Tag Archives: designing your own dolls house

The gentle art of guestimating


Taking the plunge with the roof

So far the roof is held precariously together with masking tape and keeps falling off.

I had to start some time, there was no getting away from it so I stuck my hopes on a particular method of tackling it and began by joining the three side sets of roofing in their threesome by gluing paper strips internally, making tight paper hinges.

theinfill blog – Dolls House Emporium Market Cross kit

Sections held together with masking tape before the glueing with strips of paper

Once the glue and paper taping had replaced the masking tape it left the joined pieces fairly flexible so they could be seated on the wall heads and adjusted.

I wanted to line these sections and add dividing beams and was a little undecided which way to go about it as the work completed on one task might hinder access to another.  I’m not using the actual kit pieces for the roofing but why not go with the method as described in the Dolls House Emporium Market Cross kit which wants the roof built and offered up to the building as one piece?  That should work as long the roof and joints aren’t too fragile in cardboard and it remains removable after each addition and fitting.  I think I can get away with it while the roof structure is so adjustable at the joints.

theinfill blog – Dolls House Emporium Market Cross kit

Three sections each side and one higher section between.

Then checked that they would still flex at the paper joints.

Checked once more that the roof so far will fit, left it seated on the wall heads, taped in place so that the glue used so far could harden off a little more and hopefully stay more or less in the shape needed.

A little time later

Made sure that the whole roof structure was still removable and no dripping glue had made itself useful in the wrong place.  Then set about paper and glue taping the other raised roof section in order to complete the main roof shape of eight pieces.

Left to settle a few hours and once more checked that the whole roof would still come free and hold together.

Left to dry out, still making sure the roof is still free to move and then glued paper strips on the outer face of the roof joints to help firm up the roof structure further.  Once fairly happy with that I left the whole arrangement to dry out once more.

theinfill blog – Dolls House Emporium Market Cross kit

Sitting in place, drying off and beams still to be added between each section.

Problems working this way?

So far not too bad (fingers crossed).  The only itchy problem is using the sheet flooring.  It annoys me a little because it should be continuous boarding between beams to support the outer roof surface but, of course, there are floating ends of wood in each section where a board comes to and end and a new one begins.  Not important in any way but it does make my fingers itch so 🙂

Next up is to check the removable wall at the other end and see if it still fits and adjust as needed, followed by removing the whole hopefully more or less completely dry roof and adding the inner beams between each section, cross beams to the inner face of the top of each wall and some wood strip trim around the hole in the centre.

Thereafter?  Thinking of adding the small lantern roof before attaching the work done so far in place.  Thinking about it.

Dry-build roof part II


Dolls House Emporium Market Hall Kit
with self-build alterations

Note to self:  may need to rebuild roof sections longer and reduce the proposed lantern size?

theinfill blog – Dolls House Emporium Market Cross kit

Meanwhile, under the huge lantern hole, a try out of a single LED candlestick low down.
Well, we can safely say that it shows up the dirt nicely

About the ‘lid’

Started to work out the size of the pointy bit to sit on top.
Probabilities are that it will either look, once more, like a pixie hat or a drum shaped pimple.  One way to find out …

Feet back on the ground


and stop messing about

Fun as it is to work on the cheap LED lighting string, it can’t be said to be getting the job done.  So now for plan … erm, whatever is the letter of the alphabet we’ve reached?  Plan E, perhaps.

Trying out roof possibilities once more

Just for a little more light on a mostly closed roof.

theinfill blog – Dolls House Emporium Market Cross kit

Rather a large hole left for a lantern finish to the roof.  Possibly an oversized version of the lantern on top of the Yarn Market building in Dunster

I continued to work on the LED string but felt time was slipping by hence a rethink on the roof shape.  Hoping that a large central lantern shape will give enough added daylight to pick out the detail storage inside once the lid is on the room.

Using non-kit items.  Temporarily taped 2mm card for centre of a roof sandwich with horizontally set wood flooring as a lining on the inner face and tiling on the outer should stiffen it up and be much less weight than the beautifully cut kit MDF sections.

Next decision

To put a central pillar in going up to the little hat there’ll be on the lantern roof or to do without and keep the sightlines clear?

Off to exercise class, back soon.



What’s next?


Things aplenty to play with

For various reasons that I’ve nattered about previously, I realised about a year into working on my first build, Hogepotche Hall, that I’d make a mess of any serious dollhouse kit so never felt comfy committing to buying one.  Instead I started collecting a few smaller projects that would give me the freedom to make my own mess and, now I’ve got more of the workroom sorted, I’ve been going through what I think of as ‘my homework’.  Can’t leave the work undone, can I?

Sitting around for the last seven or eight years or so, and mostly covered in many layers of dust, there’s at least one second hand room box left from the original purchase for Hogepotche, three sizes of new room boxes (10″ through to 20″)

There’s also one more cardboard book box,

And, of course there’s always more small ornamental boxes, which I find very hard to resist, each with its own personality.  It would be great to create some different scale scenes with one or two of these – like the three already worked on and whose scenes are in no particularly sensible scale at all.

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Very varied in scale

I have a few modern glazed boxes too, sold as display boxes, or for storing this and that.  They might be good homes for a piece of furniture or wrong scale items I can’t part with but which otherwise will have no future home.  I’m thinking perhaps a garden scene, or outsized floral display, a chair loaded with everything but a seated person, or a modern sideboard that has a touch of the Miss Haversham.

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I obviously have this ‘thing’ about boxes

The modern boxes will not be big enough for a 50s matchbox three-piece suite with its original fabric, lovingly made fifty plus years ago. Because of the size of the sofa and chairs, they don’t fit in anywhere, but I find their survival and good state quite remarkable and it would be lovely to see them in a purpose-made scene.  Probably needs a whole new purpose-made box for it though.

theinfill blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall – 50s matchbox 3 piece suite

Chunky and still with us

There is a full kit

The Market Cross is the only fully designed kit project I bought.  In fact I bought two at the time, one for a friend and one for me and we were going to work on them together, but that never happened.

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This is probably where I should start.  Not too sure that it still has all its pieces or if I’m really truly going to do it, but, if I do, I’ve an inkling that it will end up tampered with horribly, with changes to this and that and a possibility of additions here and there.  Would want to set it back to a time nearer the era in which it began, rather than Victorian or contemporary, so it’ll be a return to the medieval/Tudor period.  So much more forgiving to my wobbly woodworking and finishes. Looks like a return to the egg box bricks 🙂

Why might the Market not get done? 

It’s sadly attached to my now departed friend and I really, absolutely don’t want to start another huge construction after the last two; no room and I’m getting too old.  Once started I fear that I won’t know when to stop with the market theme.  That’s what comes from looking on-line at the buildings in Weald and Downlands Museum today in an effort to collect reminders of a medieval style market street and market hall.  So many ideas shot around my brain I think it fused.

While I wrestle a few of these ideas under control, there’s definitely a particular small wooden box I’d like to work on now; oak and very Utility/Deco in look, and, as the 50s world is still rattling round in the corners of my head, it makes sense to do it in combo with the thinking about the Market.  If that also gets started I can swap back and forth – while one item dries out I can mess about with the other.

theinfill blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall – next?

One square, 50s made oak box ripe for playing with in 1:24

More than plenty to keep me out of various types of mischief and drop me in the glue pot.

Further link:

Carrie Becker, the Artist Behind “Barbie Trashes her Dreamhouse” so tempted by the idea of doing this type of room, any room