Wednesday, June 24, 2015

An ART DECO birthday house!

This is a Built-Rite doll house made by Warren Paper Products  in 1940. This art deco style cardboard house came to me new in the box...amazing that it had to wait 75 years to be played with!

This house was a birthday present to myself this year. I use that excuse every May to add another house to my collection. Like I need an excuse. I have been collecting dollhouses since 2005,  and my first birthday house was the same model Keystone Tudor I had as a child!  Ok, so I also got a Lundby Stockholm dollhouse for that same birthday....sometimes that happens...and sometimes I have several birthdays a year....

I love the look of the "glass blocks" surrounding the front door....

...and the patio with awning and flower boxes.

 The house is open in the back, and the base, with grass and carpet, is the bottom of the merchandising box.  

Most of the age appropriate furniture I have was much too large for the house,
so I made index paper furniture 
from some of the many patterns I have collected. 

Because the interior of the house was plain, I decided to copy 
the exterior doors and windows making changes to them
 to give the effect of being seen from the inside. 
This is the living room...

... the kitchen...

...bedroom wall facing the patio...

...and the bedroom.

Some of the furniture was easy to make....

 ...other pieces I made several times to get them the size I wanted. 
Notice the levitating pillow? 

I had several different pieces in the living room before I settled on these.

The LARGE radio was the last piece I it stayed too large.

The stove was the hardest piece to construct, 
and yes I made it more than once.

Oh, it looks like our homeowner, Pauline Bachmeier, is napping on her patio.

Living room furniture...I did a cut and paste of 2 chair images 
to make the sofa....because I simply cannot do Photoshop!
 The radio and grandfather clock were constructed from google images.

Bedroom furniture...I love the art deco vanity. The bedside tables were made 
by enlarging the pattern of the vanity side tables.

Kitchen...all the pieces are from the same set. I added legs to the sink 
and a second top to the table so the table extensions could be open.

Patio furniture....the chair and stool were made by altering the chaise pattern. So was the flower box. Don't even ask. 

 Oh, it looks to be getting dark. Wonder if I should wake Pauline? 

The patterns I used were found on Pinterest, Google images and Ebay. 
Most of the ones I used are below.

I reduced the buffet pattern and used the piece in the living room 
between the 2 chairs.

This is the pattern for the chairs and the sofa, the back of the chair and the top and bottom of the round end table I did not make. 

The fantastic vanity! I think I found this on Pinterest
...but "le divan" was not available.

 I used the cabinet pattern for the living room side table
....changing the color to yellow. 

The bed came from a different set of patterns
....and the levitating pillow from a third set! 

I made all four of these pieces, adding a round top on the fridge by using a copy of the grill on the bottom. I also added an extra square top from the table pattern to show the extensions being used. 

I am so happy to finally have an art deco house!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Last call for Rich Toys dollhouses....

Two years ago I shared with you that 3 avid collectors of vintage dollhouses were collaborating on a book about Rich Manufacturing Co. dollhouses and other buildings they produced.  Patty, JoAnn and Rita have been successful in tracking down more than 100 variations of the models Rich Toys made between 1935 and 1961; however, there are still several houses that have appeared in catalogs or have been seen on auction sites they would like to include in their book.

Please  view the pictures and descriptions below, and if you have one, know someone who has one, or have seen one in an antique shop or museum, please contact Patty at or JoAnn at with the information.

Rich model #589...according to the 1940 Rich catalog, this was believed to be "the largest stock doll house on the market" at 38¾”  long.


Rich made a columned version of this brick house, but so far a non-columned example like the one shown in this 1958 advertisement hasn't been found.

This wonderful Tudor house, in shades of pale yellow and brown, has a single large gable in the front, flower boxes under the windows, and diamond shapes in the shutters. Several models with variations have been found, but not this one with the chimney stack moved to the right side of the house.

This early Tudor has "parentheses" around the door with wavy horizontal lines above. It's a smaller version in the same design series of the one listed above. Carol Morehead, on her My Realitty blog, has one pictured with shingles added, but so far the authors have been unable to contact her.


Rich model # 582.....this small Southern Colonial has a real metal balcony and four windows on the front. A very similar model with a front facing gable was found, but not this one with the straight balustrade. It is 27" wide.


The Morrison Historical Society provided this image from their files on Rich Industries. It may have been made around 1961 and was over 33" wide. Unlike the earlier big Southern Colonials, the columns on this one are squared.

If you can help in locating any of these wonderful vintage Rich Toys dollhouses, Patty or JoAnn  would be delighted to hear from you.  In the last few months, through playing "six degrees of separation" between buyers, sellers, and surfers on eBay, 2 wonderful models have been located....

Thank you Tracy and Sandy!

This wonderful 1930s Rich house was located when Janet contacted me through this blog. It was her childhood dollhouse and she is in the process of refurbishing it for her little granddaughter!

 Keep Looking!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Super Flaggs!!! or...revamping Flagg dolls from the 1940s

This is a guest post from my friend Jamie in Wisconsin. Being an art major, she is willing to tackle any dollhouse reconstruction and has even branched out into repairing vintage dolls to live in her little houses. She emailed me after revamping her Flagg doll family and it was so full of fun and good information that I convinced her to let me share it with you.

Here is her Flagg family....they look brand new!

Here is the revamped Flagg Family that I picked up for pennies last summer at an estate sale. They were in very sad condition with most of their painted features gone and also hair. Some were dressed, or barely dressed since the felted clothes were in poor shape and dirty.

Had to use hobby enamel paints for trains and cars that come in those little glass jars....Testors. Found out it needed Japan Drier added in order to dry. Dolls were set over cans on top of my old fashion hot water radiator to dry. It took some days I might add! 

The granny doll used to be a mean looking redhead, so overnight she became a blushing beauty in grey to match her handsome mustached hubby. I made both sweaters out of remnants of real sweaters. Grand Dad traded in his moth eaten sports jacket for a more comfortable grey wool cardigan that fits a retired gentleman. Gran was made a pink real cashmere sweater with tiny gold bead buttons.

Mom got her Easter dress with lace, along with daughters polka-dot spring outfit.

And Dad is sporting a new coat but has to go into surgery to correct his broken leg. Dr. Gorilla Glue says it's a quick fix. Dad's ailments mount as his arms unfortunately are inoperable and no longer go down to his sides. That wire in his right arm worked its’ way out over the years and he was told to just live with it. He just looks as if he is telling a fish story and showing how big his catch would have been.
Little brother is cozy in his wool sweater but is asking the lady who tailors to please make him a pair of jeans and perhaps a t-shirt to look more hip. The tailor apologizes for mistaking his taste.
Yours truly,
The Doll Doctor

  • I did use their pants as a pattern because of its very unusual shape.
  • The Dad’s jacket I traced off his body.
  • Sweaters…I looked at Etsy and put in doll clothes patterns and looked at how they cut jackets.
  • Grans blouse is pink lace wound on her upper body like I did restoring my Caco dolls. Super easy but the sweaters were more time consuming as I did a tiny blanket stitch around the edges so they wouldn't fray.
  • I really just winged it mostly.
Here are the materials I used to bring back my Flagg family.

Please note: only a few drops of the Japan Drier are needed in a small amount of paint to do the job. The colors black and brown took the longest to dry so one just has to be patient.

 If you have any questions or need more hints, I will let Jamie answer you! 

....and she tells me this story is to be continued

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Let's take a tour of a 1950s Rich Toys rancher

This ranch style dollhouse was made by Rich Toy Company circa 1950.
It has four, open plan living/dining room,
and a bedroom which includes an en suite bathroom.

An additional play area for the young owner is the large front porch
that is open on two sides.

This is the right side of the house...let's go inside.

The front door opens directly into what is currently being used as a dining room.

This large L-shaped area is being utilized as three separate venues....
dining room, living room and television area.

The space to the right of the dining room is set up as an area to watch television.


Behind the television area is the living room.
It is located in the front of the house and used mainly for entertaining.

The modular set in the living area was made by Strombecker in the late 1930s. 
  With the exception of the kitchen hutch, all of the furniture
 in this rancher was made by Strombecker,

This house comes with a wood-burning fireplace
and enough area in front of it to sit and enjoy its' warmth.

Are those hand-rolled?

The small galley style kitchen is found to the left of the dining area.
It has enough space to hold the three main appliances
and a hutch for dishes and food items.

But it is still large enough to prepare a meal and wide enough for floor seating.

This is the left side of the house. The bedroom opens directly off of the living room.
One has to assume the roof would need to be lifted off to play in this area.
The roof is quite heavy, so that would mean a parent would need to be involved.

The bedroom is a nice size and includes an en suite bathroom.

Even with twin beds the room is not crowded.

The bathroom is quite large and even has room for a clothes hamper.

Fake florescent lighting is included to light the sink area.

You've seen the front and sides of the house, now here is the back.

and here is the house as seen from above with the roof taken off.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of this mid-century dollhouse.