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Why The House of Miniatures?
Hello. My name is Colin Michael. It’s no mystery that I enjoy making the miniatures kits produced by X-Acto™ The House of Miniatures (THoM) from 1976 to 1998. But why do these little wooden puzzle pieces entice and delight so many of us?

Here's my mini-story.

Long ago…
In 1977 I was 14 years old and my home was in turmoil, but I was having the time of my life. My mother had recently left her second husband. My grandmother had joined us in renting a home that Fall. Gram and I were great friends. We often explored old houses or went to miniatures shows or to rock collecting meets on the weekends. She would be at home on weekends while my mom was working in her new career of “mixology”. Weekends became mini time.

In the spring of ‘77, I had made a dollhouse for my baby sister in shop class. My grandmother and I were working on finishing it with things we picked up at shows. We didn’t have much of a budget. She hooked a tiny rug and made decorations. I read through the miniatures magazines and dreamed up ideas for the outside of the house.

Kits to the Rescue
That’s when The House of Miniatures ads for kits-by-mail caught my eye. All it took was "One Dollar" to get that first kit, a chest-on-chest dresser that I built myself! I loved building model cars and had learned about clamps and glue in shop class. I was ready to fill that house with colonial furniture like I saw in the old houses of New England and in my mother’s Colonial Homes magazines.

We received and built several kits before the money ran out. Soon the fun times ran out, too, as my mother patched things up with her husband. He moved in and my grandmother moved out. By early 1980, I put the dollhouse in the garage. And after I turned 17, I found many new interests.

Many Years Later…
It was many years before I rediscovered miniatures as a hobby. My youngest daughter loved log cabins, and I found a log cabin dollhouse and some furniture kits at a flea market in November 2004. I gave her the house for Christmas and set about building the rustic kitchen kit from Realife. That furniture was okay, but nothing like the quality of THoM kits.

I mentioned to my wife that I had built better kits when I was a teenager. She reminded me there was some dollhouse stuff among my mom's craft supplies. My older daughter received them when my mother passed away. We looked, and sure enough, my old X-Acto kits were in there. We also found the rug my grandmother made and some other odds and ends.

Back in the Game
That started me back in the miniatures hobby. I built kits, built some houses, and built web sites. Life is funny, full of circles, laced with scraps of memories that cross generations.

A few years later, I was looking for more THoM kits. I had a hard time finding information on them, even though the kits were very popular on eBay. So I collected kits, gathered information, and contacted Houseworks to find out what had happened to The House of Miniatures. They told me that once the subscription model had played out, they gave up the manufacture of kits. They sold out their supply through their sister company, Hobby Builders’ Supply.

In 2006, I asked permission to use the THoM logo and pictures of the products on an informational website. They were very supportive. So, since 2007, I have been building kits and building the THoM informational hub at The hobby is a great joy and the informational website is a labor of love. The blog ( is another way for me to give back to the miniatures hobby. With the ideas and tips and reviews I've gathered, I hope it will encourage you to build kits, build a hobby, and build your heritage in miniature.