Craft Paper is Your Enemy

Lesson Learned:

Craft Paper is Your Enemy.

I’ve talked about some things that are sticky, and that I found very helpful… so how about a sticky something that ended up being a PITA throughout the project? I wanted to wallpaper the rooms in the house this time instead of just painting the walls like I did in my other dollhouses. Apparently you can buy ‘dollhouse wallpaper’ but that seems frivolous to me, so instead, I found some craft paper that has small prints on it. I  cut that paper to fit the walls, and glued the paper directly onto the walls (yes, with wood glue.)

This is a bad idea.

First of all, if you wallpaper the house this early on – you have to be very careful for the rest of the build, since you can’t wash anything off of the wallpaper without ruining it. Secondly, using wood glue as wallpaper paste makes wrinkles and dimples and pimples in the paper when it dries. So you end up with wallpaper that doesn’t look all that nice, and is only going to look worse as I drip paint and glue and sneeze drops on it as I build the dollhouse.

What did I do right?

The only thing I did correct here was to apply the wallpaper in stages. I found it very helpful to finish the rooms before assembling the entire house. In the past, I have built the entire structure, and then tried to paint the rooms, because the dollhouse is so small, getting in there with tiny paint brushes is a difficult and time consuming task. By finishing the rooms as I built them, I had more access (since the roof wasn’t there obstructing my hand). Since the there is no extra-credit for doing things the hard way, I recommend finishing rooms as much as possible before you put the roof/ceiling on.

The other thing that saved me was baseboards and crown moulding. It might look like I added these because I’m awesome, and wanted the house to look awesome. But really, I only added them so that I could cover up the mistakes. My walls weren’t perfectly cut, which caused gaps between the floor and wall, or the wall and the ceiling. But that didn’t matter, because I just slapped some moulding down and… what gap? The image below shows the bay window, upside down. The crown moulding (white) hides the fact that that floor/ceiling is not at all cut perfectly to fit the bay window. You can see how innacurate my cuts are by looking at the top of the picture (which ends up being the floor of the second story bay window). See how crooked my walls are? It doesn’t matter, some wood filler on the outside, and some floor boards on the inside, and no one will ever know.

Crown moulding on bay windows
You can barely tell how awful that ceiling really is.

What others have to say:

Here are a few folks who know all about dollhouse wallpaper:

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