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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Exterior Finishes

This is a long video but I had so much I wanted to share with you all on the subject. After last week's front porch video a lot of you said you would like to see other options for the exterior finish of the project (or any miniature building for that matter)

I thought about how to present the different options in a way that would make sense and give the feel of the finish on a “building” without having to actually build an entire building. I decided to make a cube out of foam core and use each side for a different finish. I think it turned out to be a good way to demonstrate the techniques in a single place and I have a cool display piece out of it. I think this format might be fun for other techniques too, maybe interior walls or floors or??? What do all of you think?

So let's talk a bit about each technique here:

First up was the brick. Now really important when you do this for your building use a pencil where I used the pen. I just wanted you to be able to see the lines so you could follow what I was doing.

The lines for the bricks are ¼” apart and the bricks are each ½” long. Be sure to offset every other row to create the pattern if you are making the same brick pattern I did.

Next that wood siding from the 70's, I think the builder called it T1-11 when my folks built their house in 1977. If you drive through any neighborhood around here that was built at that time it is what covers most if not all the houses. Does anyone want to use it for a dollhouse, maybe. I'm not sure but I thought I would include it here. It is really easy to do and uses the same tack strip we used for the lap siding last week.

Now onto the tissue “stucco” or at least it kind of looks like stucco, maybe. Whatever I love this one and I used it on my big dollhouse (the Harrison) it looks great and a lot of people ask how I did it.

I couldn't do this tutorial and not do the egg carton stones. You can make them any shape you want, I decided to go with a more free form stone this time. Since the material is basically free and you can cut it any shape you want you can make any type of stone you want with this one. Feel free to use regular grout if you have it on hand or the caulking I used today.

Another stucco like finish can be made by adding sand to regular paint to make thick textured paste that can be applied to the walls. This also looks great especially when painted a pale color. I think it would also benefit from a light wash of a yellow tone but I didn't have time this week.

Since we just did the “lap siding” last week I applied that to the cube off camera and just painted it on camera this week.

So now you have 6 options for the exterior of you miniature building. It would be fun to mix some of these to create a really special building.

If you have another finish you would like to see me do let me know. Maybe when we get 6 more ideas we can do another cube full of them.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch part 3

This week we are finally going to be starting to add the siding to our front porch project. I am sorry I haven't been very regular in my video schedule life has been crazy lately. Between the new job, getting sick and then being snowed in I haven't gotten anything done the last month. Hopefully I can get back on my normal schedule soon. I do thank you for your patience in the meantime.

I am using a lap siding on my porch with an area of brick on the wall under the big window. I decided to add the brick after being stuck in a batch of roadwork a few weeks ago. I ended up sitting in front of a particular house for almost a half hour and as I sat there I was studying the front porch. I really liked the look of the brick so I decided to use it in this project.

Please let me know if you would like some other exterior wall finishes also. I can add some short demos of other types of siding if you would like. Just let me know what you would like to see. Pictures would be great too so I know what the look is you are wanting.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 2

I want to start by saying I am sorry I was out of frame and that I didn't get much done this week. I have still not been feeling great after being sick last week.

So this week we are going to add the roof to the front porch. I almost forgot to get this done before I added the siding.

For the roof area we only need to cut 4 rectangles of foam core.
1 @ 12 ½” by 6 ¾” (roof)
1 @ 12” by 6” (ceiling)
1 @ 12” by 2” (back)
1 @ 6” by 2” (sides) – this is cut on the diagonal to make 2 pieces

We will also need a scrap of foam core to fill the area between the roof piece and the front wall of the “house” I decided to do this this way so that the roof could have a flat area where we join it to the house. It should all make more sense as we move work on the area in coming weeks.

I know I said I was going to trim the roof piece along the side but I totally forgot until I had it glued to the house. It looks fine so if you want to trim yours go ahead but it will work either way. I blame the mistake on my cold medicine and the fact there was about 5 days between when I filmed the parts of the video.

Next week we should be moving on to the siding. Let me know if you would like a video on different options for dollhouse siding.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 1

This week we are beginning work on our new project series where we are going to be making a dollhouse scale front porch. It is designed to be a freestanding display. This was a request from one of the wonderful members of my Facebook page. It is very loosely based on a kit that was available many years ago. I say very loosely because it is a porch and it has the basic components of a front porch. I think it is about the same size but I'm not sure.

I don't remember who made the original kit but there used to be lots of pictures of the porches made from the kit around. Some people set them up and never changed them. Then there were those that decorated their porches for every season and some went all out on that decorating.

There were a few things about that long ago kit that I never liked. One was the way the door and windows were not next to each other but rather on adjoining walls. The other big thing for me was that you could look right through those windows to whatever was behind the display. I have been thinking for a couple of years how to change both of those things.

This week we are working entirely with foam core and I am using the type from the dollar store. I really do prefer it over the craft store variety and usually have at least a couple of sheets on hand for projects. In addition to the foam core you will also need whatever door and window(s) you plan to use. Here are the cutting dimensions for the project:

Back wall unit:
2 pieces @ 13 ½” tall by 13” wide
2 pieces @ 13 ½” tall by 1 ½” wide

Side wall:
2 pieces @ 13 ½” tall by 9” wide.

back wall unit
Be sure to cut the window/door openings before you glue the back wall unit together.

I am using plain old Tacky glue and cheap sewing pins to glue the pieces of foam core together. The pins make for a much better bond and keep everything lined up while the glue dries.

back wall unit

I am making the side wall from two layers of foam core just to make it more durable.
sidewall pinned
top view of back wall unit

Next week we will be adding the siding so think about what kind of siding your house should have. Right now I am planing to use the cardboard strips like I did for the corner roombox to create lap siding. You can use any type of siding you wish. We will be adding a foundation, porch and base in future weeks.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Window

This week we are making a window to use in the project that I plan to start next week. This is a really simple window, nothing that opens. And again we are just finishing the front side since there won't be an interior that we can see on the project. If you need a window with a finished back side just repeat the same steps on the reverse side.

My window was cut from the same piece of leftover plexi-glass that I used for the door. I cut it 4 ½” square.

I used some strip wood that was about 1/8” wide by 1/16” thick for the interior strips. I glued them on and cut to size after the glue set. The outer “frame” was just skinny sticks.

I did pre-paint all the pieces of wood with an ivory craft paint then coated with satin Mod Podge. We will be making the visible outer window frame when we install the window.

I used Beacon 3-in1 glue for this project. I found in a quick test that it held the wood to the plastic and did not fog the plastic. I hope that the hold will remain over time since I haven't been using this glue for a long time I am going by what others have said about it lasting. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Door

Watch the video here.

This week we are going to be making a door that I will be needing for an upcoming project. The door I need for this is non-working so that is what I am making today. This door could be made to be working by making just a few changes which I talked about in the video.

I only finished the front of my door since that is all that will be seen once I install it in my project, you can choose to finish both sides of your door or just the front depending on how you are going to use yours.

For the door we need the following pieces of wood:

From 1/16” wood:
4 @ ½” by 6 ½”
1 @ ½” by 3 ¼”
2 @ ½” by 2
1 @ 2 ½” by 3 ¼”

From Jumbo craftstick (or 1/16” by ¾” stripwood)
6 @ 1 ½”

From skinny sticks (or 1/16” by ¼” stripwood)
1 @ 2 ½”
2 @ 3”

1 piece of plexiglass or clear plastic from packaging
1 @ 2” by 2 ¾”

For the door frame:

From 1/16” by ¼” strip wood
2 pieces the height of the door (sides)
1 piece the width of the door + the side pieces (top)

From a regular craftstick
1 piece the same length as the top piece.

This project is really easy if you pay attention to how I laid out the pieces. Be sure to measure very carefully! That is really the key to success on this project. I did try to make all the dimensions easy to measure. Dry fit all pieces before you glue also and make adjustments as needed.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tips for Dollhouse Miniature Crafting- Sanding

This Thursday we have another tips video. I thought I would take just a couple of minutes to talk about some basic sanding tips. It would be impossible to cover the entire subject of sanding in just a short video so I just talked about some of my favorite tips.

If you have a favorite sanding tip be sure to leave me a comment and let me know. And if you have a question about sanding feel free to ask and I will do my best to help you out.