From doll houses to display racks… I LOVE a bargain…

The other day when we went over to Sara’s house for my hubby’s birthday dinner, we went for a walk around the park before we ate dessert. As we passed by the dumpster for their apartment complex, my hubby spotted a large dollhouse beside it and asked Sara if she would like it. She didn’t seem to want it and her parents said she really didn’t have room for it anyway. Silly me… I said, “I’ll take it…” Someone had drawn scribbles all over it with what looked like a marker. I wasn’t sure if I could get it cleaned up but I asked my hubby and Sara’s dad if they could haul it over to our car… (I’m hoping your opinion of me doesn’t drop a notch or two just because I “dumpster dive!”)

Well, I got it home and tightened a few of the screws holding it together and stood back to see what I really thought of it.

If you click on any picture it will enlarge.





I wanted to see if a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser would work on it. Would it work??? The marks came off unbelievably easy as I just rubbed the eraser over them.


The two backboards had scenes on them that I was most interested in…a living room or maybe a parlor and then a kitchen and a bathroom. I decided the house was really too big for me as well but I knew I could use the 2 “scenic backboards” for my smaller dolls like Patsy Tonner and Elin, by Iplehouse. Here is just a quick couple of pictures I took quickly to show you the size of my doll against the backdrops.






I stood Isabelle, my 13″ Little Darling up next to it and I think she’s a bit too big for the backdrop. I don’t know if I put the scene
up on something that would help or not.


We put the other part of the doll house out by the road and it disappeared in minutes…even with the 2 backboards missing.

Okay, now to my second bargain… the display rack. I went to the mall today after an eye appointment and saw this “Learing Center” store was going out of business. They had all kinds of racks and display shelves for sale. I looked at all their things and decided on this one.


It’s a clear plexiglass or acrylic tiered rack that works very well for holding my doll patterns in. I can see them at a glance and plan to organize them by doll size and probably get rid of a few that I don’t use that much anymore. I put it on a bookshelf that I’m rearranging and it fit perfectly. I’m very happy with this $3.00 purchase!


I made some headway in my sewing room today but still have a ways to go. I don’t know what it is with me… I am always looking for the perfect set up or the perfect storage items to use in my room. Just like the new bookshelf I got the other day. Eventually maybe I’ll have my room set up exactly like I want.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, you are just like me! I love dollhouses and would love to fix up another! I have my childhood dollhouse, not the same one, but just like the same one I had, completely furnished just like mine was, that I got off Ebay. It is in my laundry room atop the washer and dryer! Then my mother won a dollhouse at a craft show, and when she didn’t have the room for it I took it and changed it a bit, so that it looks like a red farmhouse. They are so fun to have! The one you got looks so much better than the overly plastic Barbie ones that they have now—-and the price was certainly right for yours!! Are you keeping it in your sewing room?

    That rack for the patterns is just great! Are you going to keep the writing around the bottom? Is it a sticker or printed on? Maybe a pretty ribbon tied over it would be cute!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I only kept the 2 backboards and put the shell of it, that you see in my pics, out by the road. It apparently appealed to someone because it disappeared in minutes. It was really too big to keep set up in my sewing room and I told my hubby I would keep ALL my doll stuff in my room. If it got so full in there that I was overflowing it was time to purge.

      I do like the pattern rack…it’s really nice to see them stacked “upwards” instead of just flat in a container. It isn’t a decal as I tried to get it off, but I’m going to cover it with something. I like your idea of a pretty ribbon! Thanks.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. You got a real find, Jeanne! You just need to find a slightly shorter doll. However, I feel I should warn you, Jeanne, to not lean in too far when dumpster diving. You don’t want to end up on your head!
    On another note, There are other types of dumpster diving. When my brother, sister, and I cleaned out my parents large house we had to get a dumpster for carpeting, etc. and stuff that just wasn’t worth keeping or donating. It was setting on their driveway right against the garage and a guy stopped by, got in it, and was sorting through their stuff. Even though we were throwing it away, I felt like he was dishonoring my parents. Small town (population 1,200), someone we knew, not a homeless person who might need something, what nerve! I went out and asked him to leave.
    Completely different situation, I know, from picking up something that people have put out to be picked up, I just had to vent. Sorry.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jevne,
      I just CAN”T get any more shorter dolls! The backdrop will just have to be for Patsy and Elin. It would have worked well for Bitty Bethany I think.
      I don’t blame you for shooing out the guy who got in your dumpster. That does seem a bit over the top. Although I “may or may not have” been in a dumpster at one time or another!!! But not in one that someone had sentimental things in… good call Jevne.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I love getting things like that.. it was still very use able and had lots of love to still give to someone.. and so cool that it was gone from your front too.. proves my point.. I love re-purposing things.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Kath,
      Yes, it’s fun when you find something you can use and then someone else can use what you didn’t need! We’ve had pretty good fortune with things disappearing from the road that runs beside our house. Saves us hauling it somewhere…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Good morning Jeanne,
    What neat finds !!! Love the dollhouse. I have never seen one like that before. Like Linda, I love doll houses too and found one at an antique store just like the one I had as a child, including the furniture. It’s on display in my doll room.
    Your sewing room is going to be spectacular when you are finished !! It will be very organized and tidy. What perfect finds you’ve found with the bookcase and pattern holder.
    In a few days, we will be slowly be making our way back home. Can’t wait to open the white boxes sitting in my doll room!!
    Have a great day!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Paula,
      Well, maybe one of these days everything in my sewing room will be orderly… you should (NO you shouldn’t) see it right now. There are areas starting to look great, but others are still a wreck!
      Oh, those boxes waiting…. have fun when you open them.
      Blessings and safe travels home, Jeanne

  5. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Dolls & doll houses…….. if I love anything in this world that would be it. I am totally jealous of your super find – dumpster diving included! Me, I would have kept the entire thing and started furnishing it. Another rabbit hole for me.
    I love the back drops of this one. Perfect for picture taking for Patsy. She really looks at home.
    I have tin litho doll houses and furniture back to the 1940’s. These doll houses reside on the top of bookshelves and on my china cabinet.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jeannie,
      I think if the house had been more in scale to my Little Darlings, I would have kept it, but the top floor of the house was an even smaller scale than the backboards that I kept. I would have had to have a small doll like Riley for the top floor and then it wouldn’t have been practical to set it up for just a few dolls. Hopefully some little girl is enjoying it with her dolls.
      I just looking on Pinterest and on American Girl Play Things at some of the AG doll houses ladies have created! They are incredible.
      Thanks Jeannie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Oh …you little bargain hunter you!! Good job! Love the Doll house and pattern display rack! Gives me some ideas for what to look for garage saleing this spring!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Kathie,
      I know… I was hoping for some yard/garage sales for this weekend, but so far none advertised. I love little boxes, and tubs, and now acrylic racks!
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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