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.
(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.
Anybody know of good books or sites to get some reference please?
All tips and hints would be muchly appreciated.
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.
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).
There are lots of websites with good ideas and plans. Here are a few:
Let's Build a Dollhouse!
Build a Dollhouse or a Dolls House Style Bookcase From Baltic Birch
How to Build a Dollhouse: Make Your Own Family Heirloom
The build-it-yourself doll's house with working circuits that aims to
boost young girls' interest in technology
How To: Make a Modern Doll House
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
Hope this helps.
Gerry from the prairies in the Great White North
Change the email to gmail to reply
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
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
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?
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
On 7/12/2012 6:19 PM, Nick wrote:
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
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.