Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mini Decorating - Scratch Build, Use Kits or Buy Stuff?

Personally, I don't care whether or not all the items in my roomboxes or dollhouses are one thing or another. I opt for what fits my needs. Sometimes that means purchased items. Other times, a kit is a simple and usually economical solution for satisfying a need. And at other times, I can't be satisfied unless I add my own personal touches with pieces I have created.

There are so many beautiful items that crafts people turn out. The problem is, if you have multiple rooms to fill and a small budget, then filling it with expensive pieces by all those craftsmen and women may simply be beyond your means. It doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful room.

The photo at right is a mixture of craftspersons' work, manufactured pieces, my own handiwork, and a couple of Hallmark ornaments. Ornaments?! Yes, ornaments. The dollhouse in the foreground was a Hallmark ornament as was the rocking horse on the left.

The tiny table was a gift from my parents. They picked it up on a trip to China. The dresser, rocker and baby crib were purchased. The jack-in-the-box on the dresser was my own creation of wood and Fimo. I also created the bookcase in the corner.

Some of the toys on the shelves and on the floor were created by members of our miniatures club for our gift Christmas gift exchange. This room, in essence was heavily "purchased," and yet if you were to look at another room in this dollhouse such as the bathroom, it is almost entirely made from a kit. Other rooms such as the parents' bedroom have even more handcrafted items my wife and I created such as scratch-built bed stands and a quilt on the bed.

The honest truth about this hobby is that if you stay in it long enough, you'll have more "things" than you have places to put them. It then becomes a challenge to search through your stuff to find just the right pieces to put into a room to give it that lived in look. To be totally honest, though, I would not be happy if I created a dollhouse or a roombox and did NOT have some items in it that I had created. That's what ultimately sets my room setting apart from all others, and I like that uniqueness.

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