I bought a (doll’s)house!

Hi guys and sorry for the late post! It only feels like about a week since I last posted but apparently it’s been much longer, time has just been flying since I left college. I’ve got my results back (a completely unexpected distinction!) so I’m completely free for the rest of the summer. These last few days I’ve been kind of unproductive (unless playing Pokemon Go counts as productive) but I have adopted this new project. After completing the diorama from my last post I looked up doll’s houses (or dollhouses if you’re American, I think?) on Gumtree and found someone selling this blank wooden one for just £10. The lady who sold it to me was lovely and even delivered it to my house! It came flat-packed so I spent a few hours putting it together.

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I took over the whole sitting room and had to get my mum to help with some of the last few screws but we eventually got it looking like this!

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I’m afraid it’s pretty hard to get nice-looking photos of a big dolls house in the middle of a busy sitting room! Here’s some of the rooms inside:

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It is 1/16th scale which is the same as Sylvanian Families or Calico Critters. I’m hopefully going to paint the whole thing inside and out eventually. All I’ve done so far is a bit on the outside. I mixed sand with the paint I used (which is actually emulsion paint, I think) to try to give it the same texture a lot of painted houses around here have. I’m not sure if there’s a name for that kind of finish.

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It’s a start!

It’s also been very hot here (for England) these past few days which has been lovely so I’ve been outdoors lots more than usual. I hope you’re all having nice weather where you are, too! -Julia

 

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Diorama in an afternoon!

Very excitingly, my hand in date (like the end of my exams but my course doesn’t have exams) was on Friday! Now the exhibition’s private view is over, I’ve had a little rest and today I was all motivated to make things again. I’ve been looking at doll’s houses lately and I’m amazed at how intricate some of them are. I’m not sure if I want one because of this or because it’s very difficult to get an actual house when you’re 18 living in England right now, but for some reason,  I do.

I did not have a whole doll’s house, but I did have some doll’s house furniture from when I was little and I also had a box full of books, so I set to work! Firstly I removed the books form the box and coated the inside (which as you can see was bright pink!) with a layer of white acrylic paint. I used a sponge and a dabbing motion rather than a paintbrush to apply it to avoid thick brush marks.

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Not looking very homely!

I’m sure an actual primer would have worked much better but this did the job! By the way, this is my first attempt and I’m still learning lots so this is more of a learn-with-me than a tutorial.

Next I raided my mum’s stash of sample paint tins and found this pretty pale blue colour. I think it took about 3 coat of this on top of the pink to get full coverage. Of course, you could make this much easier by just not getting a bright pink box if you’re fancy enough to plan in advance.

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Ehh, I still wouldn’t live here.

I’ve had this scrap of fabric saved for a while because I thought it looked like a tiny carpet. I traced around the “floor” of the room and cut out a piece that size, but with a little extra added to the bit which would face the outside of the room. I’m not so good at explaining this but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. I didn’t glue the carpet down because to be honest I’d much rather have a wooden floor! For now, though, it works just fine.

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Goodness, that photo turned out really badly. The “carpet” is actually dark green!

Time to start moving in.

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All of this is stuff I found from my childhood doll’s house which I had stored in the top of my wardrobe. P.s. I think just after I took this photo I made the great decision to turn the whole thing to face a window so the photos are less dark after this!

I added a few more bits, glue-sticked some pretty paper (thanks Mollie Makes again) to one of the walls and…

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Ta-dah!

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The miniatures are things I found in my room, mostly, which I’d collected over the years. The jars are a wonderful birthday present I got this year for my 18th, the elephant and the hippo are from a gift shop by the sea. The drum is from a keyring, the Russian doll is the smallest one inside a full-size Russian doll which I have in my room. The wallpaper, image on the wall and mini magazines are all cut out of the most recent issue of Mollie Makes and the tiny folded bird was quite simple to make. The plants are Playmobil (I think) and the star is from a string of broken fairy lights. Oh, and the bed is mostly a folded handkerchief (not that I use them! It was in the napkin drawer.)

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You might not have these exact tiny things lying around, but I bet if you really look there are many things you could use in a little doll’s house scene!

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Things This Room Is Lacking:

~ Skirting boards. Non essential but for some reason it’s bugging me.

~A window! This is pretty important because it’s a little dark and poky in there right now. I’m thinking it’d look best above the bed. I’m a bit scared to cut a whole in my perfectly painted box right now, but one day.

~Maybe a light hanging from the ceiling. Again, not sure how I’d do this exactly but it would be fun to figure out!

~A rug would look nice in that empty space on the floor.

Really there are endless things I could add, but it sure isn’t bad for a few hours work. I like the higgledy-piggledy charm it has to it, with nothing really matching.

I hope you enjoyed this small post! As you can see my photography skills on such a small scale could really use some help so if you have any tips please comment them down below. If you try this too I’d love to see how it turns out. -Julia x

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