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Hi everyone!

I’m new here, and just browsing the forums for the last hour has provided me with a ton of useful, creative ideas!

I’m looking for suggestions for the best dolls/dollhouse furniture designed for play. Preferably nothing too expensive, too breakable, or too much of a choking hazard (I know there are tiny parts, it’s a dollhouse after all— but relatively speaking!) I have three preschool-age kids, and I’ve almost finished the RGT Vermont Farmhouse Jr. As my first attempt, it isn’t even close to perfect and I don’t expect it to stay that way with lots of playtime — and that’s ok. I liked that the MDF felt durable and harder to flip/break. I’ll post photos of the house as soon as I finish the shingles, but what doll/furniture suggestions do you have?

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Anything by Melissa and Doug.  If your children are preschoolers you might rethink shingles for now, as they can break off and go into curious little mouths, noses & ears.  I wouldn't attach doors or install windows, either, until they are older, as little ones like to put their hands through the openings to move their little "people" around.

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Oh, those are good points! Thank you!! I’m glad you mentioned the doors and windows being “in the way” of little hands — I can definitely see that. We have lots of Melissa and Doug puzzles, dress up clothes and sets, coloring books/supplies, cars, play food, and a train set. Not sure why I never looked to see if they have dolls too! That should have been obvious to me, haha.

I’ve started on this dollhouse adventure because I found a box kit for cheap and thought it seemed like a fun project and something I always wanted as a little girl — but my daughter is not even crawling yet. It’s our two preschool boys who want to play with the dollhouse now! And when we went to Hobby Lobby to check out the prices for furniture sets there (which I thought looked a little too fragile for us at this time), they went bananas for the red barn kit at the store. I’ve got to see if I can find a cheap one to build so they can have their own house too. :-)

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Other options for furniture might include Pottery Barn Kids (they have a starter set that is pretty basic and chunky, but might work well for small hands) or your local Dollar Tree store, which sells unfinished miniature furniture for $1.00/item (examples here).  It's pretty easy to paint with craft paint.

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The Pottery Barn Kids set reminds me of Calico Critters, which I also like for its chunkiness. :-) I had no idea the Dollar Tree had furniture! That is awesome! Thanks for the suggestions!!

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There's no reason why your boys can't have a dollhouse of their own.  When they're older, if they haven't "outgrown" it they can take on some of the rehabbing (with windows, doors, shingles, window boxes, etc.)

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I was looking for posable dolls for my 4-year-old grand-daughter to play with in the 1/12 dollhouse I finished. I found that the Mellissa and Doug ones were the best for her. They are not super realistic - wooden balls for heads and huge flat feet that allows them to stand up without other support. But the joints all bend enough that they can sit down. She loves them. BUT - we had to get the older version that are discontinued. Their new style are very block-like and not at all good looking no matter how bendable they might be. They also have some more realistic ones - but from what I hear, they are not as flexible.

On another topic, I found a toy horse stable with several stalls from Melissa and Doug at a thrift store. It is very sturdy and all wood. I snapped it up for a few dollars. There were no horses with it, but plastic animals of the right size shouldn't be too hard to find. That might be a good idea for your boys. You might even be able to find a pre-loved one.

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11 hours ago, EarlyMom said:

Oh, those are good points! Thank you!! I’m glad you mentioned the doors and windows being “in the way” of little hands — I can definitely see that. We have lots of Melissa and Doug puzzles, dress up clothes and sets, coloring books/supplies, cars, play food, and a train set. Not sure why I never looked to see if they have dolls too! That should have been obvious to me, haha.

I’ve started on this dollhouse adventure because I found a box kit for cheap and thought it seemed like a fun project and something I always wanted as a little girl — but my daughter is not even crawling yet. It’s our two preschool boys who want to play with the dollhouse now! And when we went to Hobby Lobby to check out the prices for furniture sets there (which I thought looked a little too fragile for us at this time), they went bananas for the red barn kit at the store. I’ve got to see if I can find a cheap one to build so they can have their own house too. :-)

I second the Melissa and Doug furniture. Sturdy and well made. I don't know what your budget is, but that barn is so cute and remember that you can use a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby. That's how I got my mom's Orchid.

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If you search on eBay you can find old Butterick and Mcalls patterns for making your own cloth dolls and furniture! I think they look so charming. 
 

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These are some furniture pieces I made probably 20+ years ago from one of the McCall's patterns. They are floppy because they are missing the cardboard inserts that hold them up. 

 

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My copy seems to have moved on, but Better Homes and Gardens published a couple of doll making books, Country Dolls and Cherished Dolls to Make for Fun; and one of them had patterns for an entire 1:12 scale soft doll family; I made a set for our first granddaughter's first dollhouse.

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1 hour ago, Debsrand56 said:

In case you are interested:   https://www.amazon.com/McCalls-Pattern-7192-Dollhouse-Clothes/dp/B003R6T5UK

https://www.etsy.com/ie/listing/570344102/1979-mccalls-6889-two-story-doll-house  I'm pretty sure this is the pattern that Lisa @FurMama used, but she can confirm.

 

 

Yes, that is the one. I had posted a pic of the pattern too along with the furniture but it was so dark that I removed it. 

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I’m impressed by the handmade/sewn furniture! I would love to try that at some point. True story— this morning, I opened the sewing machine my mother-in-law bought me for Christmas a decade ago. I hemmed one curtain panel. It took me an HOUR. :-) Oh well, something to work towards!

 

I’m taking the advice about the Melissa & Doug dolls — we’ve liked their toys in the past, and I like the dolls in particular that LeeB posted about. I see the blocky/bendy new dolls you mentioned too! Interesting design choice ... I’m also looking at Ryan’s Room since their dolls appear to be similar to M&D’s. — Thanks!

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