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Greenleaf's Pierce 7: Making Your Own Windows

I think miniatures is the only hobby where it is not only legal, but also where people are encouraged to peep into house windows.  It is an interesting perspective of Lilliputian proportions and another way that your house comes to life.  Anyone with a love of miniatures has at least once fantasized about living in her dollhouse at its scale.  I imagine that is what Beatrix Potter was doing when she wrote the Tale of Two Bad Mice

Circular windows, bay windows, and double windows.

Windows encompass shape and type (picture, bay, double hung), muntin (material separating panes of glass from each other ), trim, and glass.  There are many choices you can make, but usually in kits the house decides for you.  However, changing a window shape, size or type is just as possible.  I've seen people add dormers to their roofs, bay windows to walls, cover over window openings, or enlarge windows.  There are store made windows available to upgrade the quality of window dressings.

The Pierce has three types of windows, all of which have gracefully arched tops.  I will discuss only the possibilities of the options I considered when building the Pierce.
The Pierce mostly has tall, thin windows.  Some are single windows, some are double.  In the area most often used as the kitchen there are short double windows.  Whether single or double, tall and thin or short and wide, all of these windows are arched at the top.  The Pierce also has 6 circular windows, each topped with a capstone.  Three are in the tower, one in the attic, and one on each side of the front door.  

Dry fit which shows majority of windows.

The bay windows can be found in the areas most often used as a kitchen and the bedroom above as well the living room and the bedroom above.  People have added window seats, shelves, kitchen counter tops, or left them open.

The house comes with white silk screened windows, of which I was not fond.  So I set those aside and decided to make my own.  I poured over Google images.  Finally, I thought the circular windows would be best as stained glass windows, particularly using a flower motif.  And I wanted leaded windows everywhere else.
Silk screen window on top, my leaded window on bottom

To make the leaded windows I traced the outline of the windows' punch outs onto grid paper, and experimented with different designs before settling on the one I used throughout the house modified for the different widths and lengths.  I drew separate templates for each window type, about 1/8" larger than the punch out to provide a lip that extends over the wall for gluing.  I used transparency paper for the windows, which I think was a mistake.  It scratches too easily.  Also, it is a little too flexible.  If I were to make the windows again I would use something a little sturdier like the clear plastic found on the top of a to go container for salad.  Using a straight edge and an architect's drawing stencil for uniform half circles, I traced the lines in black permanent marker onto the plastic after taping them down to the grid paper.  Then I retraced them using a silver metallic marker.  I let them dry fully before touching to prevent smearing.

Silver Metallic Marker over Black Permanent Marker

The trim for this house has many parts.  The outside of the house has a bottom piece that is glued in as the window sill.  It has 2 side pieces and the arched piece.  Another piece goes on top of the arched piece and extends over the side pieces.  The interior has the window trim has four flat pieces all around the window.  If I do this house again, I will use the bottom of the interior trim to make another sill on the inside as well as the outside.  Both inside and out, I will cut another piece to use under the sill as a brace to the sill.
I have seen houses where the plywood wall remains untreated and is clearly visible sandwiched between the plastic window and the exterior sill.  So instead of following the instructions, I added the exterior trim right after I completed all the brickwork.  Then I used drywall mud to fill in, smooth, and sand the interior of the trim before priming and painting.  In some places, this was 3 layers of wood deep!
Note the arched pieces at the top of the window and
the smooth curve created by the drywall mud.

I looked for flower motifs I liked on the internet that would translate well to stained glass.  I looked for flower drawings with very few lines that I could change the size of to best fill the oval windows.  I printed these out in black onto the transparency paper.  Then I used alcohol markers to provide color.  I colored in the shapes on both sides of the transparency paper.  I tested the colors first because not all the markers are true to color when used on the transparency paper.
Only two stained glass tulips in the tower room.



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