Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A New Meaning to Doll's House

A Whole New Meaning to “Doll’s House”

When I was a little girl, my grandfather built each of his seven granddaughters a dollhouse. It was a beautiful tri-level design. It was also seven feet long. Huge. I played with my house for hours at a time. My grandmother helped me make furnishings for it and I bought things for it with money I earned selling potholders I made. I have happy memories of that dollhouse.

Now I am a grandmother. I have three granddaughters of my own. A couple of years ago I decided I would build each of them a dollhouse. After Christmas in 2016 I purchased three dollhouse kits. The plan was to put together the houses over the course of the following year. I figured it to be a cinch. 

I had a year to complete three houses. Grandpa had less time to build seven of them. And he had to draw out the plans and cut the wood. I was smart. All I had to do was punch out the “precut” pieces and use the “easy to assemble” directions. Hammer and finish nails? Not necessary. All my kit called for was a hot glue gun. It came with everything else. Unless of course I wanted to paint the house… or sand the pieces first. A ruler would be handy. Luckily I had a utility knife. And wood putty. 

As it turned out, I didn’t even start the dollhouse project in 2017. I moved into a new house first and then halfway around the world until the middle of June in 2018. But I was determined to build those houses for my sweet girls for Christmas 2018. 

The first unfinished house...sans shingles.
The first thing I learned is that ”precut” is a relative term. Sometimes the “cutter” had merely made an impression on the wood that I then had to carefully cut out with my utility knife. 

Then there was the issue of the missing pieces. I had to make those. Fortunately, I had two other kits to look at to use as patterns. All of the kits had missing pieces but luckily not the same pieces.

Easy to assemble, detailed directions, and online support are terms loosely thrown about by the manufacturer. The directions may be detailed but that doesn’t mean they are easy to understand. But this blog isn’t aimed at grumbling, so please forgive me if I sound as if I’m complaining. I’m not. 

I started the first dollhouse in October. I put the last shingle on around 7:45 am Sunday morning…Two days before Christmas. Was it worth it?

Life Done Together is  Better: Thank You
Nora Williams and Allison Curran. Jo and I
Appreciate Your Help With the Furniture.

I’ve lived my life with the attitude that if I start something I should finish it. 

My parents taught me to never give up and to learn from my mistakes. (I am, by the way, an equal opportunity grandmother. I made mistakes on all three houses!)

I’ve also learned along the way that life done together is always better. My oldest daughter and my mother joined me in making furniture for the dollhouses. What a fun evening. 

With each dab of glue and each challenge I faced, I thought of my three granddaughters sweet little faces.

Finished and furnished.
Their reaction to the finished project was more than I imagined. They didn’t see the imperfections. They weren’t concerned about which color they got. They didn’t wonder at why the furniture was made from everything from cardboard and wood to masking tape and soap boxes. What they saw was a dollhouse of their own. They didn’t rush to open more gifts. They each stood around the table carefully arranging the furniture in the rooms as they desired. 

And one-by-one in their own sweet and special ways they came to me more than once to thank me for the dollhouse.  My youngest granddaughter who is all of five hugged me and said, “I’ve always wanted a dollhouse for my room, Doll.” 

One of my grandson’s quipped, “A doll’s house in Doll’s house. That’s pretty cool.”

My heart is full. I imagine my grandparents felt exactly this way as they delivered those seven dollhouses to seven grateful granddaughters so many years ago.

My Oldest Granddaughter Made a Wreath
For the Door!


  1. Love this! My grandfather also built me a dollhouse when I was little. It was one of my favorite gifts ever. I still have it today.

    1. Oh how wonderful! I wish I still had mine. I can still see the furniture and the clothespin dolls with fuzzy hair my grandmother and I made! Thank you for stopping by the blog. I love it when readers leave comments!


Leave your comments here. I look forward to hearing from you.