The dollhouse building instructions are divided by letters. So I figured that as soon as I got each letter done, I’d take some pictures and make a post about it! So here is… The first post!
The directions were pretty straight-forward. But before I actually started removing foundation bits and gluing them on, I drew the hardwood pattern on the floor first. It took a little bit. I used a pencil to draw with, and one of those little disposable nail files to measure the width of the “planks.” I started from the back of the floor and worked toward the front, then just added random lines for where each “plank” would end. This is a close-up of what it looks like when it’s done:
Once I got the lines drawn, I figured it would be easier to paint/stain after I had the foundation bits glued on and had a raised surface to work with. So I popped all those out and glued them as it said in the directions, using tacky glue with masking tape to clamp. This isn’t my first die-cut dollhouse, and with previous ones I’ve used hot glue. Those went together faster, without a doubt, and on the simpler houses hot glue worked just fine… but on one particular house there were a few places that I had to cram/cut pieces in to make it work, and there were more than a few gaps. Die-cut dollhouses are meant to fit together snugly, and if you have absolutely no give and then make a mistake on top of that… It’s frustrating. So tacky glue is the way to go for me.
Here’s the bottom.
I mentioned it in a different posts, but if I had been using a hot glue gun, I would have had a lot of issues with the foundation. I didn’t put the pieces for the front and the back on “straight” and so when it came time to put in the middle pieces, I had to un-tape and shove them in and re-tape. But it all went together.
And then I started painting. I drew a line (with pencil) where the walls would go, so that I could paint the front porch and stain and there wouldn’t be any overlap.
I also painted the foundation pieces, two coats. I used wood filler to fill in the cracks where the tabs go into the slots. I scored along the drawn hardwood floor lines with an x-acto knife to make them stand out more, and then I stained.
I did a pretty crappy job of staining, honestly. It’s pretty easy to see. I forgot that you take your brush and do smooth strokes along the woodgrain. I got the “along the woodgrain” part, but there weren’t smooth strokes, and so it’s a little uneven. I’m hoping that when the walls and everything get up, and I have furniture in there, it won’t be so noticeable. Second and third floors will be better!
I do still need to varnish the whole thing, but I think I want to get the walls up first because I have an idea that tacky glue may not stick as well to the varnished surface. I’m probably wrong, but still. Walls first. I’ll varnish the foundation while I’m waiting for paint to dry. The shell is next and I have to paint all of the outside bits.