Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Annika's House

I have been toying with the idea of posting dollhouse and miniatures somewhere for quite a while now. I am starting up this blog to document my miniature projects, especially those for my children.

Sometimes, taking the first step can be the hardest if you don't know where to begin. I have so many things to share, but I'm going to start this blog off with a bang. Instead of one of my many "in-progress" houses, I'm going with a finished one.

This is Annika's house. Annika is my niece. I started her house in 2005, when I was pregnant with my son. I finished in 2008. Not the speediest project, but I like to take my time and do things well. I skipped taking pictures of the very early stages because I never thought that I would want them. Somewhere in the middle, I remembered to get out the camera. By the time I was finishing it, I wished that I had taken pictures all along.

A reminder to anyone who happens across this, get out your camera and take lots of pictures. You will be happy you did.

I began with a kit, the Orchid dollhouse by Corona Concepts.  It was inexpensive and small. I have found that inexpensive kits made from "luan" plywood are hard to work with. Pieces are frequently warped, they splinter, and generally do not fit together well. They require a lot of wood filler and sand paper to smooth out imperfections.

I bought milled MDF siding and applied it to the base of the house and painted it pink. I applied individual fishscale shingles to the gables and painted them a creamy yellow.  I smoothed out the dormers with wood filler and painted them a dusty raspberry pink. The roof was covered in individual square-butt shingles. I left them natural but sealed them with a few coats of water-based polyurethane.

I applied wallpaper and flooring prior to doing the exterior siding.  I used scrapbooking papers instead of pricey and completely boring dollhouse wallpaper. I had to very carefully glue them with wallpaper paste. Since scrapbook paper is not treated for this, you have to be careful to lay it out exactly so because it will crease and bubble horribly.

I changed out the window trim. I cut everything from basswood because the luan plywood pieces supplied with kit were not the look I wanted.  All trim was painted bright white.

Inside the bedroom, I covered a piece of foam with heathered purple cotton fabric to make a window seat.

I did use a piece of molded vinyl tile flooring for the bathroom. It was just perfect so I couldn't pass it up. The other floors are scrapbook paper that I coated with a decoupage glue, something like Mod-Podge. I don't remember the name except that it was not actually Mod-Podge.

The kitchen turned out well. I eventually decided to leave the staircase out because it was too junky and awkward in the space.

I also added a cushion for the living room bay window.

The finished house turned out very well.  I was happy to have another project finished and sent off.

I did not add the gingerbread trim to the roof peaks. It was not the look I wanted. Instead, I butted the shingles together to form a tidy edge.

I really liked how the front gable fishscale shingles overlapped the gingerbread trim below.

Keep watching because I will post more dollhouse and miniature projects soon!

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