Dollhouse 9 – Cookin’ in the Kitchen

The next area to work on was the kitchen/dining room. This room was a challenge. For some reason, I had trouble deciding exactly what to do. I knew the floor and wallpaper had to go. But what about the wainscotting. Do I keep all of it? Some of it? None of it?

As you can see, I decided to start completely anew. I kept the wood floor to match the hallway and the living room. All the wallpaper, wainscotting, and heavy window trim went out the window. Ha ha. Which one? Why that big window right in front.

I also removed the double doors and heavy trim in the back of the room. I was in my Flip or Flop mode and decided to leave the doorway open to the other areas. It’s better flow, as Christina would say.

Dollhouse kitchen/dining room in the original dollhouse.
5/10/2020
Dollhouse kitchen/dining room with flooring and wall paper removed.
10/5/2021
Dollhouse Kitchen/dining room with painted walls and dark wood flooring.
1/23/2022

The original dollhouse had kitchen pieces in it, such as a dry sink. But it didn’t have the standard kitchen features such as sink, stove, cabinets and refrigerator. Since I was modernizing the dollhouse, I decided these things were necessary.

Next, I had to figure out how to go about giving the kitchen these features. Even though I could, I didn’t want to just buy something. This was another struggle. I watched many Youtube videos. Here’s the progression of my efforts:

Dollhouse L shaped kitchen cabinet with sink cutout.

This was my first attempt. I used foam board and an old peel and stick vinyl tile. I posted it on Facebook asking for suggestions. People suggested I watch some Youtube videos. Lol.

Here’s my next rendition. I used foam board again with contact paper for the counter.

Design on Paper
Cutting the Foam Board Squares
Cabinet Build
Dollhouse kitchen counter made out of foam board and contact paper.
Getting there

Even though my second effort was an improvement, I was far from happy with it. For one thing, I had figured so carefully to center the window under the sink, but it was always off. I guess I didn’t take into account, or take into account enough, the thickness of the walls. I also didn’t figure the depth of the vertical walls correctly to allow for the cabinet doors.

The other issue I had was with the foam board. Yes, it’s cheap and fairly easy to work with, but I decided it didn’t fit in with the rest of the dollhouse. Everything else (except the base of the new steps in the library) is wood. It’s all wood – from plywood – to basswood – to Popsicle crafts sticks – to toothpicks.

If I had built the whole house out of foam board, it would be fine. It would be congruent. But the house isn’t built of foam board. I decided the kitchen counter and applicances needed to be made of wood. Back to Youtube.

There I learned of a miniaturist who has a number of Youtube videos as well as published books. Feeling empowered, I ordered the book as well as a package of basswood.

Once I got the book, I dove in. But I got stuck on the very first step. I didn’t know what the exact measurements were and more importantly, I didn’t understand how to put the trim and the other pieces together. I also realized I had ordered just one type of wood, but there are various thicknesses used in various ways.

I gave up on the book and decided I would just use the wood I had bought. I wasn’t willing to make more purchases. I would follow what I did when I made the second foam rendition except I would use the basswood I had bought.

So, here’s how it turned out before adding the finishing touches.

Dollhouse kitchen sink and stove unit made from basswood.
Dollhouse Kitchen Sink and Stove
Please notice the pie in the oven.

The only issue is the cabinet doors do not open. I tried and tried. I took apart a ring box and used its hinge. I tried making my own hinges. I tried things I am too embarrassed to tell you I tried.

As a miniaturist, it kind of drives me bonkers if the doors do not open. Late one night, I even broke down and tried ordering a whole wooden kitchen set from Wish for $44. For some reason, it wouldn’t take my credit card even though I tried multiple times. My credit card is just fine, so maybe the website was having issues.

In any case, I didn’t order the kitchen set. The universe stopped me. I knew hinges would never work because the basswood I used wasn’t thick enough. So, I had to just accept it and glue the doors on. Some people, like Dan, don’t understand why this is an issue. However, I felt a little better about it all when a blogger I follow (who is an accomplished miniaturist) had a post showing a kitchen she had made. First, it was from a kit, and second, the doors didn’t open.

Next, I knew I wanted a really nice back splash for the kitchen. I was inspired by Suzassippi’s newly remodeled kitchen. I used leftover vinyl peel and stick tile which I had used in our home and in our travel trailer. I used my paper cutter to cut it crosswise into narrow strips which I then staggered and laid horizontally. I glued these strips to a piece of poster board cut to size. Then I attached this poster board to the back of the kitchen sink/stove unit. I was pleased with how it turned out.

Paper cutter with vinyl peel and stick tile being cut.
Making the Back Splash
Dollhouse kitchen sink and stove unit with back splash.
Kitchen Sink and Stove with Back Splash
I still need to install a faucet.

Once I put the assembled piece in the kitchen, I felt there was not enough contrast. So, again inspired by Suzassippi, I painted an accent wall. I used leftover paint and tinted the color a bit. It’s possible I would change the color in the future.

Dollhouse kitchen sink/stove unit before painting accent wall
Dollhouse kitchen sink/stove unit with painted accent wall behind it.

I also decided to change the orientation of the kitchen build. I had planned to center the sink under the back window, and my unit did work out that I could do that. However, when it was all done, it just looked better on the back wall. Plus, the pie in the oven can be seen this way.

Before I do any more work on the dollhouse, I want to reorganize my work area in the basement. Have you ever gotten to that point? I need to clean up my work area, organize everything, before I can go forward and not have to look all over for every little thing I need.

Here is what the dollhouse looks like now:

Renovated dollhouse with updated kitchen.
2/17/2022

Once I’ve reorganized my work area, I’ll continue work on the dollhouse. The list of what’s left to do is getting shorter: some trim work, lighting, furnishings and the bathroom in the attic. I’ll make a refrigerator for the kitchen. And I’ll make a faucet for the kitchen sink. The bathroom in the attic will not happen until next Fall.

I’ll work on the other tasks as time allows when we are home between travel trailer trips.

33 comments

  1. I love your dollhouse. As a child, I collected tiny things- animals and home furnishings. I never knew what to do with them and eventually – I have no idea when or where – they were lost to me. A dollhouse would have been perfect! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am not this talented, but wouldn’t it be fun if someone made a miniature replica of the home you are building? I’ve also thought of a making miniature replica of our travel trailer. But just redoing this dollhouse has been a challenge for me! Once I get it “finished”, I plan to move on to other projects; although, I could come back to miniatures sometime down the road. Thanks for your comment, and enjoy your day!

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    • My husband suggested the pie in the oven. I used a bottle cap, hot glue, a cut up rubber band, a touch of paint, and salt for sparkles. I appreciate your kind words, and I hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Absolutely fantastic! Your attention to detail is so remarkable. I believe the kitchen unit is remarkable. The backsplash adds the finishing touch. The accent wall also helps to highlight the kitchen unit. One question, can I have a piece of pie when it is done? LOL. Keep up the good work. The dollhouse has come a long way and it is truly a work of art. Now, I have to go and clean up my work area. Thanks for the reminder. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! You bet you can have a piece of the pie. I do make a homemade apple pie which I think is why Dan thought of suggesting the pie in the oven. The one I make is really good if I do say so myself, but you’d have to get it in St. Charles. What time will you and Barb be here? Hope you have a great weekend, too!

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  3. I like your accent wall and the tile backsplash! The pie is a great addition. I have to say you have some perseverance to keep on working on those cabinets! It is going to be interesting to figure out “how does Betty build a faucet?” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your beautiful back splash in your new kitchen was the inspiration of the dollhouse back splash. Dan suggested the pie. 🙂 I felt like giving up a number of times and just buying something. I kept thinking I don’t have the skills, tools, knowledge or talent to build this. I also thought, I don’t think I need to learn perseverance at my age. But, I kept at it and in the end, it turned out okay. Knowing I was going to blog about it definitely played a role. 🙂 I am going to look on Youtube about how to build a faucet. It won’t really work, so that’ll make it easier!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I was satisfied with out the kitchen cabinets turned out. The pie is good as long as one doesn’t look too closely – and one can’t look too closely anyway as the pie is forever (or at least for a long time) sealed in the oven. The faucet shouldn’t be too bad. I am going to research Youtube. Thanks for your comment, and have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Betty, I am most impressed with your creativity and enginuity. I would have just bought kitchen appliances. My sister is coming over next weekend and ironically the kitchen is one of the rooms she needs to figure out for the dollhouse we are building together. She also does not want to buy but plans to build. Look for a future post on this sometime in the spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. My last post about the dollhouse was 3 1/2 months ago. So, this process was spread out over that time. If I wasn’t happy with the result or if I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go, I kept thinking. A dollhouse may be like a house – it’s never all the way done. There may always be some tweaks I want to make, but I do want to get it to a “finished” point. I think seeing the lighting will encourage me to finish out all the little finer points, like the trim. Thanks for you comment, and have a great week ahead!

      Like

    • Thank you, Gary. I would say my parents taught me if I start something, I need to finish it. Plus, I knew some of my readers were following my progress. 🙂 Hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

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