Meet the Maker – Dani @ Joyful Girl Gypsy Heart Creations

Doll houses can be very big and quite expensive, so here’s an alternative for you – a roomhouse. Meet my favourite roomhouse maker – Dani.

What is a roomhouse?

Room-house is a small box design to hold a single room scale display for miniatures and models. Room boxes are much deeper than standard window boxes as they are meant to resemble a full size doll house. They are usually made out of plywood. They are also much cheaper than dollhouses.

Do you make everything by yourself?

No, it’s a team effort around here. My dad is very handy and I ask him “can this be done” a lot. If I can dream it up, he can usually cut it out. My mum is a seamstress and has a knack for decorating which happens to translate into miniature scale pretty nicely too. They are wonderful help with the roomboxes.

The miniatures I paint are my own little creative projects and something that I do alone.


Where do you look for inspiration?

My favourite place to look for inspiration, if I’m working on a project is a home decor magazine. There are too many project ideas to ever build them all.

Where do you get your supplies from?

All of our wood and supplies are purchased at local hardware stores. Trim and small wood at hobby stores and then doors and windows are all ordered from a supplier. Miniatures come from maybe ten different shops online and I’m always finding new shops with new things I’d love to order and make.

Do you collaborate with other makers?

I haven’t in the past, but that would be something I’d love to do in the future.

Do you have a favourite material that you like to work with?

My favorite material to work with is wood. Especially unfinished. I love the way it’s forgiving, if you don’t like something you change it. You can sand it different ways to get a different end result, making it look used and loved.

The biggest challenge so far…

I’ve had a few custom orders that challenged me, not that they were a crazy request but just that we hadn’t done them before so they took a little extra planning to figure them out. Furnished roombox orders really seem to be the hardest for me. They take so much extra time and planning to complete them.

What’s your favourite room-house you worked on so far?

I don’t build a lot of dollhouses and I’d had this kit for a while just waiting on the right time to build it. I love the way the “Summer Garden Cottage” came together. The exterior color was something I just mixed up accidentally and it turned out beautifully. I’d love to live in a cottage like this myself 🙂 It’s very inviting and looks like a great place to relax.

How many doll houses have you build so far?

For dollhouses I’ve only built around 20, but roomboxes I stopped counting a long time ago. There were over 100 at that point.

Can you describe the process of creating?

It depends on if it’s a custom order or something I’m building for the shop. With customs the buyer tells me what’s in their head and we go from there. I don’t sketch things out (drawing it not my strong suit) but I am an excellent list maker. So I make a list with size, layout and description and o from there. When it’s a project for me or the shop, I usually choose a paper or paint color first and then go from there.

Where do you work from?

For now I have a little studio/workspace. I have one side of the room and my mom has all of her sewing supplies on the other side of the room. She makes things for me and also has her own craft booth that she sews and creates for. I’d love to have a larger space at some point that looks like some of those craft rooms on Pinterest. The organization in some of those is unbelievable.

If you weren’t a dollhouse interior designer/maker, what would you be?

I started building dollhouses when I was eighteen years old. I’d always loved tiny things and bought my first kit and it started. I only built on occasion the first few years. Building something here or there and then selling it online. A few years later it just happened to turn into a business and it’s been way ever since. I feel very fortunate that I get to create and do something I love.

What’s a perfect day in Joyful Girl Gypsy Heart?

My daughter homeschools so she’s always close by and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think the perfect day is sunny, warm and quiet. 🙂 She’s busy playing and I can just go sit in the studio and work quietly. Sometimes I listen to music but other times I like when there’s no noise at all.

What does craft mean to you?

For me crafting is just getting an idea out. Trying something you’ve seen and want to try, learning something new or doing something you’ve done a hundred times. It’s just creativity that needs to come out in one way or another. I’ve seen so many gorgeous handmade crafts in this business and on Etsy over the past few years, from dolls to doll dresses to handmade food and miniatures. I’m amazed by the talent and just love to look at everything.
We’ve always done lots of crafts around my house from the time I was little and I now have a daughter who loves to make anything and everything herself. If she can dream it up, she can make it out of paper and crayons and usually a lot of tape.

Would you offer any discounts for the readers?

Absolutely! 15% off any roombox order (even customs) in my Etsy shop for readers with the promo code: whisperofthepipit

Thank you for reading!

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