  Once dry, I used my table saw to trim off the vertical sides, then just hacked away the top in pieces to get a curved shape with the miter saw. Any jagged corners along the curve were sanded smooth.
The tiny hinges are from Lowes, and the door knob is from a cheap pack of Ikea baby knobs I had in my stash.
I used a magnetic cupboard catch to help it stay closed, but to allowing it open easily if the kids forget to open the door before they unlatch the big doors.

 Probably the smartest two elements in the design were the casters on the bottom which make the house mobile.  It gets shut and placed against a wall when not in use, then pulled out and opened to play.  Having the front half open so wide kind of made it necessary to roll it around easily.
The casters have locks to secure the house to make it safe, as Ellie has used it more for a ladder to climb than a house to play with lately.

Then the drawer is so nice for all the accessories, furniture, and dolls.
It's just one big drawer, but I added the dado cut in the drawer front to mimic a double drawer since it was so wide.  The hardware are the original handles I removed from my birthday dresser I refinished in 2010 spray painted gray then a light coat of white to contrast the gray wood a little.

 
The back of the house is just a large piece of 1/8" thick hardboard, stapled into the frame.

I was going to focus more on the interior of the house with the final post in the series about the furniture and decor, but you can see here how the design has the little seat or ledge in the front, also stained in the minwax gray.
The walls of the inside are a mixture of  fabric or scrapbook paper mod-podged to the wood.  A few walls were painted.
The top attic floor was stained to look like hard wood floor.
Then I used two squares of vinyl tile ($0.89 each) for the small side rooms (light gray) and the kitchen with the dot walls has vinyl as well.
The remaining floors were all painted. 

This was a long project. 
I started planning it in October, then would set it aside for a few weeks, then get going a little here and there.
I did need help from my mom who cut all the windows, basically anything impressive was my mom!
Then my husband did help me make a few cuts on a big, heavy, sheet of 3/4" plywood I couldn't do myself, and he helped me hang the doors.  My first try by myself ended up with the doors not lining up in the center and one couldn't even close all the way. 

The cold weather and getting fatter being pregnant dragged it out, but now it's done I'm really proud of it.  I just hope it lasts!  I'd like to have it around for years and years, and we'll just see how it holds up.  So far it's not getting too much use, but hopefully Ellie will get more interested as her attention span hopefully grows.
One afternoon RJ did set up all the furniture and people in it and closed the doors, telling me it was a surprise for Ellie.  She woke up from her nap and he carefully opened the doors for her-- she grabbed the little pots and walked off in search of her sippy cup.  
I think we both felt let down little Ellie stinker!
So I guess we'll keep trying and for now some neighbor girls have been able to play with it!


41 comments:

  1. wow wow wow!! This is just amazing doll house!! The sweeties and the cosiest I've ever seen. I think your little daughter will be playing a lot with it while she grows up a bit :) You are the super mom :)

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  2. ahora solo falta que juegue mucho con ella. es preciosa saludos Gm

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  3. This is so fantastic! Don't worry she will treasure it someday!! I am so impressed! I have always wanted a real dollhouse. My daughter had a plastic one. I wanted to get her a wooden one but they are so flimsy. I wish I had seen this....I wonder if she would want one now, she is 20 :)

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    1. I think she would. I'm 29 and had a dollhouse like this, albeit not nearly as fancy. But I would love one now!

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  4. i am completely blown away by how amazing the dollhouse turned out! it's simply gorgeous. i know my girls would love it, and i'm sure yours will too. it's funny how a toy can sit unused for months (years...) until one day they pick it up out of the blue and can't let go!

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    1. oh thanks, that's what I'm hoping! She really doesn't sit and play with toys for long at all, so I'm thinking this was an investment in the future. Who knew her dreams would come true with just a pack of tic-tacs for christmas!

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  5. Amazing! I love the drawer at the bottom. I think this is the coolest dollhouse I've ever seen.

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    1. thanks Michelle! what a compliment, having my mom's help definitely made it more impressive than my original plans!

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  6. this is incredible! Not that it surprises me, everything you do is AMAZING!

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  7. I just love this doll house, and it's been fun to watch it all come together! I seriously love every single detail. Your mom did an amazing job on those windows, and all of the different wallpapers are perfect.

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    1. thanks! My mom did save the day on this one. Thanks for your comment about the wall papers, I probably spent too much time debating what to put in there than was necessary!

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  8. It really is fantastic!! You did an amazing job on everything, I'm so impressed. Ellie is still young, by next year she'll be playing with it! And it's so cute that RJ set it up for her, what a great big brother he is!

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  9. I made my daughter a play kitchen for her 2nd birthday.... Same reaction as Ellie.. It was kinda disappointing. Hang in there, though... After a half-year, she's starting to play with it and it makes my heart happy. I realized I probably should have waited for a gift Ike this. Oh well. This dollhouse is a treasure, she'll love it soon enough.

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    1. That's what I'm thinking, I just got the idea and ran with it, kind of towards the end realizing it might be pre-mature. Ellie's almost two as well, probably just too little.

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  10. That is such an amazing doll house. I'm sure Ellie will end up loving it. I can imagine it as one of those things that gets passed down.

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  11. Wow that is going to be a family heirloom I am sure!

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  12. This dollhouse is simply amazing! While she may not appreciate all your hard work and all the trout which went into it right now, I do think she will as she grows up. I think you are pretty amazing for designing and building it not to mention all the cute decorating. Super, super job! You should be very proud of yourself :)

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  13. WoW! This house is amazing! :) Love it! :)

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  14. You are so clever! I'd love this just for me, I'm a big fan of "little things" :)

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  15. I have been excited to see the finished project! Thanks for posting this and all of the rest of your projects. I love looking at them and using your ideas. And God Bless with this new little one.

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  16. That house is the most thing! I LOVE it!!!!! Great Job!

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  17. It's BEAUTIFUL... little girl doesn't realize yet how lucky she is. =)
    I love that you made the drawer look like two, and the little piece of trim you added above the windows was the perfect touch. =) Plus I love the fun wallpapering and flooring you added. =)

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  18. So adorable. My Dad made me a similar one to yours but it was only one sided and not on a roll around drawer...what a cool idea. She'll probably appreciate it later! Hopefully a hand me down for future generations...

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  19. Tell Ellie I want to come over and play with her doll house...... seriously, it is AMAZING!
    I will bribe her with cherry flavored tic tacs

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  20. wow How in the world will you ever top this one??This will probably be something the sisters re ally get into.
    Hope you are feeling great. Are the children getting excited about the new sister coming so soon now?

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  21. Jessica,you are a wonder!! Nearly ready to give birth again, and you produce this marvellous dolls' house!! I even called my husband to look at it!! Your kids are so lucky to have such a creative and talented mum. I hope all goes well in the next few weeks.

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  22. Wow, girl. WOW. It's freakin amazing!

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  23. That's a masterpiece -- well done, mama!

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  24. This doll house is absolutely precious! It is sure to become a treasured family heirloom. You can see all the love you and your mom have put into it.

    And don't worry, Ellie will become interested in it in a few years. I did the same type of thing with my girls, buying dolls and clothes before they were really ready for them. When I found that they weren't interested, I just put the stuff away before they could destroy it. It was put away for about two years, then I brought it out again. If they weren't interested then, I put it away for another year. Sometimes "out of sight, out of mind" makes for a big surprise later on. It could be next year or several years before she finds it interesting. But, imagine the fun she'll have when she does 'discover' it!

    Great job!

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  25. This is the most beautiful doll house I have ever seen! I LOVE the drawer underneath!
    Really fantastic piece of work, you are a serious inspiration :-)

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  26. It is SO beautiful. And my kids always react that way to my homemade gifts. My little girl could hardly be bothered with the cinderella dress I made her this Christmas, but she's finally warming to it. I'm sure Ellie will treasure her dollhouse in the years to come!

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  27. Wow amazing! Don't worry my daughter is 8 and wanted a fancy dollhouse this Christmas. It will get lots of use!!

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  28. This is the kind of family treasure that will be handed down for generations! Amazing job!

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  29. This is the kind of family treasure that will be handed down for generations! Amazing job!

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  30. Oh my heck. You are amazing. I love how this turned out. You did a fantastic job!

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  31. She will love it later. My daughter didn't get interested in hers until she was about 5--and now that she's 12, it sits fully furnished in her window seat. She's asked to move it so she can "lay down to read" on her window seat, but only across the hall where she says "it will be even easier to play with." I think that last part might be for my benefit, but she still thinks of it all these years later, and she plans on keeping it for any children in her future.

    Even though she doesn't play with the dollhouse much any longer, I think the "projects" I made around and for her have inspired her to work more with me these days. Last week we made some cute peg dolls--and that's how we found your site (the hairstyles were very useful). Our peg dolls were garden-themed, so they were bees, dandelions, and other flowers embellished/customized with the hairstyles you shared with us.

    Enjoy the kids and the dollhouse!

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  32. Did you use a pre stain on the wood before staining?

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    1. I did stain everything then assemble, although the roof looked to light so I stained it a second time after it was all put together.

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  33. This is so awesome! Where did you get the furniture for the house?

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