vintage wallpaperKate-Builds-a-DIY-DollhouseWow — I now have 14 different vintage wallpaper choices to consider for the kitchen and dining room of my 1955 Betsy McCall DIY Dollhouse. When I ran into a … blank wall … a few weeks ago, Pam asked me to reach out to one of our longtime advertisers, Hannah’s Treasures, to see if they wanted to contribute to our project. They hopped right to it — sending me 14 different vintage wallpaper cuttings to consider. Oh no. Now I have a new dilemma: Which will I choose?

Disclosure: Hannah’s Treasures sells such cuttings on for scrapbooking and dollhouses and collages, etc. They provided these 14 cuttings to us for free. We did not promise any specific promotion in return. We will return the unused samples when the dollhouse is complete so that they can find happy new homes! (Also note, because this is an in-kind donation, we have made links to their sites no-follow as per Google recommendations.) Thanks, Hannah’s, as usual — we love working with you!

Last week’s dilemma:

dollhouse-wallpapedollhouse-wallpapeLast week’s dilemma: From a different crafty project last year, I had the small scrap of vintage wallpaper above, which I had desperately wanted to use in kitchen and dining room.  With nothing similar in the rest of Pam’s wallpaper hoard, she suggested I contact Marilyn, owner of Hannah’s Treasures, to see if she had any small-scale patterns in the colorway combination that I was looking for.

Marilyn was all too pleased to be of assistance — and within days, another fun funner funnest care package arrived on my door.  Thanks Hannah’s Treasures! This new selection of gorgeous vintage papers gave me a new problem — choosing which one to use.

Narrowing the field — Assessing scale:

vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaperThe first criteria I used to narrow down the wallpaper selection was scale. Though I loved all of the patterns, the seven designs above all had a scale that I felt was too large, or borderline too large to be used as wallpaper for the dollhouse.

Pam noted that some of these designs would make excellent flooring options — Mod Podge ’em right onto the floor — cover with a few coats of shiny varnish or Mod Podge — and you have instant vintage inlaid linoleum! Or… use the paper to create faux-laminate tabletops… countertops… or… what else?

Ruling out these seven designs reduced the field of possibilities by half.

Assessing pattern:

checkerboard dollhouse floorThe remaining seven options needed to coordinate well with the other big decorative area of the room — the red and white checkerboard floor (more on how I made the floor in a separate story later.) Whichever paper I choose for the kitchen would have to complement the floor without visually competing with it.

vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaperThe three vintage wallpapers above are scaled nicely for the dollhouse, and all include red and white, but I felt their highly saturated colors / high contrast / prominent gridded designs created a visual headache when placed next to the high contrast, checkerboard grid of the floor. So, I removed these three patterns from contention. 

vintage wallpaperI also decided to eliminate the design above for similar reasons — it the red and white polka dots alone had covered the paper, it may have worked well, but the beige and white stripes became a little too much — both in scale and in being too directional of a pattern for the small space.

The final three:

vintage wallpaper^ Option 1

vintage wallpaper^ Option 2

vintage wallpaper^ Option 3

All three of the patterns above had the right scale for the dollhouse … their feel is “flowery” rather than “high-contrast gridded” … so they would complement rather than complete with my checkerboard floor.

In fact, looking at the finalists, I hatched a new plan. While I had originally planned to use just one paper throughout the entire dining room and kitchen, I now could see a pairing in the making: One paper for the kitchen, a complementary paper for the adjacent dining room.

vintage wallpaperYes, I would use Option 1 for the kitchen, because it had all three colors — red, white and a yellow gold — that I was planning to use in the space. Since the installation of cabinets — and the already present flooring variation — would create a division of the spaces, I decided to use Option 3 — the lovely yellow, white and metallic gold paper — to cover the dining room walls.

vintage wallpaperIt may look a little busy in the kitchen right now, but once the white cabinets are put in, it’s going to look fabulous!

vintage wallpaperThere was already a division of flooring in the room between the checkerboard tiles and the cork, so the wallpaper line doesn’t seem so out of place, and it will become even less jarring after the addition of cabinetry.

vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaperI love the metallic paper in the dining room as well. It looks great with the cork flooring and feels very sophisticated in the space — perfect for the formal dining room.

vintage wallpaper vintage wallpaper

retro dollhousevintage wallpaperI couldn’t resist using the other finalist wallpaper — white with metallic silver flowers — somewhere in the house. The small stairway wall between the dining room and kitchen, the last spot in the house untouched by wallpaper, is now filled with a small piece.

besty mccall dollhousePam was right — once you start wallpapering it is so hard to stop! There are now seven total wallpaper designs in the dollhouse.

Mega thanks to Hannah’s Treasures for answering my call for help and supplying me with the perfect pieces of vintage wallpaper to set the stage for all the dollhouse decor yet to come!

You can follow all the stories about building and decorating my 1955 Betsy McCall dollhouse by clicking here.


  1. Kate says:

    hahaha…maybe Robin…We’ll see! I am going to do at least one itty bitty cafe curtain. That’s all I know right now. 🙂

  2. Pat in PA says:

    Kate, if you wanted to do the popcorn with glitter, you could actually do it on some card stock cut to fit for the ceilings, then just glue it into the ceiling spaces–shouldn’t really disturb the wallpaper… 🙂

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