PLAISTOW — Earlier this year, Julie Hagel received a dollhouse in rough shape.
“It was lifeless,” she said. “It was essentially just a dark brown, wooden dollhouse which had no features in it.”
Nearly eight months later, Hagel and other members of the Small Passions Miniatures Club transformed the dollhouse into a finely detailed, five-room cottage . Now, someone from the community will get a chance to make the dollhouse their own..
The club has donated the refurbished dollhouse to Plaistow Public Library. The library is raffling it off this month to benefit the Friends of the Plaistow Library.
“It’s a wonderful thing that they’ve done,” librarian Lara Croft said. “We feel really lucky that we are able to benefit from this.”
The club originally received the dollhouse from Ruth Kiley.
“Her family was making it for her,” Hagel said. “She thought that we would be able to make better use of it. Unfortunately, she ended up passing away after she gave it to us, so this is in memory of her.”
After they received the house, the club got right to work.
“The foundation and the chimney are made out of egg crates,” Hagel said. “We even aged the individual tiles of the roof with a vinegar based type of bug juice so that it would look more natural.”
The house was painted by Amanda Tempesta of Hampstead, who added her own unique touch.
“I hid things here and there, so every time that kids go and play with it, they can find things they never noticed before,” Tempesta said.
The doorbell is painted in the shape of a butterfly. Above the door is a series of hidden cherubs and swans.
“I feel like kids would enjoy the rabbits hidden in the bushes and birds up in the trees,” Tempesta said.
Hagel said the Miniatures Club typically donates one item to the library each year.
“The library is gracious enough to allow us to hold our monthly meetings there for free,” she said. “I’m also a member of the Friends of the Library, so I thought this would be a great idea.”
So far, the library has raised $400 through the raffle, which ends Dec. 16.
The winner of the raffle won’t just be getting the house. A member of the club donated miniature furniture, so children would be able to furnish the house.
“We will have full room sets,” Hagel said. “We’ll have a mystery box with little odds and ends that are extras.”
The hope is it will make one child’s perfect Christmas gift.
“This is meant to be a dollhouse that someone can grow into,” she said. “They can start with kids’ furniture before they get some more fancier stuff.”
Hagel said dollhouses remain with children.
“It’s an activity a child can do with their mom,” she said. “They love it.”
Raffle tickets are available at Plaistow Public Library. Tickets are $1 each, $5 for six tickets, and $20 for 25.