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Whether you're an experienced builder or new to the hobby, I've gathered material from all over the web to produce the most complete, tab and slot, dollhouse assembly blog you can find.
Tip: 1. Read through all of the instructions that came with your kit first. 2. Find your dollhouse in this blog by using the drop down menu below. 3. Read through the building process in its entirety before beginning your project. Happy building!

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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 ...

Thursday, June 21

The Cheltenham Dollhouse Day 5

The trickiest part of this assembly is the front panels and I don't mean hinging them, that will be easy. Your front panels will give you difficulty because of warping. Warping wood on dollhouses never is a problem because as you assemble, the wood is forced into place with the tab and slot system. Your dollhouse basically straightens itself out as you progress in the assembly. Hinged panels do not adhere to this rule.

Hinged panels are free panels that are not being forced straight by being glued to other dollhouse parts. If they warp, you will notice it. It will prevent the door from closing correctly and you will be left with gaps around the panel sides. The wood of a tab and slot dollhouse is very thin and so it is more susceptible to warping but it is much easier to fix than a thicker MDF panel would be.

The best way to prevent warping is to finish the panel in its entirety before hinging it to the dollhouse. If your panel looks straight, once you paint or wallpaper it, it will warp. You have to make sure that your paint and wallpaper is dry before you begin hinging. Always allow for everything to dry with weights on top of it and finish both sides of the panel at the same time.

My front panels were already warped even before I began working on them. For now, that's fine. I glued the interior surround trim to the panels and clamped them down to dry. The surrounds straightened them a little but not enough. These panels have to be table top flat for them to look right. This is not going to be a frilly dollhouse like the Gloucester was, where I could hide any gap caused by warping with fabric. This dollhouse is just going to be stucco and much plainer so I have to make sure there are no gaps.

I will return to this issue later when I get ready to finish them.


Kathi said...

Have you tried sealing the wood before finishing it? I used 2/3 white glue mixed with 1/3 water to seal balsa wood. Worked great! No warping. :D

Gina said...


Many older dollhouse instructions will recommend sealing the wood before assembly but that is no longer a recommended practice. Though sealing the wood is an option, in many instances, it can hinder the hold of adhesives and application of stain. So, just like hot melt glue, it can seem to remedy a problem at first but in the long run, it can present other problems.

Kathi said...

I agree. I only sealed the wood I was planning to paint. :D


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