Don't forget to read all our How To Guides, listed to the left, for proper dollhouse assembly and finishing information.
Take note that the new Haunted House Dollhouse kit does not bring risers for the staircase. The instructions and schematics have been updated without the risers but the parts template has not and still mistakenly shows 8 risers included in the kit. Also the instructions show a photo of the staircase with a bottom riser. This riser does not exist and is not included in the new kits.
ThE first thing I’m going to do is the leaded windows. The good thing about the Haunted Dollhouse kit is that the windows have no silk screening. They are completely clear so I can use them for the look I'm trying to achieve. If your windows are silk screened, you might want to use transparencies instead of the original window so they are clear and you can make your own patterns. Transparencies are the clear plastic used in over head projectors. Any office supply store should have them. Remember that any clear plastic will do if the transparencies are difficult to find. Keep your silk screened windows so you can use them as templates for cutting out your new windows.
There are many ways of making leaded glass. You can use real thin wire or thread to make realistic leaded glass but I’m looking for something easier. You can also use a very thin tipped permanent marker in gray or any other color but I’ve decided to use glass paint. I want the “leaded” design to be kind of raised so it looks more realistic and a marker isn’t going to achieve that look.
I cut out a small piece of the acrylic sheet where the windows came on and I tried some experiments with it first. I used regular acyclic gray paint on it and made the line and then I used the glass paint and made the same line. They both dried in the same amount of time but I liked the look of the silver glass paint better. It just seems to hold up much nicer. On the bottle the glass paint says to bake or wait 21 days for it to dry but in this case neither is needed and it dries in a few hours. Remember, your not using it for real glass or ceramics, it's just to make a design on a surface that will not be washed or handled in anyway so it will hold up just fine with time.
Now the leaded design. You can make any design you want for your windows but I’m going for the traditional diamond. I printed out some diamond designs from my computer. You can make the diamond shapes as large or small as you want them to be. I chose them in the middle because I wanted them to be a little wide apart.
Tape the template to a flat work surface so it won't move. Take your windows and add a little bit of Mini Hold wax to their backs so you can temporarily hold them to the template. You don’t want them to move either when your trying to do this.
You need a bottle and some fine steel tips. I’m going to put my paint in this bottle and then squeeze it out in very thin lines onto my windows, following the template design underneath. When you put your paint in the bottle, do it in a angle and not a straight up and down so that it will slide better towards the tip. Glass paint is a little thicker than normal acrylics.
Now gently squeeze out paint. Do it away from your windows first until the air forces the paint out easily. When you squeeze out the line of paint on your windows, follow the template. You want a little imperfection in your lines because the lead on real leaded windows is slightly thicker in some areas and narrower in others. As you can see squeezing out the lines from the bottle gives the paint a raised effect versus a flat effect.
After your done, leave your windows alone so they can dry. I find that a warm light bulb makes them dry faster. Don’t get them too close to a very hot bulb or you will melt your acetate window panes. It will take a few hours for them to be dry enough to handle. Don’t be too rough with your raised design or you could damage it. The paint is not thoroughly dry until 24 hours.
If you want a frosted look to your windows, you can make this effect with clear nail polish. Clear nail polish will cause a white frosted look but you can also use other colors to achieve other looks. Use sheers or pearl finishes to add other details to your windows. Since clear nail polish is what I had on hand, I’m going to use it to make a frosted type of look for the windows. Apply your nail polish to the interior and not over the exterior painted design. Different nail polish colors could even create stained glass designs.
As you can see, the nail polish makes the windows look frosted or like crackled glass. I like the opaque looking windows for the style of dollhouse I’m making.