Saturday, 15 September 2012


Some dollhouses have stairs, others don't. Since my dollhouse was built in a book shelf, it didn't have stairs. When I visited the Museum of Childhood in London with its collection of dollhouses I noticed that far from all dollhouses had stairs. They take a lot of space, but they surely add authenticity. You can buy a kit to build stairs, but I wanted to try myself. I still think, five years later, that it was the most challenging thing I have made. 

I knew from the beginning that the staircase would not lead anywhere, but it didn't really matter. I built the stairs from building blocks covered with self-adhesive shelf film. I glued the stairs to each other and to the sides, which are made from cardboard. The rails are tootpicks, and the holder, a plastic paper binder. The wallpaper is Christmas wrap. It took a long time and a good deal of thinking to make it all work.

The next stage was to make a landing, and of course I had to build it elsewhere and fit into the room that had to fit into the shelf. I made the railing the same way. I also made a mock door that does not lead anywhere. I made it, now quite confident, from a photo frame, cardboard and glued on decorations. Mock doors are mysterious and create an illusion of a larger space. This is why I added another mock door on the landing.

This little door used to be a cupboard door in a Barbie house. I painted it and pasted to the wall. It is not to scale at all, but it doesn't matter.

I now had a very interesting bit of space by the staiscase, asking for a piece of furniture. I knew exactly what I wanted to put there. I had been trying to make this cupboard from the very beginning, faling and failing, but finally figured out how to do it.

The base is made of cardboard with stained wooden strip glued on. The glass door is a piece of a broken lantern. It can be opened. This was what took ages to fix. The back mirror is an ordinary pocket mirror glued onto a piece of cardboard. I think it is a grand piece. And it fits precisely in the space by the stairs.

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