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A doll house can be a wonderful gift, craft, or even work of art. Building a doll house can be as simple or complex as desired, using any materials from an apple box to custom wood cutouts. There are many things to consider when planning to build a doll house such as the functionality desired, the style, the level of complexity, and the size of the structure.
Toy manufacturers offer kits to help build a doll house, some of which include pre-cut wood that needs to be assembled to make the house frame. These kits come in many styles, from Victorian farmhouses to haunted mansions. Some are pre-painted or wallpapered, and even include accessories like furniture or fences. For those good at following detailed instructions, buying a kit may be the easiest and fastest way to build a doll house.
For people with woodworking skills, there are many websites that offer blueprints and patterns to build a doll houses. Some even offer free plans that can be downloaded and printed out for easy use. While this method requires the builder to cut out and detail all the wood, it can be a great family project and can truly help make a doll house an heirloom.
A basic homemade doll house requires a few pieces of carefully cut wood and a little hammer work. Cut out two tall pieces the same size for the walls, then two rectangles or squares to make the floor and a second level. Measure the height of the walls and the width of the base and cut out a piece of wood to form the back of the house, adding cut-out windows if desired. After these are all nailed together, decide whether to build a doll house roof and a hinged front wall that can swing open. Although basic, this easy structure can be decorated in any way desired, and can always be added to or customized later on.
One way to make even a simple doll house look fantastic is to paint the exterior. Think of how real houses are painted and add a contrasting trim around the windows and doors. Use stencils and paint on a brick pattern or slatted wood. A dedicated worker could even build a doll house and paint the exterior with plaster or faux stucco to give it the look of an adobe house.
In order to finish a doll house, decorate the interior with furniture, wallpaper, and dolls. Many doll house companies offer a wide variety of miniature furnishings meant to suit any size and style of house. Some items, like food for the doll house kitchen, can be molded out of modeling clay that can then be baked and glazed to keep its shape.
@Lostnfound -- I feel you. Even my gingerbread kit houses look sad! What I did was got a doll house that was built, but not finished! So, I got the pleasure of painting it, inside and out, putting wallpaper up, installing flooring and carpeting and then furnishing it. I had an absolute blast doing all the finishing work.
I admit, it took about five years to finish it completely because I didn't always have the money to do what I wanted to do. But I kept at it, and now I think I have a beautiful heirloom to pass along to my children and their children.
I always wanted to get one of the doll house kits at the hobby store. I just wanted one of the smaller ones, to put together. Knowing me, and knowing how that sort of thing usually turns out for me, I expect the finished result would have looked a lot like a tornado hit the house, but I wanted to try it, anyway.
Doll houses have always fascinated me, and even though I've had a couple of Barbie houses, I always wanted to build a "real" doll house. I may get one someday, when I feel like I've gained enough expertise to really do it right.
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