How to build a dolls house?

Hello folks, I'm from the other side of the pond and would much appreciate all the advice I can get. Our daughter has recently made us proud grandparents. This is a good thing. My wife and daughter have entrusted me to make a dolls house for granddaughter. This is not a bad thing. I have enjoyed working with wood all my life and am reasonably equipped with tools & know how to use them. But. (1) I have a tendency to get bogged down with detail. (2) I would like to make something that Elouise [granddaughter] can enjoy not only when she's old enough but also for her future. (3) I haven't seen a dolls house for about 50 years.
Scale 1:12
Anybody know of good books or sites to get some reference please? All tips and hints would be muchly appreciated. Thanks, Nick.
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Nick,
Congrats.
There's tons of dollhouse books out there. I can't recommend any single one, but perhaps you can look through your local library first?
If you are very handy,these things can escalate to the absurd level - meaning such detail and fussiness that one will never finish until the child is in college.
I've seen some rather simple but attractive plans around. Check eBay.
Good luck!
MJ
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On Fri, 13 Jul 2012 00:19:19 +0100, "Nick"

One of the women's magazines (Good Housekeeping?) had a set of plans available in the 70's. Ranch style, just one floor, chimney came up through the (removable) roof and served as a handle to carry the doll house. Mostly simple carpentry (plywood) and most of the decoration done with paint. That's about as simple as a doll house gets.
I think the plans included some furniture, but if not, build to the scale of the Fisher-Price "Loving Family" doll houses and get used furniture from ebay (worked for my grandkids).
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On Fri, 13 Jul 2012 00:19:19 +0100, "Nick"

There are lots of websites with good ideas and plans. Here are a few:
Let's Build a Dollhouse! http://www.letsbuildadollhouse.com /
Build a Dollhouse or a Dolls House Style Bookcase From Baltic Birch Plywood http://miniatures.about.com/od/dollshousesandshops/tp/balticbirchhouse.htm
How to Build a Dollhouse: Make Your Own Family Heirloom http://www.motherearthnews.com/do-it-yourself/how-build-dollhouse-zmaz89ndzshe.aspx#ixzz20Tb1f6Yd
The build-it-yourself doll's house with working circuits that aims to boost young girls' interest in technology http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2162830/The-build-dolls-house-working-circuits-aims-boost-young-girls-technology.html#ixzz20TbLbP8J
How To: Make a Modern Doll House http://www.curbly.com/users/craftmel/posts/10184-how-to-make-a-modern-doll-house
Painted Lady Dollhouse http://www.squidoo.com/painted-lady-dollhouse
That should be enough to get you started. You may want to purchase some of the materials you need for finishing - such as mineature shingles, siding, flooring strips, etc. Here are a couple of sources of supplies.
http://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/Dollhouse-Siding.html http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 436 http://www.dollhousesdear.com/shinglesandsiding
Hope this helps.
Gerry from the prairies in the Great White North
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Nick wrote the following on 7/12/2012 7:19 PM (ET):

When my daughters became old enough to handle things without breaking them, I built them a doll house. This was back in the mid 1980s. I started with a victorian type house kit bought at a local arts and crafts store (A.C.Moore here in the US). Like you, I tend to go into too much detail. I tended to get more satisfaction out of building the furniture than buying it. Since I would be working in 1/12 scale, my standard wood tools were all too big and too powerful. I had to go out and buy miniature power tools. I bought a Dremel miniature table saw with a 4" blade, a Dremel wood lathe (6-1/2" max length) for table legs, bed posts, and newels, a Craftsman 10" scroll saw for other small cuts. I still have the lathe and jig saw. The table saw was lent out some years ago and got 'lost". As far as I know, Dremel no longer makes the lathe or table saw, at least that was so when I last checked some years ago. I see some offered on eBay.
For books and plans, Google the following; '1/12 dollhouse plans' '1/12 dollhouse books' '1/12 dollhouse furniture'
BTW, there doesn't seem to be any newsgroups for dollhouses. Perhaps a forum somewhere?
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 7/13/2012 8:58 AM, willshak wrote:

Good point about the size of tools required for dollhouses. A source for mall tools: http://www.micromark.com /
Anything you might need / want, including small table saws, scroll saws, lathes, etc. etc. etc.
Matt
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On 7/13/2012 9:08 AM, Matt wrote:

ok - that should read "SMALL" tools... since I missed the "s" originally, I don't think I can claim "fat fingers"... sigh...
Matt
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On 7/12/2012 7:19 PM, Nick wrote:

A couple of suggestions:
1. Why not make the house a model of *her* house (or yours perhaps) rather than some unrelated house plan? Doesn't have to be perfect, just recognizable. 2. While you can buy doll house furniture, you'll probably get a lot more satisfaction building it - and get better at it as you go along. That way you can provide new furniture regularly at birthdays, Christmas, etc.
~Mark.
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wrote:

Before my parents built their house, my father built a 1:12 model of it (50 years before SketchUp ;-), so they could "see" it better. It wasn't fancy, just built out of 3/4" ply, three pieces (basement, first floor, and attic) not attached together. No one played with dolls in the family so it sat in the basement for 30 years until the grandchildren came along, when it became quite a hit.

Whoever invented the charm bracelet was a genius.
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In the mid 50's Dad build a 'doll' house in the back yard.
It was L shaped in the corner of the yard (rock walls).
It was elevated off the ground - no wood touches ground. The roof was a single slant to the rear (walls) and a grownup could walk in if slightly stooped. Mom easy and the kids. It was 8' by 16' to the corner - maybe longer. It was from scrap wood we scrounged from shipping crates and whatever. I saw it in the mid 70's - new shingles and paint. The house looked good from the street on a drive-by.
Martin
On 7/12/2012 6:19 PM, Nick wrote:

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On Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:26:42 -0700 (PDT), "Gramp's shop"

house for my 4 year old daughter. She received it on her 9th birthday. I built just about everything by hand with the help of a 4" dremel ts. Cut every one of the shakes by hand (boring), built double wall construction so I could run the wiring between walls.

age, and having heard from her grandmother that this house better not take 5 years), I'm starting to formulate my plans. But I just can't see myself buying shingles :-)

I built a doll house for my grand daughter. I contains about 2000 pieces of wood. It was a couple months job on and off. The shingles only took a day or two. I had some old redwood pickets that I ripped and planed. I banded then together with tape and cut them to length. The beveled edges were done with a shop made jig that fit on a sander. The plans for the house were on some free web site. A picture of it is about 2/3 of the way down on this page.
http://ray80538.home.comcast.net/~ray80538/Woodwork/woodwork.html
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