16 January 2013

Condemned ?: A cautionary tale

I'm not gonna lie to you, preparation for this post has induced some very colourful language, none of it repeatable here.

Not long before Christmas, a fellow stall holder at one of the fairs I did offered me a doll's house that had been sitting in her shed for a while. Apparently it had belonged to a niece who had built and collected the house through one of those weekly magazine series.

I love a rescue project so gladly accepted. The following week I took delivery of  x 2 huge boxes.
The house had been dismantled with the intention of being redecorated. The original construction had involved some super strong gluing of the 'No more nails' variety.

Well, on closer inspection, there were a few damp patches on some of the panels, a little bit of rust here and there. Clearly it was going to take a lot of time to restore it to its former glory so I put it to one side until I had a moment after Christmas to tackle it properly.

Well, today that moment came and I'm afraid to say that this mini tale will not have a happy ending!!

Before laying eyes and hands on a house that is a product of a magazine series I already had pretty strong views that it was a very expensive way to build a pretty poor quality house. A house that would have identical interiors and furniture to X amount of other people that had collected it. Where's the fun there?

The first time it collapsed...

Apologies if anybody reading this has in fact got one of these houses, incidentally  if there IS anybody reading that has one still in one piece that they have managed to derive any joy from building/owning please do get in touch, it would be reassuring to hear from you. Otherwise I feel like there's a lot of people that have  spent A LOT of money on this sad, sorry thing...

We're up again...

Aaaaaand we're down
8 tries it took me to get this house standing. I say standing, it's propped up and masking taped together to the best of my abilities, however I still failed to balance the attic level on top. I can now tell you that the house is complete apart from the centre back panel. Not bad.

As built as it's gonna get!

The damp and broken panels need some work though. And everything would need a proper strip and sand down before attempting to put it back together properly. I thought long and hard, this little house I'm afraid may have met it's maker.
While it would be good to see it looking pretty I fear the amount of time, fury and expense would still be more than the enjoyment of the finished house.

I've never given up on a house before but this one I'm sad to say is beyond me.
If anybody out there is contemplating getting a doll's house via a weekly magazine series, I BEG YOU, save your money and put it towards a proper kit. It will serve you much better in the long run, I promise!!


  1. Oh dear. I've always been of a similar opinion, that a house and its contents collected in this manner will result in yours being a mass-produced article precisely the same as everyone else's. I didn't realise they were quite such bad quality though!

  2. poor little house....yes, that would take a lot of time, efforts, glue, glue, glue...and many bad words! But i think, i wouldn;t have the heart to put it away....or would use as much as possible with other projects! :)

  3. Oi, what a bummer! I seriously would have kicked the thing to smithereens if it took me eight tries to get it upright. Clearly you are a more patient person than I am. :)

  4. I applaud your patience!!! I would have thrown that house out of the window after attempt three followed by a rant that would give a sailor a blush.
    gr. AM

  5. Haha, thanks ladies, I'd always suspected they were pretty poor houses but now it is confirmed. Lucky if they stay together the first time around let alone a second hand one.

    I'm afraid to say this house is now on the rubbish heap. (Potentially going in the wood burner, how's that for ruthless/ eco-friendly?!)
    Kat x

  6. Hey Kat, maybe recycle the plywood sheets used in the walls/floors etc? Im pretty sure thats the wood those El Doro series used. (i think that was the name of it- el doro or el dorado or something) Could come in handy for making lots of minis out of... Free plywood... Still something from the gift given at the end of the day then and it should be pretty easy to chop up with a jigsaw xx

    1. Hey Mins!
      Yes I believe it was 'El Diablo!'or something like that. (Hope they don't see this and sue me?! Views are my own etc, etc! )
      Yeah think they'll def be a few salvage projects on the go and there's fireplaces and things that could easily find a new home.
      I'll give myself a year, then if I've not done something productive with it, will clear it out!
      Kat x