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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 ...

Monday, October 29

My Second Half Scale Fairfield Dollhouse Week 5


You have to do several things in order for the roof of this dollhouse to be finished properly.

You must wallpaper all of the roof panels before installation. You will have to use the roof slots as a guide for what area of the roof panel will be interior attic walls and what will be exterior roof eaves. Paint the eaves and wallpaper the rest. Trim out any wallpaper that might get into the slots. I suggest you use a heavily patterned wallpaper for the best outcome.

The attic is open on both sides so you will have to wallpaper the back roof panels as they will be visible.

Finish your interior attic windows before the roof is installed.

Make templates of your roof panels on postal paper for shingling. This dollhouse has a very complicated roof, with a lot of angles, so shingle templates are a must. You will have to tweak your templates later, after the roof is installed, because some panels will overlap others, changing their fit.

Unfortunately, this attic is a little complicated to finish so you will have to perform several tweeks after the panels are installed and dry.

You have to cover the bottom edges of the roof panels, after installation, since they do not reach all the way to the attic floor. There will be a gap where the back of your tower can be seen through your attic. This can be covered easily with a wallpaper strip that reaches the attic floor. Another reason why you want heavily patterned wallpaper in your attic. You can also use a thick wood strip that to trim this area. Paint or stain it to match your surrounding interior trim.

Tower Roof

Do not drive yourself crazy trying to put this roof together with tacky glue. It goes on with extreme pressure and can take you several days of waiting time for the glue to dry in order to finish it. For this reason, I suggest you use hot melt glue for this part of the assembly. Most turrets will require hot melt glue for assembly. Make sure you use a high setting on your glue gun and then go over all of the joints with wood glue.

Tower Roof Installation

Installation of this particular tower roof is somewhat tricky. There are no problems if you want to leave your tower roof permanently on and not have access to the hidden room. In that case, you just fit your roof on, into the tabs, and then spackle any gaps around it.

If you want to leave your tower roof removeable for access to the hidden room, then you will have to do some tweaks in order for it to look right.

1. First you should remove the tabs on your tower walls. They can be easily cut off with shears. Then you should sand the top of your tower walls until they are even and smooth.

2. Apply trim to the top edge interior of your tower room. Basically it's like applying ceiling trim to your hidden room, which you should do anyways. Make sure the trim is level all the way around your tower top. It will sit a little higher than your tower walls in order for the top to be level. If you do not make the top level, all the way around, your tower roof will sit lopsided.

3. Then add trip to the top edges of your tower walls, covering the ceiling trim on the inside and the rough edges of your walls. If your ceiling trim was level, these trims will also sit level.

4. Use spackle, all around the top of the tower, to hide any gaps or seams on your trim.

Now you have a nice, even and level platform for your tower roof to sit on. I left one tab, as a guide for the correct position of the tower roof.

Cover the slots on your Tower Roof underside with spackle. Because of the size of the slots, you have to allow the spackle to dry for 24 hours before sanding it down. I left one slot available only for the tab I left on my tower top.

You can now install your tower brackets with your Tower Roof in place so you know how high they have to sit. They should go up to your Tower Roof but not high enough to lift it.

Sometimes this dollhouse is pictured with brackets placed far away from the tower corners, almost in the center of the tower corner and the oval window and other times with the brackets closer to the corners. I went the traditional route and placed them 1/4" away from the tower corners but it's up to you where you would like to place them.


Shingle your templates and cut to fit before applying them to your roof panels.

Use Minwax Stainable Wood Filler to fill in any gaps on your roof and you will have plenty on your tower roof. A lot of stores carry Elmer's Wood Filler instead but it will not work the same as Minwax. Take the extra time to find a store that carries it. Lowe's Home Improvement stores still carry Minwax products.

I recommend roof top trim for this dollhouse because the shingle templates will not allow for the top row of shingles to butt up against eachother and create the roof peak. Roof top trim is simply an L shaped trim that you apply over the top edge of your roof to give the dollhouse a nice finished look and hide any gaps at the roof peak. Do not try to use wood filler to seal this gap because it is too large and you will not get a nice smooth roof edge peak. It will also interfere with the look of your shingles.

Don't bother buying your roof trim from your miniatures dealer because it can be easily and economically made using wood strips. I used the same strips as I did for the baseboards. They are the narrowest strips that the craft store has because this is a half scale dollhouse model.

Just butt the edges of your two wood strips at an angle to create an L and glue them together. Clamp and allow to dry. Sand the butted edge smooth to give the illusion it's one piece.

I painted the roof trim the same color as the "sand" colored trim because it best matched the natural hue of the shingles.

I added small wooden, round finials to the gable peaks in order to hide any gaps between the shingles and the top roof trim. I painted them "sienna" to match the dollhouse.

You can find fancy gingerbread roof trim at your miniatures store but I decided to use this plain L shaped trim because it better matched the intended look of the dollhouse. Remember to buy your trim in half scale if you chose a gingerbread style trim.

If you decide that trim is out of the question for your roof top ridge, you can shingle your templates but leave the top two rows undone. Shingle those, on the dollhouse, after the templates have been installed. That way you can butt the shingles up against eachother, to create the roof peak, and you would not need trim.

I decided to go ahead and leave my shingles in their natural color as they have a very pretty hue variation among them. I only applied a coat of matte varnish to seal them and bring out their natural color.


I used a brick printed paper for the entire foundation. It's the same pattern I used for the chimney. I glued it on using tacky glue. For small projects like this, on printer paper, it is best to use tacky glue. I went to an office supply store to make my print outs. They are high quality, smear resistant and only cost a couple of pennies to print five color sheets. It's a much better bargain than printing from your printer.

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