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Project by stefang posted 09-02-2013 05:48 PM 3506 views 9 times favorited 59 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A DOLLHOUSE FOR MY GRANDAUGHTER No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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This is a project I made as a Christmas present for my granddaughter Synnøve 14 years ago. She was 5 years old at the time. After she grew out of it she loaned it to a girlfriends little sister. A very cute little Chinese girl that had been adopted as an infant by her girlfriend’s parents. Well, that little girl has also grown out of the dollhouse and she has returned it to my granddaughter. We were at my Son’s house celebrating his 46th birthday yesterday and it was sitting in the hall there. I was surprised to see how good a condition it was in. There were some broken furniture pieces, but that was about it. Amazing after 14 years of play. I was pretty inexperienced in woodworking at the time, but I thought it would be worth posting anyway just for fun, so I took it home to photograph it.

I got the plans for this house from my son was doing some advertising for a local house builder at the time and he got me their catalog which also had scale drawings of the floor plan. So it is based on a real house.

We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve here in Norway and that’s when we exchange presents. I had been working like a madman for a couple of weeks before Christmas to get the dollhouse ready. I worked until 3.30AM the day before. I had finished most of it, but I wound up having to deliver it with a few unfinished details, so I had to take it back home to finish it up, but at least Synnøve knew it would be back finished very soon. She was pretty happy with it.

Here’s a shot of the back showing the interior.

We were able to find some dollhouse furniture, mostly cheap plastic, but the best we could find at the time. I also made a few pieces like the kitchen table and chairs and the bench next to the stove. I also made a sofa and easy chairs, but those have disappeared. My wife made some draperies, etc.

I tried to make the interior inviting, but I didn’t do a very good job of it. Maybe I will get a chance to do that now in case Synnøve has a daughter to inherit it. The most tedious parts were the stairway and some double glass doors (in the bottom level). I did manage to turn the newel posts on the stairs, but the glass doors got pretty botched up with glue and I installed them after everything else was already put together. I could hardly get my hands in there. I also made panel doors throughout.

Here’s a few more pics with some details and the outside from different angles.

Thanks for having a look and I hope you liked it. If you make a dollhouse for one of your loved ones it could be a good idea to make it smaller and lighter. This one is almost a yard (meter) long and it is heavy and takes a lot of space. I can also imagine that it is a bit cramped with too many rooms inside (although I haven’t had any complaints to that effect). It could have also been nice to have it lighted with LED lights and have it mounted to a turntable.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

59 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 09-02-2013 05:57 PM

For Goodness sakes, Mike. This is absolutely beautiful and no doubt is becoming a cherished family heirloom by now. It is wonderful and I can’t imagine the face of your granddaughter when she first saw it. Way to go Granddad.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3916 days

#2 posted 09-02-2013 06:14 PM

A beautiful and intricate project. Little girls will enjoy this generation after generation.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 2072 days

#3 posted 09-02-2013 06:19 PM


I see countless hours of lovingly executed work. This was no small undertaking, and the love and care are evident.

Very well done!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3544 days

#4 posted 09-02-2013 06:36 PM

you sure di good on this grandpa

now that you have it back
might want to make a couple of recliners
for you and grandma

you know how us old folks get smaller as we age

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View GrandpaLen's profile


1651 posts in 2476 days

#5 posted 09-02-2013 06:37 PM

What a Wonderful gift and it has quite a heart warming History.

Now THAT’s heirloom Woodworking at it’s best.

Best Regards. – Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View stefang's profile


16144 posts in 3538 days

#6 posted 09-02-2013 06:44 PM

Thanks Charles, Mark, Buckethead, David and Len. Model making is fun and I can think it could easily become an obsessive hobby. I also made a lot of boys toys for my grandsons, but most of them aren’t around anymore as far as I know. I guess the girls are easier on their stuff.

David Wouldn’t it be nice if our recliners shrunk with us? Maybe a new product idea.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3781 days

#7 posted 09-02-2013 06:56 PM

Wow Mike that’s a outstanding doll house it has tons of great details,fantastic job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View hoss12992's profile


4092 posts in 2096 days

#8 posted 09-02-2013 07:12 PM

Mike, This is amazing! The craftsmanship is 2nd to none. LOVE the design and all the detail that you incorporated. This should def be in a museum! Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21743 posts in 3309 days

#9 posted 09-02-2013 07:23 PM

WOW, Mike, that is a beautiful doll house. It does not even looked used. Both girls must have been meticulous house keepers! I agree with Hoss.Iit should be a museum piece. It is outstanding and so professional.
You are such a detailed person to create that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View stefang's profile


16144 posts in 3538 days

#10 posted 09-02-2013 07:37 PM

Thanks Jim, Hoss and Jim. I do like detailed work, but it is a lot more fun when there’s not a Christmas deadline!.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4251 posts in 3368 days

#11 posted 09-02-2013 07:54 PM

Gad zooks, Mike, fabulous. Be sure to put your name and the date it was finished some place. Also might be nice to have a place for users to put their names…....

This should bounce along for the generations…...........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


16144 posts in 3538 days

#12 posted 09-02-2013 08:04 PM

Thanks Jim. Signings might be a good idea for future generations.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3544 days

#13 posted 09-02-2013 08:10 PM

some kind of modular recliner
where we can keep taking of the big parts
till we are just laying down
with a log under our neck
like those japanese pillows

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


16144 posts in 3538 days

#14 posted 09-02-2013 08:16 PM

Yes, a log as a pillow. Now we just need the axe, or should I say Samurai sword?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View doubleDD's profile


7896 posts in 2247 days

#15 posted 09-02-2013 09:36 PM

Wow, beautiful detailed work Mike. I thinks thats great and it is still being passed around. I agree with Jim about putting your name on it. How about above the door somewhere like a real home?

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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