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Dollhouse Diaries: Reveal

Hello, readers,

I hope you had fun reading through my blog as I assembled and painted my very first dollhouse. I’ll confess, I definitely caught the miniature bug. I’ve already begun looking for the next house I want to build, but I probably won’t buy anything new until I move into a new place.

My three roommates also enjoyed watching me put this little house together, even though I completely overtook the coffee table and couch for two weeks. My dollhouse building may have infected them as well. One of my roommates for sure is going to buy her own dollhouse kit once she finds one that’s tiny enough, and my boyfriend’s thinking about getting a model kit of some kind.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to my “finished” little house.

Day 13

There is a woman who lives alone in a little house on 13th Street. Her neighbors sometimes hear faint strains of piano music or singing coming from her house. She has a lovely voice.

No one ever sees anyone besides this woman go in or out of the house, but passersby often swear that they hear voices within, talking and laughing. Sometimes, if you’re looking, you can see shadows moving in the upstairs window while the woman is out shopping for groceries. Sometimes the rocking chair on her porch starts to move on its own. That’s not unusual, surely it’s the wind moving the chair. The whistling is the wind, too. Even the sound of foot-tapping must just be your own footsteps echoing back. Still, you can’t quite explain why the woman acts like she’s holding the door open for someone, even though there’s no one there.

And she has such a pretty voice whenever she wishes you a “Good evening.” You can almost forget that you clearly hear someone playing the piano the next room over as she closes and locks the front door.

Let’s take a look at this woman’s little house on 13th Street, shall we?

Here’s her bedroom.

And here’s a better look at her bookshelf.

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She has Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Scarlet Letter, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Through the Looking-Glass, and three copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, plus a few sketchbooks, journals, and photo albums.

(As you can probably tell from the photos above, these little books do not have pages. Their covers are 1 cm tall!)

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Here is the mysterious woman’s ordinary bathroom.

This is her living room, which has more than enough seating for someone who supposedly lives alone and never has visitors.

Lastly, here’s her little music room. Though her neighbors don’t know this, she spends more of her time sitting in the chair against the wall, listening or singing along as others play the piano, rather than sitting on the piano bench.

Hopefully some of you were able to tell from the pictures above, but the two types of lace I used for the bed skirt and the area rug in the conservatory are taken off of a Bodyline dress. This makes the dollhouse a little bit lolita. It also makes it match some of my wardrobe. I’m absurdly happy about this.

Here are some photos of how I have it set up in my room.

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You can also see some of my books in this photo, along with some of my boyfriend’s books.

I would like to get a lazy Susan to display the house on, but I’d rather hold off on that until after I decide if I want to add some landscaping or not.

Here are some more pictures of the 13th Street house, just because I’m so proud of it and I love how it turned out.

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I like to picture this house being on a hill, so that it can look a little imposing, despite its small size.

Obviously, I didn’t add any interior trim. I was unable to find a replacement in time to do anything during the break, and my semester starts tomorrow. I also want to make a little mattress and a blanket for the bed, make some cushions for the seating in the living room, and upholster the two chairs in the conservatory. After that, I probably want to print out and assemble more books to put around the house.

The only thing I’m still debating is whether or not to dress up the cut-away wall.

(Thanks go to my boyfriend for holding up the lace against the house.) While I know the lace against the floor/ceiling divide looks a little weird, I also think it looks darling. I’m just not sure if I should commit to the look and glue it on or not. I may have to ignore the problem for a while and decide when I go back in to add baseboards and crown molding, whenever that may be.

Stay spooky,

Raven

If you missed any part of the construction, you can read all about it by following the links below.

Day 0 and Day 1Day 2Day 3

Day 4Day 5

Day 6Day 7Day 8 and Day 9

Day 10Day 11 and 12

Dollhouse Diaries: Day 11 and Day 12

Hello, readers,

This time, there was nothing that kept me from my daily posting other than my own desire to be dramatic and show off a lot of progress. Let’s take a look!

Day 11

Today, I started roofing. I went along and followed the shingling guide from the More Minis blog, since their other guides were so helpful.

I made the templates first.

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It’s weird to see the house, which I’d taken from 2D shapes to a 3D shape when I built it, turned back into 2D.

I also went back over the house and painted the areas I thought would give me the most trouble.

Despite making the templates, I knew that things were not going to fit well in a lot of places. The priority was to get all the raw wood covered so the gaps would not be so noticeable.

While this paint dried, I went back to my templates and drew on the guidelines. I’m excited to say that I learned from my mistake with the fish scale siding. This time, I figured out how far apart I wanted the shingles and then glued together some scrap wood to serve as a ruler from that.

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I went to work hot gluing all the shingles onto the templates. Well, onto the back roof and porch roof templates. Between a late start and an early night, this was all I was able to get done with the house today.

Day 12

To start day two of roofing, I finished attaching shingles to the other templates.

I was about to move on to the painting phase of this project when I noticed that I had made a mistake yesterday with the porch gable roof.

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There’s no way water would slide off nicely with shingles like this!

Whoops! Thankfully, I only made the mistake of laying the shingles down wrong with the smallest sections of the roof, so it didn’t take long to fix.

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The bottom roof looks much better.

Anyway, now I moved on to painting.

I’m really excited about how the speckling effect turned out. That was something I had planned since the beginning of this dollhouse build to try and give the roof texture. I also mixed in some white into the paint so that I didn’t end up with a purely black roof that would flatten out all the detail of the shingles.

I actually added purple speckles as well, but you have to be up close to see that.

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While I was waiting for the roof pieces to dry completely, I went ahead and painted the house foundation. I also installed the front step and started painting the piano, bench, and chair.

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From here, I just had to attach the roof pieces with tacky glue and clamp them down as they dried.

Everything’s coming together! I think the house looks really, really cute with the roof on.

Check back tomorrow for the grand reveal (of what I was able to get done during my winter break).

Stay fabulous,

Raven

Here are the links to the rest of the assembly posts.

Day 0 and Day 1Day 2Day 3

Day 4Day 5

Day 6Day 7Day 8 and Day 9

Day 10Reveal

 

Dollhouse Diaries: Day 10

Hello, readers,

I added a lot of white today with the floors and some trim. I still don’t have a backup plan for getting more craft sticks quickly…  Hopefully I think of something I can repurpose.

Day 10

Firstly, I got to work painting my wood floors. I have been struggling with this dollhouse between my desire to force it into being a gothic palace and its inherent cottage vibe. I wanted the hardwood to be stained something dark, but I realized that was not going to work as soon as the walls went up. The lower level of the house is just too dark (in the sense that it’s not well lit) to make it dark (in the spooky sense). While I could have made the second floor look different, I wanted to keep it all the same.

I decided to whitewash the floors to try and brighten things up.

There is still some variation in the floorboards that pokes through the single layer of paint, so I’m pleased with that. This light whitewashing does make the floors look a bit weathered, as though it were the floor of a beach cottage. Maybe this little house is the the slightly spooky house in a quiet beachfront community. Or maybe this little house is set off in a windy place, alone in the moorlands, constantly having the elements tracked in. (For the record, I would love to add a sound effect here of some howling wind.)

Once the floor was dry, it was pretty simple to install.

There were a couple of pieces that kept trying to warp up away from the subfloor, but I think I taped everything into submission. Once I took the tape off, everything looked to be fairly flat. I won’t really know until I add some baseboards.

At this point, I finally returned to the building instructions. I’ve been off doing my own thing with the house since I started adding siding, and it was weird to go back to a step-by-step process I hadn’t devised.

For one thing, the instructions wanted me to add the roof trim before the shingles. That still seems strange to me, but it certainly makes the house look a lot cuter.

I also decided to forge ahead and install the porch railings. I went over the porch floor again with some white paint since I’ve given up on installing hardwood on the outside of the house.

As much as I wanted the porch to have actual flooring, I’m okay with the siding being the major source of detail on the exterior. In other news, the porch railings were a nightmare to install. There was only one tab-and-slot joint in the whole construction. Everything had to hold together and hold position just with wet glue while I got everything taped. I know some things did not dry level, but maybe all the white-on-white details will make it hard to see that.

While I try and figure out replacement sticks, the next steps I can do with the house are to make the porch step and add the shingles.

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Interior on hold

Stay well-trimmed,

Raven

Here are the links to the rest of the assembly posts.

Day 0 and Day 1Day 2Day 3

Day 4Day 5

Day 6Day 7Day 8 and Day 9

Day 11 and Day 12Reveal

Dollhouse Diaries: Day 8 and Day 9

Hello, readers,

I hope nobody minds that I skipped posting about the dollhouse yesterday. I decided that the special New Year’s Day post should have priority. I still kept working on this little project, so here’s double the normal content! Huzzah!

Day 8

I started off today by cutting out all the other windows from the plastic sheeting and gluing them in place.

I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, because I cut exactly on the dotted line, but there is still plastic that pokes out beyond the window frame. (You may or may not be able to see that in the later pictures. I’m not sure.)

Also, I installed one window very crookedly and I didn’t notice until the glue dried.

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It looks very silly like this from the outside.

I’m not sure how I could have installed the windows differently. If I glued them to the outside of the house before adding the siding, I would not have been able to cut the siding well at all around the windows. If I glued the windows to the outside of the house after shingling, I would worry about there being enough contact area with all the peaks and valleys of the siding. Plus, then the window pane would still poke outside of the frame if I cut it “correctly.” Hmm…

Anyway, I added the outdoor framing next.

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In this picture, I still have to add the window sills for the rounded windows, but you can see the finished rectangular window frames and the frame around the door.

Like before, it’s painting everything that is taking a very long time. I don’t want to glue the pieces first and then paint them  because I have no leftover paint to match either siding color with which to fix mistakes. This is definitely something I need to keep in mind for next time. I might even use pre-mixed paints just to avoid the problem of running out.

After I added all the window sills, I added the shutters. They instantly made me feel like this house was coming together. I also added most of the interior window frames, leaving off the sills again.

To close out the construction for the evening, I quickly primed the porch floor in preparation for the hardwood installation and dry-fit the back roof onto the house. I forgot to get a picture of it, but I pre-painted the entire interior of the back roof white before  putting it on the house.

Since I will still be working with pieces I need to pre-paint, I don’t have an explicit goal for tomorrow. I just want to get as much done as I can.

Day 9

To take a break from all the pre-painting nonsense I’ve been doing, I started today off by finally committing to making the last room of the house a kitchen. The puzzle set of furniture only had one kitchen unit included, so that’s what I built.

The cabinets open and close! That’s far more exciting than a lot of the other furniture pieces. At this point, I was okay with not having a miniature refrigerator because the stovetop and sink unit was so cute. However, it ended up being too tall to fit in the room.

Since having a kitchen was clearly not meant to be, I went back to the puzzle kit and decided to build the piano to make the room a conservatory.

The piano also has moving parts! I made the piano bench from what I think was supposed to be the seat for a child’s desk. The little chair also looks like it was from the “nursery” section of furniture, but I think it looks much more to scale with the piano than the adult dining room chairs.

For the record, my cat Matilda was clearly hoping for the last room to be a kitchen. She was highly displeased with my decision to change things, and she sat on my instructions as revenge after knocking the puzzle pieces off the table.

I then played with the little furniture some more. Here are the finalized layouts of the rooms in case you’re curious about them.

As far as the dollhouse itself goes, I painted and glued on the interior window sills, and then I glued on the back roof. I also quickly primed the floors for the hardwood installation. I’m going to try and do a whitewashed effect on the boards, so I needed to make sure that any gaps would match.

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I worked on the floor for the rest of the day. I had purchased these craft sticks with the idea that I would be able to cut them with scissors like I had done with the siding.

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Well, it turns out that they were much thicker and more substantial than I had originally thought. In some ways, that’s very exciting because the sticks actually have wood grain and some character to them that I hope will still show through the paint treatment. On the other hand, I had to cut each and every piece to size with a mediocre knife. It took a very long time.

I made templates of the floors with computer paper and I decided I should figure out the precise layouts before I started to glue (or paint) anything.

I’m excited to paint and install the floor tomorrow. I’ve been waiting on this part long enough. However, it turns out that I didn’t order enough of these sticks to do everything I wanted with them. I had just enough wood (once I removed the dud sticks) to do the first and second floors. I had also wanted to use these sticks to cover the porch floor and be the baseboards and crown molding.

I’ll have to figure something out with that, or finishing the dollhouse might end up being delayed for a few days.

Stay planned ahead,

Raven

Here are the links to the rest of the assembly posts.

Day 0 and Day 1Day 2Day 3

Day 4Day 5 

Day 6Day 7Day 10

Day 11 and Day 12Reveal

 

Dollhouse Diaries: Day 7

Hello, readers,

It turns out that I was a bit overenthusiastic about what I could finish in a day. My predictions in the last post did not come true, and I still have a lot to do before installing the floors. Still, the house is coming together nicely.

Day 7

I started today’s build off by painting the interior rooms. Here is one last shot of the all-white interior:

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I wanted to go with a purple-grey-black-and-white sort of color scheme for everything, so I painted two rooms grey and two rooms purple since the floors and trim will be white and the furniture is mostly black.

Since my little house does not have side windows on the downstairs floor, I tried to use lighter colors down below and darker colors upstairs. The purples ended up looking fairly similar in the end, but I don’t think it looks bad.

It was very hard to photograph this, but I painted two out of the three walls in the living room grey and left the last wall white.

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I did this so I could add a mural here in this room to liven it up.

The image was printed on card stock and then glued on with tacky glue. I really like how this little mural turned out, and I’m probably going to try putting one in all the dollhouses I make (if I make more after this one).

From here, I started working on installing the windows and doors. It took a lot longer than I had planned because I now have to paint lots of tiny pieces before I can glue anything together.

I’m pretty frustrated that the window and door installations seem sloppy compared to a lot of other things about this house. I just don’t have the dexterity/access to place the indoor window pane or the indoor frames neatly. I have to place them somewhere close enough and then slide them into place, resulting in visible glue and visible plastic sheeting poking out. Ah well. These windows will be mostly covered by furniture anyway.

I’m hopeful that this is just a problem with these teeny windows and the other windows will be nicer.

Stay neat,

Raven

Here are the links to the rest of the assembly posts.

Day 0 and Day 1Day 2Day 3

Day 4Day 5

Day 6Day 8 and Day 9Day 10

Day 11 and Day 12Reveal