Tag: miniatures

December 17, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

There’s no extra-credit for doing it the hard way.

This was easily the most important lesson I learned building this dollhouse. While details are (almost) always a net positive, that doesn’t mean you have to build things the hard way.

December 17, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Focus on the windows.

On my first two dollhouses, the windows weren’t much more than holes in the walls. For this one, I wanted to frame them up a little more. This turned out to be a really great feature, and I think it makes the whole house stand out a lot more than it would if I hadn’t done this.

December 17, 2017 / Dollhouse

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.

December 17, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Primer is Your Friend.

Priming your dollhouse. This is something that I did not do on the other dollhouses that I built because I wasn’t sure it was necessary. This time, I painted the whole thing white as I went, which ended up being a really great idea.

December 17, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Wood Filler is Your Friend.

The other great tool I use for building the dollhouse is wood filler, wood putty, plastic wood, miracle Minwax. This stuff fixes pretty much everything that I do wrong.

 

December 16, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Don’t measure everything first.

I am cheap, so I build my dollhouses from scratch. That means I either draw out the plan before-hand, or I have to improvise as I go. This time, since I was using a plan that I had found online, I decided to draw out all the panels, and cut them first. I figured this would allow me to make the best use of the plywood I bought, and it would be faster in the long run. It turns out, this decision took a considerable amount of time, and I wasted most of the wood.

December 15, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

A handsaw can be just as fast as a table saw.

After I printed out my plans, and measured everything out on my plywood, I brought the plywood into the garage to cut all the panels at once. I figured, I have a table saw, I have a cross-cut sled, this is going to be faster, and more precise than cutting by hand. Turns out, it took longer, wasn’t any more accurate, and ended up creating a lot of wasted wood.

December 12, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Wood Glue is Your Best Friend.

I have stumbled on a number of posts on the internet discussing what kinds of glue to use when building a dollhouse. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me – plain old yellow wood glue has been the go-to adhesive

December 11, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

There are no useless details.

When I started building the dollhouse, I knew I wanted to incorporate as many details as possible. When I’m working on a painting, or print or web material, I frequently find that I have to dial it back a bit when it comes to adding stuff to the design. With dollhouses, I have found the opposite to be true.

December 11, 2017 / Dollhouse

So I decided to build another dollhouse…

A few years ago I built my first dollhouse for my daughter Norah, complete with handpainted stones, and a wooden shingled roof. I was proud of it then, but I knew there were a lot of ways it could have been better. Then, I built one for my niece. That one was much better than the one I built for my daughter, it was more architecturally interesting, and had a lot more details than my daughter’s, but there were still a bunch of things I was unhappy with. This year, when I decided to build one for my other niece Ruthie, and my nephew Truman, I told myself I’d document the process better this time, so I can keep track of the lessons I learn along the way.

December 11, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Scale is everything.

Back when I built my second dollhouse, (for my niece, Cami) the thing I was most unhappy with was the scale of the doors and windows relative to the rest of the house. I knew nothing about dollhouse scales when I built Cami’s, so when I set out to build one for Truman and Ruthie this year, I started by researching dollhouse scales.<\p>