Building A Dollhouse With Your Other Half

I’ve been married for 15 years now and I can finally put something together with my husband without a huge fight ensuing.  I can remember years ago when we were first married and had to assemble some piece of furniture we purchased…what a fiasco!  I’m the one who needs to follow the directions and he only uses the directions when absolutely necessary!  Who cares how many pieces are left over, they can’t be that important.  After this experience, I realized that if we were to stay married until the ripe old age of 100 or so, then he better attempt any and all assembly by himself.  But over the years, we have learned to work as a team!  I now read the instructions to him and gather the parts needed as he does the assembly.  This has been pretty successful for us and it’s amazing how much quicker the whole process is when we work together.

This year we decided to build the Ponderosa Log Cabin dollhouse kit.  This has been our favorite dollhouse ever since I started working for Real Good Toys.  Our girls are teenagers now and we were looking for a winter project.  I now know that this project will be ongoing and may take several winters to complete.

We decided to customize this dollhouse kit to our liking.  We are adding a SPE704 Colonial Addition with double french doors.  The Ponderosa doesn’t have a foundation so we are adding this feature as well.  The Ponderosa starts with one of our 1700S Shell kits, so it’s easy enough to add a foundation to this house if you want to.  I also love the diamond window in the gable but on the Ponderosa there was no cutout or plexi so we had this modified as well.  It’ll make that room on the third floor so much brighter now.

Neil couldn’t believe how big the box was when I brought it home.  We unpacked the kit and did our complete inventory.  There was a lot of preparation involved because we wanted to paint the ceilings and stain the floors prior to assembly.  After a month of prepping this, sanding that and fixing a few minor details to our liking, we were ready to start building.  Thank goodness because he was antsy to begin and not really enjoying the prepping portion of our journey.  He didn’t realize how much we needed to do before any assembly began.  It can be deceiving but it is so worth it in the end.  When you have your parts prepped first, it makes the assembly process that much smoother.

Neil and I have gotten as far as the main housebody assembly, and we’re both still upright and breathing (that’s always a good thing!!).  I was a little nervous about this part of the assembly as it required us to nail and glue the dollhouse together.  I’ve only ever had to glue before and the nails kind of intimidated me.  Thankfully, I have a husband who has no fear of the hammer and nail.  We worked very well together during this stage and couldn’t have been happier with the way the parts fit together.  Even when we put the right front panel on to square everything up, it was as smooth as could be.

We plan to put the gable walls/floors on as well as the main house/gable foundation, then it’s onto the addition.  The plan is to start with the foundation and build the addition up from there.  Once this part of our assembly has been completed, we’re ready to start cutting and gluing on the logs.

Of course, nothing prepared us for the customizing we’re doing!  I’m really winging it here, because when you customize there aren’t any directions to guide you.  Neil doesn’t really need instructions (LOL), so between the two us we’ll figure it out together…we always do!

I’ll keep you updated on our Ponderosa build as we progress.  If you’d like to see some pictures, you can check it out on our Facebook Page…Real Good Toys Dollhouses.  Until next time…Mini Wishes – Jennifer

One Response to “Building A Dollhouse With Your Other Half”

  1. Mel Says:

    This was very interesting to me, as I’ve just received my Ponderosa kit, which I’m planning to build with my husband. We’ve made it for 35 years, and have done a couple “life-size” houses together, so I’m not anticipating any problems. But of course, I’m customizing, too. The Ponderosa appealed to me because it is almost identical to the NC log farmhouse I grew up in in the 50’s. But ours had a little one-story kitchen wing, so I’m adding the Blue Ridge cabin onto the side of the Ponderosa. Also a couple bottom-to top chimneys on the outside. And a tin roof, which my brother (who is a machinist) is making the pieces for.

    And of course I’ve got to come up with another name, since “Ponderosa” (which I assume is a nod to the Bonanza TV series) means “big and heavy.” I’m looking for just the right Spanish antonym…