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Thursday, January 18

Displaying Your Dollhouse

The most important thing you need to determine before buying, assembling and displaying your dollhouse is its size. If not, it simply won't fit. Many dollhouses have been assembled in basements, and have remained there because they are too big. You must find an adequate location to display your dollhouse, far enough from windows and able to conform to its design.

Display Tables

Turntable displays for your dollhouse can be expensive, but also a good investment for one dollhouse. A drawback to turntables is that they may knock down neighboring objects while being rotated. For this reason, they must be kept in a spacious area to do their job as intended.


You can buy a separate rotating table top, which can accommodate your desired landscaping and miniatures.


You can buy an inexpensive, metal turntable to hold your dollhouse wherever you set it. If you decide to use it to display your dollhouse, you may want to add a sheet of felt underneath, so you do not damage your furniture.


The ideal is to have your dollhouse easily visible from any angle in the room you are in.

If you have power tools and some woodworking skills, you can make your own display table, though not a practical feat for most people.

Carts with wheels display dollhouses conveniently well. Plus, they are inexpensive, provide good mobility and can save space.


If the stands have an extra bottom shelf, you can also display a small dollhouse underneath to have even more display space because they can accommodate two dollhouses.


If you have a large enough furniture piece at home that can be used, you might want to add stick-on felt pads to the bottom of your dollhouse to prevent scratches to your furniture. If your dollhouse has a front-opening panel, you may want to buy furniture glider tacks that are hammered to the base of your dollhouse. They prevent scratches to furniture while opening panels.

Tables for dye-cut dollhouses are very easy to find because these dollhouses are lightweight. Stands for heavier MDF dollhouses are harder to find. Tables must withstand the weight and size of these dollhouses to avoid collapse, resulting in greater expense.

Some dollhouses are small enough to be displayed on folding wooden tables, even when fully furnished. These tables can be easily rotated by the legs for viewing of the dollhouses, and without touching the dollhouse itself.


Where To Display

Dollhouses should always be kept indoors because attics, basements, garages, and the hot, moist outdoors are not good places to store a completed dollhouse. UV radiation and damp drafts from windows can damage your dollhouse and its finishes.

Wooden dollhouses are very sensitive to temperature changes and humidity levels. If the wood is affected by humidity levels and exposure, the glue looses its effectiveness, causing your dollhouse to fall apart.

Build your dollhouse when you have adequate space for it. If you're moving and have to store your dollhouse temporarily, make sure it’s a temperature controlled storage facility to prevent warping and damage to finishes.

Even though your dollhouse is made of wood, it's not generally susceptible to termites, because it's not ideal food. The plywood of your dollhouse is very thin and has a lot of chemicals like stain, glue and wallpaper paste after assembly. Keep a clean environment to protect from other pests that can cause damage.

Maintenance

If you have a dollhouse on display, provide maintenance and attention to increase its longevity. Usual wear and tear is remediated with tacky glue.

Your dollhouse will collect dust. Cleaning will be tedious but necessary. The best way to dust your dollhouse is using a soft bristled make-up brush. Use it only on miniatures because they are delicate, and can react to chemicals or powders. Do not use life-size dusters because they can snag and damage your dollhouse. The make-up brush will even dust off your landscaping wonderfully.

When you decorate your dollhouse, attach all of your miniatures to furniture with museum wax. This is going to make your life easier when you dust. Since everything is attached to furniture, you just remove the entire furniture piece with everything attached on it, and dust with the brush. This will prevent very small items from falling and getting lost. Once the furniture is out and the room is empty, you can dust the window treatments and flooring. Shake off dust from miniature area rugs.

Miniature shops sometimes sell a very small micro vacuum cleaner to dust off dollhouses. Micro vacuums they sell for delicate electronic equipment, also work for dollhouses. A dust blower for electronics will work just as good as a vacuum for removing dust.

Longevity

When built correctly and given the right maintenance, your dollhouse can last a long time. Whether it's made from 1/8th" or 3/8th" plywood, the secret to a long life span is how the dollhouse was assembled and how it was treated afterwards.

There are dollhouses that were built in the 1700's that are still on display and only minimally restored. Back then, the materials used to build a dollhouse were all homemade and natural. Imagine the advantage we have now with stronger and longer lasting synthetic adhesives and materials. A well built and cared for dollhouse can truly become a family heirloom.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

What does your cute kitty think of all your houses? Does she get into them?

Gina said...

Thankfully, my kitty is 13 years old and out grown interest in objects that do not move. She only likes interactive play. My houses are against the wall as well so she has no ability of getting around to the open backs. If she would have been a playful baby though, I can only imagine what my houses would look like....:)

Kathi said...

Thank you for this post. I "somehow" now have four almost finished dollhouses plus three kits to build! I like your ideas for displaying them. I have four folding "TV" tables that I don't use. Found them for a dollar each at a yard sale. :D Now I just need to figure out where to put them AND my dollhouses! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Where can you buy the metal turntable to make your own display table?

Gina said...

You can find it at HBS: http://www.miniatures.com/Search.aspx?k=turn+table

Amanda Davey said...

What about putting acrylic on the back of the house ? I've been considering doing it with small magnets in the corners.

Gina said...

If your dollhouse is pretty square and flat on the back, it is easy to put an acrylic panel so that the contents are protected and dust does not collect as heavily. You can have the acrylic panel cut for you at the hardware store. You can use velcro or magnets to hold it in place but my favorite method, which I have seen used on the Greenleaf Forum is actually glue a C channel trim around any three of the back edges of your dollhouse and slide your acrylic pain into it. That makes the panel easily removed when needed. The C channel trim can be painted to match your dollhouse.

Anonymous said...

love this site, thankyou for the input, im new to dollhouse collecting and bought the Paintedlady dollhouse and I love it.

 

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