reduce, reuse, recycle. aka the “trash” house

Despite my terminal complaint about lack of room in my real house for another mini house, I can’t help myself. I’ve just purchased kit #4, Greenleaf’s Orchid. No, my place didn’t grow by 17″ (the space needed to support the Orchid), but I do have a specific reason for this house. It involves a challenge.

I’ve gotten comfortable enough with construction that I wasn’t looking for another pretty home to finish and add to my collection. I was after something different. Let me elaborate.

I walk my dog four miles a day, and Sunny’s a pokey puppy. That four miles–split over two walks–takes the better part of three hours. She spends her time rooting under bushes and appealing to passers-by for handouts, whether head pats or snacks, and I spend the time listening to radio talk shows and podcasts, and looking on the ground for shiny objects. She’s thrilled to find a discarded sandwich; I’m equally thrilled to find a coin, broken bracelet, or toy dinosaur.

Lately, as I’ve been scanning the ground, I’ve noted some things that resemble dollhouse components. Then, as I wrapped up construction on the Rye, it hit me: why not decorate a dollhouse solely with items found on the street? A trash house! Of course, this is California, so it’s not trash, per se, it’s “recycled, reused, and reimagined refuse.”

I suppose if I were going to take this idea to the nth degree, I could make the actual dollhouse, too, out of a cardboard box, but I’m not in fun_and_craft‘s league, and given the less-than-privileged pedigree of the “Trash House,” I want to give it a fighting chance.

Greenleaf dollhouses came to mind for a few reasons: their houses are made in the USA; they have several moderately priced options; their houses have great detail; and, done correctly, i.e. a lot of sanding and filling, they are just challenging enough to give me something to do for several weeks. I saw a few kit options on their Web site that consisted of single rooms, but I wanted to kick it up a notch. Hence, the Orchid. It’s $39.99, so, not a bank-breaker, and it has the space to divide into four rooms: ostensibly, a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.

As of now, my rules are these:

  1. For construction, I’ll use the parts that come with the house, as well as any leftover pieces (baseboard, crown, trim) from previous projects. No new purchases.
  2. I’ll paint/stain the house and shingles, along with my found items with supplies currently in my collection. Again, no new purchases.
  3. I can use glue, adhesives, sewing supplies.
  4. I can use my tools.
  5. As much as possible, I must leave the items as they are–that is, not hidden beneath a coat of paint or stain. (Not a hard-and-fast rule.)

I’m excited and, as you can see, Sunny is, too.

Let the challenge begin!


  1. aprintzencoxnet says:

    Lol 🤣👍. You’re the most entertaining read. I especially liked your comments, “given the less-than-privileged pedigree”, and the pictures of Sunny girl… Hilarious. 😁😘❤️


    1. patti p says:

      This poor house is starting off on the wrong foot, but I’ve already found a TON of potentially great things to put in it!!


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