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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 ...

Monday, December 22

The Beacon Hill Dollhouse Revisited Week 40

Instead of spackle, use curtains but curtains are complicated if you don't know how to sew and the fact that they have to be in miniature, makes them even more difficult. Luckily there are hundreds of miniature blogs and websites that host many detailed tutorials on how to create elaborate miniature curtains. This isn't one of them.

I will show you how to create very easy and simple curtains for your dollhouse. The reason I am stepping away from assembly to give tips on curtains is because they are a part of finishing your dollhouse properly. If you have assembled tab and slot dollhouses before, you know how difficult it is to finish these many layered parts so they end up smooth and without gaps. This of course, can never be entirely achieved and curtains hide many flaws. So if you want a properly finished dollhouse, use curtains, especially if your interior window trim is painted and not stained. Staining hides many defects, painting brings them all out so lets try and hide them behind something.

Since I can't sew, don't have the will to learn or eye sight that can survive it, I use the below method to finish my windows.

First, cut out wood trim to the width of your windows. I painted my trim white so it hides well behind the curtains. I will be attaching my curtains to this trim rather than to the windows themselves. The only reason for doing it this way is to make assembling your curtains easier.

I like to create window valances rather than drapery. I want to hide some of the window but I don't want to cover it in its entirety. They are pretty windows after all, so I just want to enhance them and hide any minor defects. I purchased several different fabric trims of different styles. They are very inexpensive and usually available at the fabric bin of a dollar each. Each spool has several yards of trim, which is more than enough for a miniature house.

I add the lace first to the wood trim. I am using tacky glue to attach all of my fabric but you can use fabric glue if you like. You can use hot melt glue if you are not layering fabric on top of fabric but since I am layering, I am staying away from it. I don't want my curtains to become thick and globbed.

You can use binder clamps to keep your fabric in place as the glue dries. I turned the corners inwards and glued them so they don't fray with time and give the curtains a more finished look. I then glued a piece of sheer trim on top and finally a beaded trim on top of that. I attached the corner fabric flowers with hot melt glue. The hot melt glue doesn't allow them to shift out of place.

Now I have a completed "curtain" on the wood trim which can be attached to the interior of the windows. I am going to attach mines with tacky glue because these curtains will be permanent. You can use re-positional glue if you believe you might re-decorate in the future.

The dormer window curtains have to be glued to the underside of the dormer ceiling. This gives a dome effect to the curtain and does not interfere with the movement of the dormer. You will not be able to apply the curtain to trim in this case. It needs to be glued directly to the dormer ceiling. I recommend using hot melt glue, in a low setting and sparingly, to get the best effect.

Keep In Mind
Depending on the color fastness of the trim you purchased, tacky glue can stain your trim. Always check color fastness first on a scrap piece of trim and use hot melt glue instead if any staining occurs. I noticed staining on mines after the curtains were assembled but a little bit of paint, the same color as the fabric trim, fixed the problem and is unnoticeable.

Optional Trim
Adding extra trim to your dollhouse will create more detail and depth. There is only so much that can be done with dye stamped plywood but you can add your own touches with different size wood strips, found at craft stores everywhere.

For this dollhouse, I added extra trim, painted light brown, to frame the vertical white corner trim.

I added very thin trim painted dark brown into the corner notches of all the vertical white trim. I did the same for the mansard roof corners but painted the thin trim light brown.

I added dowels to both bays. Make sure your dowels are straight. Do not just follow the bay wall joints. Many times they are not straight so always step away from your dollhouse to make sure everything is turning out correctly.

I created more corner keystones for the tower sides and back of the kitchen bay windows. The kit does not come with keystones for these areas. I used the corner keystones that came with the dollhouse, as templates to cut my own out of cardboard but you can also use foam core. Just make sure it is 1/8" thick to match the rest of the dollhouse. I filled the edges of the cardboard keystones with spackle and painted them blue.

I continued the corner trim on the back of the tower walls.

All of the back wall and floor edges were covered with custom trim. As I mentioned before, this dollhouse does not bring back edge trim that is user friendly so it's best to make it all from scratch and toss the ones that came with the dollhouse kit. If you use the dollhouses back floor edge trim, it will be difficult for you to trim the back edges of the walls. They won't butt up smoothly to the floor trim. Take the extra time to make your own trim.

I framed the backs of the mansard roof panels.

I bought fancy Victorian trim for the top roof edges but I cut different parts of it to create trim for the tops of the windows and the front steps.

I used jewelry caps to create the caps for the bottoms of the porch posts. I then painted them in a contrasting color.

Dormer Sills

All of the windows in this dollhouse have three tier cascading window sills, except for the dormers. I believe the dollhouse kit brings the trim pieces to create the three tier effect on the exterior of the dormer windows but I am not sure about the interior. Either way, I created by own for the inside and outside of the dormer windows. I just applied the trim to the tops of the two layered window sill to create three layers.

Bracket Installation
Follow the directions for how to assemble your brackets very carefully and do not glue any on until you have double checked they are right. It is very easy to become confused and end up with not enough brackets and inproper placement.

You will have to eyeball the spaces between them and how straight they are. I haven't been able to find anything that has helped me with that so far.

You might have an issue with the bay brackets. In this particular kit, the bay brackets were not all the same. The dye machine did not cut some of them correctly and they were slightly smaller and had a more square shape than they are suppose to. I circumvented the issue by applying the smaller versions on the side walls of the bays and the larger ones on the front walls. That way it looks like they are intentionally different since the porch has different size and shape brackets as well.

If you are missing brackets, you can create them by using one of the missing brackets as a template and cutting out a new one from balsawood. Depending on the size of the missing bracket, you can use a balsawood strip or a balsawood slab. Place your template bracket on top and cut it out of the balsawood using a sharp craft knife. Then sand the edge of your new bracket smooth, while still holding the template bracket in place. This allow you to not sand more than the template bracket so your new brackets is an exact replica.

Balsawood is very soft and cuts easily with a craft knife. Holding the template bracket in place while cutting and sanding keeps the balsawood from crumbling, allowing you to make curved cuts.

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