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! 

9 comments:

  1. As always, thank you so much for sharing, Caroline. My heart always skips a beat when I see a post from you because I know it will be happy and special!

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  2. Your process when you decide to build a new dollhouse is very documented and perfect for a great work. The door is amazing and the boots too.

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  3. Gracias por compartir tu esquema para realizar una casa. Pero ademas está ese encanto que tienen tus casas y que no se puede poner en un papel.

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  4. Hi Caroline,I agree with your statement of "JUST START" because so much of the time is spent "just imagining" without ever jumping in and taking the plunge!
    Building anything is often a bit scary, especially from scratch but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. :)

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  5. this is cool to see! thank you for this. I love those boots! and your pinterest board and notes!

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  6. You are an artist. I admire the ways you find inspirations and are able to visualize what you want and then turn it into a thing of beauty. I am always amazed at your work and have learned so much from you.

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  7. Thanks Caroline for explaining your work in progress, it has been very helpful. As always, congratulations on your wonderful work! A hug, Marisa

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  8. It's fascinating to learn how you work.
    Geneviève

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  9. thank you very much, for the tips I love watching you go through the process of building your houses each one is more elaborate than the next and the interiors are so cute. I just want to shrink down and live there please put a kitchen in this one if you can

    Hugs
    Marisa

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