(I am way behind in posts.)
Given the lack of space in our real house, it had to take up very little space.
I looked at the Girl Mechanic illustration on how to make a dollhouse elevator, and I even bought weights as recommended, but then it seemed as if the final stopping mechanism was a clothespin. So I decided to go with my original idea - which was to use a sailing cleet.
(Note Christmas decorations)
The elevator box is made out of matboard and wood. I put windows in each matboard wall: I made the white one out of coffee stirrer sticks and plastic packaging as the window. I used a tool called the Ultimate Easy Cutter (bought from Miniatures.com) to make the angled cuts. I love that tool.
I used a gate from Dolls House Emporium as the opening door and then made a little latch.
It slides along a wire string that runs along the wood (with holes drilled at either end through which it is tied) (probably hard to see in this picture), and the elevator is attached to that wire by a string loop - the dollhouse guy is leaning against that loop in the picture above. It is pulled up and down by the string in the ceiling which then wraps around the sailing cleet.
Here it is next to the dollhouse (which still needs a lot of work):
That space there was originally meant for the staircase, but then my children each wanted 2 bedrooms for their respective dollhouse children (it's getting to be a very large family), so they took over the bathroom and the parents' bedroom (poor parents - no bedroom and they seem to have at least 8 children!). So now that space will become the bathroom and the parents' bedroom.
Unfortunately, my elevator is a bit like a leaning tower of Pisa. My children like pulling the elevator up and down, even though it is not perfect. However, my daughter is still concerned about having to take an elevator to get to the bathroom from the third floor, so I may have to build stairs anyway. (I guess they can be on the other side and cantilever out into the space under the desk that the dollhouse sits next to.)
I am trying to build lots of fun little features into this dollhouse. I really wanted a laundry chute, but then I would have to drill a large hole right by the stairway landing so we will see.
Have a great weekend!