Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Spirited Away Cottage Dollhouse

Spirited Away Cottage is a commissioned dollhouse.
 This house is like one I've done before called At Home with Darby and Francesca.
 I kept the look airy and light.  The front siding is ridged textured paper from the scrapbook isle. All the vines are from Hobby Lobby. See my "Resources" page for links.

 I had 2 drawers left over and I turned them into planters.
 The little porch light fixture is a jewelry end cap.
 My sister Melanie has become a bay window expert! She makes this from scratch.  Actually all her windows are exquisite.

 Both sides have birch clapboard. This side has the battery and switch hidden under the greenery since there is no chimney on this house.
 The interior is also very airy.  The paper id scrapbook. And there's more clapboard in here.
 This blue wallpaper is something I printed off the internet. It's a swatch of a 1:1 wallpaper.  Underneath and on the front wall I used a linen fabric from the scrapbook isle at Michael's Craft Store. 
 The other wall upstairs is plaster.  It's aged to perfection by Melanie. This is her favorite thing to do. 
 More scrapbook paper down here behind the steps. These ladder steps are removable.
 I kept all the window coverings white and simple. That way any decor will go. 
 A mason jar chandelier- you can find these jars in the jewelry making isle.
 The interior reminds me of a farmhouse.
My next build is a commissioned trailer.  I'm building it from scratch!  The first time I made it was in 2010. I had bought a kit because I was just starting out with dollhouses. It was called  Gypsy Travel Trailer. But no more kits now!
And I did get that scroll saw.  My youngest sister Sophie has joined us and she is mastering this saw. She couldn't stay away when I brought it home. And has decided to be our carpenter. Lucky me! :)   Until next time!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dollhouse Custom Construction Part 4 - Featuring Lilac Cottage

This is the final part for building your dollhouse!
 Upstairs, I added the last 2 chandelier. 
 I pulled all the electric together upstairs and hid it in a chimney. The chimney is made of 4 pieces of cardboard. 
 Everything got covered with concrete I applied with an artist spatula.  This is Dap's Ready Mixed Concrete. The chimney has little rocks added to it once the concrete had dried. I just drop these little mounds of concrete and shape them into rocks so they are 3 D.

 The bump out is covered with clapboard I bought at  Hobbylinc. I also made a little vent with craft sticks and clapboard cut into narrow little pieces. 
I carved cornerstones while the concrete was not set. I wait about 5 to 10 minutes to do this. If the concrete is too wet the lines just disappear.  To carve the lines I use an old X-acto knife.
 The roof got a little trim made of craft sticks. 
 I put a little trim on top of the chimney to finish it off.
 I painted the clapboard white and the stucco(smooth concrete) a very pale shade of purple. It's so light you can just get a hint of the purple hue. 

 Now the roof. The main part of the roof is shingles.  To color these shingles I make different paint "baths".  Here I have some grey tones, brown tones and darker brown tones.  Just add some paint to water in a container. You want just enough paint mixed in with the water to show up on the shingle.  Something like 1 tablespoon of paint to a cup of water. It's a color wash.  
I covered the porch roof with a piece of cardboard. This is so you won't see the wire under the fabric piece that will be my awning.
The stones on the foundation are painted greys and creams.  The corner stones are white.
 The bump out roof is "metal".  This is actually cardboard (those gift boxes that are white on one side and grey inside) cut into strips.  They are about 1" strips on the bottom. And each seam is covered with 1/4" strips. Paint grey, silver and age with white.
 The awning is a striped fabric.  I glued it onto the roof with Aleene's tacky glue. 
 I added flowering vines to the house. These vines are from Hobby Lobby: http://www.hobbylobby.com/Floral-%26-Wedding/Bushes-%26-Garlands/Garlands/Green-Baby%27s-Breath-Garland/p/8668
The Flowers are here: http://www.hobbylobby.com/Floral-%26-Wedding/Floral-Stems/Purple-Statice-Spray/p/1850
To fit on the house just cut the vines and the flowers into little pieces and glue on with hot glue.  My hot glue gun is a high temperature/professional glue gun.  

 I had also trimmed the awning with wood pieces to look neater.

 For the front yard, I used sand for the walkway. This is the sand you put to with candles.  I applied a generous amount of regular white glue.
 Then I poured on plenty of sand.  Tap down to make sure the sand is in contact with the glue. Once the glue is dry tap off all the excess sand.
 The bushes are air dry clay rolled into balls and left to dry completely.  I then paint them green.  I use Aleene's glue to glue on moss. Let that dry completely and then you can use scissors to trim and shape each bush.
 For the grass I use a moss mat. It already has a sticky backing to it.
 I make templates of the places I want to cover with grass and cut the moss mat. 
 Here's the sticky back.
 I added a little fence and more flowers and plants in the yard. And the house is all done and ready to be moved into.

 The finished front yard.

You can now make this house into your dream cottage with all the furniture and accessories of your choice.  I hope you will try to build your own house now that you see it's not that difficult. 
Lilac Cottage is for Jennifer.  Thanks Jen!