Adorable vintage dollhouse accessories from reader Janet and my Mom

midcentury vintage dollhouse1955 dollhouseI’m getting oh-so-close to completing my 1955 Betsy McCall DIY Dollhouse — the last challenge is to find those all-important final touches. Reader Janet offered to share some of her vintage dollhouse accessories, and I took her up on her gracious invitation. Wow, are these tiny drinking glasses just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? They remind me of my grandmother’s vintage silver leaf Libby drinking glasses. They seem to be made out of real glass! Just amazing! 

midcentury vintage dollhouseInside the package from Janet I found:

  • Two sauce pans
  • A cookie jar with cookies inside
  • Two cans of soda
  • One bottle of soda
  • One bottle of beer
  • One bottle of ketchup
  • A can of corn
  • A butter dish with removable top
  • A turkey
  • A pie
  • A loaf of rye bread
  • A marionette pupet
  • A Captain America book
  • A shoe box
  • A box of aluminum foil and a box of wax paper
  • A roll of twine
  • A clear tall vase
  • An empty green bottle and a small red bottle
  • A cloche with flowers inside
  • A small purse or bag of some sort
  • Two candles
  • Four drinking glasses

Janet writes:

I have a shoebox full of old dollhouse accessories that my Aunt Louise gave me; she collected them for many years. My aunt’s daughter is a renowned doll auctioneer, and she started collecting the dollhouses for her mother. My aunt had an amazing collection, and these were extras her four daughters didn’t want.  She had antique type boxes full of the stuff!  She also had a number of very elaborate Victorian era doll houses that were just incredible.

Aunt Louise just died in November, three weeks short of her 100th birthday.  I wonder where those dollhouses are now?  I wish I had gotten photos of them.

Wow, Janet, we’d love to see the treasures inside those antique boxes, too!

midcentury vintage dollhousemidcentury vintage dollhouseAbove: All the the accessories that look like glass — really do seem to be made of glass.

midcentury vintage dollhouseThe glass cookie jar is adorable — and filled with chocolate cookies. Yum!

midcentury vintage dollhouseI just love the tiny packaging.

midcentury vintage dollhouseThe tiny aluminum wrap and waxed paper packages even open!

midcentury vintage dollhouseI was shocked to see such a tiny little marionette in the package. Those ‘strings’ are made of sewing thread. The Captain America book has “copyright 1966” stamped on the back.

midcentury vintage dollhouseIn addition to the fabulous vintage goodies sent by Janet, my own Mom — who has been super excited about the project as well — found a tiny set of 4 plates, forks, knives and spoons at her local craft store and sent them for the dining table. Thanks, Mom!

midcentury vintage dollhouseNaturally, I had to set these new goodies up in the kitchen and dining room right away.

midcentury vintage dollhouse midcentury vintage dollhouseThe refrigerator is stocked with cold drinks — and ketchup — ready for company.

midcentury vintage dollhouseHey look, there’s a pie in the oven too…

midcentury vintage dollhouse midcentury vintage dollhouseIt looks like turkey will be on the menu this evening…

midcentury vintage dollhouse midcentury vintage dollhouse midcentury vintage dollhouseThe vase, candles and cloche look great on the credenza…

midcentury vintage dollhousemidcentury vintage dollhousemidcentury vintage dollhouseThe table is set and ready to go with placemats made from a fabric sample, plates and silverware from Mom, and glasses, bread and butter dish from Janet. Note: It was extremely difficult to set a table this small with my ‘giant’ fingers!

midcentury vintage dollhouseMega thanks to reader Janet for sending me the absolutely fantastic package of adorable vintage miniatures for the dollhouse — and thanks Mom for thinking of the table setting, too!

I’m so close to being ready to give you the full dollhouse tour — stay tuned!

 See all the stories about building and furnishing the dollhouse here


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  1. Jay says

    Priceless! Now I’m getting hungry and its only 8:30 AM. Thanks to your contributers for those great additions. The kitchen is really fitted out. The set dining table is great. Thanks for the update. Looking forward to the grand tour.

  2. virginia says

    Amazing, truly. All of it! A real labor of love and Janet is, well, uh — amazing! The house itself looks adorable — so pristine and detailed. Love it. Your mother’s items also really, really great. Love the colors used also — reds and greens in a house are always so inviting and look fab with your light woods.

  3. Lynne says

    Oh my goodness, this does bring back memories! Was anyone else involved in the dollhouse craze back in the 80’s and early 90’s? There were clubs, and dollhouse shops and shows, all over the US. There were at least two magazines published devoted entirely to the subject.

    I myself had two huge dollhouses and countless “room boxes”. Room boxes were what you created when you ran out of room in your real house for the doll houses! I have pictures somewhere…and a couple of my favorite room boxes stored in the basement.

    • Kate says

      I do remember there being more dollhouse furniture and accessories available in craft stores back then. I was a kid and I absolutely LOVED going to look at all of those tiny things! They seemed very expensive to me though, so I didn’t buy too many of them. I think it was because I only got 50 cents a week for my allowance (If I helped Mom around the house like a good girl) and I had to put half in my savings bank. I also had a mild addiction to My Little Ponies back then — so my hard earned $1 per month of spending money usually went towards getting a pony. 🙂

      • Lynne says

        Ah, yes, I have a huge Rubbermaid bin downstairs FULL of my daughters’ My Little Ponies. Which is right next to the equally large bin of Polly Pockets. I miss those days…..

      • Roundhouse Sarah says

        Those my little ponies are hot right now. I looked through my parents attic for my old ones but they were already gone. Otherwise I was going to sell them. Even had one who’s bottom smelled like pie! Lol

        • Kate says

          I sold all but my three favorite My Little Ponies a few years ago on Ebay. They sold like hotcakes. I made several hundred dollars even after ebay and paypal fees!

  4. Robin, NV says

    Squee!! Those itty bitty accessories are adorable! The aluminum foil and wax paper rolls are a crack-up. Such attention to detail. Kate, you’re killing me with these tantalizing glimpses of the house, can’t wait for the big reveal.

    Here’s an old archaeologist trick – if you want to know if something is glass, tap it gently against a front tooth. You’ll know by the sound it makes and how it feels against your tooth. If it “rings” it’s glass. It might be tricky with such small items but just be sure to hold it loosely in your fingers so the material can vibrate a little.

  5. says

    Love the teeny, tiny table settings. One question: I was taught that the spoons go on the outside, the knife closest to the plate. That’s how I set my table, but maybe they’re set differently elsewhere?

    • Kate says

      Nope, you are right Karen — the spoons should be on the outside of the knives. I was concentrating so hard on not knocking over or bumping these tiny place settings that I didn’t realize I set the table ‘incorrectly’ — good catch! I’ll have to try to fix it for the final photos — if I can get my giant fingers in there without messing everything up! It was really hard! Maybe I need tweezers! 🙂

      • says

        What you need is a hematocrit – a really long set of tweezers with scissor handles that has the capability of “locking,” if needed. I have a set for just those tiny little things!

  6. Jacki says

    So adorable! Now if you could only get that little telephone to ring like you did the door bell it would be complete :^)

  7. Kim says

    Oh my lord, Kate, the entire dollhouse project just makes me green with envy–my fingers just itch to get in there and play with it! And I am in my mid-40s, so there’s that. It is straight-up amazing. Those glasses! Those eensy cookies!

    Also, Nina–the tiny box of Kotex is HILARIOUS. This dollhouse needs one, don’t you think?

  8. lynda says

    Looks fabulous! How generous of a reader to donate just the right items for your house. I love all the details. Good job, Kate!

  9. Linda says

    That is amazing!!! The Captain America book reminds me of the prizes we could get for a dime or a quarter in those machines where you turned the handle and a plastic container came out.

  10. says

    Ever since you started this project, it’s reminded me of *my* dollhouse! Fortunately I didn’t have to assemble it; I got it (and the matching wooden furniture) for $30 at a thrift store, literally seconds before it was snatched up by a man who was going to give it to his 3-year-old daughter. He begged me to change my mind, but three years old??? No. This house deserved respect and matching vintage accessories, which is exactly what it receives. As soon as I find an appropriate stand it’s getting moved into my living room so my guests can play with it.

    Here’s a photo that does NOT do it a whole lot of justice because it doesn’t show all the teeny little details, but I’m still proud.

    Also, I have that same tiny telephone! Here’s a photo of my husband’s (yep, he’s in on it too!) He-Man toy receiving poor customer service: (If it shows up. Sorry if it doesn’t.)

    ANYWAYS, LOVE YOUR DOLLHOUSE!!! Such amazing attention to detail! More adults should really do this. I mean, if grown men can have train sets as an acceptable hobby, then women should get to have dollhouses!

    • Kate says

      Hahaha He-Man receiving poor customer service is hilarious! Very cool dollhouse Amber, thanks for sharing! You are right, if the men get their train sets, why can’t we have dollhouses? 🙂

  11. lisa in Seattle says

    I had a very elaborate dollhouse back in the 80s and I still love miniatures. Every once in awhile I consider building a new one. I still have most of the furniture and accessories, but not the house.

  12. Mary Elizabeth says

    Kate, your house now looks complete, especially the kitchen. I like the planter under the big window, too. Brava!

  13. DavidF says

    When I was a kid back in the 60s the little girls who lived down the road from me seemingly had every dollhouse gizmo you could imagine. Years later I discovered all this stuff came from a rather strange toy company that was called Deluxe Reading. They only sold their toys at grocery stores. I took a quick look and you can find a few things on eBay.

  14. Chris says

    DYING over those glasses. Incredible cuteness!!!!!! I have the set from my aunt – big size — so when I saw the teeny ones, I gasped with joy. So loud, my husband wanted to know what happened.

    • Kate says

      Thanks Laure — this dollhouse is very difficult to photograph so that means a lot!

      I’m using a 5 year old Cannon EOS Rebel T3 with the stock lens that came with it. I don’t have any fancy lenses or anything! 🙂

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