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! 


  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!

  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.

  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.

  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. :)

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

  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.

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

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

  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


  10. Thank you for sharing your ideas and experience! Looking forward to seeing more!


  11. Thank you so much Caroline for sharing these tips. I love your houses and am always interested to see your work.
    Hugs, Drora

  12. Me apasiona ver como nacen y van tomando forma tus casitas, además haces que parezca tan sencillo! Creo que tienes razón cuando dices que hay que lanzarse y dejarse llevar sin obsesionarse demasiado con la perfección, pero lo realmente difícil es ser capaz de darles el encanto que tiene todo lo que haces :)

  13. Hola Caroline, gracias por compartir tus buenas ideas.
    Estoy deseando ver ese nuevo proyecto, que seguro será espectacular.
    Feliz domingo.

  14. Beautiful! I love your works!
    Lots hugs!❤️

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