The International Dolls House Modern Bungalow

One of the most thoughtful gifts I received at Christmas was from Peter’s dad. He precut all the pieces, ordered the window starts, and gave me the plans to build a mid-century bungalow dollhouse from a wonderful book Peter’s mom has, The International Dolls House Book.


Right now it doesn’t look like too much really, a stack of wood, some windows, trims, and random tiny things like doorknobs and hinges. This is a true barnraising from scratch. First I’ll have to build and assemble it, then paint and decorate it. There are some plans in the book to make furniture too, I may actually play with that, we’ll see how long the structure takes.


And all this will be with Emma’s help of course, she’s like the dollhouse fairy when it comes to the world of teeny tiny things. She has already said I should paint the tiny cuckoo clock I bought for it a bright green, like the one I did for holiday).
My sister-in-law Jen got the pieces for the Gypsy Caravan, so we rewatched some Carnivale over the holidays, purely for research. I love that series.

I’ve created a new category for Dollhouse here on the blog so you can follow the progress. Once I move into the basement and claim it as my studio, I’ll have room to work on this and spread out a little, so I’ll be posting some progress regularly. So excited!
Thank you to Rhythm of the Home for featuring some of Emma and Ian’s handmade Christmas gifts this year.
I am way behind on answering emails, if you are waiting on an answer from me, don’t worry, it’s coming!
Happy Monday!

  • jess

    January 31, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Carnivale is the best! I was so sad when it ended.
    What a cool book, I would love to build a doll house like that!

  • Erin | house on hill road

    January 31, 2011 at 6:17 am

    oh, blair, that is an awesome gift! i can’t wait to see it come together.

  • Seanna Lea

    January 31, 2011 at 6:42 am

    That is very cool. I don’t think I’ve ever even had a doll house (We traveled a lot growing up), but I love miniature things!

  • Lara

    January 31, 2011 at 7:03 am

    What a fantastic gift!! Can’t wait to see the progress

  • Anamaria

    January 31, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I have this book! I wonder how hard it was to cut up all those pieces of wood…probably pretty hard. WIll watch your progress excitedly!

  • Nicole

    January 31, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Fun project! It will be neat to see it come together too.

  • Heather

    January 31, 2011 at 7:36 am

    What an amazing gift. I am eager to see it all come together. I received a dollhouse as a girl, but never put it together. I recently gave it to my sister for my nieces. You are inspiring me to revisit the venture.

  • Wendy Rau

    January 31, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Thank you for showing this book. I have had the urge lately to build a dollhouse, but wanted something not so traditional. I just ordered one of these and I can’t wait to get it. I think this is exactly what I’m looking for. Can’t wait to see the progress on yours.

  • Sarah Jackson

    January 31, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Seriously? You are killing me here. We have a huge old dollhouse that we’re going to start refurbishing once we move. Note to self – pack that baby very carefully.
    And that book may have landed in my Amazon cart.

  • amelia studio

    January 31, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Oh my — that is going to be an awesome dollhouse! I have to keep restraining myself when I see these dollhouses. My girls just aren’t ready for that kind of thing. (But I am!) We’re sticking with their old Fisher Price house until they are less smashy. I can’t wait to see how yours comes along.

  • Leila

    January 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

    That is WAY too wonderful! I’m going to have to go hunt for that book now because it looks like the greatest thing I’ve ever heard of. Thanks for sharing!

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Wasn’t there a huge backlash when Carnivale ended? If there wasn’t there should have been, its one of the few series I feel the need to *own*.

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Isn’t it? It was so sweet, I am anxious to get started.

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Seanna I didn’t have a dollhouse as a kid either. But its probably even more fun that I can have one now : D

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Thanks Lara!

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Thank you Anamaria. I imagine it couldn’t have been super simple to measure and cut all those pieces, which made it all the more sweeter he did that for me.

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Thanks Nicole!

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Little tiny things are just too fascinating to only be able to play with them as a kid, maybe you should get an adult doll house and you and your nieces can have fun decorating them together.

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

    The book is fabulous Wendy. There is a Spanish Hacienda, a Swiss Chalet, I was squealing all through the pages.

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:15 am

    That book is such a deal, I do hope it landed in your cart. Just think! Teeny tiny quilts!!! EEEKKKK!

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I agree, I restrained myself when Emma and Ian were smaller. Emma is 12 now, and I think we’re going to have so much fun working on this together, she’s a great age to help me out with it.

  • blair/wisecraft

    January 31, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Thank you Leila. It’s a great book, I highly recommend it!

  • Cheryl Arkison

    January 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Seriously awesome. I’m so jealous, my kids are not in to anything like this at all. But I am!

  • Erica

    January 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I just found your blog through knittingiris’s sidebar, what a beautiful space you’ve created! 🙂

  • Andrea Kidssweet

    January 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    My gosh, what a terrific gift. I had a great Creative Playthings dollhouse that was very 60s/70s. It was awesome. My daughter used it too. It’s waiting in the attic for a granddaughter in 20 years. This too will be one to pass down… if you can ever part with it.

  • Rachel

    January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Oh my gosh, I was OBSESSED with that book when I was a kid. The public library had it, and I took it out all the time. I had completely forgotten about it, but instantly recognized the cover and the gypsy caravan. I made teeny accessories for my Fisher Price and Megablocks (oh, 1991!) doll houses, but always wanted a reeeeaal wooden one. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

  • Laura Dodson

    January 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    whoa. what an incredible father in law you have…obviously creative himself to take the time to cut all the pieces for you and you sil. totally impressed. the house if fully awesome but i must admit that gypsy cart is amazing! what a gift of love!

  • Heather

    February 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    There’s a Decorator in Your Dollhouse by Melanie Kahane is an awesome 60s book on making dollhouse furniture, rugs and curtains. I love it! I’m totally jealous of your project, too!

  • blair/wisecraft

    February 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I’m totally into making some of the furniture for this house, so I am going to check it out, thank you!

  • mari

    February 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    have you and jenn read the didakoi by rumer godden? you/she must if she is getting that caravan!! actually rumer godden has a few books about dollhouses – this one that i always loved was: Miss Happiness and Miss Flower. In the end they get a japanese house.
    way cool book.

  • marsha

    February 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    just found your blog. love the diy and crafts with your kids. this dollhouse is so cool. i will be following along to see it come to life.

Follow Wise Craft Handmade