Fridays at Home: A Tiny Renovation

3rd August 2012

When my parents moved  a year and a half ago, we found lots and lots of my childhood things, but one I knew I was ready to take home: my dollhouse. The Christmas I was five, my grandfather made me a dollhouse. My grandmother decorated it, and my great aunt painted a miniature for the wall inside. It was definitely a work of love, one they repeated for my sister and again for my aunt’s daughter who was just a dream when he made it (they adopted her 4 years ago, several years after he died). This week he would have been 94, and I’ve decided the dollhouse needs some updating.

It’s been around for 26 years, and the layers of dust it’s had for years have taken their toll. I’ve cleaned it out and rubbed it down, but I’ve decided to give it a fresh coat of paint. Since last summer was the summer where my house was painted, I’ve decided it’s fitting that I’ll paint this tiny one this summer. In fact, I’m going to paint it the same shade as my house. But before I did anything, I wanted to take a few photos to preserve its original glory.

Each shingle is individually glued, and you can’t see it, but they hung the address, and it was the number of the house they built and lived in most of their lives.

My grandmother made the curtains. She originally taught me to sew, and I remember making Barbie clothes one summer. We also took the acorn caps and used them as “cups.”

The painting my great aunt made. A few years ago, I had the idea to remove it and buy a gold chain and wear it as a necklace, but it’s actually attached to the wall. It’s so beautiful and so unique.

It almost looks real…

Isn’t it lovely?

Now the key is to find where in my house it will live…

  • Wow, that’s awesome that so many hands in your family had a part in making the house! That definitely makes it special 🙂

    • It definitely is special. I can remember being young and thinking if the house caught on fire, I’d grab my doll, Drowsy, and my dollhouse.


    Makes me totally wish we had held on to my dollhouse that my grandparents got me. Especially since I recently started getting catalougues for this stuff and it’s damned expensive!

    • I’ve never really even looked at them elsewhere, but I can imagine they would be. Especially if they’re already put together.

  • Ti

    I teared up just now!! What a treasure! Looking at those pics made me remember a doll house that my mother made for me before our relationship went to hell in a hand basket. Years of mental illness took its toll but if I just remember the sweetness of the moment… the moment when she presented the house to me, then I can keep it all happy and smiley.

    I can’t wait to see the finished product! It looks pretty good to me now!

    • Oh, so sorry, Ti! But you’re right. I know it’s hard to remember back before mental illness (have an experience with someone close to me), but when you do, it’s bittersweet.

      I can’t wait to see it either. I’m thinking it will take longer than I think, just because of all the detail.

  • Jennifer Waggoner Hartling

    That is absolutely gorgeous! :*)

  • Senatorbrett

    Where’s the “man cave”?! 🙂

  • Sherrie

    I LOVED yall’s dollhouses when we were kids. I never knew they were made for yall. Makes them even more special. 🙂

    • I can’t believe you didn’t know that! And yeah, pretty darn special.

  • heidenkind

    That’s so awesome. Definitely a work of love!

    • Most definitely. I love it.

  • Oh, my! What a lovely little tradition. Do post pics once it’s done.