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Dollhouse - done!

1893 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  texas1960
As I chronicled earlier, I've been building a dollhouse.

Happy to report it is now finished!

I am soooo not in a league with the masters on this forum - really just a newbie woodgouger - and this was by far the most complicated project I've worked on. Man, did I learn a lot!

Painting took literally months longer than I expected. I thought I'd paint in a week - ha! There was a ton of taping, painting, etc. And then poly of course. Flooring also took longer than I'd anticipated.

The design changed, even from my final plans. Originally the roof was going to be cut to match the house outline, but once I put it on, my wife and I really liked the backyard overhang, so we left it.

I started after Christmas and really got rolling in February or so. Took a long time but man, was it fun.

Here are the big pictures, then I'll point out some details:

I got a few inspirations along the way.

First, we have a friend who's an amateur artist, so she painted a mural for the nursery room:

The best idea I had was a "modern art" painting...by my 2-year-old daughter, unbeknownst to her. I took a board and painted it white, then let her paint on it with the usual toddler scribbling. Then I masked off a rectangle and made a little frame around it, painting the rest the room color. And wah-lah - a "modern art" painting for the dining room that she created herself.

I really liked the way this turned out.

I also added a "trap door to the attic" in what will be one of the children's bedrooms:

The address is a combination of her birthday (coming soon! good thing I finished it before november 3) and the street her namesake great aunt grew up on. The front door swings open (inward) and has a drawer handle for a doorknob.

The pool turned out well. It's sunk into the base (about 2.25") and has a 1/4" of epoxy pour in the bottom for a faux water look.

The "roof tiles" are actually samples of pergo flooring. Each piece is 2"x2" and I attached them to the wood with contact cement. Made it very easy to cut around the skylights and gives the roof a "shingled" look. Real shingles are very rough and not toddler-friendly.

Everything is painted with three coats and then poly'd three times. Under the roof I put a border that I got at Home Depot. The leaf pattern was cut into the wood and I hand-painted the green-on-white.

It's not actually as heavy as you'd think. My wife and I can lift it without a problem. Of course, I put it on wheels. Six of them - corners and middle.

BTW, I didn't carve that railing :) It's pre-made gallery railing I bought at HD. The windows were all rough cut with a jigsaw and then I put flat trim around them and cut paint stirrer sticks (perfect width and thickness in this case) for the jambs/sash.

The roof is designed as a "patio", though the attic is there, too. It's a dollhouse, not a real house, so I took liberties. There is also a small backyard. The grass is industrial tile carpet again - with real astroturf stuff, you can't stand any figures on it.

Most houses don't have a chapel but this one does, done in bright yellow.

I used Titebond III for almost everything and it worked great. All the key, load-bearing points are attached with countersunk 2.25" screws. I then puttied over and after paint and poly, you can't really see them. There are some other metal brackets but they're mostly hidden.

The sides of the dollhouse all have "furniture stops" (3/8" square dowel)

Finally here are some shots with some furniture from her elder sister's old dollhouse. We're presenting this dollhouse on my daughter's 3rd birthday, and family and friends are giving her various Loving Family sets at the same time so she can place as she likes!

I did get carried away...this dollhouse is big! My wife shows with her hand my daughter's approximate height. She'll need to stand on her little step to play on the roof :)

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