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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 ...

Saturday, August 14

Custom Order 01 The Pierce Dollhouse Week 5

I had made the shingle templates from the roof parts before the dollhouse was assembled. I then shingled them off the dollhouse and glued them completed to the roof panels.

I decided to only apply mattee varnish to the shingles instead of stain. Like I stated before, it gives the dollhouse it's light tones against the darker brown and the client wanted to have some type of bisque/light yellow in the color scheme. I think the shingles add that tone very nicely.

Even though you made templates you will have little gaps here and there. Fill them in with Minwax Stainable Wood Filler ONLY. I have found that no other wood filler works like Minwax. It's the identical color of unstained shingles and it does stain well. Apply it sparingly. Use the tip of a small puddy knife to get the wood filler into the gap and wipe away the excess from the surrounding shingles.

If you want access to the hidden tower room, you must leave the tower roof removable. If you don't, you will only have attic access to this room and the opening will be too small to decorate with furniture. In this dollhouse I added felt dots around the tower top so that the tower roof does not scrape against it when it's put in place. You must remove the tabs from the tower walls and spackle the slots in the tower roof since they are not needed for a removable roof.

Cut the back shingles flush with the tower roof bottom edge or the tower roof will not sit properly on the tower because of the shingle overhang.

Not only is the tower roof difficult to assemble but a lot of folks will be disappointed in the fact that it will not sit completely straight on the tower either. You will think you did something wrong with your build but that's not the case. The truth of the matter is that the whole dollhouse is not completely level and perfectly square. Once built, you will not notice this but if you measure and use a level, you will. The tower roof is like a level pointing this fact out. The way you make it sit straight on the tower is by making it straight with the shingles.

Shingle the tower roof while on the tower and move your shingle templates slightly up or down on each panel until the tower appears as if it's sitting completely straight. Also, remember to glue on your brackets with the tower roof in place.

I suggest to glue on these tower roof shingle templates with hot melt glue. It will keep the panels from slightly moving up and down and possibly making your roof look lop sided. This would be the only time to use hot melt glue on a dollhouse other than the curtains.

Speaking of curtains, I applied these with hot melt glue. It's the best way to do it because they can be easily pried off if redecoration is desired in the future. Make sure you glue your curtains to the window trim only and not to the surrouding wallpaper or acetate windows.

The stairwell window can only be accessed through the double front windows and the tower opening so make sure you have completed the two front windows, including curtains, before you put up your tower walls.

I spackled the chimney top with a mixture of spackle and dark brown paint. I then used the brick printie to cover the bottom part. Always glue your chimneys after you shingle. It just makes it look nice and neat along the edges. The little tab on the chimney will not be needed so you can cut it off so your chimney sits nice and flush against your shingled roof.

Remember that this dollhouse does not come with interior trim for the bay arches or the tower room attic entry. You will have to make the trim yourself using basswood. I like putting little wooden pegs where ever the trim meets. In the tower room door trim, you will have to use fabric flowers or some other type of soft material to cover the upper corners of the trim since the walls curve and there's no way to glue on wooden pegs.

This dollhouse requires a lot of wallpaper. Three sheets per room will not be enough for the bedroom or the dining/living, especially if you want them to be both the same pattern like I did on this dollhouse. The bays eat up your wallpaper and fast. The bedroom stairwell will also eat up wallpaper and don't forget the tower. You have to patch up a lot of wallpaper and you need a lot of the same pattern. I suggest you get four to five sheets of the same pattern for these rooms so that you have enough. If you don't have enough, remember to take a whole sheet to your copy center and have them make you a copy. The hue will be slightly different but you can always use it to wallpaper hard to see side walls and no one will notice. You can also use it on the stairwell because that is completely not seen unless you look in through the dollhouse front windows. That will make the color hue different barely noticeable.

This dollhouse has exposed roof eaves that can be seen from the interior of the dollhouse on the second floor. I personally like to cover them with fabric. You can use the same fabric you used on the curtains to do so. Apply it with hot melt glue so it holds in place. Remember to paint your exposed eaves white or whatever color best matches your fabric, before you apply it. Turn in the corners of your fabric so it doesn't fray or look to heavy. The best fabric to use on them is lace because it covers well without the appearance of too much bulk.

If your dollhouse is for a child, I suggest you glue everything in place. Fireplaces, attic staircase and attic door. That way nothing becomes lost in the future.

The attic of this dollhouse has a lot of twists and turns. Remember to finish your windows before putting up the roof panels. I did a combination paint and wallpaper scheme up here.

If you do want an attic that is wallpapered completely, you will have to wallpaper each panel before assembly and remember, you will need six or seven sheets of regular miniature wallpaper to cover this whole attic. If you use scrapbook paper, you will need more. Make sure your patterns are all running in the same direction and you don't accidentally paste one upside down.

No matter what you do, if you use paint, wallpaper or a combo of both, the attic requires massive amounts of trim. If you don't trim your attic, it will not look finished.

You have to trim the top and bottom of the tower room as well, with floor and ceiling trim. If it's visible, and almost everything in the dollhouse is, it must look finished.

The porch medallion has endless possibilities on this dollhouse. You can glue a decoration on it like I did with my Pierce or you can simply use a stencil to paint or spackle a decoration on it like I did with this dollhouse.

Now that the dollhouse is complete, it is waiting to be picked up on Monday and taken to it's new home via frieght.

Browse through this dollhouses gallery here.

1 comment:

Ann said...

I am going to have to try the your skewer tip for the bay windows. Those windows have been a spackling nightmare on my builds. I can't wait to see your Pierce finished!


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