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Collectible or Child’s Toy: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dollhouse Kit

Dollhouse kits have been around since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and their popularity has continued unabated ever since. There are lots of different kinds of dollhouse kits to choose from depending on your level of expertise, whether the dollhouse will be for a child or be an adult collectible.

Kit construction
If you are making a kit for a child, particularly a younger child you will want a kit that is made of sturdy material, and easily put together. Older children, particularly if they tend to be careful with collectible items, can enjoy more elaborate dollhouses and will likely take better care of the dollhouse if they get to participate in the construction and the decorating. If you are an adult collector you will probably want a dollhouse kit that you are going to enjoy taking your time customizing and constructing to your own specifications. Your choices include dollhouses made with a light wood such as plywood, or fiberboard, MDF, or even solid wood. Certain types of kits come with tabs and slots which you fit together and then glue. Other kits require glue and nails. Some simple kit constructions simply snap together. Collectors recommend that at least the outside walls be constructed with cabinet grade plywood for a strong construction. Check the specifications for any dollhouse kit you are interested in to see the difficulty level and the types of materials used.

Many dollhouse enthusiasts like to be able to customize a dollhouse kit to make it their own. It is possible to buy miniature flooring, roofing, windows, and doors, staircases, built in furniture, porches, gazebos, gardens, dormers, and many other items. When choosing your dollhouse kit, check it out to see if it will be easily customizable. Can you change out windows or doors or add a porch if you want? A major factor when thinking about altering a kit is to ensure that the scale of the house is a popular size and that dollhouse items are available in that scale. The 1” to 1 foot or 1:12 ratio is the most common and popular scale for collectors. The larger playscale dollhouses are becoming more popular but there tends to be less add on items available in the larger scale dollhouses.

Style of house
Another factor to consider when purchasing a dollhouse kit is the style of the dollhouse. If you are looking to have some real fun with the kit you will probably want to look at dollhouses with some intricacy such as a Victorian dollhouse or a colonial styles, though a contemporary style house could also be a fun undertaking. Some kits come fully painted with decorated walls while others allow the person constructing the dollhouse to choose the color palette and make all the decisions about the look of the house. It really comes down to knowing how much time and effort you want to invest in the dollhouse. Some people get the most enjoyment from a dollhouse in picking out dollhouse furniture and from having it on display, for others the enjoyment is primarily in the creation process.

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