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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 ...

Friday, July 20

The Cheltenham Dollhouse Day 16

I have spent a few days working on the large front panel. This was a little complicated because I am not making my dollhouse look like what's on the box photo. It has some minor differences but they are enough to effect the movement of the panels if not done right.

The windows go in pretty easily. They fit right into the opening and then exterior trim goes right around them, hiding the seam.

First difference is my trim. I made most of the exterior trim for this dollhouse different than on the original kit design. I added the white trim under the middle window that goes all the way across the front panel. This divides the different top and bottom color schemes like in my real homes exterior. I also added the white trim above the windows. I want to add white trim on the top of the bottom window as well but the arch will make it a little tricky, so I am leaving it for later.

I kept the front door true to the kit because my front door is a six panel door as well. I did paint the top pediment white because my real home has this pediment over the garage door, in white, and the house numbers are there. This dollhouse does not have a garage so I made the effect on the front door and added the house numbers there.

These house numbers come in shiny gold so if you want to paint them, you have to sand them a little in order to make them rough and then paint them any color you like. When dry, go over them with some clear varnish just to make sure that the paint does not come off with time. You do not want to have to touch up such small numbers with paint once they are in place.

I did not use the "brick" look corner trims that came with the dollhouse. I instead used plain trim and painted it the same color as the dollhouse's walls. The trim is split in the middle with the white trim. I had to put trim on the corner of the wall, even though I had wanted to omit it, because you need three laminated wood pieces for the hinges to install properly. Two layers of wood sheets will not work because your screw will break through the front of the wall. So, I made the trim as invisible as possible. I did not want to break the line of the white middle trim so it matches my real homes.

I have to do the same procedure with the corner trim on the right side of the panel. Once again, I can not omit it or the right panel will swing open because it does not have a magnet to hold it. This right trim basically will help hold the right panel in place and hide any gaps where the two panels meet.

The hinges are very easy to put in. You first have to dry fit your panel to make sure it has the right leeway on the top and bottom for it to swing without scraping against anything. Mark where your hinge will go for the perfect fit. These dollhouses are never square so you can not guide yourself by the surrounding walls. You have to dry fit and swing the panel so you can see for yourself where it will work best. I suggest you look at these pictures of the dollhouse found here http://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/ZoomImageEx.aspx?productid=DH9701&image=cheltenham-dollhouse-kit/cheltenham-dollhouse.jpg for a detailed look at the how the hinges go.

Place the hinges on the dollhouse first and then on the panel. They go approxinately in the middle of their corresponding rooms.

You can begin a starter hole for your screws with a nail or a push pin. Always apply glue to your screw before you screw it in place. Make sure you dry fit your hinges first so they are placed correctly before you begin screwing them in. You can not un-screw and re-screw on this wood, in the same place. The screw will wear the hole down and be loose.

After the panel is in place, you want to analyze where the magnet piece goes by holding the magnet in place with your hand and then closing the panel until it butts against it. This will take a little manuevering and not having the interior doors in place will be a big help since you can use that opening to put your hand through. Open the panel whille still holding the magnet piece in place and mark the holes with a pencil. Make a starter hole and screw the magnet in place.

The magnet screws are longer and will go through the wood and out the other side. You will not be able to see this though because, if you placed the magnet correctly, the protruding screw tips will be on the other side of the roof panel and hidden from view. Later when you shingle, this gap along the roof line will be hidden.

Now the best way to get your magnet plate on your front panel is to stick it to your magnet. Make sure it is straight on it. Close your front panel against it and reach inside to mark with a pencil where the hole is. Now pull it off the magnet and screw it to your panel door, right on the hole mark. Close your panel and it should land right on the magnet, which holds the panel closed.

The exterior door does not bring interior trim. The interior edge trim of the panels are in the way of any trim it could have. The door is also made up of three laminated layers of parts, while the opening is only one. This is what causes the door to protrude into the dollhouse. Since the panel itself opens, this door was made to remain in a fixed position.

The magnet is quite strong and I am sure they made it this way because it has to hold the right panel in place when closed as well as the left.

Even though I treated these panels for warping, there is still a slight warp to it. As you add trim to your panels, they have a tendency of re-warping on you, even if you apply weights to the trim pieces while they dry. This has to do with the moisture of the glue and the paint, etc. So, expect for your panels to still have some warp once installed but it should be very minimal and mostly invisible.


Jocelyn said...

Love it!

Kathi said...

Wow! This is looking SO good! Your hinges are PERFECT! :D

Gina said...

Thank you!

plumbing said...

Look very great. I think I must also try to do it. I just wish it will result good as what you've done so far.


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