Last summer, we found a big dollhouse kit on clearance at Tuesday Morning. I bought it on impulse (something I rarely do) because of the bargain price. The list price was $499.99, but Tuesday Morning's price was $199.99. They had marked it down to $139.99, and that weekend all clearance toys were an additional 70% off. Final price was $44.94 with tax. It is a House That Jack Built Rose Marie Dollhouse Kit. It is currently available on Amazon for $221.51, so I think $45 was an excellent bargain.
I guess I was a bit intimidated by the unknown task of building this large dollhouse, so it sat unopened for 9 months. Building the Fairy Tree Dollhouse must have given me just the encouragement I needed to get started on this kit. So this week, I finally opened the box. Before I got started, I did some research online about building dollhouse kits. I could't find any information on this particular kit, but I did find a wealth of information on dollhouse construction.
If you're interested in learning more about dollhouses, check out Joanne's Minis Blog. She has a whole series of videos on YouTube filled with information on Miniature Building Construction starting with Step 1.
You can also find Joanne's Mini's on Facebook.
Also, check out Dollhouses and the Things that Go in Them on Facebook. That's Sharon's Facebook dollhouse community where you'll find lots of cool dollhouse info. Sharon did the awesome tutorials that inspired my Fairy Tree Dollhouse.
Here's what I've done so far...
Step 1 - Checklist - Check to make sure all of the pieces were included in the box. This should have been done immediately after purchasing the kit to make sure there were no missing parts. The instruction booklet included a parts check list, and fortunately all parts were present and accounted for.
Step 2 - Primer - I primed all the parts with a water based primer. I decided to stain the original dollhouse floors, so I didn't prime those. You won't be able to use a wood stain on any wood that you have put primer on. I stained the three floor boards on the top side with Minwax stain. I primed the opposite side of floor 2 and 3 since those would be ceilings. I haven't done anything to the stairs or stair railings yet, because I can't decide whether to stain or paint them.
|Priming the pieces|
Step 3 - Dry fitting - I read alot about dry fitting the pieces together before you assemble them with glue and nails to make sure everything fits. I used masking tape to hold the pieces together. I'm glad that I didn't skip this step because now I have a much better idea of how it all goes together, which will help with the building process.
|Dry fit - The interior|
Here's what it looks like from the front of the house. I used containers of dog food to help support the heavy sides of the house in addition to the masking tape.
|Dry fit - The exterior|
I only left it together long enough to take a couple pictures and quickly take some measurement of the interior rooms for wallpaper. Since this is a cabinet grade kit, the pieces are 3/8" thick, which means there are a lot of very big heavy boards held together just with masking tape.
I hope to get started on the actual building process with glue and nails tomorrow. Please leave a comment below if you'd like to see future updates and more pictures of this project. Also, if you have built a dollhouse, I'd love to hear from you. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Have a wonderful weekend!