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This process will take some time. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Welcome

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!

View or print the More Minis Dollhouses Project Planner PDF to help you begin your next dollhouse project!

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Custom Rehab Week 01

This upcoming project is a little different from my usual ones. This is a rehab. This custom dollhouse belongs to a neighbor and she was ...

Thursday, January 18

FAQ's

QUESTIONS

ASSEMBLY
What can I use to hide gaps?
Do I have to use nails for my dollhouse?
Do I have to use power tools to assemble my dollhouse?
Should I seal the wood before assembly?
Do I have to prime my dollhouse and what do I prime with?
What paint can I use on my dollhouse?
Should I paint my dollhouse before or after assembly?
Should I wallpaper before, during or after assembly?
Is siding applied before or after construction?
Are siding and shingles painted before or after they are glued to my dollhouse?
How can I attach miniature accessories to my dollhouse?

DOLLHOUSES
Do dollhouses really talk?
What is a dollhouse "shell"?
What are dollhouse "components"?
What is kit bashing?
What is rehabbing?
What is dry fitting?
What are dollhouse "scales"?
What is a "laser cut" dollhouse kit?

DOLLHOUSE KITS
My dollhouse kit is missing instructions and/or parts.
I don't know the name of my dollhouse or who manufactured my dollhouse kit.

MANUFACTURERS
How many dollhouse manufacturers are there?
Are Greenleaf and Corona Concepts the same company?
Why are there so many dollhouse manufacturers that are no longer in business?
What is Bespaq?
What is Chrysnbon?
What is HBS?
What is HOM?

MATERIALS
What glue should I use to build my dollhouse?
What is a Dremel?
What is an Easy Cutter?

My dollhouse kit is missing instructions and/or parts. What do I do?
If your looking for missing instructions and schematics for a Greenleaf, Corona Concepts or Real Good Toys dollhouse, you can contact these manufacturers directly for a copy. Their contact information is on their website.

If you bought their dollhouse at a retail store, they will most likely send you instructions for free. Sometimes a manufacturer will have downloadable copies of assembly instructions on their website. You can also go to a dollhouse forum and see if a member will send you instructions.

I have scanned instructions for several popular, discontinued dollhouse models, in PDF format, here. I do not keep copies of any of the instructions for the dollhouses I've built, so unfortunately, I can not fulfill instruction requests.

Dura-Craft Dollhouses is no longer in business. You won't be able to contact them. If you're missing instructions for a Dura-Craft Dollhouse, that is not listed in the link above, you will have to search eBay or a dollhouse forum for them. Walmer Dollhouses is now Real Good Toys Dollhouses, so they may have instructions for any Walmer brand dollhouse kit. Many Artply Dollhouse models were made my Greenleaf Dollhouses, so they may still have instructions for these kits.

Any other dollhouse kit brand, not listed above, has either been discontinued or the manufacturer does not have a website. I suggest you contact the vendor of your kit and inquire about the manufacturer's contact information.

Your dollhouses manufacturer will also send you replacements for missing or damaged parts, free of charge, if you bought your kit directly from them or from an authorized retailer.
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I don't know who manufactured my dollhouse kit. How can I find out what dollhouse I have?
If you don't know what kit you have, you won't be able to find missing instructions or know if it's still in production, to order missing parts for it. I suggest you go to the Greenleaf Forum, register and post pictures of your dollhouse or describe it to members. Many dollhouse enthusiasts, who are members, might recognize your dollhouse and be able to give you information on it.
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What glue should I use to build my dollhouse?
You should use a good quality, wood or white glue or a good quality, tacky glue to assemble your dollhouse. You will most likely need both because they work differently, depending on the task.

Wood glue does not dry clear, so it’s best for gluing together parts that will be painted or in some way covered later. White glue and tacky glue both dry crystal clear, so they are excellent for gluing together parts that have already been stained or painted. Wood stain will not penetrate any kind of glue, whether clear or not, so stain before assembly or apply glue sparingly and very carefully.

These glues will need drying time and the length of that time depends on the climate of your work area. High humidity levels will require longer drying times.

Hot melt glue will reduce your waiting time but it is not an appropriate glue to assemble your dollhouse with, especially if you want it as an heirloom. Hot melt glue has a tendency of becoming brittle and loose with time. Aesthetically, it also poses a problem. It dries thickly, not allowing for parts to lay together flush and globs are impossible to avoid on such small parts. For these reasons, hot melt glue was never meant to be used for wooden dollhouse assembly. Hot melt glue should only be used to apply siding and shingles to your dollhouse.

Siding can be applied with a thick, quick grabbing tacky glue or a hot melt glue.
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What is a dollhouse "shell"?
The shell of a dollhouse refers to the basic assembly of the walls and floors, with no components.
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What are dollhouse "components"?
A dollhouse component is all the extras that are put on the shell of a dollhouse. They include windows, doors, shutters, chimneys, gingerbread, trim, siding and shingles. Often times this also includes the dollhouse roof, especially if it creates an attic and has dormer windows.
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Should I seal the wood before assembly?
You should never seal any part of a wooden dollhouse, unless you plan on leaving your dollhouse in an all natural, wood finish, instead of a painted finish.

Sealing the wood of your dollhouse will make it impossible for glue to adhere properly, so not only will you be unable to put your dollhouse shell together, but you will be unable to apply finishes to your dollhouse like wallpaper, flooring, etc. You will also be unable to use stain on any areas because once the wood is sealed, stain will no longer penetrate it.
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Do I have to prime my dollhouse and what do I prime with?
You should always prime any wall that you wish to wallpaper or apply any covering to. Priming helps your wallpaper adhere better because the wood will not soak up all of your wallpaper paste. It also helps even out the color of the wood, so you don't have any dark, raw wood, blotches showing through your wallpaper, especially if it's a light color. Finally, priming your dollhouse walls helps reduce the acid that wood releases naturally, which can eventually ruin your wallpaper.

You can prime with any flat, household, white, primer paint but you can also use any light colored, flat, latex or acrylic craft paint to prime your walls with. Walls that will be painted do not need to be primed. It usually takes two coats of paint or more to paint a dollhouse, depending on the type of paint you're using, so the first coat will technically be the primer.

Always prime your floors if you plan on adding a flooring cover to them. Use a color that is similar to your flooring color. This will prevent raw wood from showing through wood planks, for hardwood flooring covers. When using plastic or paper flooring, it will prevent dark, raw wood, blotches from showing through.

If you are not going to use shingle templates, you should prime your dollhouse roof, before shingling, in a similar color to your shingles, so that raw wood does not peak through between shingles.
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Should I wallpaper before, during or after assembly?
You should always wallpaper your dollhouse after assembly but, tab and slot dollhouse assembly, usually requires all three. Depending on your dollhouse, you will have to wallpaper before, during and after assembly.

Certain areas, like slanted dormers in attics, are easier to wallpaper before assembly. There are some areas in dollhouses that can not be accessed once the dollhouse is completed, so these areas have to be wallpapered during assembly, before they are closed off from access. This is particularly true for closets, stairwells, hallways, hidden rooms and staircase walls. There are many basic box shaped rooms that can be wallpapered easily after assembly.

This is why you should always dry fit each step of your dollhouse, before you commit with glue, so you know what to expect beforehand. Also analyze the finished interior photos of your dollhouse model, so you have an idea on what areas can be wallpapered after and where you will have to wallpaper before assembly.

For more tips, I suggest you read the Dollhouse Wallpapering Guide.
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Should I paint my dollhouse before or after assembly?
All parts of your dollhouse are best painted during assembly and before parts are glued together. You should never leave the painting of a dollhouse for after assembly. The parts are too small and trying to paint them after construction, will be quite an enormous and unnecessary task, that will not give you a nice finished look.
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What can I use to hide gaps?
Lightweight spackling compound, used to repair dry wall, is the most user friendly material to hide gaps. It's easily spreadable, goes on smoothly and can be sanded and painted.

Spackling compound can not be used on any area that you want to stain because it's white and will not dry clear. Stainable, sandable wood filler is appropriate for use on areas that you want to stain.
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What is kit bashing?
Kit bashing is a term used to describe any modification done to a dollhouse that’s not in its original instructions or specifications. Adding a wall or closing off a window are examples of kit bashing. Kit bashing helps you make your dollhouse fit the unique design, style and vision you have for it.
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What is rehabbing?
Miniaturists use the term "rehabbing" to mean rehabilitating an already assembled dollhouse. When you rehab a dollhouse, you basically take a dollhouse that someone else has built and you modify it to your tastes, repair damage or salvage it from a bad assembly. Rehabs can be as simple as changing the color scheme of an already built dollhouse, to actually disassembling the dollhouse and rebuilding it with new components and an entirely different interior décor. Many unwanted dollhouses have been saved by rehabbing.
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What paint can I use on my dollhouse?
You can use any latex household or acrylic craft paint on your dollhouse, with any finish you want it to have, from flat to satin. The choice is completely up to you and what you want the end result to be.

Glossy and/or oil based paints are not recommended because they are too thick, smelly and the gloss will allow for every little flaw to become highly visible on your dollhouse. High glosses can also prevent glue from adhering properly.
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Do I have to use nails for my dollhouse?
Dye-cut or tab and slot, 1/8th” plywood dollhouses do not have to be nailed or stapled in any way. Glue is suffice to hold them together. If the right glue is used, even a rough playing child will be unable to take the dollhouse apart for many years to come.

MDF or cabinet grade, 3/8th” plywood dollhouses require glue AND nails because the wood is thick and extremely heavy. You should never build this type of dollhouse with only glue, especially if it's for a child. The dollhouse can easily come apart and cause serious injury or death. Always follow the manufacturers assembly instructions and suggestions.
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Is siding applied before or after construction?
Siding should always be applied to a finished shell. Trying to apply your siding to the walls before assembling your dollhouse, will prevent walls from fitting properly together. During a dollhouse shell assembly, many walls overlap each other and the extra thickness of the siding will prevent walls from fitting flush.

You have two options for the application of siding, applying it before or after the dollhouse components. You can apply your siding to your dollhouse shell and then apply all components on top of it or your can wait for your dollhouse to be completely done and cut your siding around them. It's all up to you and what your preferred look is.

For more tips, I suggest you read the Dollhouse Siding Guide.
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Are siding and shingles painted before or after they are glued to my dollhouse?
It all depends on what is easier for you. If you chose to apply your siding after your components are in place, then you will find it's easier to paint it before gluing it on the dollhouse. If you applied your siding before your components, then it might be easier to paint it while on the dollhouse.

If you applied your shingles directly to your dollhouses roof, then it's easier to stain or paint them while on the dollhouse but if you used templates of your roof and glued your shingles to them, it's easiest to stain or paint your shingles before gluing the template to your dollhouse. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. It all depends on what’s easiest for you to do.

Do keep in mind that some shingle stains can not be painted over no matter how hard you try, so you have to be very careful to not get any drips or splashes on your newly painted dollhouse because you might not be able to fix it afterwards.

For more tips, I suggest you read the Dollhouse Shingling Guide.
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What is dry fitting?
Dry fitting is testing a part to see how it fits before you glue it in place. Some people dry fit by putting together their entire dollhouse, without glue, to see how the assembly process will be and what to expect. Masking tape is useful for this in order to keep the dollhouse together.

A more practical approach is to just dry fit each piece as you go along and follow my construction blogs, so you can see what to expect at each step.
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I hear people say that there dollhouse has or hasn’t spoken to them yet. Do dollhouses really speak?
Dollhouses do speak to their builder. Just like a canvas talks to a painter or a violin talks to the player, dollhouses also talk to their assembly artist. Sometimes you may have an idea of what you want your dollhouse to be but you will find that the dollhouse will fight you every step of the way and force you to change your décor plans for it. This is something that’s experienced by the dollhouse enthusiast with every build. Don’t force a dollhouse into a décor it's not in harmony with, because you will never be happy with the outcome. It's best to let the dollhouse be what it wants to be.
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What is a Dremel?
A Dremel is a small rotary tool that is used to sand, cut and engrave. You can buy many types of bits for it, to do a multitude of different things. Its small size is perfect for many dollhouse projects.

Though "Dremel" refers to an actual brand name, it has become a popular way to refer to any rotary tool but remember that rotary tools are made by many other manufacturers as well.
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What is an Easy Cutter?
An Easy Cutter is a tool that is very popular among dollhouse builders because it can cut small scale lumber. It also has metric markings, so you can make miter cuts for crown moulding, baseboards, etc.
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What is HOM?
This refers to House Of Miniatures Furniture kits. These kits have been discontinued, so they are no longer in production. Some miniature retailers have some kits left over and will still sell them. You can also find them on eBay and Craigslist. These furniture kits are wooden, nicely detailed and true to scale.
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What is Bespaq?
Bespaq is a San Franciscan company that produces museum quality, miniature furniture, in many different historical eras and styles. This furniture is extremely detailed and realistic. Many of the pieces are limited edition, so they are highly sought after by collectors.
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What is Chrysnbon?
Chrysnbon furniture kits are made of polystyrene plastic, that is detailed and grained to resemble wood furniture. Chrysnbon kits are very true to scale, easy to assemble, inexpensive and are replicas of real antique furnishings. Once assembled and finished you can not tell the difference between real wooden furniture and Chrysnbon pieces.

Aside from furniture, they also make polystyrene plastic accessories from different historical eras and dollhouse components.
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How many dollhouse manufacturers are there?
In the United States there are two main dollhouse manufacturers, Greenleaf Dollhouses (dye-cut, tab and slot, plywood dollhouses) and Real Good Toys Dollhouse (MDF, cabinet-grade, plywood dollhouses). When you go into a dollhouse store or browse a miniatures catalog, these are the two main manufacturers that you will encounter. There are many other manufacturers around, many outside of the United States, that are less known.
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Are Greenleaf and Corona Concepts the same company?
Yes. Greenleaf makes dollhouses that are manufactured under the Corona Concepts brand name.
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What is HBS?
This stands for Hobby Builders Supply or miniatures.com. This is the leading dollhouse supplier in the United States.
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How can I attach miniature accessories to my dollhouse?
I have posted information about the different products to use, on miniature accessories, here.
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Do I need to use power tools to assemble my dollhouse?
For a tan and slot dollhouse, power tools are not needed for basic assembly. Though not necessary, if you plan on doing extensive kit bashing on your dollhouse, they will make the job easier for you. A simple rotary tool or palm sander can make cutting of your plywood and sanding down doors, to fit openings, much easier and faster.

A cabinet grade or MDF plywood dollhouse will not need any power tools for basic assembly either, but if you plan on doing any kind of kit bashing, on these particular dollhouses, you will have to have the appropriate power tool that can handle, 3/8th" plywood and/or MDF. MDF is much harder than plywood and can give many power tools a hard time. I suggest you ask the manufacturer what tool they recommend for this type of plywood.

Many large power tools can be rented for a few hours or for the day, instead of having to purchase them. If you do not want to have to handle a power tool yourself, you can always take your dollhouse parts with you, to a home improvement store or a lumber center, and have someone cut the part for you, at a fee.
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What is a "laser cut" dollhouse kit?
Laser cut dollhouse kits are manufactured by Greenleaf Dollhouses. They use the same concept as their traditional dye-cut, tab and slot kits but instead of a dye machine stamping outlined, punch-out parts to a sheet of wood with a blade, a laser beam does all of the cutting.

The assembly process still uses the tab and slot, punch out feature but the part edges are smooth and minimal sanding is required. The laser cuts are also very precise, making tiny details cleaner, crisper and fitting of parts easier. Because of this ability to make finer details, Greenleaf Dollhouses has re-released many of their beloved dollhouse models in half-scale.
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Why are there so many dollhouse manufacturers that are no longer in business?
You might come across a wide array of dollhouse brands, that you have never heard of or can not find information for. Many of these dollhouse kits are found at garage sales, estate sales, auctions and online sales ads. The reason that the kits live on, is mostly due to people that bought them and then decided they did not have the time to assemble or the process was too difficult.

Many dollhouse manufacturers have closed for a variety of reasons. Some of these companies made products that people were just not happy with, because of their difficulty or price. Many made only a temporary, special selection of products, to see how the public would respond, and then decided to no longer continue manufacturing them. Others were bought by and/or merged with larger companies, making their brand name and products obsolete. Many people purchase the kits not realizing that they are buying a kit that can be decades old and from a company that no longer exists.
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What are dollhouse "scales"?
Scale is the defined size ratio between a full size object and its miniature scale version. Dollhouses come in a variety of scales.
  • One Inch Scale, also referred to as 1:12 or 1/12", means that 1 inch in the dollhouse, equals to 1 foot (12 inches) in life scale.
  • Half Scale, also referred to as 1:24 or 1/24", means that 1 inch in the dollhouse, equals to 2 feet (24 inches) in life scale.
  • Quarter Scale, also referred to as 1:48 or 1/48", means that 1 inch in the dollhouse, equals to 4 feet (42 inches) in life scale. This scale is often used in model railroad displays.
  • Micro Scale or 1/144", is also used in some model railroad displays but is also often used to create a "dollhouse for your dollhouse".
There are many other size scales out there but the above scales are what you will most likely run into as far as dollhouses go.

The largest dollhouse scale is Playscale, also referred to as 1/6'. This scale is used for 11" - 12" fashion dolls.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

looking for part # AXF1 first floor
AXW10 part of side of house
I bought AX760 Alexandria dollhouse.
Does anybody know how to get these parts?
Dura-craft no longer builds them
thank you
Jeannette Barnett

Tina said...

A wonderfully comprehensive Q&A. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. But one gripe! In the very last section you didn't mention 3/4 inch (1:16 scale). So let me tell you my 1:16 dolls are very offended. But other than that you have a praiseworthy website - thankyou.

 

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