Had I been asked to D-I-Wife this project six months ago, I would have laughed a little and refused politely while LOL in my head. A proper paid order, by me? A dollhouse? No way, no how, nuh uh!
And yet, here it is. I have been asked to D-I-Wife it, a dollhouse, by me. My mother-in-law (my second paying customer happens to be my kin) was not satisfied with what’s available on the market (and the prices that left you with a gory awe). The request was to make a dollhouse as tall as a child, for two or three of them to play together at the same time. I was also given a budget of 100 euro.
It’s hard to tell why, by some divine vision, I have been browsing making dollhouses on Pinterest, so I had a very good idea of how hard it is to make one, what tools I might need, and the approximate cost. I’ve also grown more confident using my power tools, so, all in all, I said yes.
The end result is pretty amazing, this being my first proper DIY from new materials (not upcycling a desk or drawers) and on a budget (usually it is what it is).
The plan for the dollhouse can be found here, by Anna White. On her blog, she gives an excellent tutorial, with all measurements and plans, in PDF and otherwise, so I won’t do the same. However, I will mention some of the amendments I’ve made and lessons learned.
Finding the material was relatively difficult. I went to about 7 DIY shops before I found plywood. Some shops were out of stock, some only worked with orders, some were too specialised in something else… I eventually went straight to a warehouse that I drove past a few times, hoping it would have what I am looking for. They had better! There was this glorious 9mm plywood board that was used for transportation crates. It was a little worn, but good overall condition, and at 20 euro a piece for 240mm by 120mm! Very compliant staff offered to cut it for me as needed. Though it cost me another 10 euro, it was well worth the hassle. Here is the above mentioned plywood, and some planks for the roof.
Next step was to cut the roof, windows and doors. Begin by penciling it all on the board, then drill a whole withing the necessary shape, and by inserting jigsaws into the whole, cut it out. I kind of enjoyed this process. It was a first for me. *Grin*
Then I put the pieces together with – yeah – masking tape, so see that it all comes together, and trim to fit.
Once everything was as planned, applying wood glue and stapler gun (that shoots tiny nails), the sides were attached.
Next on the list was the roof. This was a tricky part. The planks I bought were too thick. When I was buying them, I was told their thickness, which sounded fine, but I should have checked it to make sure. The roof was too heavy, the wood curled, the nails could not hold it in place.
It was a disaster, it had to be replaced with a thinner, more submissive wood. I used 2.5 mm screws to attach the roof and then some more throughout the house for sturdiness.
Some wood filler followed by sanding, and the house was ready for painting.
I really liked Ana White’s paint choices, and since I had the same, I decided not to deviate. The floors were carefully varnished, and the walls were covered with white primer. I used a lot of masking tape throughout.
The outside was painted soft green.
I love the little gaps in the roof – gives it some feel of authenticity.
White walls and dark hardwood floors, very Nordic.
Little window seals, very cute.
Upstairs, I plan kids room and a tiny bathroom.
On the first floor, two bedrooms and on the ground floor, a kitchen and a hall?
Make it and love it!