One of the cool parts of building miniature dollhouses is that while you order a kit, you’re really getting just the shell of a dollhouse. The fun part comes from customizing it any way you please.
Customizing it with shag carpet, victorian furniture, or a farmhouse sink is one thing. But dollhouse kit bashing takes your customizations to a whole new level.
What Is Dollhouse Kit Bashing?
Dollhouse kit bashing is when you take the dollhouse kit your ordered and change it up to your heart’s delight! Call it an enhancement, improvement, alteration, whatever, but dollhouse kit bashing lets you take what is essentially a cookie-cutter house and make it your very own!
For example, at one point, I was going to add dormers to the Keeper’s House. Since the original kit didn’t come with dormers (or holes in the roof for said dormers), I was bashing my dollhouse kit, even if I didn’t know it.
While you can create the bashable parts from scratch, you don’t have to. Most companies make it super-easy to bash their existing dollhouse kits. All l I had to do was go back to Real Good Toys’ website and find dormers! Easy enough. Just measure out where they would go on the roof and save a spot for them before applying the shingles.
What Parts of the Dollhouse Kit Can I Bash?
Technically, anything. All though, I suppose that if you bash every aspect of the kit, you’ve basically built a dollhouse from scratch. Here are some common (and popular) elements to bash.
Bashing a porch is common. Whether it’s adding a porch to a kit that never had one, swapping out the existing porch for a new one, or switching small details (like the spindles), porches are generally easy to bash.
They’re on the dollhouse exterior and tend to be an add-on that’s easy to smoosh on to the dollhouse. You generally don’t have to cut or move much, making them ideal and easy to bash.
Windows are another (generally) super easy part of the dollhouse to bash. Simply swap out the existing window for a different one. Just make sure you get the measurements exactly right; otherwise, the window won’t fit.
Theoretically, you could cut a larger hole for a larger window — or even a bay window. And, you could add some extra trim for a smaller window.
Alternatively, adding a flower box on the outside is a quick and simple dollhouse kit bash.
Just like in real life, swapping out the existing door is a quick and often inexpensive way to change up the look of your house. Dollhouses are no different, and, fortunately, it’s an easy bash. Most doors are the same size (as long as you stay in the same scale), making this a super simple bash.
Walls are, interestingly, another fun and easy dollhouse kit bash. In fact, on the Keeper’s House, technically, I’m bashing it!
Some kits tell you specifically where to place the walls. I suppose that’s for structural reasons in some cases, so I’d be careful about bashing walls if you think placement could impact the structure.
Otherwise, it’s super easy to bash your walls. Put them anywhere you want or don’t use them at all!
Personally, I’m going to end up bashing the stairs on the Keeper’s House. The set that came with my kit didn’t turn out right. I was never happy with the look anyway, and kinda think a spiral staircase will look better. Plus, it’ll give me more room on the first floor.
Staircases, like porches, are pretty easy to bash in the sense that you can get all sorts of premade kits for a different staircase. Or, you can swap out the spindles or the banister. And, in most cases, the staircase is a separate component, meaning it comes out easily and is simple to bash.
Dollhouse exteriors can be a fun bash, depending on the kit you start with.
The Keeper’s House comes with clapboard siding attached (a look I like). I could have bashed this if I wanted by either prying up the clapboard or putting something over it. While both are possible, that’s a heck of a bash — and something I don’t want to try.
If you’re going to bash an exterior, I suggest you work with a kit that has a plain exterior to start.
Shingles and Trims
Shingles and trims are also places to bash. For example, the Keeper’s House has rectangular wood shingles. But I could have swapped those for rounded gingerbread-looking shingles or even raised ones.
Ditto on the trim. This kit comes with a gingerbread look trim. But I could leave it off or try something totally different.
A Big Bash
This is when you combine two separate dollhouse kits to make one big dollhouse kit bash.
I don’t know where you’d start or how you’d do this. But it sounds like fun!
How do I Start Dollhouse Kit Bashing?
In a word: carefully.
Dollhouse kit bashing is not for the faint of heart, all though I’d argue, based on my experience, it is for newbies.
For starters, you have to make sure you stay in the same scale. That’s easy enough. But then you have to measure carefully. And then measure again. And again, and again, and again.
Not my forte, but maybe it’s yours.
Once you’ve got the right measurements, it’s a question of figuring out how to make the bash happen.
For example, something like a window likely means following the instructions and installing the new window in the old hole — unless you’ve opted for a larger or smaller window.
In both those cases, you’re going to need to measure (of course) and use the right tools to get the desired result.
If you’ve opted for a larger window, you’ll have to enlarge the opening. That means marking off where the new hole has to be and then creating it. I have no idea how you’d do that, but I’m thinking some kind of saw would be in order.
If it’s a smaller opening, that means filling in the inside and outside gaps. That could mean longer or wider pieces of trim or creating new walls to fill in the gap. Again, I’m thinking a saw is necessary.
Dollhouse Kit Bashing Your Way
That’s the ins and outs of dollhouse kit bashing. Seems like it’s a pretty common thing.
So, what about you? What kind of dollhouse kit bashings have you done? Brag in the comments!