Christmas Dollhouse

Hello dear friends!  How’s your day going so far?

I was hard at work yesterday and I’m one tired puppy this evening as I write this.  The leaves are just beginning to fall off the trees in the backyard and every afternoon for an hour or so the sun has been streaming in so brightly, I can’t really view the monitor or work at my computer. During the spring and summer months, it’s not a problem.

So, I decided to fold the shutters back across the windows. That involved popping them off their hinges which took way longer than you would think.  They are heavy and are bi-folded back behind the desk so the process was slow and difficult.

I also decided to remove ALL the glass from the tops of all surfaces and clean underneath where little particles had become trapped where the glass sections meet.  What a job! It took a few hours to move the monitors, router, modem, lamps etc…clean the glass on both sides, all the surfaces and get the pins out of the shutters and reattach them in the closed position.  It was a great workout.

Office with Plantation Shutters

I totally forgot to take a pic during daylight hours, but here’s how the office looks in the evening by lamplight with the shutters in place and the lower louvers closed for privacy.  I’ll take a pic tomorrow during daylight hours and add it to this post.  I know I’ll miss the wide-open view, but this will be a lot cozier and more practical/insulating for winter.

Office with Plantation Shutters

A photo early this morning…looks so different with the shutters in place. By the way, if you’re considering plantation shutters for your home, I created a detailed post about how to shop for them and what to look for in this post: Plantation Shutters

Office with Plantation Shutters

I’ve been in an organizing, cleaning and “get-stuff-done” mood lately.   Once I finished in the office, I decided to tackle another wee job that’s been bugging me.  You may remember this doll house I’ve blogged about in the past.  (I shared a full tour of the outside of the house in this Doll House post and the inside of the dollhouse in THIS post.)  When I bought this little house, I never planned on furnishing the inside, I just loved it for the cute exterior.  I have a fondness for yellow houses.

It just dawned on me how much the house in the BNOTP banner/header looks like the dollhouse I bought so many years ago.  Isn’t that funny?!  They even both have dormer windows on the sides, and a rocking chair on the front porch.  The rocking chair came with the dollhouse.  Wonder if I should paint the door Heritage Red like I’ve painted my front door?

Decorating a Dollhouse for Christmas

Okay, I got sidetracked…back to the story.  lol  When I stumbled across this cute house in a local antique store a few years ago, it was decorated with garland and wreaths as you see here, but the garland was really grungy and falling apart due to age.  So I removed the old garland and wreaths and bought new garland and ribbon.  I made the little wreaths from the garland and little red bows from the ribbon.  Then I hung them on all the windows, along with the garland along the porch rails.  When I hung all the new wreaths and garland, I used a hot glue gun to attach them because I had no intentions of ever removing it.  Ha!  Bad idea, that was.

Decorating a Dollhouse for Christmas

About 8 months ago, I got a wild hair and decided I didn’t want the house to be decorated for Christmas all year long.  Instead, I wanted it decorated this way just at Christmastime.  This house lives in the guest room and I thought it would be pretty to decorate the outside for the different seasons/holidays.  So, I removed all the garland which was NOT easy since it was all hot glued on.  Who would do such a thing?! πŸ˜‰

Decorating a Dollhouse for Christmas

Unfortunately, I had a big ole mess once I removed it.  The hot glue wouldn’t budge and it had bits of garland stuck in it.  Not good.   I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to get it all off.  It would not peel up like hot glue sometimes does.  It was really stuck down.

Decorating a Dollhouse for Christmas

A few months later, I saw this baby for sale at Home Depot.  I’ve always wanted a Dremel and now I had a good reason to buy one.  I finally got it out today and put it to work sanding off the hot glue and stuck-on greenery.

Dremel for work on Dollhouse

Here’s the attachment you use for sanding with the Dremel.  It worked quite well, although I’ll have to replace the little sand paper thingy called a drum sander, since it’s caked with hot glue now.  You can buy 6 replacement drum sanders online for only $1.  Totally worth it to get the hot glue off.

As you can see, it did a great job.  It would have taken me forever getting it all off by hand because it’s in about 8-9 places on the porch of this little house.  The porch has always needed another coat of paint.  The original white paint was very thin and always looked kind of dirty, so I didn’t mind that the Dremel took a bit of paint with it.  That was actually necessary to get all the hot glue off.

Decorating a Dollhouse for Christmas

I started repainting the porch this evening–will share how it looks when that’s complete.   I’ve been wondering how I was going to re-attach the garland at Christmastime, removing it afterwards without damaging the paint.  What would be strong enough to hold the garland and wreaths, but would let go once the holiday season had past?

Recently, I was perusing the wonderful Before and Afters linked up for our weekly Metamorphosis Monday party and someone (sorry, can’t remember who it was now) had used a product I had never heard of before called Museum Putty. Have you heard of it? It’s especially made to protect beautiful collectibles and artifacts from falling off pedestals, walls, shelves, etc… during an earthquake.

Since I’ve been determined to find a way to decorate this cute house at Christmastime, I decided to give Museum Putty a try. I ordered it on Amazon, and I actually ended up ordering Museum Wax (instead of Museum Putty) because it’s clear and I thought it would be less likely to show behind the greenery.

Over the next few days, I’ll paint the dollhouse porch.  Once it’s good and dry, I’ll reattach all the garland and wreaths with Museum Wax.  I gave it a test try today and it appeared to work well.  We’ll see.  The proof is in the pudding–or in this case, the wax.  Have you ever used Museum Putty or Museum Wax?  I bet I’ll find lots of uses for this stuff, now that I have it.

Update:  In the comments, Lee suggested a product called “Mini Hold.”  She said it’s available in craft stores for miniatures.  I’ll try both it and the Museum Wax and will report back later how they both worked for this job.  Thanks, Lee!

Decorating a Dollhouse for Christmas

See you this evening for Tablescape Thursday!

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  1. I've been using museum wax for years. You just never know where you will find some around our house. It is great for stabilizing objects you display. It can be a lifesaver.

  2. Your Studio rocks! It is so fabulous, organized, stylish… & inviting. Great job!

  3. I enjoy your posts and your little yellow house is adorable!
    I work with miniatures and use a wax sold with miniatures. If you have a Hobby Lobby or miniature store near by, you will find it there. I have used Museum Putty and it is a bit messy compared to what I use. Perhaps the Museum Wax is better-but the Museum Putty I once used, left residue and seemed messy so I switched to the 'Mini-Hold' wax (which is inexpensive). Maybe try it on a small part before using it for the whole job…after all your work, I would want to preserve it. Good luck!
    PS Some mini lights on the porch would be a cute touch!

  4. My studio is the ugliest room in the house. Always messy with projects and paintings. Your studio always looks so wonderful. Perhaps 2012 will involve a project to improve my space.:)

  5. I love the idea that you decorated the dollhouse for Christmas. I've never tried museum wax but it sounds like a very cool product. Always love taking a peek at your office. Beautiful.

  6. β™₯ Sonny β™₯ says

    Good for you doing all that cleaning and organizing before the holidays.
    I need to do that too.. I'll be ordering some of that wax and putty.

  7. Love the warm glow of your office now that you've closed the shutters … so cozy for the winter. Glad you found museum putty/wax to allow you to change out the look of the doll house, can't wait to see it when you're done.

  8. Andi's English Attic says

    Thanks for the pointer. Museum putty (couldn't find wax) is on my UK Amazon wish list. πŸ™‚

  9. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    You did a great job redoing the garland and wreaths, Susan! That house is so pretty. I have a dollhouse that my Dad made for my daughter when she was a little girl. It is at her house now for the granddaughter {when she gets a little bigger}. Of course, we have to redo the 90's decor inside it!

    I keep museum putty in my decorator toolbox for jobs. It works great especially when I have a client that doesn't want to put breakables on surfaces because they have a cat. I understand it works great in earthquake prone areas, as well, to keep breakables from moving and breaking.

  10. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Lee, I will definitely look for the mini hold…thanks for the tip! Oh, lights would be adorable! I love that idea! lol

  11. I've never used museum wax but will have to try it now! Your doll house is so cute, and I like the idea of changing the decorations with the seasons.

  12. I have always wanted to do a doll house! I will be looking forward to seeing how yours turns out. Max looks quite content on his bed…he must of been a bit tired too after all his inspections and supervision of your work!

  13. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Barb, he thought I'd gone crazy yesterday. lol I had to lock him out of the office while I was removing all the heavy glass and cleaning it. He kept trying to get back on top of the desk the whole time. Silly cat!

  14. Oh how adorable—that is exactly what my dream house looks like!!!
    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face!

  15. Condo Blues says

    I use Museum Putty to stabilize the small china dish I use as a soap dish in a bathroom on a shelf. I bought mine at the container store. It reminds me of the stuff I used to use to hang posters in my room as a kid. Mom wasn't too keen on tape on her painted walls.

  16. Pine Tree Home says

    Awe, great memories. I had a dollhouse as a kid that my grandfather built.

  17. laxsupermom says

    I've been using Museum Putty ever since my now 15yr old was in motion. We still get occasional breakage, but nowhere near as much as we would if I didn't use it. I love your little doll house, and wish I still had mine from childhood. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I've also used the Museum Wax at Christmas time with our Snow Village displays. It holds down the little people and keeps "cars" in place when little visitors come around. It also stabilizes the pieces as I work to put everything in place so I don't accidentally knock something over. It is a lot like the product you use to hang posters on the wall, but clear. It's a little messy to clean up.

  19. Perfectly Printed says

    I live in California, AKA earthquake country, and I use Museum Wax to secure displayed items, like china cups and saucers, just in case.


  20. I loved seeing the interior of the little yellow house- especially the kitchen. That wallpaper is a miniature version of Schumacher's Wild Strawberry that matches Wedgewood's China pattern. We had that on the ceiling of our all white kitchen decades ago and loved it. If you decide to furnish the house, please allow us to share that adventure. I love working in miniature and so will you.

  21. Love the dollhouse & decorating it for all seasons! I see tiny flags, banners, pumpkins & acorns in your future! For future reference, if you need to remove something that was attached with hot glue, try holding an ice cube over it for long enough to freeze the glue. Since I live in the north, I can just set it outside in freezing weather. The glue pops off both sides like a charm!

  22. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Anon, so cool about he wallpaper. Now I feel bad that it's in yucky shape and needs removing. lol Thanks for telling me about that.

  23. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Anon, Thanks for that tip about removing hot glue. I will file that away for the next time I'm in this situation! Wouldn't this house be a hoot decorated for the 4th of July? lol I think I'm entering my second childhood. πŸ˜‰

  24. I love your dollhouse, Susan. Years ago – about 35 – I was given a dollhouse for my daughter. It was totally unfinished so it was literally a 'ground up' project. That was when I discovered candle wax. You can buy it in Michael's, Hobby Lobby and some candle stores. Even now I use it for Christmas decorations and….candles! A couple years ago we gave the dollhouse to a granddaughter and it needs a complete renovation. No…I'm not doing. Time for daughter to do for her daughter. In the 70s it was hard to find paper that looked like wood floors so we took brown paper, drew boards on it with a pencil and made little circles for peg holes. Yesterday I found some scrapbook paper that looks exactly like wood flooring and the scale is just perfect. You just never know where you'll find that right idea. I have lots of them if you're interested….itty bitty flowerpots made from quilling paper, filled with poppy seeds & glue & teensy weensy clay fleurs.

  25. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Chris, I never even thought about candle wax. I think I have some of those little circle things for placing in candle holders to hold a candle upright. I could prob use that. The museum wax gets a little melty and messy, I noticed. That was pretty smart to create your own flooring! I think I'm going to try and re-glue the flooring that's in the house. I sort of hate to renovate it too much because I want to keep some of the way it was originally done, but some things are going to have to go…like the stained wallpaper. I may change my mind and totally redo the inside once I get going. I don't even know where to start, though. Wish they had classes here locally where you could go and take your house and they would help you renovate it. lol Maybe I can find some videos online. I LOVE the way Kim at Daisy Cottage furnished her little dollhouse on the inside. You can do a search at her blog and see her posts on that…so cute!

  26. You've inspired me to re-hab one I bought in a thrift store that sits in the garage! I haven't heard of either product either. I vote for the red door! Would be too fun to match your blog header!

  27. I use museum putty because we have earthquakes now and then. It works great for flat surfaces to keep things on a shelf. I use it also to keep pictures level on the wall. But find that the putty drips some down the wall below the picture. Maybe cuz of the heat in the summer. Anyway, perhaps I should try museum wax for the things on the wall. Hmmm…


  28. Designs By Pinky says

    I use Museum wax too! I discovered it on a trip to Winterthur Museum last winter! It is fabulous!!! Your office looks great and I know you will be more comfortable in these "bare tree" months with the blinds shut! I love your doll house too. We had one that my Joe made for Tracy when she was a little girl. We saved it FOREVAH and finally gave it to the grandchildren of my best friend. I wanted it to go to someone who would love it and I could see enjoy it. I'll be back for TT tonight!!!!! XO, Pinky

  29. Your office looks great!

    As you know I adore your doll house. Mine is sitting in the same state as when I bought it. I'd love to have mine painted before Christmas, but I doubt that is going to happen. =(

    Looking forward to seeing how you decorate your house.

    From Virginia

  30. As always, your posts inspire me.

    1) I have a kitchen window that, at night with the lights on, shows a bit more than I like. I'm going to re-read your post on shutters.

    2) I have always wanted a Dremel. I don't know why. But, I've always been SURE there's a project for which I "need" it !!!

    3) I have my doll house…a Christmas present from Mom & Dad from 60+ years ago. Dad made a two story, two bedroom…white front columns and all. Mom decorated it…wide wale corduroy "carpeting" in the living room, curtains on the windows. Dad put in a floor lamp. Mom made a lace shade. It needs to be re-wired. Then, I need to follow your lead and redecorate πŸ™‚ My cocker, Babe, chewed on the roof, but I think that's an "embellishment" I'll keep…for the memories.

    I look forward to updates on your "little" house, as well as all the projects in your beautiful home.

  31. Yoly from Miami says

    Love the doll house and I think I see some red paint in your future.

  32. Richard Cottrell says

    What a wonderful and beautiful office I am so jealous, I have a desk behind my check out counter at my shop, 4 ft. square. I am so jealous. Richard from My Old Historic House.

  33. It's my dream office – love it!

  34. i have used museum putty for YEARS!!! wouldn't be without it!! it's what held my things on the shelves in the Northride earthquake years back!! without it,i would have lost so may precious things!

  35. My Aunt, who lives in the Bay Area, introduced me to Museum Wax years ago and I use it all the time. It's great for keeping pictures and other things straight on the walls, keeping my unstable tin soldiers on the mantel and candles in the candlesticks. Can't wait to see the finished doll house. Dianne

  36. Miss Charming says

    What an adorable dollhouse! (And I just love the chandelier in your office.)

  37. hong kong property says

    the room looks so beautiful!
    i also wanted to own a dremel

  38. Shannah @ Just Us Four says

    That little yellow house is so adorable! We use museum wax a lot to keep pictures straight on our wall. So great!

  39. Crafty Mischief says

    Your studio is gorgeous! And, I'm in love with your little dollhouse!

  40. Technicolor says

    I went back and looked at your dollhouse details. Just a suggestion regarding curtains. Spray them with a mixture of white glue/water. Then pin down to represent more of a “hanging” look. Although, to be honest, the construction of all is intriguing to leave as is in honor of the person who built it. Yes to Museum Was, it is half the price of the product used for miniatures and same size/medium. Can be used on anything in miniature to hold together if a child is not using it for play.

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