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Greenleaf's Pierce 8: Trim 'N Things

WINDOW TRIM  Trim is the finishing up, tying off, and making complete the final product.  The instructions and many experienced dollhouse builders suggest putting the trim on last.  But like anything concerning building dollhouses, you can pretty much do what you want how you want. Bay window and circular window trim. I did not follow the instructions and general rule of thumb for putting on trim last.  I guess you can judge the wisdom of that move by looking at the end result and considering my reasoning for doing my own thing.  This dollhouse's exterior trim has 4 pieces:  sill, sides, a top curved piece, and a cap.  The round windows have a keystone piece on top of that.  I chose to put the exterior trim on last because of my brickwork and the method I chose to apply it.  The stencil would not allow me to place brick right up to the trim.  When applying the brick work, I taped off where the trim would be glued and placed the brick even over the tape.  Once it dried, I carefully

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 h

Greenleaf's Pierce 6: Foundation Walls

 This will be a MUCH shorter post!  Victorian foundation walls can be brick, field stone, block, or concrete.  Foundations do not provide as many choices, and each type has a couple of different methods of achieving that affect.  I decided on a field stone foundation because the house was already solid brick! Field stone can be achieved by using paper clay, patterns printed from the computer, real stone (very heavy) or cardboard egg cartons.  If there are other methods, I am just not aware of them yet.  I quickly settled on cardboard egg carton because of the texture and how some of the pieces on the curved part can be incorporated to give the impression of the round side of a stone. Tear the carton into round, stone size pieces.  You will want large and small pieces.  I pre-painted the foundation a slate grey to simulate mortar.  I didn't want to fill in the spaces with anything afterwards because I did not want to lose the depth of the stones.  Then I began gluing them on by comp

Greenleaf's Pierce 5: Floor Treatments

 In previous posts I've discussed how many choices there are in building and decorating a dollhouse.  Flooring has no fewer choices, possibly even more than other decorating areas.  Similarly, materials used in dollhouse flooring are vastly varied as well. Flooring needs to be chosen with scale in mind. The Pierce is 1:12 scale, also known as 1:1 scale, meaning 1 inch in the dollhouse equals 12 inches or 1 foot in real life.  So wood grain in any floor material needs to be in scale as well. In other word, you can't really use a whole tile of self-sticking faux wood vinyl floor for a real house in a dollhouse because the scale of the wood's grain will be off. Some materials that translate scale well are: popsicle or craft sticks in regular and jumbo size, coffee stir sticks, adhesive wood veneer, faux stone adhesive floor tiles, air dry paper clay bricks or stone, cardboard egg carton stones, designs printed on computer paper, just scoring floorboards in the plywood floor, a

Greenleaf's Pierce 4: Paper and Paint Before, During, or After Assembly?

 Every dollhouse is different. Each one has its own way of being built. So there are different approaches. The first is to build the house completely and then paint and paper the walls, finish the floors, and turn the house on its roof line to paint the ceilings. A second way is to prepare all the walls before final assembly. Last, a mix of approaches, depending on the type of house.  For example, some people may assemble the house, only decorating the hard to reach spots before assembly then decorating the rest after assembly. It depends on you and the house. I chose to decorate before assembly. If I build another Pierce, I will choose paint or paper on various walls differently. I abhorred the idea of light shining through the cracks in the wall joints. So during assembly I clamped the walls together so tightly, it created problems later on for the roof assembly.  I think the value of papering two adjacent walls after assembly is that those joint cracks would be covered up. A much be

Greenleaf's Pierce 3: The Pierce Staircase - Keep or Ditch?

 I've heard many people say that the Pierce staircase is one of the most challenging dollhouse staircases.  Aside from assembly, the way it connects the first and second floors creates "dead" space in the dollhouse. Some of this area can't be accessed nor seen after assembly from the back opening nor from the windows. If you are a purist, you will still want to decorate this area. However, be forewarned...any decoration must be done before the second floor is permanently installed! Window view of 2nd floor landing and attic ladder. Some people decide to eliminate the staircase all together to have a larger area in the downstairs. Some people decide to use custom spiral staircases to save space and still have a way for their small people to access the 2nd floor. Others use the staircase, but relocate it to another part of the room to change the shape of the first floor layout. Yet others will embellish the staircase by customizing it with shelving or adding a closet. I