Truman and Ruthie’s 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
How to Build Dollhouse Stairs - Lesson Learned: How to build stairs. I said before that this is not a blog about how to build a dollhouse, and for the most part, that’s true. But I think I found the ‘right’ way to build two elements: stairs, and egg carton stones. I’m not saying that there are no other ways to
No Extra Credit for Doing it the Hard Way - 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.
Focus on the Windows - 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
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
Primer is Your Friend - 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.
Masking Tape is Your Friend - Lesson Learned: Masking Tape is Your Friend. In order for the wood glue to really work it’s mojo, you have to clamp your join well. But in the world of miniature dollhouse things, unless you find itsy bitsy clamps, this can be a challenge. Enter… masking tape. Instead of relying on expensive tiny dollhouse clamps
Wood Filler is your Friend - 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.
Don’t Measure Everything First - 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
Hand Saw vs. Table Saw - 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
Wood Glue is Your Best Friend - 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
There are no Useless Details - 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
Scale is Everything - 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