Thursday, June 22, 2017

Brummies Hollow Custom Dollhouse

Brummies Hollow is a farmhouse cottage like you would find in the European countryside. As always I did the exterior with many different finishes for that vintage look. 
There's plaster, plaster and timber, vertical siding, and bricks.
The house is 20 1/2" tall x 12 1/2" deep x 14" across.

 I made the wreath and the tiny roses on it.  There's a lattice under all the vines by the door. The path is done with candle sand. Just lay down a nice thick layer of glue, and press down the sand into it. The grass is a sheet of moss you can buy at Hobby Lobby. It has a sticky back side.
I did a cute little bump out. I think it's my favorite part of the house.
The bricks are done in concrete. All the links to these products is on my 'resources' page. I like hand sculpted bricks that are not perfect. I don't want a sterile look.  So I draw/sculpt the shapes in with an old X-Acto knife when the concrete has set for about 10 minutes.

There are 3 different roofing materials - pine shingles, corrugated and coconut fibers.

I use a battery operated LED light system. I hide the switch and battery in the chimney.
 I kept the interior very neutral. This house would be so easy to decorate! I may do it later on if it does not sell empty.
 There are 2 rooms. One on each level. I left them wide open so you could have many furniture arrangement possibilities.
 The bump out would be perfect for a little table or desk or cozy reading nook.
 Upstairs reminds me of Restoration Hardware for some reason. Maybe it's that gray wall.

I hope you enjoyed your visit!  This house is available in my Etsy shop. Until next time, keep creating mini wonders!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Brummies Hollow Custom Dollhouse

Things have been a wee bit hectic around here! But Brummies Hollow now has more interior finishes.
 This house is suppose to look like an old English farm cottage- like a Peter Cottontail story book house. So the walls are nicely tattered and aged.
 The floor is also very rustic. There's just a wash of silver/brown paint diluted with water and no gloss.
 Upstairs, 2 walls and the ceiling are plastered and one wall has wallpaper.  I also made a couple of chandelier.
 One wall is plastered on the outside. I bought 2 pre-made square windows. The rest are all going to be custom windows. Mixing elements is a great way to get character for your house.
 I also bought the door and painted it and glossed it. Then I made a little wreath.
 I already put the plastic film for the windows. Notice I first painted around the exterior of the window. Let that dry and then apply your window. This is so that if any thing shows under the window trim, it won't be unfinished looking.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Brummies Hollow Custom Dollhouse From Scratch

My new dollhouse is called Brummies Hollow.  I showed you my sketch in the last post.
So here is what I've done so far...
The house is 18" tall x 13" wide for now.  I used tempered hardboard for the walls. This is a material that doesn't warp. So you won't be struggling trying to straighten a sheet of wood for days.  It is super sturdy and holds up to most anything including moisture.
I cut the walls and windows and door with a scroll saw. I used to cut dollhouses with a craft knife or box cutter. It's possible! I did it for years. But you can find a scroll saw for under a $100.
Inside I did wood floors with Popsicle sticks. The ridged paper is cardboard from the scrapbook section at any craft store. You could also pull off the top paper layer on any cardboard box to reveal these types of ridges. The other walls are plaster sanded to a smooth finish. The trim is Popsicle sticks. Some of them cut lengthwise to get a thin strip.
Here you can see what the plaster looks like after it's applied without any sanding. The bare wall will get some decorative scrapbook paper. Scrapbook paper is a great option because it's usually a thicker quality paper.
To see links to products I use go to my Resources page.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How I Start a New Dollhouse Build

Getting started is often the hardest part of building a dollhouse. Where to begin? This is my #1 asked question.  I go through a certain process when I decide to build a new dollhouse.
First,  I gather ideas. Usually I look through Pinterest. Sometimes I get an email from a store with a photo that sparks my imagination. It doesn't mean I'm bound to these particular photos. It's just an overall feel the photos have. I will interpret these with my own style.
Then I draw my plan for the house. Nothing fancy. Just a little sketch with possible ideas written on there too. It also helps to make a list of everything you want to put in the dollhouse.

For this house, I'm using a product called tempered hardboard. It's very strong, doesn't warp and comes always as a perfectly straight sheet. We've all tried to straighten wood! It's nearly impossible. I used 2 sheets at $4.99 each.
I also gather things I want to use like a ready made door stairs, maybe a pre-made window. It all depends on my project.  For this house I saw a door on an email by Pottery Barn. I decided to replicate it.
You don't have to do things in any particular order. This time I did the front door first. Sometimes I make the chandelier or a piece of furniture. No rules in dollhouse building!

I draw out my house walls, floor and roof on the tempered hardboard. And cut them out.

I use a scroll saw. It seems to be the most stable saw to cut the straight lines. And you can also have very thin blades that won't rip the wood and make a big mess. The brand doesn't really matter. The cheapest will work. I have a Ryobi scroll saw. The only part I don't like is that the space where you turn the knob to change the blade is soooo small!  I have skinny fingers and it is very impractical. But it was under $100 and it has worked impeccably. So it's really a small inconvenience.

I put the walls together with hot glue. This keeps everything together without having to use clamps or tape. Cover each hot glue seam with a bead(line) of wood glue. Now everything is stuck together permanently. If you plan to wire the house with electricity, now is the time to run wires.But I use battery operated kits.

My next step is putting in the woodfloor downstairs. I use Popsicle sticks. I like to glue them from the front of the house to the back. I think it gives the space a more open look.
Next, you'll do your walls and ceiling. Before doing the upstairs floor you will want to run your wires for the battery operated kit. I have the links on my Resources page. Then you'll do your walls and ceiling upstairs.

My advice is Just Start! I promise building a dollhouse is very simple.  You don't have to make your first one complicated. Just a one room house to learn will be perfect. Once you see how therapeutic it is you will be hooked! 
I'll see you all in a week or two when I start a new project. Have a fantastic week! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Promenade Townhouse Dollhouse

This is Promenade Dollhouse. It's a custom dollhouse I made from scratch.
 This dollhouse is 20" tall x 13" across  x 13 1/2" deep.
 For this house, I went with a very sophisticated palette of grays accented with crisp white trims.
 The vines are from Hobby Lobby. Please check my "resources" page for links on products I use.
 The trellis is bass wood veneer I cut into thin strips.  The shutters came from the Primrose kit I used to use when I first started building dollhouses.

 I made the little garden with an iron fence, more vines, Heather sprays of flowers and roses I made myself.  I glued down sand(the kind used for candle fillers) using simple white glue.

There's a white wash on the pine Popsicle stick floow. That's just regular white paint thinned down with water.
 I decided to leave the interior completely white.

 I love the rustic look of the uneven floor boards. It gives the house so much character.
 I got the little birdcage from Hobby Lobby. It's a section with embellishments near the scrapbook isle. It was a brass color to begin. I dunked it in the white paint can and let it drip dry. This puts a thick coat of paint on the object.  Then I put a little light inside and covered it with vines and roses.

There's also a light above the front door.  I tried out a french door handle. I did this by sticking a piece of bent wire into a bead. Then I painted the "enamel" part with nail polish in layers to get a thick look.
I then painted the rest with black enamel paint and aged it with maroon acrylic paint.
I hope you are all having a wonderful Spring. And that all your mini projects are coming together with ease! Thanks for stopping by!
This house is available in my Etsy shop: