Sunday, April 1, 2012

Construction Begins!

After putting together a dollhouse for the girls the other day, I was really in the mood to start working on the one I've been building in my head for the last few years. I have been stockpiling supplies for as long as I can remember for the day I would have time to build it. Well... I didn't really have TIME, per se, but I did it anyway. (Today's tally: 0 loads of laundry washed, 1 sink full of dirty dishes, 2 living rooms full of toys and mess, and 3 meals uncooked.)

It occurred to me, I've never really shared the process of putting together one of these. Or have I? I can't remember... Anyhow, here's a tutorial anyway. (Note: I had some sort of mess on my camera lens and didn't realize it until after this set of pictures was taken. Please excuse the blur.)

These are the cardboard boxes I collected: 6 size 5, Parent's Choice diaper
boxes. This should have given me uniformity throughout, however, one of
the boxes was a slightly different size than the others. Go figure. These
boxes are great for 1/12 scale dolls, a little tiny for the Joes/Barbies, but
they'll do in a pinch.

Step 1: cut off all the flaps. I like to use a serrated steak knife as a saw. It
only took a couple minutes to cut the flaps off all 6 boxes (that's 24 flaps...
but who's counting?).

Ta-da! (Shhh! Don't tell my husband I'm using the good knives on cardboard!)

I usually set these aside in case I need them later. Sometimes I use them
to create a pitched roof or furniture. You never know when you'll need
a little cardboard ;)

Step 2: Arrange your boxes in the position you want your rooms to be in.
Try a few different arrangements (vertical, horizontal). If your boxes are
different sizes, this step is critical to finding the best arrangement and can
make a big difference in how well your dollhouse holds together.

Step 3: Put your boxes together. I usually use hot glue for this step, but if
I am planning to cover the outside with something (rather than just paint it),
packing tap works just fine. I used a combination of both on the girls'
dollhouse: packing tape for most of it, hot glue on an area that didn't want
to hold together. 

Step 4: Admire your design :) Actually, Step 4 is usually putting on the
roof or cutting doors or windows, but I decided to skip those steps this time.
I will probably add a roof later, but I think instead of windows I will try
to do some kind of lighting. If you don't plan do add lights, however,
windows are essential for letting some light into the house. You can mark
placement with a pencil and cut your openings with your steak knife.

Here's a preview of what's coming up:

This is my collection of dollhouse furniture, materials, dolls, etc. I have been
digging into this box and getting creative :)

And here's a clue about the most awesome thing I've done with this dollhouse so far: (You'll never guess what I've done... unless you remember a post from about a year ago when I was talking about some unconventional materials I was planning to use. Like I said, this dollhouse has been dancing in my head for a while :)

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