Tuesday, August 3

Custom Order 01 The Pierce Dollhouse Week 3

A common compaint about the Pierce Dollhouse is that there is no trim for the bay wall arches. I made a template of the wall opening and cut out my own arches from a balsa wood slab. You must use a craft knife because balsa wood does not take well to scissor cutting in an arch shape. I them added wooden balls to the top ends. These wooden balls are like rounded dowel ends, I guess you can call them round finials. They are sold at the wood craft section of the craft store. They work for the staircases and other detail work.

I added the baseboards all around the room and the ceiling trim. Hot melt glue sticks work great for clamping ceiling trim in place.

I really like the way the brown, white and blue looks together.

I glued in the fireplace and the front and dining room doors. The doors have to be sanded down considerably for them to fit perfectly in place. A palm or mouse sander works best for the doors.

I continued finishing the staircase.

Notice I already installed the second floor bath/bedroom partition which is basically a stairwell. Once the third floor is in place, this area will not be able to be accessed so do all your trimming before. The entire partition has to be wallpapered before assembly as well. Make sure you know which side goes to the bedroom and which side goes to the bathroom so your wallpaper will match up. You must wallpaper the bedroom walls before you install the partition and make sure you give your staircase one good look through the second floor opening before you enclose it with this partition.

I added all of the trim, door knobs and curtains to the dining/living area. The room is not finished thouhg until the tower goes up completing the bay area.

Notice the exterior color scheme. I decided to use a blue hue that matched the wallpaper perfectly. Me and the client have been debating back and forth the exterior colors of this dollhouse for a long while and we have both been on the fence on what it should be.

Finally we have agreed on the french blue, dark brown and white scheme.

It took a few days to complete the tower of the dollhouse but it still lacks the exterior window trim. Assembling the tower itself is not difficult but you have to do a lot of finishing touches around it. I like using skewers between the tower wall panels for this particular dollhouse. It streghthens the walls and eliminates all gaps.

Before you put on the skewers though, you have to put in your porch roof. This particular dollhouse has a very difficult porch roof assembly. I have read many newbies that have given up at this step and either gifted their Pierce away or thrown it out with the garbage. The trick of the Pierce porch is quite an easy one, you can not finish it one day.

Always paint the underside of your roof panels before assembly.

The first thing you have to do is assemble the side panels, glue them with a lot of tacky glue and let them dry for 24 hours. They will have to be very sturdy before you can handle them again since they barely having anything to hold them onto the walls.

You can then apply the wooden skewers between the tower walls. Let them dry, paint them to match and then apply spackle where ever you see gaps. Sand and give them a second coat of paint and your done.

In the meantime, don't touch your porch roof.

I assmebled the kitchen bay today and then applied the skewers just like I did with the big tower.

I also finished wallpapering some of the rooms on the interior.

This dollhouse eats a lot of wallpaper. You might not have enough with just three sheets per room, especially for the master bedroom and dining/living room areas. If you find that your running out, take a sheet to your local office supply store and have them print you a copy. The ink will have a slightly different hue of course so you will not be able to patch with it but you can use it to complete walls. especially ones that are out of view like the right walls of this particular dollhouse where the fireplaces are. The office supply store will make you very good quality copies in the paper of your choice for a dollar. Much cheaper than using your printer at home. The copy is also done in a large size paper like the wallpaper is and not letter size.

This dollhouse also has another problem with the wallpaper. It doesn't only eat it but the long walls, twists and turns will have you patching a lot of it up. Try to keep your patching minimal, only when absolutely necessary and always on walls that are not so visible, like the right walls. Also, do not patch original wallpaper with the one you printed out. The hues differences are noticeable if you do that. I had to do a heck of a lot of patching on the second floor right wall, I kid you not but with the fireplace in its place and the tower in, it's barely noticeable. It's not the ideal scenerio I would have liked but dollhouses are hand made and things like these are bound to happen. Your best solution is to work around problems as they come. If you dont learn how to do that in dollhouse building then you will just end up disappointed and frustrated.

I installed the attic staircase today. I decided to glue it in place since this dollhouse is for a child. Anything that's left loose is bound to be lost eventually, so glue as much down as you can so no parts of the of the dollhouse will go missing in the years to come.

Now that the porch roof is dry, I can continue adding to it. I put in the middle part today. The porch posts will straighten this front part so make sure you put it on at the same time you put the front railing on.

It seems simple enough, as far as simple goes for dollhouse build but it took me the whole day. The reason is the medallion in the middle.

I used a stencil and spackle to create it and it was not easy. Unlike a large piece of wood, this medallion is quite small and trying to hold it down and apply the spackle without moving it or the stencil is a lesson in patience. I had to redo it about ten times before it came out right.

I then had to touch up all the brown around the design. This could only be done with a magnifier, needle tip paint brush, under a spot light and without my glasses on. It took forever but that was not all.

I then had to paint the design because spackle is not as white as the surrounding trim of the dollhouse and it was noticeable. I had to once again put the medallion under the spotlight and carefully paint it white after the spackle was dry.

It looks like its been carved out of the wood. But by struggles doesnt end there. Just like the doors of tab and slot dollhouses, anything that is painted, will not go back in where it came from easily. The wood swells with the paint and glue moisture and fitting things back to where they were punched out of is nearly impossible. I had a difficult time getting this medallion in place, without ruining the design but I did it. Took a long time but its worth it because it looks perfect.

If your porch posts have gaps where they meet, use skewers to fill them in. I used two round finials for the porch entry posts just to give it more detail.

1 comment:

PAKY said...

Wow! is a fabulous dollhouse! I love it! When you finish the project, it will be wonderful result!


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