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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Farm-stand Project

I finally got around to working on the building my farm-stand and therefore all the produce I have been making will go in. The kit has been sitting here in its packaging for months and I kept putting off getting started. I had a bunch of excuses; I couldn’t decide how I wanted to add a door on the one side, I didn't have room until I got my office/workroom set up, it was too hot, it was too cold, etc, etc, etc. I'm sure you all know how that goes.

Since I am semi moved into my new workroom I decided that I needed to get started. A few days ago I opened the packaging and took out all the pieces. I did discover that some of the parts are terribly warped but I decided to go forward anyway. I think by the time I am done it will pull together just fine. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. In fact I solved a lot of the warping by adding the outside wall treatment. If it continues after I install the main beam at the back opening I can add some more support on the inside.

I did forget to take any pictures of the early work (sorry) I just got into the job.

The first hurdle I had to get past was to open up a door opening in the side of the building that will lead to the greenhouse addition I am also using. The wall already had 3 windows and at first I thought I would just turn the center window into a door way. The problem with this idea was that the opening was way to short to act as a door. I played with the idea of just using it that way anyway but it just didn't look right. In the end I ended up cutting the wall from top to bottom at each side of the center window opening and then using some jumbo craft-sticks (ends cut off) to make a splice at the top. I centered the first piece of craft stick over the opening and then cut pieces to extend to each end of the wall. This wall now looks like it has a beam at the top on both the inside and outside of it. I think it worked pretty well. I will paint it to match the wall to help it blend in better.

I am loosely (very loosely) basing the farm-stand on a real produce market I shop at frequently. Mostly the wonderful bright red paint with white trim for the exterior color. I want this to look like it belongs in a farming area and as I look at most of the older barns and other out buildings in the area where I live I find they were constructed using what is called Batten Board (or Board and Batten depending on where you live). This type of construction in real life is created by alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips (the battens) . Most of the time (at least here) these boards run vertically and the boards are about a foot wide with the narrow boards much narrower. The battens are there to cover the seams between the boards making the structure weather tight. In mini we can copy this look by simply gluing on the narrow boards (1/8” square strip-wood in this case) on the side of the walls. I played around with placement and decided to put mine 3/4” apart. This measurement fit the best with all 3 of the sides of the building and worked out with the existing window openings. By adding these battens to outside of the walls I was able to straighten them out a lot. Also the walls feel much sturdier from technique.

At this point I have the main structure glued together. I did end up adding some 3/8” by 3/8” strip wood inside the building at the corners. Without those the warping was pulling the front corners apart terribly. I haven't decided yet how I will handle these vertical beams when I finish the interior. I will figure it out when I get to that step I guess. 

side with the added door opening

back opening, you can really see the warping here

Yesterday I stopped by the local Lowes store and picked up a sample size container of paint to use for this project. If you haven't checked out the this as an option for painting your dollhouse you should. They can mix almost every color they have available in the sample size (7.6 oz) and it is real paint. It comes in satin finish and goes on wonderfully. I paid under $3 for the can and there will be plenty left over. The color I chose for the farm-stand is “Fabulous Red” and it really is fabulous for this building. I have one coat of the paint (over my primer of course) in these pictures. I think I will probably only need one more coat but I can't tell until the second coat is on. Red is a hard color to use and takes more coats than some other colors. I think this red will look absolutely fantastic with the white trim. 

So that pretty much catches up with where I am with this project. I try to be better about posting and taking pictures of the building as it goes together.


  1. Dear Joanne,
    I am very curious about the end result. The beginning looks good.
    Greetings Dorien

  2. Dear Joanne, That red is awesome perfect color you chose. Yes, Lowes has those little jars always buy them for the dollhouse. Great job and thanks for writing this blog. See you Sunday.

  3. Hi Joanne, I am so looking forward to seeing the complete project. I love the color as red is my favorite. When I see the color red it makes me happy and I feel warm inside, this has been happening ever since I was a little girl so I guess it is my favorite of all the colors.

    Thank for for sharing your awesome minis!