Saturday, December 25, 2010

Homemade Holiday Dollhouse

Daddy and I made what I think was a challenging decision this year for Christmas. Since "Santa" was getting our 8 year old daughter popular name brand items, we thought we'd try something a little different and make her gifts. This wasn't new to me. I 'm accustomed to making my gifts for the holidays. But, for us both to only make gifts and not buy anything was the challenge. It's always nice to have a backup gift just in case your idea doesn't actually work in reality. I'm glad we made this decision, though. It was interesting to see her reaction this morning. She really did prefer the homemade gifts more than the store bought ones. Probably won't be the case when she's a little older. :(

So daddy, being an architecture major in college, set out to create her a cardboard dollhouse inspired by a $250+ dollar plastic Calico Critter Manor house.

It folds out just like the original version. Forgot to take a pic of it closed. He started building it 2 weeks before Christmas! I must admit, we (mom and I) didn't think he'd have it standing in time. But, he brought it thru the door at 10pm Christmas Eve. :) Whew! Time to spare! ;D Of course, it needs some paint and details still. He wants her to help him out on the colors and furniture. :)

It has lots of large windows, and the little doors actually open! Pretty amazing for cardboard.

He still has some supports to add at the corners in the interior. They'll be needed to withstand the weight of her plastic furniture pieces.

The Calico Critter families couldn't wait to move in to their new home (even if it's not finished, yet). :)

I really liked the spiral staircase. It looks so delicate, but is surprisingly sturdy. I'm really proud of him. This was a LOT of work to take on. But, she loved it. Making a unique gift like this is truly worth every bit of the effort. I'm sure she will treasure it for years to come. This is Samedi's first year to make gifts. He doesn't really even give gifts. Being Asian, he really doesn't celebrate Christmas.

I'll post about my gift to my daughter next. And, I'll be sure to post some progress pics as they start decorating. Until then, Merry Christmas!

***** UPDATE 01/06/11 *****

Just wanted show a small addition to the house, I posted this image on Craftster, so you may have seen it already. He won't leave well enough alone. He finished the front balcony railing and a round attic window. I'll keep you posted when more improvements are made.


file under misc. said...

that is the most amazing thing! bravo!

AbigailBanfield said...

saw this on craftster ( i hit this rocks), and this is truly inspiring as I hope to go to uni in september to study Architecture! Thankyou!

mieljolie said...

Best wishes pursuing your degree. Any degree involving studio time will probably be a lot of late nights filled with anxiety and doubt, but it will be well worth the effort. Just hang in there. :)

Welcome to the world of blogging. I see you're off to a great start.


Unknown said...

This house is just awesome! I am so in love with cardboard, I have recently made a structure out of cardboard myself. I love looking at all the things everyone else has done gives me more ideas.

mieljolie said...

Thanks, Stewie! You're absolutely right. Cardboard is so versatile and fun to work with. My fave type to work with is cereal boxes. I'd really enjoy seeing what you've come up with.

Thanks for stopping in!


vegan said...

wow, soooo beautiful!!

All4lukeandlydia said...

I am in total aww of this dollhouse. It is the most beautiful dollhouse I have ever seen! My inner little girl is soo jealous that my parents never thought of this for me. It is also inspiring because I would like to build a doll music studio for my husband to play with my daughter for Father's day since he plays the bass and is always talking about building our own music studio. Thank you sooooo very much for sharing your homemade dollhouse with the world so I could come across it and get ideas from it.

mieljolie said...

Thanks, A4LnL! Glad we could inspire your creativity! I wish you the best of success on the cardboard studio!


lori said...

This house is wonderful!! I would love to make some thing like this for my daughter did your husband do it all out of one box or did he use two boxes? Just trying to figure out how he got it to fold out and go back together also how did he do the doors? My daughter would love it if she had doors that opened and shut I'm by no means as creative as your husband but would love to make something close to this for my daughter she loves it when I do homemade stuff for her I always make her dolls beds, blankets, pillows and furniture. So I think it's time for me to try my hand at a house. :)

mieljolie said...

Hi, Lori! I hope you do try your own cardboard doll house. It looks like he used just one big box for the main construction. The corners look to be scored, or cut on one side, and folded toward the other side. The doors are hinged on by leaving small notches on the top and bottom of the doors themselves. Then he inserted the notches into the holes of the corrugated cardboard, this isn't the most sturdy house, but it has fared well with our daughter over the last 4 years. She still won't let us paint it. :(

Have fun on your own version! If you have any other questions, I'm happy to help. :)


mieljolie said...

Oh! You could probably do just as well joining smaller boxes with tape hinges. There is a "paper tape" that you have to wet with a sponge (like a stamp) that would work well. It comes in a matching brown of the cardboard, too. ;)

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

You can make “cars”, “airplane’s”, and cereal boxes make a great base for paper mache head stones.