The Dollhouse Kitchen and Dining Room

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen

Each time I complete a room in the dollhouse, it becomes a new favorite. The kitchen certainly isn’t an exception! I’ve changed details in this room many times, and am finally calling it finished and done. For a while, the vent hood was copper, the light fixture was different, the cuckoo clock was dark wood, and the window was without dressing. But all of those details have changed, and I think this is finally ready for its close-up.

For those of you following along on Snapchat (my name is mandimakes there), you’ll know that I handed off the dollhouse to Lucy on Christmas Eve morning. While I consider it to be finished, I’ll be changing and adding these here and there, just like in a real home. I have more plans for the bedrooms, but instead of waiting for them to be done, I think I’ll share the dollhouse in its entirety next week, and then share changes as they happen. For now— I’m really excited about the kitchen!

Check out the entire dollhouse project by clicking here. See my resources at the end of this post.

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen

Prepping this space felt like it took forever— assembling the kit, scribing the floors, staining the floors, filing the window openings, painting the walls, adding the windows and trim, and in this particular space, blocking out a window and installing a tile wall to block out the light from the window hole. To block out the window, I used a sheet of foam board covered in a tile sheet.  I’ll show you what it looks like from the outside next week when I show the entire house, but in the meantime you can see it on Instagram here

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen

Making some of the furnishings and fixtures is really gratifying. In this space, I purchased the cabinets, chairs, and tiny little accessories (like dishes and cups), but I made quite a few things as well. I wish I had time to carefully photograph and document each item I make, but it just was too overwhelming, and as I mentioned before, I’m seriously considering making a book about DIY modern dollhouse furniture. That’s a big goal of mine for 2016!

So what did I make exactly? The light fixture(beads and ping pong ball), the window shade, the wall sconce, the runner (twine and duct tape), the table (wood discs and dowels glued, sanded, and painted), the art (designed by Tracy Jenkins available full-size here), the hood vent, the plants, and the shelves. Check the end of this post for the things that I purchased.

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Calico Critters

Lucy just loves her dollhouse, and I feel so gratified that it will be the framework for many of her childhood memories. We have fun playing with it together— her favorite part being the front door. She moves all of the furniture through the front door after a little animal rings the doorbell and announces they have a package for me. Of course, the house becomes quite chaotic after a while of her playing, and you’re probably wondering how I handle that! The answer is, with dignity and grace, OF COURSE…. until Lucy goes to bed, and then most evenings I rearrange things and Snapchat me playing with everything! Ha!

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Calico Critters

I think Mama Kitty needs to wear a slip under her dress, what do you think? Oops!

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Calico Critters

I used the lid from a tacky glue bottle plus a tiny piece of a bamboo skewer to make a sconce for beside the kitchen window. I plan to do something similar in the master bedroom.

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Calico Critters

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen

Modern Dollhouse Miniature KitchenModern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Calico Critters

R E S O U R C E S :

cowhide rug
coffee cup
cabinets (I painted mine)
china dishes
coffee cups
hanging utensils
copper pots and pans
milk jugs
step stool (set of two)
tile sheet
donuts from Hobby Lobby
broom
cuckoo clock
Calico Critters cat family
wallpaper in stairwell is scrapbook paper from Michaels

The following items are vintage:

chairs from The Toy Box
yellow enamel coffee set

Modern Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Calico Critters

The Dollhouse Living Room

Mid Century Modern Miniature Dollhouse

Well, folks, I think it’s safe to say I’m hooked on miniatures. I love being able to envision a space in my mind, and then instantly create it with my hands, without much concern for a budget. Things just don’t work that way when you’re dealing with life-sized home design! Ha! If only I could spend an evening sculpting a fieldstone fireplace for my actual house, and then make a funky orange sectional the very next night. Wouldn’t that be a dream? Or maybe if I could just find that one machine from Honey I Shrunk the Kids…? (I mean, if we’re dreaming, might as well dream big. Or dream small!)

I’m finally wrapping things up with this dollhouse project, and it makes me a little bit sad. You know I’ll be changing things up from time to time, and certainly adding more details. I’d love to make more dollhouses, but I don’t have room in our home to keep them, much less work on them. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to turn this new passion into something else— maybe a book about crafting a modern dollhouse? It’s something I’ve been seriously contemplating since diving deeper and deeper into this miniature world. There’s so much process to share, not to mention the plans for my handcrafted furniture, but it’s pretty overwhelming to think about properly documenting steps just for this little blog. I’d love to have a reason to beautifully present the process more thoroughly, in book-form.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Dollhouse

Above you can see the living room with a quarter thrown in for scale. I made the fireplace, curtains (and rod), sectional, coffee table, side table, floor lamp, and frames for the art I printed. The illustration over the fireplace is by Natalie Hughes (used with permission) and the yellow Woodsfolk print is from Stitch Design Co‘s Dribble. I thought those little woodland creatures would look perfect in a Calico Critters dollhouse. The ship with sharks (above the fireplace) also adds the perfect element of whimsy and humor. I may be a little obsessive about every detail— even the art!

O T H E R   S U P P L I E S :

Stitch Design Co Dollhouse Miniature

dollhouse paneling construction

The picture above shows how the first floor looked after the floors were scored and stained and after the walls were painted. You can see I used a slightly different shade of white above the untinted white paneled area. I used wood spaces to evenly place my pieces of painted bass wood trim for the paneling. I glued each little strip of wood with quick grab tacky glue and then caulked any cracks after the glue dried. (Yes I’m insane and I caulked a lot in this dollhouse because even tiny cracks become super obvious when working in 1:12 scale!) Now let’s talk about the fun details I made! DIY dollhouse stone fireplace

T H E   F I R E P L A C E

The fireplace was much simpler than I expected it to be, though I will say it was fairly time consuming. I’m estimating that it took about 3-4 hours of labor to complete. I first made the base with pieces of foam board that I glued together. (I ended up adding a bumped-out portion below the mantle area after I took the above left photo.) Then I rolled out a sheet of air-dry clay to cover the foam board. Before covering the foam board with clay, I brushed it with a liberal amount of tacky glue. Then I draped it with clay and trimmed off any excess. I made my mantle before carving the clay, so I made sure to press it into the clay, marking where I would glue in the mantle after the clay had dried out. To form the fieldstone appearance, I used a bamboo skewer to dent and scrape the clay, keeping the unworked area of clay covered with two layers of damp paper towels so the clay wouldn’t dry out. I also used a wash cloth to push in random areas to give the stones dimension, also blotting the entire surface of the stonework with the cloth to add all-over texture. In addition to the cloth, I used a thick bristled hair brush to give the stones a porous texture. I let the clay dry out for two days without handling it much— I didn’t want to risk cracking. Then I used a foam brush to dab the surface of the bricks with white primer.

After the paint dried, I added the mantle., which I made with a piece of bass wood that I scraped to give the look of rough sawn timber. I added mitered pieces to either end so the end-grain of the bass wood wouldn’t mess up the appearance of my mantle’s edges. (End grains soak up stain making them stick out like a sore thumb.) I stained the entire finished piece and then brushed with a light coat of brown acrylic paint to give the color more depth, since bass wood doesn’t take stain very well. I also added some extra tile sheeting from the bathroom project in the back of the firebox and as a little hearth. (Yes, I caulked that too!) DIY dollhouse stone fireplace

T H E   C U R T A I N S

Here is the completed room with all of the architectural details in place. Ready for decorating! First I needed to decide what kind of window treatments to use. I decided on semi-sheer white curtains, just like I have in my own home. It’s the perfect choice for those of us who are noncommittal and enjoy a simple design aesthetic. To make my curtain rod, I simply glued a trimmed bamboo skewer to wooden beads and painted it white. Then I glued the rod to the wall at the beads. The bead finials brought the rod out from the wall about 1/8″. Then I glued on each curtain panel, which I made by starching pieces of semi-sheer white cotton. I simply arranged the curtains onto a piece of foam board, using dowels to give it the gathered appearance, and straight pins poked through the fabric and into the foam board to keep everything in place before spraying with a generous amount of starch. After it dried, I removed the pins and dowels and had perfectly crispy curtain panels that were glue-ready.

I know the curtain-making procedure might be difficult to picture, so if you don’t follow me on Snapchat (mandimakes), you might not have seen the video I posted when I was making the curtains. This is exactly why I’d like to put all of this stuff into a book! So much to say… so little space on this blog to say it. (I’m trying not to turn this place into a DIY dollhouse blog.)

Modern Dollhouse Curtains

DIY dollhouse floorlamp

T H E   F L O O R   L A M P

No step-by-step pictures for the curtains, but I did manage to snap a few shots of the making of my attempt at a Panton floor lamp replica. Here’s what I used to make it— all of these items I already had on hand. Floor Lamp Materials:

  • ping pong ball
  • small dowel (I forget the diameter I used, but something skinny)
  • small wooden coin
  • primer
  • gold leaf paint
  • sand paper (something around 180-220 grit would work well)

Tools:

  • power drill
  • Xacto blade
  • glue (your preference)
  • pencil sharpener (optional)

DIY dollhouse floorlamp

Step One: Cut your dowel to the desired height of your floor lamp. Then sharpen one end with a pencil sharpener or with sand paper.

Step Two: Drill a hole in the very center of your wooden coin. This should be a hole perfectly sized for your dowel diameter.

Step Three: Glue the dowel into the hole of your wooden coin.

DIY dollhouse floorlamp

Step Four: Cut your ping pong ball in half with a sharp Xacto blade. This is easy to do, as the blade easily will follow the seam in the ping pong ball. Sand down the cut edge so it is very smooth and even.

Step Five: Drill a hole into the very center of the ping pong ball half. This should be a bit smaller than the diameter of your dowel. Step Six: Prime and paint the base of the lamp— the dowel and the wood coin.

DIY dollhouse floorlamp

Step Seven: Glue the ping pong ball shade onto the base of the lamp.  DIY dollhouse sectional

That’s it! I had to stop myself from putting a glamorous little floor lamp in each room!

dollhouse plants

I also made tons of little house plants using beads as vases and trimmed pieces of artificial floral materials. I sanded down the bottoms of the beads so they would sit straight on flat surfaces without falling over. To make cylindrical vases, I stacked together small beads, as seen on the right side of the fireplace mantle. I found a set of mini glass cloches (which I used my 60% off coupon for at JoAnn) which I placed over smaller houseplants on the coffee table for a nice little display. Making houseplants was one of my favorite little dollhouse projects!

Mid Century Modern Miniature Dollhouse

I do still have to add the stair rail, which I hope to do in time for Christmas, because I definitely bought some tiny garland that I’d like to drape on the handrail. Because I’m a crazy person! And also because I don’t have a real-life stair rail to decorate, so this is the next best thing. If not the better thing.

DIY dollhouse coffee table

Thanks for following along on this process! I get so excited to share each little detail with you, and hope that I can inspired some of you to begin your own miniature journey. And no— you don’t need kids as an excuse to do this! It’s probably easier if you don’t have children, actually, because then you don’t have to share your toys! :) Next up I’ll be sharing the kitchen. You may have caught a sneak peak of that on my Instagram. Tomorrow I’m making the vent hood and open shelving for display tiny dishes! If you don’t hear back from me, it will be because I died from the cuteness of it all.

Mid Century Modern Dollhouse

The Dollhouse Bathroom

dollhouse project

Well, I didn’t quite get this dollhouse finished by Thanksgiving, as I’d hoped. Those who follow me on social media might know that my dad’s been in the hospital for the past week, and might be facing open heart surgery this Thursday. Still not sure what’s happening with him, but things got really scary last week, and so the dollhouse (and everything else in my life) was neglected while I hung out with my pops. Anyway, before that happened, I had finished the top floor of the dollhouse.

I decided to stick to a relatively limited color palette for the entire dollhouse: orange, yellow, and pink. Of course, accent colors and neutrals will be thrown in here and there, but I decided it should all look cohesive when viewed as a whole, rather than doing different colors in each room. Then each floor would also have a main color theme. The top floor is gold, the middle floor is pink, and the first floor and upstairs hallway is mostly neutral with pops of color here and there.

dollhouse bathroom

Here’s the bathroom with a lovely ’70s color scheme. It was just going to be a bright white space, but then I got carried away with details, as I usually do, resulting in the look you see above. I painted the bathroom fixtures (as shown later in this post), glued together accessories and painted them gold, used tiny scraps of fabric for towels, and a button and handcut mirror sheet for a vanity mirror. Everything is linked to at the end of this post.

Here’s what the room started out like:

IMG_7864

dollhouse bathroom

I sanded down the porcelain bathroom accessories with 320 grit sandpaper, and painted with several light coats of this citron spray paint. Then I finished with gold striping and then a few light coats of high gloss polyurethane.

dollhouse bathroom yellow

dollhouse bathroom

In between coats of paint on the bathroom fixtures, I painted the top part of the walls in the bathroom. Then I added tile sheets to the walls and floors and tiny wooden trim between the paint and tile on the wall.

dollhouse bathroom yellow

dollhouse bathroom

Here it is with everything inside. It’s difficult to get a photo after I added the roof edges to this side of the dollhouse, since the roof edge kind of blocks the view of the camera with a straight-on shot. I still need to add some kind of rug, and haven’t decided if I’ll add window treatments to this room. Not that the dolls are exhibitionists, but I’m just pretty proud of how my dormers turned out, and don’t know if I want to hide all the hard work I did carefully cutting the holes for the dormers and filling and sanding it perfectly smooth. When things go wrong in my life, I want to be able to walk over and check out the dollhouse dormers and feel good about something! Haha! (Only partially kidding.)

So what do you think about rug options? I’m thinking maybe a circular white fluffy rug? Originally I was going to do something like jute, but this room is a little too fancy pants for that kind of rug now, in my opinion.

dollhouse bathroom

dollhouse nursery

While we’re looking at the bathroom on the third floor, I thought I might as well show you the other side— the nursery! This room is pretty sparsely decorated as of now. It’s difficult to arrange furniture in here because of the 45 degree angle of the outside wall. I also don’t have much furniture for this space, since I moved other nursery items (dresser and high chair) into different rooms of the house. I also don’t know about window treatments in this room.

I still need to add the stairway details (railing, treads, carpet), so part of the nursery will still get a railing and finished baseboards. And speaking of details, I think I’m going to add a little pom pom garland and wall art in this room. Maybe a rocking chair with a side table and lamp too! We’ve got time to think about those things later, though. Now I’m just trying to finish up the rest of the house in time for Christmas. Thank God I started this project early!

dollhouse modern

S O U R C E S :

I’m really chomping at the bit to finish up this house, but I guess all good things come to those who wait! Right now we’ll just be spending a lot of time together as a family, and then at night when I have a spare hour or so, I’ll work on finishing up details here and there. But it’s so exciting to see it coming together!

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