I’m still basking in the glow of dollhouse completion (all the details / dollhouse tour here) but I did want to come back and share my approach for getting it done, a recap of dollars spent, plus what I learned and mistakes I made.
So, how did I get it done?
I think what helped was that I held myself to posting about the dollhouse every Friday for over two months. I knew each week I would need to make a lot of progress on the rooms so I would have a decent post that Friday. That was the key. I would have slacked if it weren’t for that. I did miss two weeks in a row. I was done with the “construction phase” of the house (painting walls, staining roof, etc.) and I was absolutely dreading purchasing furniture. I spent those two weeks on eBay and in thrift stores but nothing really turned up. My savior was donated furniture by friends. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.
Here was my list for the last week prior to the deadline. I’m such a planner and a list-maker. This list was crazy (I was up until 2 am every night) but it’s what I had to do to finish and get the photos up on time. It was totally worth it now that it’s off my plate and I can enjoy the holidays.
How much did I spend?
I’ve been dreading to add it all up, but knew it had to be done. Overall, I spent about $400 over the period of 2.5 months. It breaks down like this:
$20 – Dollhouse
$110 – Trim and Miter Shears
$35 – Modern credenza from Etsy (the only “real” miniature modern piece I purchased)
$18 – Refrigerator
$8 – Stove top and sink
$12 – CB2 Christmas ornaments (the red wire chairs and the white igloo chair)
$18 – The patterned rugs (from a thrift store)
$140 – Multiple runs to craft stores (craft wood, foam core, fabric remnants, ornaments, scrapbooking paper, dollhouse accessories)
$22 – Spray paint
$6 – Mini plants
TOTAL = $383
I’m not terribly disgusted about the price. I think I made the money go far. And since it was stretched out over 2.5 months, the $400 price tag was not a tough pill to swallow. I’d be near the $800′s if I had to buy my own furniture as well. I really lucked out.
What did I learn?
That dollhouse-ing is serious business. I uncovered an entire sub-cultere of dollhousers. There are websites dedicated to selling mini construction pieces like trim board, crown molding and chair rails. It’s crazy. Cincinnati has a dollhouse-ing support group. I swear. I considered going when I was knee deep in wood glue and wanting to rip my hair out. It truly is a craft and it takes patience to fiddle with teeny tiny pieces of wood. I have no where near the talent true dollhousers out there have. I’m so impressed by them. This one is my favorite so far.
My attempt at building the couch was feeble but a “real dollhouser” would knock it out of this world.
Did I make any mistakes?
Yes, absolutely. At first, I was more focused on getting it done versus doing it in a way that I liked. I have the “implementor” personality and sometimes it’s a curse. Once I went back through (like in the kitchen and kid’s room) and fixed what I had initially done and posted about, I liked it much better. For example, the kitchen has an ill-fitting countertop and I had used scrap black board. It just looked crappy. I went back and put in a new countertop, a stove and a sink. It looked much better than my first go-round. I had to keep reminding myself to take my time.
What did I like?
My favorite part of the process hands down was finding real-size objects that just happen to work in a dollhouse. For example, Christmas ornaments. I used a $5 bucket of ornaments from Target throughout the house – the arc lamp, the pendant lamps in the kitchen and even a silver bowl in the master bedroom. It was weirdly satisfying making things work in the mini world.
I also enjoyed taking some of the old-fashioned / granny furniture and adding paint or fabric to make them more updated. It is sort of cool to know that a lot of these things have been in boxes for a long time and now they’ve been freshened up and on the interwebs. Awwww.
What did I dislike?
I hated spending the money week after week at craft stores, for paint or for other little knick knacks. It was tough but I had to do it. I actually wanted to do it, but it was painful to see the money leave my bank account. I think a lot of that had to do with Christmas being just right around the corner and knowing gift-buying was also a necessity. It all ended up perfectly though and yes, everyone is getting Christmas gifts this year.
What am I going to do with the dollhouse?
I think it’s going to go on top of a dresser in the bedroom after the holidays. Right now it’s set up in the Black Room but it’s sort of in the way and Suge already got hold of one of the plants. All I know is that it’s going to be hard to dust the thing. I’ll figure it out.
Any last words?
The dollhouse thing is probably the coolest thing I’ve done in a long time. I absolutely loved it. I have been totally blown away by the positive response it’s received. I thank you for that!
p/s: See all my dollhouse posts here.
p/p/s: Notice how I basically gave myself an interview? Nerd alert! On a related note, I’m watching Geek Love on TLC as I’m writing this post. Iron Man is such a cutie!