Dollhouse Build Project

Greetings friends. Today I am going to give you peek inside my non-paper crafting hobby life. Dollhouse miniatures. I first loved dollhouses as a young girl. I still remember the Christmas that Santa brought my first dollhouse! I think two factors crossed paths and contributed to my re-venture into the world of miniatures. First, for the last year my granddaughter has been playing with Calico Critters and their houses.  Apparently I am THAT grandmother who wanted her to have more than one house and one set of furniture. And then there is my friend Marti.  For what seems like two years that gossipy Internet site, Pinterest, has been showing me the miniatures that Marti has been pinning (because Pinterest is a big gossip and tells all of your friends what you are up to). It finally all got to me and I wanted my own dollhouse!

I spent several weeks (read months) looking at dollhouses on Pinterest and sometime last winter I decided that I wanted to build a dollhouse of my own.  After much serious looking I began to narrow my choices and select a house kit.  I wanted something not too complicated, with GREAT directions, and yet stylish design.  I also did not want a huge house, like The Pierce house I built 34 years ago.  I finally chose The Alison Jr kit by Real Good Toys (available at Hobby Lobby with your 40% coupon).

But you know me, well a lot of you do anyway. I could not just go with the set kit design. Oh no. I spent days reading the construction instructions and looking at Pinterest again for Alison Jr hacks. I knew I wanted to personalize the house and make my own mark on it. I made a number of notes on the plans, brainstorming ideas.

The two photos below show the basic Allison Jr kit house.

To set the stage, when I first decided to build the house I did five weeks worth of Bitten By the Bug 2 and The Merry Christmas Blog projects, thinking I would finish the house in about a month. In the meantime I ordered the parts I thought I would need for the build. Then I put away my Cricut and most of my scrapping toys. Little did I know, that was not enough time. Well, to be fair, if my international vendors had quicker shipping it would have been plenty of time. But alas it was not.

So what changes did I make from the original kit? The first change was to remove the single entry door and add French doors to the main entry.  I ordered the the doors and when they arrived I traced where I wanted them to go.  Hubby cut the enlarged doorway for me and I installed the door.  The other alteration I made to the exterior of the house was I added a window to the tower.  I measured and traced the window from onto the tower front, then I drilled out the the window area.  I also decided not to use the porch rails and shutters that came with the kit.

I made some design changes to the inside of the house as well. First I went with an open floor plan (watching too much HGTV perhaps?). I also decided not to use the stairs. I did not like how much floor space was lost to the stairs on both the first and second floors. I will tell you more about the interior changes when I post on the interior.

I purchased shingle dye and dyed the roof shingles a dark gray. The photos above and below do not show the true color of the house or the shingles.  Please refer to the first photo in this post for truer colors.

I used Magnolia Market paint on the exterior of the house (thank goodness you can purchase 8 ounce cans). I chose the color Soft Linen for the exterior and one wall of the kitchen. I used white paint for all of the trim.

I painted and added my own porch rails. I chose a painted wrought iron look. I also added the balcony on the top bedroom window.  Lastly, I added stained glass panels to the front doors and to the lower left kitchen window.

No dollhouse is complete without landscaping. I added the window boxes filled with pink and purple flowers. I also added a flowerbed and a small lawn. There is a potted palm tree on the porch, and as soon as they arrive in the mail, I will be adding three hanging plants to the front porch openings.  

I have to tell you that I have LOVED building this house.  In all I only had two frustrating days where I had to walk away and start again the next day.  One of those days involved the dreaded electrical installation. I only had to ask Doug for help on one wiring issue - positive and negative wires I connected to the transformer (I did not want to get that wrong).

In addition to the plants, I am still waiting for a number of inside accents as well as two more light fixtures.  When those arrive I will make quick work of installing them and then I will share the house interior with you.

How much did I love building this house?  I have already ordered another, more challenging kit.  I will have to get much further ahead with my paper crafting this time!!


  1. OH MY GOSH! This is amazing! I love it.

  2. OMG my dear friend! I bow down. This house is absolutely over-the-top amazing. I am so excited to begin my own dollhouse fun — xoxo.

  3. I have so loved having a dollhouse buddy!

  4. Wow! This is gorgeous! I am sure quite an undertaking, but you have created a beauty!
    Glenda's Cards

  5. I am currently building my 7th dollhouse! This one was given to me because their daughter became a teen and lost interest. It's been several years since I've built one so I am relearning a lot and loving it. I'm glad to hear some one else eliminates stairs. I've done that on most of my houses too because they take up too much room. Your house is really beautiful. So keep on building.

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