Another House Build.

David's picture

Yes, I'm currently in the midst of building another house. It's even smaller than the cob studio but it can fit a lot more people. It will have all the amenities as a typical house, including a kitchen, bathroom, living, eating and sleeping areas. It's going to be three stories tall, with the flue of the fireplace passing through each floor so that every level will receive radiant heat. Oh, and did I mention it's a doll house?

Yup, it's a doll house. I've been working on it since October, or maybe even November. I tried to have it finished by Yule as a gift to Phoenix from Santa, but sadly, it didn't pan out that way. It was very difficult to work on it without Phoenix seeing it. But in the end, I managed to put enough of it together to be played with. Have you ever been to a play that used very little props, and everything else was up to your imagination? Well, the doll house was kinda like that. But she didn't mind. She loved it.

We had also gotten her a family of dolls to go along with it. They are Waldorf dolls that included a Mother and father, brother and sister, a baby, and grandmother and grandfather. She liked them all, but I felt I needed to modify one of them a bit. You see, Phoenix is into princesses right now, and at that time, it was mostly Rapunzel. The daughter doll came with yellow hair, and Phoenix played with her as Rapunzel. Well, the hair wasn't all that long, so I decided to add a bit more. I simply took a few strands of yellow yarn, braided them together, and tied them to the doll. It looks pretty good, and Phoenix just loved it. I only used three strands of yarn, and it could have used more, but it would have taken more time. Time in which Phoenix felt was better spent playing with the doll. So off she went in complete admiration of her new Rapunzel doll.

Since then, I have added a few furnishings to her doll house. I could have gone to the store and purchased some really nice looking 'sets' for her, but my intentions from the beginning was to build it all myself. I wasn't exactly sure how to build them, or if they were going to turn out. But I gave it a go anyhow. And, I'm happy to say, I'm doing pretty good. At least as far as Phoenix, Patricia and I are concerned. So far I made a sofa, bed, fridge, stove, dining chairs, and a kitchen counter with sink, faucet, cupboards and drawers. I also took a stab at crafting some miscellaneous items including a pot, bowl, fork, hand saw and hammer (mallet). The dolls hands are simple rounded knobs with no way to hold anything. To fix this, I simply drilled a hole into the knob. Now, all I have to do is make sure all the handles are sized to fit inside. And to keep things simple, I drilled the holes the exact size to fit a round toothpick. Toothpicks make great handles for just about anything.

I'm pretty happy with how everything is turning out. I'm trying to make the items as close to realistic as possible. All the doors and drawers are operable, the faucet swivels, the counter knobs are brass, the stove burners are metal, the pot is made of copper. As a matter of fact, I'm more happy with the furnishings than I am with the actual house. Don't get me wrong, I like what I did with the house so far. It has hardwood, tile and carpeted flooring, painted and wallpapered walls. It all looks pretty good. I only wish I used thicker material for the walls and main floor. I used 3/16" which is inexpensive and easy to cut with a box knife, but doesn't take metal fasteners too well. I've tried very small nails and heavy gauge staples and neither were satisfactory. I'm using wood glue as well, but there just isn't enough material to make a good solid connection. I have some 90 deg. trim that I'm planning to use on all the edges of the house to help stiffen it up. Next time though, 1/4" or 3/8" minimum.

Well, that's what I've been working on during these cold winter days. There is still lots to be made, and even the items I've already made are not quite done. They all need finishing touches and a bit of painting. So I'm sure I'll be working on this house for many months. Patricia says she'll try her hand at making the textiles like sofa cushions, mattresses and bedding and such.

The doll house has turned out to be a wonderful creation. Phoenix is so cute using little voices to talk for the dolls. And it is great to hear and watch her stories unfold. There are plenty of dolls to go around which allows Patricia and I to play along with her. It's good fun!

Here are some pictures of the doll house as it sits now. Enjoy!


Rick's picture

Thats pretty awesome man! I love the last guy there - looks like me in about 30 years!

By Rick
Rachel's picture

I showed the doll house to Mari and she really liked it. :-) You're very talented. Ever think of opening an etsy store? :-)

By Rachel