Don't forget to read all our How To Guides, listed to the left, for proper dollhouse assembly and finishing information.
These quarter scale buildings can be used in a variety of ways. You can decorate them to be individual gift boxes, as buildings for a model train lay out or as a Christmas village for a fireplace mantle or under a tree. Though they come enclosed on all sides, but they do feature removable roofs, so you can finish the interiors, or you can bash them into having open backs. Though I didn't do it for all of the buildings, I did bash an open back and finished the interior of The Arthur Dollhouse replica building that comes with this set. I will show you how to do this as we get further along in the assembly.
The trim that comes with this kit is made of cardboard. It is already white for those that want to have white trim. If you wish for your trim to be another color, you can paint this trim with regular craft paint. The shingles are made of cardboard too. They can also be easily painted to any color you would like or you can even apply a stain to them.
These parts are small and confusing, but thankfully they have been organized on the sheets according by building. Remove only the parts of the building you will be working on so you don’t get confused. Many of these parts are similar to eachother even if they are from different buildings so you won't be able to figure out what is what if you get ahead of yourself and mix them up.
The Carriage House
I will begin by assembling The Carriage House. I sanded the parts carefully before beginning. An Emory fingernail file is very helpful for sanding these small parts, especially the window openings.
With a lot of patience and using the easy cutter, I cut this notch on the bottom corner of the back wall of the building, so I can slip a small bulb inside of the building to light it up. You can use Christmas tree light string with white wire so it can blend with any faux snow you might want to display your buildings on. Make sure that you buy the mini cool burning, low watt bulb, light string that burns cool to the touch. This usually means 1.5 to 2.5 volt bulbs or you can use an LED Christmas light string. This is just one option of lighting, but you can certainly choose to wire your buildings, in the same way you would a dollhouse. You can also place up-lights behind them in the display area you set them up on.
I assembled the structure by putting up the side and back walls first, then the floor and the other side and front wall. Make sure it's on a flat surface so the floor is flush to all the walls on all sides. I used clamps to keep it all tightly together and let it dry. I used tacky glue for the assembly.
While the structure is drying, I can paint the trim. I had to remove the trim very carefully from the sheets because they are delicate and can be easily ripped or damaged. When they are out, I had to cut with a scissor the little bumps left on the edges from where they separate from the sheet. When you paint the cardboard trim, it dries so quickly that it's almost instant. I painted all of the edges all around so no white peeks through.
Even though I am not going to finish the interiors of these buildings, I am still going to keep the roofs removable, so I can have access to position the light bulb inside.
I glued the little doors on. You really don’t have to remove them from the front wall unless you're going to hinge them. Mine fell out when I took the piece off the sheet.
I gave the little building its first coat of paint. That way, I will be able to see where it needs spackle before a second coat is applied. I will also lightly sand it before painting it again.
While the paint is drying, I prepared the roof. I put the supports on one side first and then the other. Then while the glue is still wet, I aligned them properly and left the roof to dry. You have to remember to center the supports so they don’t interfere with the walls of the house. You can do this easily by simply marking where the walls fall on the roof and then putting the supports between those lines, evenly spaced.
After the paint was dry, I glued on all of the trim and painted the inside edges of all of the windows black to match the trim. I then glued on the plastic windows, making sure the silk screening is straight.
I then began shingling the roof. The shingles come in cardboard strips so you don’t have to apply them one by one. I drew the lines on the roof and then hot glued the strips to the roof. I presented the roof, but did not glue it on. It looks great and hold wells in its place.
I put the cupola on. The roof is made of white cardboard like the trim. You will have to choose a color to paint the side edges so it matches your color scheme.
The shingles fit perfectly on the roof. I painted the underside of the roof and edges. I should have done this before shingling but I forgot. It's still easy to do after shingling so it posed no problems.
Now look at your shingle sheets very carefully. You will notice some strips that do not look like the others. These strips can be folded in the middle. These are the trims for the roof tops. I hot glued the trims to the roof top and the cupola roof top. This hides any exposed edges on the top of the roof line. I painted the underside of the building, so it has a completely finished feel to it.
Because I did not finish my buildings inside, I will have to use tissue paper to cover the windows through the inside. That way, they will appear frosted on the outside and you won't be able to see the unfinished inside when I light them.