Our Big Dollhouse
( 2002)

I plan to move the tiny doll's dollhouse to another room, yes. Amalie (2 yo) left it there before I took the picture. It is furnished with pieces purchased from Metal Miniatures and painted by Heather, my 12 yo daughter.

Metal Miniatures
1000 Central Avenue
Wilmette, Illinois 60091-2610
(847)251-2455

The furniture that they offer is called "Tiny Matchbox Furniture." They offer four rooms--living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom--with three pieces for each. And they have other "Tiny Matchbox" pieces as well.

I bought the four rooms (90 cents/room) plus a piano and fireplace (30 cents each) and shipping was just $2 for those 14 pieces.

There is an ironing board behind the curtain. It and the iron were gifts from a friend.

The washer and dryer were manufactured, gifts to the girls from Paul and me, Christmas 2001.

The linen cabinet was a gift from a friend. The "towels" on the shelf are accordion folded flannel glued into place. (The texture of full-size toweling is too rough for this scale.)

The pink carpets are also flannel. The one in front of the tub is glued over a 3 x 5 card on which I printed a large flower. It looks more clear in person. I roughed-up the flannel for the rugs by rubbing it with my fingers so it has a different texture from the towels even though the fabric is the same.

The pink towel on the tub, the yellow towel on the floor, and the hand towels on the towel bar are flannel pieces cut to size, no sewing, with very narrow lace trim glued on with Tacky Glue.

The soap in the soap dish was carved from a tiny bar of Dove soap so it has scent.

The floor is checked flannel, glued to posterboard cut to size and sprayed with clear acrylic.

Other items were purchased or were gifts from friends.

The ceiling light is a piece of broken jewelry.

Most kitchen accessories are held in place with bits of Plasti-Tak so that they don't all topple over every time the house is moved. (This is almost a necessity!)

The leg of lamb and turkey in the freezer, the basket and salad veggies on the counter, the bananas on the counter, the potatoes in the front basket, and the veggies in the front basket were all homemade, mostly by my girls, some by a dear friend!

The scrub sponges at the sinks are cheap washcloth material glued to flannel. The texture and size look perfect!

The kitchen set was a Christmas gift to the girls from Paul and me, 2001.

Most of the accessories were gifts from friends with some purchased.

The floor is woven cotton fabric, glued to posterboard cut to size and sprayed with clear acrylic. It cost <50 cents and looks perfect!

I got the wall border free from Jim's Printable Minis.

The cupboards store dishes and baking pans, mostly purchased from Cotton Ridge Designs The Chrysnbon plain "china" is nice and cheap and can be painted or customized with decals.

This is going to be the boys' bedroom eventually. Lots of work to do here!

I made the one quilt about 8 years ago. The floor cloth is an antique ladies' hanky with a tiny doily on it.

Antique women's handkerchiefs make *wonderful* bedsheets, btw. The material and lace are so delicate; they look perfect!

The picture on the wall is a "portrait charm" baby picture of my oldest daughter in a frame made from a button piece. (My friend Rebekah's great idea!)

The bunkbeds were Christmas gifts from the girls' great-grandmother, Christmas 2001.

The light is a piece of broken jewelry. (The girls were given a huge box of broken jewelry at a garage sale last year.)

The wallpaper is shelf paper, but doesn't stick quite well enough. We will probably change this soon. We plan to make new curtains together this week.

The floor is made with popsicle sticks from the dollar store, Tacky Glue, lots of sanding, a light stain, and clear varnish.

I found the wall border online. I thought that I saved the link, but now I can't find it! Sorry!

The table was made by my husband using a craft spool,thin plywood, stain, and clear varnish. It is a miniature replica of the one that he made for our own dining room. (Our big table is 6 1/2 feet across with a 3 foot turntable in the middle.)

The wood chairs were purchased. "Enough chairs for all our people" was high on the girls' request list this year. I found these chairs here--the best price that I had seen for nice chairs. I plan to decorate them across the backs with floral decals printed out on ink jet decal paper. (This is to simulate "tole painting.")

The high chairs are from the dollar store.

The picture on the wall is a "portrait charm" of Paul, me, and our three oldest girls. It was taken in 1994.

The piano is a refurbished manufactured miniature. I touched up the stain, peeled off the old keys and added new ones printed from Jim's Printable Minis and sprayed with three coats of clear acrylic. The pedals are pieces of a broken bracelet. (The original piano did not have pedals.)

The sheet music is also from Jim. It's glued inside a cover I made on the word processor, labelled "Piano Discovery," for our children's computer piano teacher.

The doily on the piano is a floral applique. The braided rug is made from embroidery floss, braided, wound, and glued to a piece of card. I made it in 1994 or 1995.

The bird and cage were a gift from a friend.

The knitting in the basket was knit onto two toothpicks by me. I plan to replace the toothpicks with long pins when I find some.

The bedsheet is an antique handerchief. The accessory on the changing table is a purchased box of Huggies.

The doily on the right hand dresser is an applique. On it is a dresser set--comb, brush, mirror--given to us by a friend. The perfume bottle is made from broken jewelry.

The cradle and changing table were bought at Toys R Us in about 1993. Other furniture was a recent gift from a dear friend.

The carpet is upholstery fabric. For $3.50 I bought enough of this dusty rose fabric to make two carpets for this house and one for our toddler house. (Pictures of the toddler house are coming soon. I have some painting and arranging to do for them today!)

Dollies were made by Rebekah Wilson and by my children using Rebekah's wonderful doll kit. (Rebekah is the one who inspired us to return to miniature work. The dollhouse shell, curtains, and interior and exterior painting are her wonderful work! Her mailing list Tiny-Treasures excellent.)

The Christmas tree and furnishings were gifts from dear friends. The coffee table was a gift from the girls' grandmother at Christmas about 1994.

Tree ornaments were mostly purchased, with some handmade. I bought tree lights, Nutcracker ornaments, and toy and gingerbread men ornaments from Michael's this year at their 40% off sale.

The Nativity set was also from Michael's at 40% off.

They might still have some of these items this week (December 2002).

The vase on the curio cabinet is a jewelry bead.

The carpet is upholstery fabric. (Again it came out to <$1.50 per room. It's cheaper, more durable, and more realistic than what you can buy from miniature catalogs.)

Some of the gifts under the tree are empty manufactured miniatures, given to us by friends. Others are real gifts meant to be opened by the girls this year.

The wrapping paper is from Jim's Printable Minis and the gift tags were made in my word processor using icons from Jim's site. The presents are addressed, "To the Mini-Jacos from Grampa and Gramma." (Paul and I are grandparents to all the dollies.)

Carpet is upholstery fabric.

The wardrobe opens to a map of Narnia on the back wall. We have purchased fabric to fill it with "fur coats," but haven't done so yet. This wardrobe is the most expensive piece of furniture in the house, but it was the only one that I could find to fit the description in the Chronicles of Narnia, one door and a mirror.

The bunkbed was a Christmas gift from the girls' great-grandmother, 2001. Toddler bed and highboy were purchased from Toys R Us about 1994.

Rocking horse was purchased at a garage sale. The duck-on-wheels was a gift from a dear friend, as were the tiny slippers at the foot of the toddler bed.

Bottom bed sheet is another antique handkerchief.

After the kitchen, the schoolroom is my favorite room. The large bookcase is purchased. A bookcase was the girls' #2 request for their dollhouse for Christmas this year.

The gilt book sets are purchased wood-block miniatures. I have customized them with a gold gel pen and miniaturized scans from book covers to make Lord's Beacon Lights of History, The Book of Life, My Book House, and Picturesque Tale of Projects--four very important sets in our full-size library.

The other books are either purchased miniatures (gifts from a friend), free printies from the 'net, or books I made with my scanner. (I made the 1971 My Bookhouse Volume One that the dolly in the rocker is reading.)

I plan to customize the miniature books with scanned covers from our favorite books.

I made the little couch from foam pieces, fabric, and wood beads, about 1993 or 1994. I also made the throw pillow on it.

The carpet is upholstery fabric. The rug is woven, really came from Turkey, and was purchased from Cotton Ridge Designs while I was buying some other items, but these rugs are listed at eBay every week for ridiculously low prices. (Cotton Ridge has a great "Frequent Shopper Club.")

The globe is from a dangle earring. It's now in a stand that my oldest daughter made with Sculpey Clay. The best source I've found for Sculpey Clay and tools--and very nice people to deal with--is Polymer Clay Express. Good tools do make a difference!

The roll-top desk, the toy chest, and most of the toys (some in the chest) are gifts from a friend. The tables and chairs and rocker and green cabinet on the right are from the dollar store--some were purchased by us and some were gifts from a friend who found what we couldn't find locally--when she didn't even know that we were looking for these pieces!

There is a little green book on the front table that was cut from the corner of a "Wordless Book." It brings back good memories for a couple of family members here.

The back table has an adorable mini chess set. The front table and the green cabinet have free printable books and paper dolls. I got most of these from BoopMini.

The basket on the front table has crayons and pencils made from round toothpicks and craft paint.

We've been making miniatures and adding miniatures to our collection off and on for 8 or 9 years. Miniature work provides an opportunity for children to try a wide variety of crafts at smaller expense, less mess, and with less time commitment than the full-size versions.

Their next project is making mini rugs.