The Covid House- Part 2

One of the first things I did in the house was the game room. I knew I wanted a pool table and a Galaga machine. My son bought a used, full size Galaga arcade machine when he was in high school. I have to admit it was fun to play, and I wasn’t terrible. I wanted to make one for my game room, so I found the graphics for it online, I found the dimensions and shrunk them down to 1:12 size and went to work. I wanted it to have a “screen” that was lit, so I finally figured out I could print on transparent paper and with a light inside, became my screen. Also, the little red light that shows it is “on” above the “coin slot” actually glows. (not that anyone will ever know, it is almost impossible to see, but I know!)

Dollhouse Galaga Arcade Game

The lights for over the pool table were something I had seen when looking for game room inspiration. It became quickly apparent I would have to make that light if I wanted it. Still being very new to lighting, I bought the green pool table lights, at the time I really had no idea I could make my own, and designed how I would make them work with the tiny pool balls. I painted the little balls, made the frame and it worked! Now I still have to make the pool table!

Dollhouse Game Room

In my pool bath, (for the lap pool outside the game room), I wanted a drum light. There are not a lot of modern lights available for dollhouses, and certainly not what I had in mind. I also, hadn’t found all the sellers of miniatures on Instagram either, which there are tons of, and they make everything!

I was looking through a box of old stuff I had saved to use when creating shapes on paintings and found the inside of a scotch tape roll, and the light bulb (pun intended) when off! It could be my drum light. I had some copper tape that I ran around the top, bottom and middle and it was just what I wanted. I had no idea how to hang it or from what, until in the same box, I saw the wire part of an old champagne bottle. It was perfect! I wove a little single light down through the wire and had the drum light for my pool bath.

Dollhouse Drum Light

Then I realized I needed lights for either side of the mirror. And of course I wanted them to match or at least coordinate with my ceiling fixture. I used white plastic rectangular tubing and the copper tape again to make these. I may try to make a tutorial about how I made these, they are pretty easy and the fronts remove so I can change bulbs if I need to.

Pool Bath Sconces

When I decided I wanted to do a wine cellar, I knew I wanted some medieval looking lights for the walls. I found a bunch of old jewelry parts (from the time I thought I wanted to make jewelry- I failed miserably at that!) For the “flame” tips, I pulled off the top of battery operated tea lights and put them over the bulb. I made a back plate with a little cup hook to hold it on the wall.

Wine Cellar Lights

I also made a very simple ceiling fixture out of wood. I also put recessed lights inside each of the arches so the wine bottles show up better.

Wine Cellar

I also wanted a place to taste wine in the wine cellar so I built a cabinet, that has tilted shelves at the bottom and place to stand (or sit, if I ever make stools) and taste wine. Another recessed light is above a reproduction of one of my paintings. I still need to make a table and chairs for the back corner and get more wine!

Wine Cellar Cabinet

There is still much to do in all of these rooms, but I really want to finish building the house, before I spend more time adding things. Also, if I end up selling the house, part of the fun for the person buying is to collect and decorate.

Stay tuned for Part 3!

The Covid House- Part 1

I know, I know, that is a horrible name, and it is really not the name for the house (it actually doesn’t have a name), but if it weren’t for the virus and the lockdown, this house may have never gotten off the ground.

dollhouse kitchen
Kitchen

I had started this house in 2018 after I finished building the house for my granddaughter. I wanted to build my own, from scratch. Yeah, I rarely do anything the easy way. I didn’t have a plan, I just knew that I wanted a bunch of BIG rooms because I couldn’t really do much decorating in the smaller rooms that were in my granddaughter’s house.

The first thing I did was to make SURE that the design would allow the house to go through a 32″ door. In order to move my granddaughter’s house from the room I built it in to where it sits now, my dining room- which is the only other room we could get it into, we had to take the front door off the hinges and then it BARELY made it (by 1/4 of an inch). So, even though I wanted this house to be big and roomy, I didn’t want moving it to be an issue. This house is 31″ wide, it is five feet long and I am not exactly sure how tall it will be when finished, but somewhere in the four foot area.

one end of the dollhouse under construction
Under Construction

This is a picture of the right side from the back side. The bottom floor has a potting shed at the far right, beside the fountain, a wine cellar, a home gym, a pool bathroom, and game room. On the outside on the left end is an outdoor fireplace and lap pool.

left end of bottom floor of dollhouse
Outdoor fireplace and lap pool

The second story consists of a den, a two story entry hall, complete with a Chihuly inspired chandelier, the dining room and kitchen. On the third floor there will be the master bedroom, bath and closet, a girl’s room and bath and a nursery. Under the roof on the fourth floor there will be an attic, and a couple of other rooms that I haven’t really decided what I want to do yet.

When I started this house, I really intended just to build the structure. I did want to make the floors, since I love faux finishing and knew there would be marble in the entry. Of course I was going to put the windows and doors in, I never thought I would actually build them myself, but I did. I wanted the doors and windows to have arched windows over them on the second floor and I couldn’t find any that were the dimensions or the look I wanted. That is when I went down the rabbit hole.

I started looking at miniature accounts on Instagram, following miniature groups on Facebook and the the YouTube videos! That is when I realized I could probably make just about anything I wanted for the house. I still had no intention of making the light fixtures, building the kitchen appliances, but once I got started, I couldn’t stop.

dollhouse refrigerator
Dollhouse Refrigerator

A very important part of all of this to me, was that I wanted everything to look as realistic as possible. When someone comments on one of my pictures that they thought my post was a real house, I am thrilled! The stove, dishwasher and refrigerator were a real challenge. Pretty much anything 1:12 scale can be a challenge but these three gave me fits. I made the stove first, and redid the wire shelves inside four times. The stove has lights in both sides and even has a vent hood with a light over it. The dishwasher wasn’t quite as bad, and has a little spinner that actually spins if you twirl it, and a drain, which no one will ever be able to see! the refrigerator was the biggest challenge. If I had not had my Glowforge laser cutter I could have never made it look as realistic. The laser cutter cut all the wood, the clear and white acrylic, so that all the pieces fit perfectly. An immense amount of cussing and throwing things (mostly in the trash) were part of building the fridge, but in the end I really do love it.

Stayed tuned for Part 2 about making light fixtures and furniture, two things I NEVER thought I would do.

How It All Started

A few years ago my daddy asked me if I wanted to finish a dollhouse he had started (barely) for my sister back in the 80s. My granddaughter was five at the time and so I thought it would be a great present for her, so I said “YES!” I had no idea what I was getting myself into or that it would turn into something that I would pursue past finishing this house.

In the late 70s/early 80s my daddy built a dollhouse that was a replica of an old Victorian house in my hometown for my cousins. He used the blueprints from the real house to replicate it mini-size. My aunt still has it, even though it might need a little attention since it has been greatly loved. It was a few years after that he decided to build one for my sister, but for some reason it never really got off the ground.

Kitchen

When I got the old unfinished dollhouse, he had put a few plugs in, the flooring on the first floor, the staircase and the downstairs windows, but that was about it. I learned a lot while working on this house, which was from a kit. Victorian is not really my style, so I painted it pink, and did my own thing on the inside. None of which is Victorian.

Dining Room

I learned how to wire the lights, I learned about all the places you can buy stuff, there are so many! I learned how HARD it is to work in tiny cramped spaces. Step by step and bit by bit, I worked on it. I learned about which glues work best with different things, which paints to use, etc… there really is a lot to learn. Some things that work well in “real size” houses don’t do so well in miniature. I’ve learned so many things while finishing this house.

Den

This dollhouse has been decorated by my grandchildren. I let them choose the furniture and arrange it. I used my own designs for all the wallpaper except in the dining room. And I needlepointed the rugs for the den, dining room, the upstairs hall and the one that ended up in the nursery, but wasn’t really intended for that spot, but it’s not my house.

Nursery

My granddaughter LOVES it so that is all that matters, and her brothers like to play with it too!

Girl’s Room