Dollhouse Miniatures: Furniture Kits
Why Furniture Craft Kits?
While stationed in England from 1990-1993, I started building my first dollhouse kit, a Victoria-era model. I lived on a military base in the middle of nowhere (aka East Anglia), so it was not easy to find miniature furniture and accessories for my dollhouse. After picking up a craft catalog in London, I saw ads for The House of Miniatures (THoM) dollhouse furniture kits. From 1991-1995, I ordered many furniture kits from this company. The furniture was in the Victorian and Federal style, so it worked for my first dollhouse. Later, after I gave my dollhouse away and returned to the US, the dollhouse furniture worked in my Victorian room box display.
Furniture Kits from The House of Miniatures
THoM miniature furniture kits appear to be good replicas of the real furniture from that era. Below are pictures of furniture I built from the kits almost three decades ago. Although the furniture is old, I think it looks more authentic compared to premade furniture sold in major crafts stores.
Availability of The House of Miniature Furniture kits
In writing this post, I began to wonder what happened to THoM. There are a few blogs – https://www.houseofminiatures.info/history.php and http://houseofminiatures.org/about/- that discussed the tortuous history of this line of products. The original mail-order kit company was National Handcraft Institute. Around 1976, the company started THoM line. But in 1981, THoM was sold and the National Handcraft Institute was dissolved. Thereafter, ownership of THoM changed several times. By the time I began buying the miniature furniture kits for my dollhouse, Craftmark and later Houseworks owned THoM. (I recall seeing both the names on the kit boxes.) Apparently, Hobby Builders Supply at some point acquired THoM and Houseworks. Hobby Builders Supply currently sells dollhouse supplies on miniatures.com; however, when I just looked on miniatures.com, I could not find any THoM kits. It appears that the kits were no longer produced after 1998.
After a Google search, I found THoM kits (sealed kits from 1976-1994, as well as opened kits) for sale on https://www.thehouseofminiatures.com. The kits are also for sale on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHouseOfMiniatures. If the THoM furniture style interests you and you like building quality furniture from a craft kit, consider checking out those sites.
Bottom line: With the furniture craft kits, the furniture looks more authentic than similar items sold in craft stores. However, the best replicas are from artisans, but that comes at a steep price.