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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 ...

Friday, September 12

The Black Forest Bird Feeder Dollhouse

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 the How To Guides, listed to the left, for information on proper assembly and finishing of your dollhouse.

The Black Forest Birdfeeder By Greenleaf

I plan on making this bird feeder into a quarter scale dollhouse. This kit doesn’t come in sheets. The parts are already punched out for you so all you have to do is sand and punch out the slots.

I had to decide how I wanted the dollhouse to look before I could begin assembling. So I did a dry fit first.

I could have bashed the dollhouse with one side open but I really like the way it looks from the front. This bird feeder has an opening in the front where you can see the level of the seeds, through a plastic insert that covers the opening. I decided to not put on the plastic insert and leave it open instead. I want this to be the opened side of the dollhouse.

If you want a bigger opening, then leaving the side open would be your only option. This dollhouse goes together in an interlocking way where each part holds the other so I’m not sure if both roof panels can be put in if you decide to leave a side wall out. I'll be able to better see as I go along with construction.

In the dry fitting, I decided that in order for me to fit the floors into the dollhouse I would have to assemble the bottom, front, back and one side wall only. I can't continue assembling from that point on until I put in the floors.

Obviously I have to make my own floors which I will out of the cardboard box that the bird feeder came in. I have to make two floors because the bottom floor has to be a about an inch up from where it is now and then I want a second floor so the dollhouse is two stories. That will give me more decorating space.

To cut the cardboard floors, I had to dry fit, cut, dry fit, cut, dry fit. That is the only way to get the right size. Once I was pretty sure that the floors were the right size, I glued and clamped with masking tape the bottom, front, back and side walls of the dollhouse. I then slid in the bottom floor and glued it in place. I had to tweak it around to make sure it was level all the way around. This is why I left out the left side wall for now. It makes it so much easier to level the floors with the side open.

Once the second floor was in place, I went ahead and glued on the left side. Now I can't continue until I begin decorating the interior of this dollhouse. I need to let all the glue dry before I can do that though. I’m going to print out wallpaper and flooring from the computer because this is such a small scale it will work just fine.

It's going to be tight fit to apply flooring and wallpapering but there’s really no other way of doing it. If I would have left off the side wall and began decorating, it would have been easier in the short run but in the long run, though, after decoration, when it's time to install that side wall, it would have been even more difficult than it will be now.

I primed all of the walls that will be wallpapered. You don’t have to do the front walls because they won't be visible from the outside once the roof is assembled. I didn’t prime the cardboard floors because it's not needed and I also want the brown background color they have since my floor cover will resemble wood.

I had to carefully dry fit and cut several times to fit the wallpaper and flooring. I did the flooring first. The second floor was of course easier because the roof is still off the dollhouse. Some long tweezers really helped me to reach into the back wall.

I wanted the edges of my wallpaper and flooring to look nice but I didn’t have to make them so precise since I had planned to use wooden skewers to trim all the floors and ceilings. I like the way the skewers bring the woodsy feel into the interior of the dollhouse. They also give more support to the cardboard floors.

So far I haven’t had to do a thing to the outside of the dollhouse because of the scheme I’m using. Like the Washington 2.0 Dollhouse, everything will be stained and then tole painted which allows me to build without having to paint anything first. If your painting yours in different colors, make sure you paint all parts before assembling them because at this scale it's very difficult to paint afterwards.

I added a trim piece to the front of the second floor, to hide the cardboard edge.

After I added the skewers, I realized that there is an opening on one roof panel. This is the opening that’s used for you to fill the feeder with seeds but I plan on making it a sky light window. It will allow more natural light into the little dollhouse. I’m leaving it alone until later.

Because I want this sky light window for the dollhouse, I had to wallpaper the second floor front wall on the interior because when you look into the dollhouse through this “window” you can see that wall and it will look unfinished.

I did stain both roof panels on the interior before assembling them because it's impossible to reach in there afterwards.

Make sure you follow the instructions carefully when you begin assembling the roof. It's an easy assembly but it must be done in order because the parts interlock like a puzzle and anything installed out of order will make the next piece impossible to put in place.

I also added the front panels that make boxes so birds can eat the seed but in this case they will be flower boxes.

After analyzing the sky light more I decided to go ahead and put the cover over it because it looked unfinished as is. There’s a small little slot over it so that the cover can be removed and it made it look like I just forgot a piece of the dollhouse. I decided it looked nicer with the cover in place but for it to remain removable for another viewing angle and to be able to fit larger furniture that might not fit through the front.

After all of the glue was dry I stained the entire assembly. I used the same color stain I did for the Washington 2.0 Dollhouse. After this stain dries, I can begin planning out how I want to tole paint it.

I finally finished the tole painting on the dollhouse. I used the same stencils as on the Washington 2.0 Dollhouse but not any flowers so there’s some difference.

I filled the flower boxes with flowers.

I made furniture that looks like its made from twigs to continue the birdhouse dollhouse feel. I assembled it using floral wire painted brown. All you have to do is twirl the painted floral wire around your finger or any other object, depending on how large you want it to be and it creates a "bird's nest" effect. You can also shape your floral wire into different designs like the circles I made to create the headboard to the "nest bed". Then you can add some small silk leaves to your furniture to create the out door feel.

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