Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Saga of a Dollhouse.. the Build-it-Yourself Kind

Have you ever seen one of those dollhouse kits that you build yourself?  You know...they have eleventeen thousand pieces and you get to paint each one and glue it and tape it and measure it and .....
Yeah.  My sweet Sarah wanted one for Christmas....and I was all eager and oh, yeah, a fun project!!  ...cause I don't have anything else to do.  I mean, I was practically getting bored....and whatnot.
This is the dollhouse the box... not intimidating, really.
This is the "dollhouse" out of the box.  Intimidating???  Ummmmmm....slightly....
Hmmmm...let's see...*where* is the (1/4) 10 3/16 x 6 1/8, Bev., Grooved piece... and where the heck is the 3/16 mark on my ruler??!?!? seriously.... ;)
On the bright side, I feel a good paint buzz coming on .... whoo! ;D
Ok, so Sarah and I painted the pieces of the house...sides and front with a green paint.  I have a picture of that, but my organization skills  leave it somewhere unnamed.
The next step was staining the shingles.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Stain the SHINGLES.  Just reading that gave me the {{{shivers}}}.  Do you realize the measuring involved with that??  So, I decided to stain the shingles and totally block adhering the shingles out of my mind until it became absolutely necessary to focus on them.
To stain the shingles, I read that you cut a milk jug in half, put the shingles in the top half and pour the stain over, let it drain into the bottom part, and then lay them out to dry....

The directions said to tousle...ok, it didn't say "tousle" ...I just can't think of a different word right now... the shingles every 3 hours the first day and then 4 the next or something like that...  I *might* have neglected to do that...and they *might* have stuck together.  ok.  now that we have that out of the way...
The next thing we did was to paint the floors with a polyurethane sealer.  Following that was the gluing and taping of the walls to the floors, to the roof...which actually went pretty smoothly.  Well, if you don't consider the fact that the middle floor with the hole for the steps was put in incorrectly by *someone*.  The steps were supposed to be on the left at the front of the house.  They are on the right side at the back of the house.  We'll chalk it up to *unique-ness*.

And we painted the foundation...  we added sand to our paint so it would look gritty and more foundation-like.  It turned out pretty dang cool.....
The inside walls and ceilings I painted about 3 times ...that dang chipboard/clapboard/whatever soaks up paint like a mad dog.  The great thing about it is that I noticed after the fact that when I put the electrical tape in, it will need to be covered with wallpaper or more paint.  Yay, me!!  I just love lessons in futility...  love 'em..  LOL...
I had to draw guidelines on the roof and the gable....separately....before I put the gable on the roof.  Which, speaking of the gable....I was so excited to get it on the roof....oh my gosh!! It actually worked!! I mean, it went on...looking like a gable...  cool.  Anyway...those guidelines... I'll be danged if they didn't line up.  WTHeck??!?!  The guidelines on the roof were supposed to run nicely in with the guidelines on the gable.  I don't know.  I have issues with a ruler.  Who's bright idea was it to make a stick with 192 lines on it and only label TWELVE of them???  Seriously.  That's just WRONG.  I get stuck at two-twoths...but, whatever...

The next step was, shall we say, freakin' TEDIOUS!!  There were hundreds of pieces...probably.  I didn't count them. But by the time I painted each of them four times each there might as well have been.  You see, the windows even come unassembled.  You get to put them together.  I will tell you...when they suggest that you put a small piece of tape on the corners before gluing the four frame pieces together and putting a rubber band around them to hold them together...that's a good suggestion.  Otherwise, the pieces fly everywhere...almost as easily as your temper does.  Look at all the lessons you can learn building a dollhouse... patience, temperance, MATH.  So, after putting those together and letting them dry, I painted each, railings, posts, window boxes, and other porch paraphernalia.  And the porch floor.

After the paint dried, I got to start gluing things on...that was FUN :)  It was starting to look like a bona fide dollhouse.  The work was paying off......

How cool is that?
The next step was working on the porch.  I swear... ok, I really might have.  I tried not to ...I attempted temperance.  But those railings... oh dear me..  they moved...they slipped...they wiggled...they jiggled.  I instructed all children to stand 2-3 ft away from mommy and the porch until it was completed...just to be safe.  You know.. cause I am not quite saintly ... *yet*... haha  :)
Isn't that the sweetest thing???? is... bless it.
It was time for the shingles.  I sweated.  I broke out in hives.  I dang near bit my nails off and started on my toes.  And that was all before I glued the first one into place.  And then....I swallowed, I breathed, and I made a glue bead line for the first row.  Whew.  I was shaking in my britches.  It was intense. ...and then, lo and behold....the shingles were appearing on the roof and looking acceptable.  I did have some issues with the top of the gable, but I eventually got a couple on that covered the roof wood, so I was happy.  And then....THE SHINGLES WERE DONE!  It seriously took me all day one Saturday....ALL DAY.
*sigh* ....I get happy and contented just looking at it.  Look at it.  All those place.  *sigh*
Well, ALMOST all the pieces.  The window frames that go inside aren't finished.  Hence, the absence of the window panes.  I had the bright idea to stain the inside window frames.  Bad idea.  My stain was much too dark.  Somehow, I figured that although the stain looked too dark in the can AND too dark on the FIRST frame I stained, by the time I stained ALL the frames, it would look less...dark.  Yeah.  It didn't work out that way...who would've known???  So, I'm going to have to paint those a neutral color or something...I don't know yet.  And there's the electrical work.  Oh dear heavens.  I can't even think of it.  The electrical tape scares me worse than the shingles did.  Like I kinda can't breath when I think of it...seriously.  But, day I'll just do it.  I really don't have much time left.  Her birthday is the 17th...and she wants dollhouse furniture for her birthday.  Shiver..  I guess I'll have to just swallow my fear and go for it.  And then there's the wallpaper...which I'm sure involves measuring ..with a RULER.  Dang things....


  1. Most definitely!! And it ain't over yet.... ;)

  2. Thank you so much for the inspiration! My children bought me a dollhouse kit for Mother's Day 2010 (my dream house). I've been too intimidated to start it. I finally took it out of the box and started laying the pieces out. Tomorrow, I'll shop for paint.

  3. Ahhh!!! So glad you've been inspired... You can do it! I'll encourage you now, while you're still fresh...later, when your eyes glass over, you are pulling your hair out by the roots, and drooling...I'll share my nerve pills and straight jacket! LOL ;)
    I'd love to see your finished project...and hear about any (fun) incidents along the way... :)