Truman and Ruthie’s Dollhouse

So I decided to build another dollhouse…

A few years ago I built my first dollhouse for my daughter Norah, complete with handpainted stones, and a wooden shingled roof. I was proud of it then, but I knew there were a lot of ways it could have been better. Then, I built one for my niece. That one was much better than the one I built for my daughter, it was more architecturally interesting, and had a lot more details than my daughter’s, but there were still a bunch of things I was unhappy with. This year, when I decided to build one for my other niece Ruthie, and my nephew Truman, I told myself I’d document the process better this time, so I can keep track of the lessons I learn along the way.

My first dollhouse, a castle for my daughter Norah, took a very long time to build. The amount of time it took was due partly to the fact that I didn’t even have the right tools (I cut the windows out with a chisel), but it was mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing.

When I finally finished Norah’s castle (working late into the night on Christmas Eve), I had learned a TON about building a dollhouse. When I decided to build another one (this time for my niece, Cami) I tried to put those lessons to good use. (To start, I bought myself a coping saw.) That second dollhouse was magnitudes better than the first, but there were still a lot of lessons that I learned while building that one (example: SCALE IS IMPORTANT, a three-inch high door looks really goofy in a room with seven inch ceilings.)

So naturally, when I decided to build one for my niece Ruthie, and nephew Truman, I figured there would be even more lessons learned this time around. I promised myself I would take pictures and document the process so that I could learn more about this little hobby (heh) and hopefully save others from some of the mistakes I made along the way. The posts on this blog are exactly that.

This is not a blog about ‘how to build a dollhouse.’

This blog is really a collection of ‘lessons learned’ from my experience building my third dollhouse. I’m sure that those who have built dozens of dollhouses will find fault with some of my lessons-learned. And, I assume I will change my mind on some of these when I go to build my fourth (this time for my daughter, Winnie.) At the very least, I want this to be a place where I can look back remember what went right, and what went wrong. At the very best, I’m hoping some other aspiring uncles/aunts/moms or dads will stumble on these posts and have a bit of an easier time in their own ‘Uncle Santa’s workshop.’

Oh, and in case you’re wondering – I didn’t take many pictures while I built Norah and Cami’s dollhouses. But, here’s a photo of Norah playing with hers.

dollhouse v dino

Oh, and in case you want to read these posts in order…

Truman and Ruthie’s Dollhouse: Christmas, 2017

  1. Scale is Everything
  2. There are no Useless Details
  3. Hand Saw vs. Table Saw
  4. Don’t Measure Everything First
  5. Focus on the Windows
  6. No Extra Credit for Doing it the Hard Way
  7. Wood Filler is Your Friend
  8. Masking Tape is Your Friend
  9. Primer is Your Friend
  10. Wood Glue is your Best Friend
  11. Craft Paper is your Enemy
  12. How to Build Stairs
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