|Written by Bill Hanks|
A true way to a little girls heart is to give her a Doll House for Christmas. It takes some time and a bit of work but, if you are handy with tools, you make your own. You can find free directions on the Internet that will assist you. This article will give you some simple ideas on how to make a Doll House.
I remember a few years back going into a store that was filled with different types of Doll Houses. One such house was even built like Abe Lincolns old home in Springfield, Illinois. There were houses of all types. There were log cabins, ranch houses, apartment houses, and even specialized houses like Lincoln's home.
I started to think about the construction of a Doll House. How hard would it be to build one? What would it cost? Where could you get the miniature furniture for it?
The first thing you need is a plan with the proper dimensions. You can get this off the Internet or better yet design your own. You have to decide if you just want the back side open or do you want to build a complete house, put hinges on it so that it will swing open. Either one would be nice. Just keep in mind that weight could be a major factor. The heavier the house, the stronger and larger the hinges have to be. Make your blueprint for the design of your house. Decide how many rooms you want. The easiest would be a four room house. Take plenty of time on this phase of your construction. This will also give you an idea of the cost involved..
Once you have it all planned out, go to the lumber yard and hardware store to get the supplies you need. The larger the house the better materials you will need.
The simplest way would be to use regular plywood. I suggest using 3/4 inch particle board. It will be heavier but easier to help with your construction. Besides the floors for the upper rooms, you will need 5 major pieces of lumber. You need it for the main floor, roof, inside wall, sides, and back (front of the house). Depending on how you want to put in your middle floors, you may want some small strips, too. Putting in the middle floors is the biggest challenge. You can either use small strips and then slide the floors in, or you can roto cut grooves to slide them in. You can also do this with the interior walls as well. However, I suggest taking your time and using a roto cutter for doors and windows. If you don't know how to use a roto cutter, find an individual that does and have them do it. You just draw lines where you want the doors and windows on the walls. Then let that individual cut them out. The same is true with the placement of the inner floors and walls.
Use small finishing nails to secure everything in place. Depending on your carpentry know how, you might want to try using very small and long screws. The good thing about screws is that you can easily back them up if you start going crooked. They are also stronger. However, even with paint, their heads usually show. If you slide your inner walls and floor into the house, use glue to secure them in place. Just put the glue on the ends and slide them into the grooves you cut with your roto cutter.
Leave your house sit for a few days. Now you are ready to paint. If you are going to paint the inside of the house, there are two ways to do it. Paint the walls before you assemble the house or afterward. For me, the easiest way is to spray paint everything white once the house is complete. I spray paint everything inside and out and then let it dry for a day or two. Usually about three cans get the job done. Now I am ready to do the outside trim on the house. I paint little shutters by the windows along with flower boxes. I even paint some shingles on my flat roof. You can basically paint whatever you want. Any type of paint will go over the white base. Just be sure that the white base is dry.
Now that your house is done, you need to get some miniature furniture. Keep in mind you want to keep everything to scale. Also, the more rooms you have, the more furniture you will need. You can usually find furniture at any toy store. You can also order it off the the Internet. These items can be expensive, so be careful what you chose. You can make small rugs out of old wash clothes. Just cut to the right size and either lay them down or glue them in place.
The nice thing about a doll house is that you can get as elaborate as you want. I have even seen people looking for furniture in antique stores. If a doll house is well taken care of, it can be passed on from generation to generation. They even become heirlooms.
One thing for sure, you will feel a strong sense of pride in your accomplishment once you are done. the little girl in your life will be a very happy person, too