Decorating a Doll House?

I rarely ask questions, I'm generally answering them. But from time to time, the wonderful people here have been so helpful, I thought I would go to you again.

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For the last 25 years, I have been saving bits and pieces of things to put in a doll house. Originally, I wanted a farmhouse with little if any modern conveniences, with a big wood stove and coal shuttles next to the fireplace, etc.

Then, I was walking through the local As Is store here in Salem, and I literally stumbled over a doll house. I caught myself and while cursing silently at the item someone carelessly left on the floor, I fell in love at the same time.

I found it was only 12.99 so I stood by it and held my hand on it while the clerk made out the price tag, and didn't leave its side until it was in the car. Every time I look at it, it still makes me smile.

So, what is the problem you might ask? It is that it doesn't look like a farm house. It has round and arched windows and balconies and I don't know what to make of it.

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Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!

By Sandi/Poor But Proud from Salem, OR

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March 24, 20120 found this helpful

It looks like you could turn it into a Victorian or maybe a Swiss Chalet? If you still want to make it into a farmhouse, go to Google and type in "farmhouse." I found a house image called Elegant Farmhouse (at Builtwell Builders Inc.) that looked kind of like your dollhouse.

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Have fun! :)

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March 25, 20120 found this helpful

As a person who builds dollhouses for others,I would like to share some of my ideas. First, when people know you are furnishing a dollhouse, they may gift you with little (literally!) items. use everything you get because your house will become a reminder of all the nice people in your life. also, a fun idea is to decorate each room for a holiday. A Christmas kitchen, a Halloween bedroom. It gives you so many opportunities to be creative as you shop tag sales and post holiday sales.

It also makes a dollhouse fun for any kids in your life. There is something about peering into a room and seeing the Easter bunny waiting for his turn to be the room of the moment! I love dollhouses, but sometimes they can get a little "crusty" or dry looking, simply because they do just sit there. So always keep it dusted.

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You an make your curtains very washable by using this little trick. Buy some white, self adhesive Velcro. Cut tiny square and place one square on the top outer corner of the window frame. Take opposite half of Velcro and stick to each end of a flat piece of wood.

You can get bags of skinny craft sticks at michaels. Cut the stick to match the width of the window frame. Make a little valance out off any fine fabric. Add a little cotton lace trim or mini Pom poms. Slide this onto your velcroed curtain rod and adhere it to the tiny square that you already placed on the window frame corners. Now you have removable curtain rods!! Also, keep all the curtains the same color. Makes it look nicer when your house is facing from the front.

One last thing. When decorating the walls, don't be afraid to use over sized items on the wall. At Michael's or Joann's. Wood section you can find wood cutouts, sometimes even already painted. Place one big one on a wall and you have immediate impact.

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For example, one big flower on the wall and then trim a chair rail in that same room with little flowers. Be sure to get some Mini glue dots to adhere little things to surfaces. Sorry I went on so long but through trial and error I have learned so much. Oops, I just remembered, I use only valances on the windows. This makes peeking into the rooms much easier. Have fun!

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March 25, 20120 found this helpful

Thank you both so much. A chalet...interesting. It could be like a mountain chalet with a great room and a fireplace. I don't seem to be able to have a separate kitchen if I want a bathroom on the main floor, so that will be a challenge.

I love the ideas about the curtain, thanks. You know the backs of calendars when they put the smaller image of the photos? I cut those out and will be using them for photos.

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I have mini dishes and pots and pans. I need to figure out my scale and that isn't going to be easy. Two floors are 10" and the basement is 7".

Thanks for the info, both of you. I am sure this is the beginning of some other posts, and I will be grateful to you all. I am sending a shot of the same kind I had when I was just six. It was 4.95 plus 1.00 s/h and it had batteries for lights and even grass seed, plus plastic furniture. I thought I was in heaven.
Sandi/PBP

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March 27, 20120 found this helpful

I think I had a similar doll house as the one you posted, PBP! Seems I recall the family that came with it was called The Happy Family? LOL, I grew up in an Arts and Crafts farmhouse on the California desert and longed to live in a house like my modern suburban American Dream dollhouse:) I grew up-sure miss that beautiful old farmhouse of my childhood sometimes.

Your new dollhouse is not at all hard to see as a Victorian era farmhouse, and it looks as though that's the direction the original builder was going with yours. It looks as though someone gave up when the build was 3/4 finished - missing stairs and the gingerbread detailing. You're going to have a wonderful time finishing this!

Have you looked at this site? They have a forum, too:
miniatures.about.com/.../Doll-House-Plans.htm

Please do update this thread! I can't wait to watch your progress. I've always wanted a 'real dollhouse', ever since the one I had so long ago.

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