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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 ...

Thursday, July 28

The Harrison Dollhouse Day 17

Now that my foundation is finished, I went ahead and began putting on the "thatch" for this dollhouse.

You will be better off making templates on paper of your roof panels BEFORE installation but I forgot so I had to make the templates after. I just pressed paper on each panel and creased it along the edges so I would know where to cut. It would have been easier if the panels were laying flat but thankfully this dollhouse has pretty simple roof panels with a lot of a straight lines. It was not too difficult.

Use the paper templates to cut your fabric with. Always do each individual roof panel. Do not try to cut a big long piece to wrap around rounded roofs, like the tower or bay roofs, for example. It will not come out right. Making it one continious wrapped around piece of fur will really reduce the details and lines of your roof. It looks more realistic if you do each individual panel and butt the edges of each panel together.

I'm using the same dark brown faux fur that I used on the Aster Cottage. I really like how realistic this fur makes the thatch appear. I was lucky that I was able to find it again. Many fabrics are discontinued after a while so chances are that you will not be able to find the same fabric again. Some fur "thatches" better than others. I find that the shorter the hair on the fur, the more realistic the thatch but you are really limited to whatever the fabric store has on hand. The good thing is that dark and light brown fur, which is normally the colors chosen for thatch, is usually always available.

Make sure you buy actual faux fur and not felt or flannel. Faux fur is furry with an actual "hairy" texture. You can see each individual "hair" fiber on it. Sometimes the fabric store will keep both types of fabrics together and you can easily mistake faux fur for thick flannel. I have no idea how felt or flannel will thatch so use them at your own risk.

I bought one yard of faux fur for this dollhouse and I had enough to cover it all. Keep in mind that when your buying fabric like faux fur which is one sided, the fabric store will give you a front and back for each yard. That means that you actually are getting two yards of fabric for the price of one. Faux fur can be expensive.

Always make sure you get enough. Remember these fabrics can become discontinued and you do not want to run out of fabric in the middle of your project. You might not be able to find it again and your dollhouse can end up looking like a patched fur coat.

Cut your thatch a little larger that your roof panel and then cut to size when glued on. That is the best way to always get the perfect fit. Always make sure that you cut your panels with the fur grain running downwards so can comb it down with varnish later.

Thatching is the same as wallpapering. Cover your far panels first and then your side panels last so that the corner seams will be invisible.

Your porch hip roof will be delicate so try to use a light paper to make your templates with rather than the thicker and heavier postal paper. The thicker the paper, the harder it will be make the creases along the edges of the roof and you don't want to apply too much pressure on your porch roof. Remember, nothing is truly holding it up except the thin line of glue on the back edge against the dollhouse wall. I was able to hide the gap on the corner, between the butted joints of the porch roof with the fur.

The side roof panel that is hinged will be the hardest to do. You have to make sure you trim very flush to the roof edges around the roof panel so that the moveable panel is not obstructed. I suggest you leave the panel for last and do the rest of the roof around it first. Make sure that you do not apply glue directly to your chamois strip. It might leak into the joint and glue your panel together. As you can see the chamois strip will be completely hidden under the faux fur. The same goes for metal hinges.

You also have to leave a hole on the fur where your chimney will go. You can't cut it too large or you will see bare wood around your chimney but you cant cut it too small or your chimney will not adhere to the wood.

My chimney is extra heavy because it is covered in the same pebbles as the foundation so I have to make sure that it rests on the wood so that the glue adheres well. I have not completed the flue area of the chimney yet.

Butt all of the joints in your faux fur together as close as possible so there are no gaps.

Once you get the hang of thatching a dollhouse roof, it is much quicker and easier to do than shingling.

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