PROVO -- Small-scale creations for a Doll House Festival represent big-time commitments of time, thought and money.
Students at Orem High School, for instance, dedicated months of class time and after-school hours to a three-story, seven-room mansion, complete with a staircase and Victorian living-room furnishings.The high school's contribution will be just one of 39 doll houses donated to the festival. They will be auctioned Friday and will be on display at the Utah County Historic Courthouse Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Doll houses not sold in the auction Friday will be for sale Saturday.
The event was started this year as a fund-raiser for the Children's Justice Center and IHC's Family Guest House. Organizers hope to make the festival an annual event.
Honorary chairwoman Marie Osmond donated a number of her porcelain collector dolls for the auction. In addition, the McCurdy Doll Museum will display 200 dolls.
But most of the houses have been built by volunteers especially for the festival. And the work hasn't been easy.
Just look at the Orem students. First, wood shop teacher McKay Sleight designed and cut out the pieces for a house with a plug-in front and a hinged roof.
His students helped sand, saw and glue, spending hours on some aspects such as cutting individual wood shingles for the roof and little shutters for the front windows.
Then Linda Jackson's family and consumer sciences class took over, replacing a textbook color unit with the hands-on decorating opportunity. They carpeted, papered, painted and decorated the rooms, using bits and pieces gathered and donated from local retailers and suppliers such as Roberts Crafts, Kwal-Howell Paint and Ogden Carpets.
"I loved it," said Amber Ashley. "I have some houses of my own so I was really interested in doing this."
"Instead of just reading about it, we were doing it," said Jenae Farley.
Each student in Jackson's class contributed to creating a fun and play-ready house, Jackson said. Some replaced the padding on the kitchen chairs with needle point cushions and bedspreads that fit into the color scheme.
Others scouted for tables and sofas and a kitchen stove.
Jackson said her students were told to keep their eyes open for doll house pieces that would work well. Along the journey, many practical and valuable lessons were learned, she said.
"We discovered there are a lot of different scales for doll house furniture, for one thing. That's why we have a little chair here for Goldilocks and a little piano in the upstairs playroom."
Ashby said she's going to have a hard time saying goodbye to the house. She probably spent more time on the project than anyone in the class, Jackson said.
The Utah Miniature Society also has made a tiny "tea cup" house that features a quaint kitchen scene inside the bowl of a china cup spilling greenery and flowers into a saucer.
Another doll house is "waterfront" property complete with a miniscule key in the door and baby seashells in a basket by the door on the wood plank porch.
Games, entertainment, food and music will be available at the festival. Organizers are asking a suggested donation of $2 for each person attending.