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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 ...

Saturday, June 12

The Aster Cottage Dollhouse Day 8

I assembled the chimney. I mixed some spackle and a little bit of light brown to stucco the chimney top.

I added pebbles to the chimney and like with every other area I've had to add pebbles to, you have to wait for each side to dry before you can continue.

I found dark brown faux fur. Faux fur makes great thatch but it is messy to work with and the potential for making mistakes is high.

Make sure your fur is applied running in one direction, downwards. To make the fur run downwards everywhere, you have to cut out each and every part of your roof pieces individually out of fur. You can not wrap fur around your roof joints, you have to cut them individually. The best way is to cut out the pieces from fur before assembling the roof because then you can use your roof pieces as a template but unfortunately, it doesn't always work this way. For instance, with this dollhouse, I couldn't understand the roof when it was just in parts and I didn't have the fur on hand either.

If the roof is assmebled, you have to make paper templates of each and every part.

I started with the back. I used parchment paper to make the templates because that's what I had available but you can use anything. Remember your not going to attach the fur to these templates, they are only a guide for you to cut out the roof shape from the fur.

Crease the paper around the edges of the part your doing and then cut it out with scissors. Make sure you lay down the fur, right side up and with the hairs going downward, then cut. The template is going to shift on the fur so you can try holding it down with pins, like you would when you are cutting out a dress template from fabric. I used binder clips to hold down certain areas of the template.

The good thing is that your cutting does not have to be perfect. Always cut out a little more from the fur and not the exact line of your template.

Apply tacky glue to your dollhouse roof and place your cut out fur piece on top. Press. Don't press too hard or the glue will bleed through the backing and onto the fur. If you accidentally get some spots of glue on your fur, don't worry. Tacky glue dries clear and your roof is not going to remain as it is now. You have to varnish it before it's done. Just avoid those spots none the less because varnish can make them visible.

After the fur is in place, cut with sharp scissors any excess fabric that is going over the edges of the roof. Your cut must be precise and right on the edge. If you cut too much, your edges will not join up nicely in the end and if you leave too much hang over, your fur will overlap at the edges and that won't look good either. It must be flush to the roof edge, not a bit more or less. There's no room for error.

After I was done with the back roof, I did the two side triangles. Notice the edges how flush they are and neat. The nice thing about this fur is that the backing makes the joints look like real thatch joints because its grey rather than brown like the fur.

The side have to be done individually as well. Notice again the joints as the back meets with the sides and the sides with the upper triangle.

For the big roof where the dormer is, you will have to piece the paper template in segments and then join them with masking tape so you can cut the fur out to the same shape as the entire roof.

I cut out a hole in the fur where the chimney will go because I want some exposed wood for the glue to stick to. It will be best if the chimney sticks to both the wood and the fur.

Brush the fur down with your hand as you go along to release the loose pieces and yes, there will be a lot of them.

I use a regular paint brush, with stiff bristles, to apply the varnish. When you apply it, the varnish will look white and milky. Don't panic. It will dry crystal clear. Make sure you cover the fur entirely and evenly. The varnish will mat down the fur and will look bad until it is thoroughly dried.

Once all of the varnish is dry, you can see that the fur looks exactly like thatch. It also feels like thatch. It's hard and brittle.

I assembled the little roof that goes over the door, much easier to do this one that the bay one and applied thatch to it as well.

You can apply fur to the underside of the roof if you like. I didn't. It just looks cleaner and more of the details are visible with the white stucco underside.

Glueing on the chimney afterwards was difficult because of how heavy it is but I added a lot of tacky glue to it and found some unique ways of holding it in place while it dried. I left it that way for 48 hours just to make sure that it held. The dollhouse couldn't be moved in the meantime because the chimney has to look straight when the dollhouse is viewed from the front or from the side.





















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