Building a dollhouse doesn’t have to be an expensive project. There is a whole range of dollhouse miniatures on the market ranging from custom built dollhouses and dollhouse kits to high-end, solid wood hand-carved miniature dollhouse furniture (such as Hansson Miniatures) to lesser expensive, value-priced dollhouse miniatures.
The first place to start when building your dollhouse is to decide how much you want to spend. Is your goal to build a premiere dollhouse to showcase in your living room, or is it a project you wish to share with your child? For the crafter-at-heart, this may be a one-time project for fun you would like to build for yourself or give as a gift to a friend or family member.
Since this article is geared towards the budget-conscious miniaturist, here are some tips we’ve picked up on how to save money building and furnishing your dollhouse.
Start Simple – Build your dollhouse as your budget allows. Your project could take a few days or it could take years. It’s up to you to decide how much money you want to devote to your new hobby. Set a weekly or monthly budget for yourself and treat yourself to miniature building supplies or dollhouse furniture and accessories of your choice accordingly.
Build using a Dollhouse Kit – Some experienced miniaturists opt to build their dollhouses from scratch, using custom dollhouse plans. However, these custom-built homes can be very pricey. Try building your dollhouse using one of the many dollhouse kits available which includes all of the pre-cut pieces ready for assembly. If it’s your first dollhouse, you may want to begin with a room box kit which contains just a single room for you to design and build. As you gain confidence in your dollhouse building skills, you can always move to the larger project of building a dollhouse from a kit.
Use Paint and Stain – If you are on a budget, consider painting your walls and staining your floors. This will save quite a bit of money. You can always go back and install floors and wallpaper room-by-room later on as your budget allows. This will at least give you a semi-finished look as a beginning step.
Buy Value-Priced Furnishings – Purchase value-priced dollhouse furniture for your dollhouse project. There are many great pieces available from makers such as Town Square Miniatures or Handley Classics. Depending upon the piece of furniture, you can expect to spend an average of $5.00 – $20.00 per piece for value-priced miniature furniture. Typically, the higher the price the more detail and quality the piece will feature.
You can also purchase your miniature furniture in packaged room group kits. For example, a kitchen room group might contain a refrigerator, stove/oven, sink and kitchenette table set. Purchasing miniatures this way can often save lots of money in the long run. You can also opt to make your own furniture from scratch or by purchasing a ready-to-assemble furniture kit. You also always have the option of redecorating your dollhouse to more expensive furnishings as your budget allows.
Do the Research – Before you begin your dollhouse project, we suggest you thoroughly research the project. There are many websites and books devoted to the topic of building a dollhouse. Ensuring you have all of the supplies and tools necessary will help make your project a success!