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Whether you're an experienced builder or new to the hobby, I've gathered material from all over the web to produce the most complete, tab and slot, dollhouse assembly blog you can find.
Tip: 1. Read through all of the instructions that came with your kit first. 2. Find your dollhouse in this blog by using the drop down menu below. 3. Read through the building process in its entirety before beginning your project. Happy building!

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Monday, April 2

The Orchid Dollhouse Day 1

Click on Newer Posts at the bottom of each page so you can see each day of the construction.

Don't forget to read all our How To Guides, listed to the left, for proper dollhouse assembly and finishing information.

The Orchid By Corona Concepts

This dollhouse has double hung windows and I tried my best to explain how to assemble them. If you are still uncertain about their assembly, there is a great tutorial by Deb Roberts that is more detailed. You can see it here.

The instructions of this dollhouse are a little different. First there aren’t any detailed photos of each step. There are some illustrations on the final instruction page showing some of the assemblies, but they aren’t very helpful. Though this small dollhouse is not a very complicated build, its instructions can be confusing for a first timer.

I got my shell up, but it was somewhat difficult. You have to get all of these five sheets to stay up simultaneously. If you do them one by one, they will continuously fall. In order to have a nice tight fit, you will have to position them all together and clamp them with masking tape.

I used wood glue and lots of masking tape to keep them together. Make sure all of the pieces are fitting tightly. That’s the best way to make sure the glue will hold strongly. All of the tabs and slots fit without a problem.

While the dollhouse was drying, I decided to do take all of the pieces out of the sheets and label them. This is a small dollhouse without many parts, so it shouldn't be too confusing to remove them from their sheets but if you have doubts, do not proceed this way and leave all the parts in the sheets until the instructions tell you remove them.

I bagged each part according to component use. For example, all porch pieces in one bag, all windows pieces in another and so on. The parts that are too large, like partition walls etc, I just left them labeled in a pile together. As I take parts off the sheets, I cross them out on the schematics. That way I will know I got everything by the time I’m done.

There were some sheets that had pretty bad delamination on one side. My first floor ceiling was too delaminated for me to just paint it so I will use a ceiling cover to go over the damage. You can always use wood putty, sand and spackle it smooth. You can buy miniature ceiling cover or use textured wallpaper but I had card stock on hand. It will work just fine.

After taking parts off the sheets and bagging them, I’m ready to do some prep work on some of the components. I took off the masking tape clamps from the dollhouse because the glue is dry enough to do so. There is really nothing else I can do to the shell for now because I have to order wallpaper. The shell of the dollhouse cannot go any further without it.

I will be able to put the first coat of exterior paint to the walls tomorrow. I don’t want to do it today, so the wood glue has plenty of time to dry completely. If I try to paint the dollhouse while the glue is not thoroughly dry, the warping of the wood will pull the walls apart easily so it's best to leave it over night.

I like to put extra wood glue on the joints so that it penetrates missed areas. The wood will soak up all of this extra glue into any gaps in the joints.

I sanded all of the window parts and began painting them. I will sand each component as I get to it. I’m staining all the interior trim. I think it will look better with the idea I have for the floor.

Paint everything on all sides unless your absolutely sure that all of its edges will lie flat against a wall.


Annie said...

Wow! This first post helped me so much. I am also working on the Orchid, and the instructions told me to make windows first but after reading this, I put the house together first! I think that way is a lot easier.

Karen B said...

I wish I had read this sooner! My 9 year old daughter and I are putting this together as a summer project. Our first dollhouse too, and well...there are 2 weeks of summer vacation left and we're just barely finished with the windows! I will definitely be using this blog as a guideline! Thank you!

Meagan said...

Thanks for writing this. I also put the house together first and am working on bagging and sanding stuff. This weekend I will hopefully, find some paint colors to work with.

Original Nancy said...

Thank you so much for such great instructions. I am new and my kit is ready to be assembled. I only hope it turns out to be a house and not a lump of wood

Anonymous said...

I also wish I had read this blog before putting together the Orchid (my first dollhouse)--makes much more sense than the kit directions. Although I did eventually figure out the double hung windows and it was a major "Aha!" moment! I am contemplating my next dollhouse now and you bet I will read the blog first! Thanks so much!

Rebecca Gleason said...

I'd like to paint the pieces before putting the shell together (my husband is going to help me with that one.) Is that okay (i'm a first timer) or should I put the shell together and then paint?

Gina said...

If by "pieces" you mean the shell pieces, which are basically walls, you should paint them after the shell has been put together. Do not install the roof yet. Assemble the shell, paint it and then install the roof. The Orchid roof is tricky, so I recommend you read the How To Guides, on the left hand side of the blog.

Good luck with your project!

Rebecca Gleason said...

Should I sand the walls prior to assembling them? And do I really need a primer coat before painting? I am only planning on wallpapering one room. Sorry for all the questions, I am totally new at this.

Gina said...

You should sand all wall edges before assembly. You do not need to sand the walls flat areas until you give the walls their first coat of paint.

You do not need to prime anything that you plan to paint. The first coat of paint is technically the primer.

You must prime any wall that you plan on wallpapering.

It's all right that you have questions. That's why I recommend the How To Guides, so that you become familiar with the assembly process.

John Tomai said...

Building this for my Daughter's 9th Christmas. I'd just like to add that I used a Hot Glue gun to assemble my house and that was far easier than glue. I would just shoot a bead of Hot glue down any joint where two walls were to meet, and then used a rounded square edge of a piece of plastic (aka Tile Grout Tool) to drive the glue into the seam and remove 95% of the glue. -Result was instant bond and my walls were smooth and clean at the joints -no glue marks!


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