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Greetings Newbie from North Carolina!


Courtds
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Hello everyone,

I'm Courtney and mother to two beautiful daughters ages 18 mo and 4 yrs. I am embarking on a rather exciting project. Restoring my old dollhouse from when I was a girl. I was a rough child and a tomboy and destroyed what took my father two months to build for me. Ripped off porch posts and railings, shingles, etc colored on the floor and wallpaper with crayons.. To see it now makes me very sad that I did not take better care of it. I am unsure who the maker is of the doll house, what model it is, etc, and will post pictures as soon as I am able in hopes to get some guidance. As previously stated there are parts missing and I would like to be guided to anywhere there would have parts to help rebuild it. Also, it has some mildew on it from being improperly stored under a house in a crawlspace, some of the midlew is on the unfinished floors (they never put carpet of flooring down) so I would like advice on how to clean that up. Also, any tricks to removing the old wallpaper? My dad says it was wallpaper left over from the house they lived in at the time (early 80's cheesy wallpaper). Hoping it will be a quick and painless restore as my little ones were excited when they saw me bring it into the house and are already eager to play with it.

Thanks for helping me out and being understanding!!

Courtney217876_10152106222625287_2084091911_n.jpg

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See the mildew on the floor and walls on the inside? Also, on the picture of the side, there was a wooden awning of sorts with accents over the door frame, I have no idea where to begin looking for stuff to replace that. I have found some porch posts and railings on some sites, but all suggestions are welcome!!!

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Hi Courtney! Welcome to the forum!

How neat that you still have your childhood dollhouse. That is an Artply Tennyson. I have built the Greenleaf version, there are only slight differences. You can make the awnings and other stuff with scrap pieces of wood.

I would clean the floors and walls with a bleachy solution, then prime everything with Kilz for the mildew. You can remove wallpaper with a mixture of vinegar and water, and a good bit of scraping.

Any other questions, feel free to ask! Have fun! :)

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Bluebear, thanks for the reply!

My mom saved EVERYTHING of mine, all my hand-smocked hand made dresses, favorite teddy bear, kindergarten artwork. It was neat to see them and pass some of them on to my girls. I am completely and utterly new to this much less woodwork! What kind of wood would you recommend? Balsa? Also in picture of the side you can see the little decorative support for the awning,any idea what that would be called and where to find it, as you see the one that is missing only has one support. :/ And I recall the porch posts having a similar little triangular decorative flat piece of trim as well. Just trying to get it back to being play worthy and hoping one day my daughters will pass it on to their daughters.

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Welcome to the little family, Courtney. You might want to invest in a sheet of 1/8" luan doorskin plywood to replace any walls, floors, etc; it cuts fairly easily with a new utility knife blade.. Do you know what sort of glue your dad used to build the house? It might be a lot easier to "unbuild" some sections to get at them for cleaning, etc. I'm a 70 year old granny who began building dollhouse kits 20 years ago with absolutely NO woodworking or other experience, so you're already ahead of the game starting as young as you are.

Check out http://www.dollhouseminiatures.com for replacement trims. I've found that 80-grit sandpaper makes pcceptable-looking scale shingles, and if you glue the sandpaper to manila construction paper before cutting it into shingle strips the thickness is more in scale, too.

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pretty sure Dad used plain wood glue. I have found similar square shingles at Hobby Lobby and only a few were missing so I bought a bag to replace those. What kind of glue is recommended before I get started. I assumed wood glue. I had saved some shingles when we roofed our house due to hail storm with the crafty idea to cut them into little squares and use it, but I think that would be faaaaaar more work and the thickness would be off scale. Thanks for the advice on the wood that something you can find at hardware/home improvement store?, prepare to be hammered with questions from me as I start this project.

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Hi and welcome Courtney! There are many places that sell building components for dollhouses. Just do a search for that. Look forward to pictures of your progress.

The talent on this site is incredible!!

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DH got me a sheet of 1/8" plywood at Lowe's; he cuts it down for me into manageable sizes on his table saw and I cut it into component parts on the bandsaw. I haven't been able to dissolve wood glue enough to soften it, but I have had excellent success GENTLY wiggling a utility knife blade into a join to work it loose; I wouldn't use it on trim, though, unless I was going to replace it; and I sand off any residual dried wood glue.

IMO this forum exists to answer any and all questions about the building of dollhouses and all the aspects of mini making.

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Hi, Courtney, and :welcome: to the forum! Since your girls are so young, you may want to rehab your old dollhouse in stages. For now, I'd remove the trim entirely, bleach the mold, remove the wallpaper, sand the rough spots smooth, paint it inside and out, and let them play with it.

When they're older, you can clean out the crayon marks and stickers that they'll put in it, add trim, and spruce it up with wallpaper, curtains, etc. Don't expect them to be any gentler with it than you were. If you don't put the porch bits and trim on, they won't be able to pull it off. :)

Mainly, you and the girls have fun with it!

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@KathieB, excellent advice to keep it simple until they can fully appreciate it. My oldest (4) is wanting some furniture though and I have seen the assembly kits for furniture...are these sturdy enough for play or should I buy the more sturdy furniture that are sold in some hobby stores? She has a few plastic pieces from one of her fisher price My Loving Family plastic houses, but she is getting upgraded since she took good care of that, and little sister (18mo) is now getting that one in her room.

@HavanaHolly, I too was unable to soften the sturdy heavy duty wood glue and was using a putty knife and hammer to pop some of the ripped and damaged trim...needless to say I am going to do a LOT of sanding as some of the wood stuck behind.

@ LPCullen, Denver, huh? I'm in Gastonia. :) *waves*

Thanks for all the advice thus far and the warm welcomes :)

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Welcome Courtney!

Sooooo cool to have your childhood dollhouse. And so much else. My Mom saved everything too, because I insisted! I have her dolls, my Grandma's and so much more. But no dollhouses :( I had one child, a boy who just turned 30. Now, I find myself raising a little girl and it is so much fun playing dollhouse with her.

The Greenleaf furniture kits are sturdy, cheap and easy. Something you can let the girls paint even.

I am very allergic to mold and swear by Kilz. You can't go wrong there. It can be tinted for free most places.

Welcome, good luck and have fun!

Morgan

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

Welcome Courtney! I'm a new member too and I live in Charlotte NC. No miniature stores here except Hobby Lobby and AC Moore that carries a few things. The dollhouse store (can't recall the name) moved to Albemarle before I started this hobby. It's really hard to find miniature stores. I shop a lot on line. Glad you are restoring your dollhouse and that you are a part of the group.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks guys, got some of the priming and painting done, looking for doors now. Anyone know what size/dimensions I need for the front door? It is wider than a one door opening. Looks like I need a double door of sorts. Am I correct in this?

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Welcome Courtney! I'm a new member too and I live in Charlotte NC. No miniature stores here except Hobby Lobby and AC Moore that carries a few things. The dollhouse store (can't recall the name) moved to Albemarle before I started this hobby. It's really hard to find miniature stores. I shop a lot on line. Glad you are restoring your dollhouse and that you are a part of the group.

Where at in Charlotte? I'm frequently in and out of Charlotte.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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