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Cardboard dollhouses as a kid- what fun!


anne1
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My first dollhouse was the cardboard boxes that I taped a center cardboard floor into and then cut windows, doors etc. into and turned into dollhouses for my mini trolls & small dolls I had as a girl in the 60's. I had great fun creating them as a kid! A girlfriend down the street had a wonderful wooden fully furnished dollhouse that had been her mothers and I loved looking at it. She never wanted to play with it much though to my dismay. :) I finally have my first real dollhouse kit that I am working on. A simple 1/2 scale Colonial style house from Real Good Toys. I look forward to Christmas vacation and having time to finish it and start working on my own simple handscrafted furniture to furnish it. My budget is limited and I love creating things anyways so should enjoy it.

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Sounds like you are headed for new adventures. I too, am making some furniture just to see how it turns out. Mostly kitchen items as I haven't been able to find 'pre-fab' ones that I like. I never made doll houses out of cardboard boxes, but I've made play houses out of them. I used to live under the dining room table, I'll pull all the chairs up to the table and used the seats as shelves. And I'd pull the table cloth off to the floor on one side for a wall. My mother would come along and 'wreck' everything to set the table! The nerve! :)

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I loved making dollhouses from stacked up shoe boxes. I would spend so much time trying to get them to look perfect and always got frustrated when they didn't. I was so envious to of a friend that had a really cute metal dollhouse that I always played with at her house. And of course I had the fisher price "little people" house. My love for houses have never stopped obviously.

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  • 3 months later...
I loved making dollhouses from stacked up shoe boxes. I would spend so much time trying to get them to look perfect and always got frustrated when they didn't. I was so envious to of a friend that had a really cute metal dollhouse that I always played with at her house. And of course I had the fisher price "little people" house. My love for houses have never stopped obviously.

I uses to do the same thing! I would use any type of box I could get my hands on.

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Thought I'd bring this up again. My first dollhouses were made from cigar boxes my Dad would bring home from the office. They were wooden with sliding covers and made nice little rooms when stacked up. I use to make them from shoeboxes also. I remember a tower of little scenes stacked against the wall of my bedroom. I always wanted a fancy REAL dollhouse but my parents couldn't afford to buy one so I made my own. Fun! I loved paperdolls also and spent hours cutting them out. They were cheap and you could have lots of them. Nice memories.

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I also loved to make my own doll houses when I was a child. I would use just about anything I could get my hands on and much to my mothers dismay, I would even steal all of her wash cloths and hand towels to cover what ever I was using for furniture. I would also hand make all of my own dolls out of my moms old stockings, stuff them with toilet paper and paint there faces on. Some of them were even lucky enough to have hair, for this I would steal my mothers yarn from her knitting basket. I must have drove my mother completely nuts, always stealing her things but it kept me busy. I had a very good friend who lived just down the street who had her own doll house and also a very nice play house outside, and oh I was always so envious of her.

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I emptied out my built in book shelves and set up scenes in the sections. I also use to collect whatever I could beg borrow or steal if it fit into my scenerio. lol I KNOW I drove my mom nuts! I remember spending hours with the paperdolls and if I couldn't buy them I would draw them myself. I haven't stopped messing around with dolls, dollhouses, toys of all kinds since :yes:

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I emptied out my built in book shelves and set up scenes in the sections. I also use to collect whatever I could beg borrow or steal if it fit into my scenerio. lol I KNOW I drove my mom nuts! I remember spending hours with the paperdolls and if I couldn't buy them I would draw them myself. I haven't stopped messing around with dolls, dollhouses, toys of all kinds since :yes:

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When I was about 12 I remember building an Xmas :yes: themed roombox from stuff around the house (I didn't buy anything new - only because we were such pack rats):

Flattened & laminated cereal boxes for the roombox

Phone wire shaped into a Xmas tree with sawdust glued to it (Elmer's glue) & painted with green house paint

Upholstery, rugs & wallpaper from scrap cloth (from my mom's sewing stuff)

Mini Xmas lights for sconces & the fireplace flame (you know those extra Xmas lights with one burned out bulb)

I created a panel of buttons & switches to control the fp & lights from a broken electronic game. The game had a transformer also.

Furniture made from scraps of wood & cardboard (my dad was renovating our house - lots of scrap wood & sawdust)

I remember turning the newel post on a portable drill & one baluster. I used automobile fiberglass putty? to make a mold of the baluster to duplicate it. (my Dad also repaired our old car himself to save money)

The floor was made of a scrap piece of paneling, I used the back side & scored & stained it.

There were about 4 steps & a landing (U shaped stairway) - I glued a mirror at the landing so it seemed as tho the stairs turned & continued into the wall? What? Look see - neat trick> :o

I've since learned that a 1st surface mirror is more tricky - the silver is on the front surface = no tint from the glass & no ghostly image...

Well anyway - my parents talked me into displaying the rb at the local library.

The librarians told me it was a big hit - kids liked that they could turn the lights on & off & adults liked that it was made from junk around the house. (I was green before my time & didn't know it :) ) Got lots of positive comments & that's how I got hooked on minis :)

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I used to use plastic bins as rooms for my dolls...(like little plastic storage bins, they were pink and rectangular shaped)...I guess you can make something out of nothing!!!

I also found once (when I was younger) an advertisement in a paper for a dollhouse, I saved my money and had my mom send away for it...it was a HUGE cardboard house that you could color in and sit inside of it and close it up around you...it was great!!!

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My first dollhouse was my grandmothers book case. I had a wind-up Lil Abner piano with Daisy Mae and Lil Abner. He would play the piano and she would dance when you wound it up. This was in 1946. Daisy Mae was removable so she became my first dollhouse doll. I made them beds from wooden match boxes with the sliding covers my grandmother used all the time in the kitchen. Kleenex was used for bedding and curtains. It really bothered me that there were no stairs and even now I have to have stairs no matter what, in all my houses. I've seen that 1946 Lil Abner piano in an antique store for $200. It's fun to remember back so far and how long I've loved minis. :yes:

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Mike that is a cool trick with the mirror with the stairs!

I got to thinking back to all the miniatures I use to play with ( all homemade) and I am thinking I will make something for my kitchen shelf to remind me of my roots. haha All I am going to say is it may involve an oatmeal container.

Did you ever make little beds out of those old sliding match boxes? I wish I had some of this "stuff" now but of course who could have known the minibug would still be with you so many years on.

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Mike that is a cool trick with the mirror with the stairs!

I got to thinking back to all the miniatures I use to play with ( all homemade) and I am thinking I will make something for my kitchen shelf to remind me of my roots. haha All I am going to say is it may involve an oatmeal container.

Did you ever make little beds out of those old sliding match boxes? I wish I had some of this "stuff" now but of course who could have known the minibug would still be with you so many years on.

I think I did try the matchbox bed - but I "borrowed" that idea from a cartoon??

That would be a cute project (I can see it now) a hole in the wall, a mouse w/a nitecap & gown, empty spool of thread nite table w/RL birthday cake candle, matchbox bed w/blanket & pillow... :yes:

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You read my mind from all the way in RI? I was just hunting up a spool as you typed. I haven't seen a matchbox like those in ages. I was thinking making a mouse house because when I first moved in here I had some little fellows who had moved in while the house was empty. I had to get rid of them but then I started a mouse collection as a result. The cute kind that don't poop in your kitchen cupboards of course. I saw a really big elaborate one somewhere online but mine will be mouse sized.

Dang I let the cat out of the bag didn't I? lol

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Thats the truth! I hesitate to say what I might try to make next because someone will beat me to it for sure! lol Oh well its fun to share.

I picked Stan's brain on how to cut a hole in a teapot I have to make a mini scene in. He looks at me like I have lost my mind. lol I have but don't tell anyone. :yes:

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I was making cardboard houses for MY trolls and Barbies in the '90's. Glad to see that cardboard never goes out of style! Everytime we got a package or bought shoes, I would horde the box and add furniture to my very own "Dream Home." I even made a stable for my ponies! I think, nowadays, kids don't have that drive to be creative because of the barbie-opolis known as Mattel. It's sad. Some of my best memories of playing are with things that I made myself. Even now, I make stuff for our house because I think it gives off a better feel. :pcwhack: DH and I were just talking about getting a cardboard castle for the kiddos!

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My kids favorite toys were a store we carved out of a washing machine box and a play house we made out of some other appliance boxes. Both kids played in them for a long time. I never spent the big bucks on the Little Tykes stuff that was popular in the 80's. My kids had more fun with the boxes and creations we made together.

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i love that there are others here who had those troll dolls! i was always making them clothes LOL and as for dollhouses, never had one, didnt like dolls, but boy for some reason at least once a year as a kid i thought it was possible to make a playhouse, RL sized, from coloring book covers LOL of course i never had enough covers even if the concept did work, which of course it wouldnt!! LOL

i recently found this great little cardboard house kit at my local craft store for $5!! I think it would actually be 1/4 scale! i have not put it together yet though. made from a fun corrugated paper

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