Thursday, February 16, 2017

Welcome to my doll room...

I have had a couple of conversations with some doll friends about organizing dolls and doll "stuff."  I thought I would share some photos of my doll room here because I ended up taking too many to put in E-mails.

For me it's impossible to totally organize my doll room because I have way too much "stuff."  I started collecting vintage Vogue Ginny dolls, their clothes, accessories, furniture, etc., 20+ years ago.  Then things started to snowball.  I found I enjoyed setting my dolls up in scenes so I started looking for Ginny size "stuff" when I was out and about.  I'd find things in antique malls, resale stores, dollar stores, discount stores, etc.  Often people on doll lists would post about their latest find and I'd find myself running around looking for that particular item (even if I didn't really need it).  I don't do that anymore.

Over the years I've tried to purge some of the "stuff" by cleaning out and sharing it with other people, but I still have too much!  I recently had another purge, but it really didn't make that big a difference.  The reason I sometimes have difficulty finding something is because there's too much.  I rarely buy "stuff" anymore and have tried in recent times to concentrate more on the actual dolls and their clothes.  I regret having gotten involved in collecting Chatty Cathy, Ann Estelle, and a few other dolls.  I wish I had just stayed with Ginny and her family, but I don't want to get rid of those other dolls right now.  Perhaps someday.

This is my doll room as of February 2017.  I hope that in a year from now there will be a lot less!!!  I have all these ideas for scenes in my head but only get a handful completed.  I know I really need to purge some more.  Time will tell.

My doll room has a lot of built in shelves and cabinets.  On this shelf I store books and reference materials.  I also have one of my favorite props on the top shelf.  My doll friend Judy gave me that school bus some years back.  You might have seen one of my back to school scenes in the past.  (NOTE: To see better you can click on all the pictures to enlarge.)
Below the books I have storage containers and some small drawers with odds and ends.  (I haven't organized and labeled those drawers yet.)  You'll be able to read the labels if you enlarge the pictures.
This shelf holds my Ann Estelle family and my Betsy McCall family.  The books are some vintage ones I've purchased, some from my childhood, and books my kids had growing up.
The cabinets below have doors and hold some of my vintage Vogue dolls along with a few other vintage dolls and some reproduction Vogue dolls.  I try and keep most of the vintage dolls protected from light behind closed doors.  I need to work in these cabinets and get the dolls all organized.
On this side I have some of my kids' Fisher Price toys that I saved from their childhood, the Hallmark collectible pedal cars that were a good scale for Ginny, and the vintage Superior tin kitchen by T. Cohn that I found on eBay.  It's almost identical to the one I had as a child and came in the original box with all the kitchen accessories.  I was thrilled when I found it at a reasonable price.  Below that I have smaller plastic containers holding doll shoes, socks, hair ribbons, head bands, etc.  I've got them all labeled.  On the shelf below that I have some Ginny trunks and a few odds and ends that I didn't get photographed.
Next to those shelves I have another set of shelves holding some of my dolls' clothes.
On another wall I have two large cabinets that I bought at Home Depot years ago when they were on clearance for $50 each.  I knew they'd be perfect for scenes because the shelves are deep.  My scenes are mostly in a state of disrepair and I need to get then organized again.  In the second photo I've been working forever on a game room and another bedroom and hope to get them completed soon.  That cabinet also holds a lot of the dresses that I hang to keep them from getting too wrinkled and dolls that are waiting to get dressed or repaired, or dolls that are waiting to be placed in a scene.
I store a stable (after all this is Texas and they might need a Western scene) and a church that I've been wanting to use at Christmas for the Children's Christmas Pageant scene that I've been mentally planning for years.  Now I'm thinking about having a wedding too.
On that wall I also have a couple of cabinets that hold dolls that are more collectable to me and that I leave in their original clothes.  My life size dolls are still dressed in their Christmas pj's.  I do intend to change their clothes before next Christmas!
Scattered about the room is my doll carriage project.  I used to weave baskets and bought the reed to fix this little resale store doll carriage, but haven't gotten around to finishing it.  I haven't been 50 for many years, but my mom gave me that pillow on my 50th birthday and I've kept it all these years.  The basket holds more of my kids' Fisher Price little people.  I just can't get rid of them!
On another wall I have more rooms set up in some shelves I bought at Target years ago.  They were deeper than bookshelves and were modular.  I had intended to buy more, but Target discontinued them much to my disappointment.  There's a utility room, living room, bathroom, bedroom, garage, and kitchen.  I attached Plexiglass with Velcro to keep the cats and dust out.
Next to that I have some drawers that hold "important" things that I might need for scenes.
These little drawers sit on top and hold small odds and ends.  I've tried to label everything, but couldn't come up with good labels for these odds and ends, so when I can't find something I'll look here first.  :)
Then I have this bench in front of the windows.  Normally, the boxes aren't on top.  Inside the bench are other things for scenes but I couldn't open it to photograph without moving everything.
Then I have another set of drawers holding my dolls' kitchen accessories and food.  Some of the fake food I bought and some I made.  Some years back I made food and drink items for my dolls and would like to do it again.  There are so many great directions online now!
On the top I have small drawers holding kitchen things and another container holding grocery items and ice cream.
I have some other food and drink items on one of the other shelves that I forgot to show earlier in this post.
 In the middle of the room I have my Chatty Cathy doll family.  They need some work too.  Quite a few are still dressed in their Christmas clothes.  I have a habit of putting stuff down there and I need to get that all picked up too.
They are standing on some very old drawers that used to hold greeting cards in stores.  There were racks that stood on top and held the cards for customers to look at.  My brother-in-law gave us these two sets of drawers years ago when he worked for a greeting card company.  Over the years we've painted them a couple of times.

In the drawers I keep more props and accessories. 
Yes, I have too much "stuff."  I just have all these scenes in my head that I hope to set up someday.  (You have to admit that I have a very active imagination.)  In the one drawer I can see one of the greens for the miniature golf course I envisioned for them.  That was a Dollar Tree purchase some time back.  Next to that is the circus items that were also from Dollar Tree.  Yes, I was going to have a circus too!  There are lots of ideas in those drawers. See why I try and stay out of Dollar Tree now?  I also don't visit the resale shops and antique malls much anymore.  Fortunately, the local doll shop went out of business.

That's my doll room as is looks today.  Somewhat organized, but not totally.  Perhaps by next year there will be less!
 P.S.  I also have some things stored in a closet upstairs.  I've packed up most of my modern Vogue Ginny dolls and their clothes and keep them up there.  YIKES!


  1. You do have a great imagination! So is that whole room devoted to just dolls? And you have everything going around on the walls and the middle of the room is for scenes? I thought the way you were talking that it would be a mess - there is a ton of stuff but it is extremely organize. You know where everything is and it is so neat. I miss my Chatty Cathy doll i had one just like that. Enjoy your dolls if you like doing them girl! Sandie

  2. I am impressed with your organization, Betty. You've inspired me a bit to deal with our boxes in the garage. At least open a couple of them to figure what to do with the stuff inside them. I like the idea of your dolls holding a wedding. That would be fun to put together.


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