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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, February 9

The Willowcrest Dollhouse Revisited Week 5

Today I worked on the front, iron/storm door. I created a door like this before on the Rosedale Dollhouse and I liked it so much that I really wanted one for this dollhouse. I decided to create "iron works" for the doors glass panes.

This is actually a lot harder than it looks so, it took me quite a few days to complete.

Iron Storm Front Door
First, I made the paint for the door to look like iron. I mixed black paint with metallic gold and copper paints. Add more or less gold to get the desired hue you want. Mix and keep your paint in an airtight, disposable, food storage container. Remember that you will need it again for touch ups and custom paints can not be color matched later.

I then changed out the door windows that came with the kit because I need windows that do not have silk screening since I am making my own "iron works". I found a sheet of clear acetate at the craft store, where the scrapbooking paper is. It is exactly like the acetate of the windows that comes with the dollhouse kit. It's a good thing I bought this clear sheet when I saw it because I have been unable to find them again. I used the dollhouse door kit windows as templates to cut out my new windows.

I then painted and assembled the door as you would normally do. The metallic paint gives the door the look of an iron door.

So far, so good but the tricky part is the "iron works". I took a few pipe cleaners and pulled all the fur out using tweezers. I then shaped them, by hand, into the design I wanted to go over the window pane. This takes a lot of trial and error and dry fitting into the window opening. Tweezers will help you shape the design along with your hands. I then painted the pipe cleaner with the same paint I used on the door so it looks like it's part of it.

I glued the "iron works" design into the door's window openings, applying glue at the areas that are against the sides of the opening, rather than the glass itself.

You will get a better look on the interior windows of the door if you cover them. I used wax paper to give the glass panes a milky, hue. This hides the glue and any other issues with the "iron works" from being visible through the interior. I glued the wax paper to the interior of the glass using a glue stick. Do not use any other type of glue or it will be visible. Not only does covering the glass interior hide issues with the iron works, it also acts as a backdrop so they are more visible while still allowing light in.

Wax paper is difficult to work with but it had the look I wanted so I did the difficult task of using it for this. This paper easily creases and the creases are visible and not repairable so dry fitting it into the window opening was a challenge until I got the hang of it. Do not sandwich the wax paper along with your windows between the door parts. If something happens to this wax paper, you will have a very difficult time trying to remove it for replacement if you do that. Apply it into the opening, after the door is assembled. You can also use gift, tissue paper to create this milky hue for your windows and it comes in different colors.

I used one whole piece of pipe cleaner for the main S shape and two smaller pieces for the side swirls. Touch up the paint with a fine tip brush after they are dry.

The first door panel is the hardest but the second one becomes much easier as you just have to try and make the same design again. These are handmade so they will be slightly different but by much. Keep the door panels together when you make your second design so the swirls sit at the same height on each panel.

I will be adding raised nail sets to the doors but can not do it now as they will interfere with the doors sanding later on. Remember, these doors have to be sanded significantly in order for them to fit into their openings. This becomes even more crucial if you are planning on hinging them, which I will be doing. So, all of the doors hardware will be added later but the hard part is done.

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