The “I’m a Giant!” Challenge

I’ve really been feeling the urge to just start decorating a whole new house from scratch. I love our home, but there’s something to be said for starting at the beginning again. So I’m going for it. A whole new house!

OK, a whole new dollhouse. Is it weird to be as excited as I am about this? Because I am very, very excited here.

Emily Henderson is putting together the biggest little challenge in blogland: The “I’m a Giant” challenge. Here are the bloggers participating:

…And you! We would love to see what everyone else out there can come up with. Oh man, Etsy. Prepare thyself for the onslaught of searches for dollhouse furniture.

“Eleanor is going to have a really awesome dollhouse someday.”

That’s what I said two years ago when Brandon gave me the miniature designer chairs that you see above. So I have a good start, but dollhouses are not furnished in chairs alone. I’ll be looking for miniature furniture, making things, bringing in lots of color and pattern, and decorating my heart out. I loved making shoebox dioramas and decorating my dollhouse when I was a kid, I loved creating models when I was studying architecture, and I’m going to love this challenge. I’m doing this for me, but also for Eleanor and August. I want to create something so magical for them that not only will they love it, they’ll also want to share it with their kids and tell them about how their mom made it.

I adore the way Emily describes the challenge.

It’s like a virtual Quilting Bee. Just a bunch of people crafting together and not making each other feel weird. Let’s not be ashamed of having a ‘hobby’. Let’s not be afraid to love the detail that goes into miniatures, the workmanship, the obsession. It’s a forgotten craft that we are going to give its due respect.

There are big plans to organize a show in LA of the finished houses, and we’d like to feature your projects there and on our blogs. So, do you want to get in on the fun? We’re going to start now and finish our houses by December 15. Of course we’ll all be sharing our progress as we go. I’m using a Walton dollhouse courtesy of Melissa and Doug for the challenge (and they’re offering 15% off with the code DH15 if you want to use one of theirs too). You could also make one, get your own, or maybe find a vintage house that needs some love. It doesn’t even have to be a traditional dollhouse, or even a room! Think art project. Think conceptual. Just think of something, because we want you to play along too. We want to spread some fun, see some creativity, and work on a big internet craft project. Together.

Obviously I’m in. Are you?

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  • Jessica
    September 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Oh, I think I may have to get that house and do my own little project!! What a fantastic project!

  • Melissa
    September 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I’m TOTALLY in. This is the perfect motivation for me to finally renovate the mushroom dollhouse we got as a hand-me-down from the neighbors right when Penelope was born.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      Mushroom house! So quirky — I love it.

  • Michelle
    September 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I have been meaning to do this for awhile and never got around to it! Did I misunderstand or will us non-bloggers be able to display our dollhouses in LA too?

    • Making it Lovely
      September 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      Yes! I don’t have details yet, but it’s something that Emily is working on.

  • Erin
    September 21, 2011 at 10:52 am

    No time for a project like this, but I am so looking forward to watching the process unfold! :D

  • Britt
    September 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

    What a fun project!! And those designer chairs are sooo cute! I am very interested to see what you designers are going to come up with. Have never seen a dollhouse designed by designers! And Etsy for dollhouse furniture, what an awesome idea! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!!

  • Caitlin
    September 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I have one that has been started (i.e. primed) but needs some love! Great motivation for me to finish by Dec. 15!!!

  • jbhat
    September 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

    This is reminding me that I need to get my old dollhouse from my parent’s house. And to get my hands on those chairs! So cute.


    • Making it Lovely
      September 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      Yes, play along!

      • jbhat
        September 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm

        I have been meaning to tell you that FLOR samples make really cute doll house rugs. : )


  • jodi
    September 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    super fun! i can hardly wait to see what you all come up with!

  • Benzie
    September 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Seriously -I am so excited about this. I decorated dollhouses in high school. You know, nights that I was supposed to be getting ready for prom and friday night socials? I was painting miniature shutters. You’re going to do a great job!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Ha, I love that. I think I was too busy writing bad poetry and making moody paintings.

  • Alice
    September 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    What a great idea! I can’t wait to see what you and the other bloggers come up with; I’ve always been completely captivated by miniatures. Whenever I visit Chicago and the Art Institute you can find me entranced by the Thorne miniature rooms. I can’t wait to have children and take them there some day.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm

      I love those miniature rooms. They’re amazing. That reminds me, I should go visit again for inspirationn, though those are SO ornate and detailed it’s a little intimidating.

  • elizabeth
    September 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    make sure you check out they have the most insane and awesome catalog. everything from tiny ranch dressing to a vintage trailer to a garbage can complete with garbage.

  • Samae
    September 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    A photographer friend just did this for her daughter. Check it out! Its fabulous.

  • Danielle
    September 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    My grandmother built a dollhouse for me when I was a little girl. Then my lovely cousin shot hockey pucks at it when I was a teen and destroyed it :-(. I used to spend so much time with my grandma making furnature for it and moving things around. We made a Tiffanys lamp shade out of puff paint and a ping pong ball once. Oh! And she use to collection small peddles at the park to glue onto the chimney. She even made the bedding and curtains. Memories….

  • katie
    September 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    oh my gosh! this is so cool. i just might have to join in on the fun! can’t wait to see what you come up with for your dollhouse :)

  • Ashlea Walter
    September 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    ooh, what great incentive to get working on Wren’s dollhouse. It’s been on my list for about two years too! We inherited an old dollhouse that belonged to her aunts and it needs a facelift. Christmas 2011, here we come!

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    September 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    This sounds so cool – I may have to join in on the fun! I adore your collection of Vitra chairs.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 12:59 am

      Go for it! And aren’t the chairs fun? They’re not by Vitra (those are always insanely expensive), but the detail is pretty impressive.

  • Kelsey
    September 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Tempting…I have had a custom (unfinished) dollhouse for about 12 years I can’t bring myself to get rid of because it has French doors, etc. Something tells me you’re going to be awesome at wallpapering;) where do you plan on putting it when you’re all done?

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 12:59 am

      I think it’s going to be in the basement playroom. Or maybe the library? That could be a good spot, now that I think about it…

  • Erika
    September 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Oooh, I think this would be so fun! I used to love diorama making and decorating for my dolls when I was kid too. I actually had several projects in grade school that consisted of miniature homes that I created and completely decorated. I was obsessive as a kid about these sort of things. I just wish I had someone to give it to when it’s finished. I don’t think my two year old son would really appreciate a doll house, unless a train or cars could be driven right through it. hee!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 1:00 am

      I know. I wonder if August will be interested in it, but I know Eleanor will. She already has a couple of dollhouse type toys, but they’re very simple and made of plastic.

  • Maura
    September 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Yeah!!!!! What an amazing idea. Waiting with baited breath to see what everyone come up with!

  • Lori
    September 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    What a fun idea! I’m in the middle of a house purchase and move, but I had to jump onto Craigslist to see what’s out there for houses…and found a few candidates! I also found a fun website for inspiration

  • Jennifer
    September 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I redid my childhood dollhouse a few years ago, lights, hardwood floor, and all. I think your house needs some Halloween pumpkins!

  • Linley
    September 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    That is totally rad! My mom and dad did some miniature dollhouse rooms before I was born. We always loved playing with this troll house she made and later found two super awesome rooms in the garage. I guess dollhouses were just the story of my childhood. Between fourth and fifth grade my best friend and her little sister and my little sister and I spent the entire summer building a 10 room dollhouse out of shoe boxes. We each had our own room and made wooden spoon people of ourselves. Wow, it was the best :) So yeah! I hope you inspire Eleanor to get as into it as I did!

  • sara
    September 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    i love the mini chairs. i want them all. too cute

  • Ally Bench
    September 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I LOVE this! My Great grandmother made entire dollhouses and dollhouse furniture out of tin cans, wood and fabric and other findings and the results were stunning! I can’t wait to see the results!

  • Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods
    September 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    That is AWESOME! I cannot wait to see this! I actually have been looking for minitures and the designer furniture you have is freaking amazing!

  • Heidi S.
    September 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Wow, I don’t know if I can make that deadline but it is pretty cool. I have those same chairs (which my 2 1/2 year old managed to get off of a high shelf and break just this past weekend).

    Nicole- Do you think you will let the kid play with it right away? I know that my dollhouse was fitted out with plastic furniture until I was about 6, then my parents got out the nice furniture. Mine also had an addition put on it by my dad and me when I was a little older.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 1:05 am

      There may be some supervised play, but no, this won’t just be out and accessible for a while. Eleanor has plastic Sesame Street and Olivia dollhouses that are more age-appropriate for right now.

  • Nuit
    September 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I love Emily for putting this together! what an amazing challenge and how exciting to see the results!!! cant way ( I am feeling way obsessed with yours already Nicole!) xo

  • liz @ bon temps beignet
    September 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    This is so fun! I thought for a second that you were planning on moving.

    I wish I lived near my parents so I could go snatch up my old dollhouse. My dad built a huge Victorian style one for my sister and me when we were very very little (much too little to really appreciate it). It would be so fun to redecorate it!

    Pictures here (3rd and 4th picture down):

  • Cinthya
    September 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Wow! I love your collection of little chairs. I can’t wait to see the end result.

  • Alba R
    September 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Oh my! Just two days ago I ended with an impulsive -without reason- internet search for dollhouses. I am really exited to see the results of this project.

  • Kim @ Yellow Brick Home
    September 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Ooh, did you go to the Vintage Bazaar this past weekend? They had a whole collection of mini chairs there, too! I even snapped a photo:

    Can’t wait to see what you do!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 1:06 am

      No, I couldn’t make it. Maybe they’ll have something at the next one?

  • margie
    September 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Oh I would love to join in sounds fun, what do we need to do to sign up? Kind Regards Margie (from Australia!!)

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 1:06 am

      Jump right in and get started! I think we’ll have more information on linking up and sharing the projects as we get a little further along.

  • Erin
    September 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Oh!!! This is such a fun idea! Brings back memories of decorating the dollhouse my grandfather built for me back in the day :) I also remember that my grandmother gave me a couple of her old designer fabric sample books, which were the *perfect* size for dollhouse carpets, curtains and upholstery. And that was waaaay before I had any taste in fabrics — I can’t imagine how fun it would be to get my hands on those upholstery books now!

    Can’t wait to see the challenge unfold — have fun!

  • Adventures In Babywearing
    September 22, 2011 at 6:50 am

    I’m so tempted to do this! Possibly because of that adorable furniture but also I always wanted one like this growing up. Can not WAIT to see how they all turn out!


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  • Rebecca
    September 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I will probably not make a dollhouse myself, but I certainly will like watching the process. Enjoy it!

  • Amanda
    September 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    OHH This is so fun Nicole! I’m so glad you’re participating in this because I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Now if only I had a child to give one to. Maybe in the future .. you know when I have time from studying for finals and finishing my degree. (yahhoo.)

    I will live vicariously through you until I get my chance at it. But I can just picture it .. hard wood floors, chandeliers, pretty wallpaper. Michael’s the craft store is going to love you! (& the rest of the gang that’s going to be in there looking for pretty papers and other supplies)

  • Jaime
    September 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I just found this blog and thought it was perfect for this project

  • Emily F.
    September 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    This is awesome! And perfect timing. I just brought my old dollhouse up to my house from my mom’s. I have plans of doig it up BIG for my (now only 4 months old) daughter but hadn’t decided when or where to start! I’m so anxious to see what you all do with yours so I can get some motivation to work on mine. I’d like to find ways to incorporate my old furnishings with some fun new stuff.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 1:11 am

      We’ll all be sharing as you go, so this is a good time for you to jump in and work on yours too. It will be fun! And then you can share your results at the end with everyone else.

  • patricia
    September 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I’ll be an excited bystander—but if I didn’t have so much on my plate right now… I’d be tempted, very tempted. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch these evolve. Those chairs alone are awesome!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 1:09 am

      Yours would be so good. Perhaps a small paper version? I actually had an idea to do one with paper, in layers of silhouette. It’s hard to explain, but in theory it would be amazing.

  • jenn
    September 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I hope I can find the time to participate in this. A while back I saw a totally cool dollhouse on pinterest that made me one to revive the one my great-grandfather built for me. My Mom still had it at her house and she got it out for me last month. She also found some vintage doll house furniture that is still in it’s packaging. I also remember having a barbie doll house that I used to decorate for the holidays. It was so much fun! I CANNOT wait to see what so many of you clever and talent ladies are going to do with this project!

    • Making it Lovely
      September 23, 2011 at 1:10 am

      Sounds like you’re all set — hopefully you can participate!

  • Matali
    September 23, 2011 at 10:53 am

    What a great idea!
    My daughter is now 18 months old, but I think in a year or so, once she is ready I would love to do it.

    I grew up in Poland, in 80s, which was gloomy time and I never fully had possibilities to make crafts projects. (There was almost nothing in stores, it was hard to get crayons. I remember clearly when I got a colorful chocolate wrap(!) from someone who went to some western country, it was a big a thing.) So I am really excited that I will be able to make it for my kids (and for myself, too)!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Elle
    September 24, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I so want to do this! We’ve seen a couple of dollhouses at auctions lately but have passed as they’ve been super junky and Baby Girl is, well, a baby. But knowing how long it takes me to complete projects, maybe I have an excuse to start now? When I was a kid I desperately wanted a dollhouse, and received a kit one Christmas, but no one helped me put it together and it sat, neglected, in the garage, for years. It may still be there. Sad!

  • eloise
    September 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    i just surfed in through Call of the Small and had to pipe in – i started renovating my childhood dollhouse about two years ago while unemployed & in school but haven’t really been keeping it up in the last 6 months or so since i started a full time job… this whole project is so inspiring and motivating me to participate! i can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.
    you can see my unfinished business here:
    and also here
    i actually have two houses going on in a manhattan apartment right now, and half of my limited closet space is dedicated to craft supplies :)
    i’m super excited that miniatures are getting such a cool spin, good luck and have fun!

  • Catherine at Design Editor
    September 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Ah! My twins just got an awesome dollhouse that I’m making big plans to decorate. I recently found this inspiration, blew my socks off:

  • Béa
    September 30, 2011 at 2:07 am

    tempting indeed!

  • Dorkys Ramos
    October 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Okay, this is by far the cutest challenge ever. I also went through the model-making days in architecture, but those were so much more nerve-racking than this.

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  • Chelan
    October 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I don’t know if you’re a member of Fab (online discount store specifically for design aficionados) but today they have some super cool modern dollhouse furniture from designers like Karim Rashid, Jasper Morrison and Cindy Sherman. If you need an invite you can use this link

    Good luck on the challenge!

  • Alisha Landreth
    October 8, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I love this. I keep seeing these things on interest and was wondering what it was all about. When my sister and I were little we would make our barbies homes, and decorate to the nines. Then sit the barbies in there, and decide to tear it down and re do it. We just loved decorating. We would use scrapbook paper for wall paper and art work. My dad actually took video of a house we made out of cardboard boxes from moving, it was huge and impressive I must say. I am so excited to see what you do with this. I may have to just try this sometime! I’m sure my husband would appreciate me not wanting to always paint if I had an outlet besides sims.

  • MyRealitty
    October 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    It is October 11th do you have an update? Too exciting! CM

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  • Tracy Lynn Deis
    February 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I am very interested. I am just not sure if I will be done by December. Please friend me on FB! I would love to try, but this thing is ginormous. Here check it out.

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