The Mad Dash Toward the Finish Line

I’ve spent all weekend dollhousing. My father-in-law has been instrumental, further cementing himself as perhaps Eleanor’s favorite person. While I painted and wallpapered walls, he built the foundation. Then he picked up the pieces to build the frame (my mother-in-law assisted in the building process too), while I moved on to painting windows and furniture, and making bedding.

* My site was down all day yesterday, so the first half of this post was originally set to go up Monday morning.

I’ve made a lot of progress in just one day, thanks to my in-laws (for assembling), and Brandon (for watching the kids so I could work)! It will not be completely finished by the deadline of December 15, but it’s getting closer.

Here’s a little peek at what the dollhouse is looking like now.

Still to do:

  • build and attach the dormers
  • paint the exterior
  • add shingles to the roof
  • build the front porch
  • paint/stain the stairs and railings
  • glue the ribbon runner to the stairs
  • flooring for all rooms
  • trim out the windows and doors
  • add baseboards and crown molding
  • sew curtains
  • finish sewing all of the bedding
  • make/find a dining table
  • make/find a desk (if including an office)
  • determine which room is which (I made some last minute switches)
  • make/find end tables and nightstands
  • lighting for all rooms (battery powered or just decorative)
  • make art for all rooms
  • build counters and countertops for kitchen
  • assemble the farmhouse kitchen sink
  • sew a sink skirt
  • add a fireplace
  • arrange and decorate all the rooms
  • paint the exposed edges
  • touch ups

No, there’s no way to do all of that by tomorrow (so that I can photograph it to show you on Thursday). I’m not just working on this for the challenge though; This is going to be Eleanor’s dollhouse. She’s only two, a bit young for the dollhouse, so there’s still plenty of time to finish it for her.

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  • mari
    December 13, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Looks fabulous!! Way too much fun! I ran across these tiny potted airplants while shopping for some more for me. Wouldn’t these be adorable in the living room or flanking the front door??

    • Danielle
      December 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm


  • Kathryn Humphreys
    December 13, 2011 at 9:16 am

    And look, you’ve decorated a whole house for someone. That’s totally what you meant on your list, right :) Looks fabulous, Emmeth would love that still at 9.

  • Naomi A.
    December 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Wow. This is seriously impressive! She’s gonna be absolutely thrilled. Hey, I would be thrilled to get a dollhouse of this magnitude!

  • Sarah
    December 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

    That’s pretty much what my to-do list looks like for my real house!

    New floors the week after Christmas! Can’t wait to have my house back to normal again.

    And then go have a baby and bring back chaos to reign.

    • Making it Lovely
      December 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Babies are the best kind of chaos though.

  • tee
    December 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Love the tiny dollhouse in the kid’s room :)

  • NicoleD
    December 13, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Amazing work, Nicole! I am so impressed. P.S. I want to live in that doll house.

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    December 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

    This dollhouse challenge brings me back so much. I always wanted a dollhouse when I was a little girl, and I imagine I would have decorated it exactly how you have. So cute!

  • Katrina
    December 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I’m so looking forward to seeing the finished dollhouse! Yours is going to be so amazing :)

  • Melissa
    December 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Amazing! I heart dollhouses….can’t wait to see more! it looks SO good…so far :) Great job!

  • Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods
    December 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Nicole this is AMAZING! I was digging your twitter pix of what you were up to! I am in love! Great job!

  • Molly the Waffler
    December 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    This is something Eleanor is going to treasure for a long, long time.

  • Christina
    December 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Unbelievable progress for one day, great job. I have a dollhouse inside my dollhouse too!

  • Carrie
    December 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Look at your progress! I’m starting to think I won’t even have a room done in time for the deadline. Sigh. Good thing our daughter’s will love their dollhouses whenever they get them! (And, yes, to be savored and enjoyed for years!)

  • Shannon
    December 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Oh-oh-oh!!! Do the lights that light up!! I knew a girl who had a beautiful HUGE dollhouse, fully furnished, and the lights lit up….and it was the coooooolest thing ever. I was never allowed to actually TOUCH the dollhouse (she was much older than I was, and very protective, and the only daughter), but I was always so in awe of that dollhouse, and its “real” lights.

  • Diana @ Boy + Girl
    December 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Wow! The doll house is looking great! I can’t wait to see close ups of all the little details.

  • MIchelle
    December 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    I love you and your site, but I have to say this. Is this doll house more for you or for Eleanor? When kids play with toys, they tear them to pieces, because that is what kids do. If you’re cool with letting Eleanor play with this doll house her way, and not the way you would like her to play with it, then yay!

    Sorry if I’m raining on something super happy for you. It just doesn’t seem super kid friendly to me.

    Take care,

    • Making it Lovely
      December 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      It’s definitely for Eleanor, but she won’t be able to play with the more delicate furniture until she’s a little older. The dollhouse itself is sturdy though, and she’s not hard on her toys.

  • Ali
    December 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I LOVE this dollhouse! Wish I could make something like this for my daughter! She is 5 and she would love this!

    Did you take the front porch off the front of the house to make it more colonial or traditional and clean lined? I clicked on the link for the house you bought and I liked it but ruled it out since I didn’t like the big front porch! Now I noticed in the sneak peek that the front of your dollhouse was real clean lined and no big front porch! I’m impressed! Was it hard to leave off the front porch? Did you have to alter the plans when building?

    Thank goodness for awesome in-laws! I may have to ask my inlaws for some dollhouse help one of these days!

    ~ Ali

    • Making it Lovely
      December 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      No need to alter, you can just leave it off! I’m not sure if I’ll add it on later or not. It was left off to save some time, but I like the cleaner look now.