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The Orchid - my first


Miss Sarah
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Last night I bought my very first dollhouse, The Orchid kit, from hobby lobby. I REALLY wanted the Victoria's Farmhouse but having looked at the instructions for the orchid I'm quite nervous. I don't want to mess up ANYTHING. ;) I stayed up till 4am sanding the windows and the front door and giving everything a coat of paint...needless to say I am ADDICTED. But I don't know exactly what to do next. From reading the posts on here everyone says to do the windows towards the end and I definitely want to do that but I'd like to put siding on and I'm wondering when I should do that. And I want the bottom floor to be stained hardwood and I'm curious as to what stage I should do that.... sorry to overwhelm. I'm just so excited and don't know where I should go next!

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Not overwhelming US, dear heart! New kit flutters and first-timer anxiety are getting in the way a bit, is all. if you want to side, simply align your window & door trims where they'll go and trace around them and you can butt your siding to the pencil line. Do your dry-fitting and a lot of it will make more sense to you. And when you begin to notice the anxiety, it's OK to stop, step away and go take a hot, soaky tub and read a trashy novel and eat chocolate. Come here with all the questions you want/ need, there are no dumb/ stupid/ etc. questions and it doesn't matter if they've been asked before, if the answers are buried dozens of pages back.

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Welcome to the mini-addicted's-club ;) it is a fun club indeed LOL as for overwhelmed, nope, just enjoying hearing someone else who is happy and enjoying the building process.

So you ask away any and all question you might have, I know there are lots of people around here who has built the Orchid and sided their houses.

Hugs

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Let's start at the beginning! First thing, is get something like masking tape, or I like to use the blue painter's tape, and tape all the pieces together to make sure things fit. And it will give you a sense of what the house is going to look like "for real" (not just a picture or drawing!). This is called "dry fitting" . Then you can go from there.

You've painted everything?? Then you'll need to use something other than the plywood that is there, to create a hardwood floor (When you build your next house, you'd want to think about what parts of the house you'll want to stain, and what parts you want to paint -- and then DON'T paint what you'll want to stain!) There are lots of options for the floor, everything from paper that looks like hardwood flooring that you can download off the internet, to sheets of flooring that you can buy at a hobby or craft or dollhouse store, to coffee sticks laid down and stained and varnished, to...

And one last IMPORTANT thing. It's YOUR house. And this is supposed to be FUN. There really isn't much you can "mess up" that can't either be fixed, or that will work out anyway in the end. So what if it doesn't look exactly how it's supposed to look in the drawings? If you're happy with the end results, that's all that really matters. But if you're not sure, don't hesitate to ask here. Even the simplest question can bug you sometimes, and somebody here will be able to point you in the right direction!

And welcome to the forum, and our mini world! ;)

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You can use most any flat wood pieces to make wood floors; I've even split the siding strips in half lengthwise and used them. Also, for future reference, you can paint over stain but you can't stain over paint, OR glue. If you want your painted floors to look like painted wood floors, go ahead and scribe floorboards into them now, I guarantee it'll never happen once you've built it!lol

None of my houses look like the picture on the box (even the Westville the customer asked me to make look like it looks on the box; but she loves it anyway), that's the way the person asked to build it using all the parts built & decorated it for the box picture. I needed five rooms in the Magnolia instead of four, so I added a moveable wall made from foamcore; that's the sort of thing we refer to as "bashing" and it's lots of fun. The kit itself will often tell you how it wants to look or wants to be, and it might be quite different from what you originally had in mind for it. LISTEN to the kit!

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Thanks for the help! You guys are great! I haven't painted everything yet just the window pieces. I picked up some floor stuffs at Hobby Lobby and some wood stainer for the downstairs and partial upstairs. I have yet to even cut out the floors or walls from the boards. Today I'm going to glue the plastic windows to their pieces and contemplate the rest of the kit and where I want things to go, then dry-fit the house. I haven't been able to find any siding. My Michael's doesn't even sell dollhouse stuff anymore and Hobby Lobby doesn't have a very big selection. I did however pick up the paint for the exterior of the house, it's going to be a "mint truffle" which I guess would be a fancy way of saying a sage/pastel green. It's my day off so a day of dollhouse fun for me! Thanks again for the help/tips!!

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Lots of us shop on line for dollhouse stuff, both for construction, and later for furniture and accessories. A good place to start is right here at the Greenleaf store -- click on the Greenleaf logo there at the upper left of the page, and it'll take you to the store where you can find siding, shingles, flooring, tiles, lots of stuff.

and then www.miniatures.com will give you a great overview of everything else you might need. Once you look at all that, there are dozens of specialty sites, and people here who have websites, and people here who create wonderful dolls, and..

well, I could go on and on. As you get to that point, just ask!

As for paint, stain, all that -- many of us just use whatever we might have from our "real house" decorating...it's usually much cheaper than what you'd buy at a hobby store. I like water-based stains, paints and primer, mainly because it's easier to clean up and doesn't have much smell.

When you get to doing the wallpaper, you'll find that many of the scrapbook papers have suitable small prints or patterns that work well for dollhouses, too, and they're cheaper than what I suspect is the same paper only packaged as "dollhouse paper"! B)

Anyway..have fun! :lol:

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I'm going to glue the plastic windows to their pieces
This is AFTER you have sanded/ stained or painted the trim pieces you're gluing them to, right? I always wait until the very last to fool with the plastic inserts, so they don't get lost, damaged or painted/ stained on. Of course, the very first thing I do is sand & dry-fit, and the trim pieces that fall out of the plywood sheets get popped into plastic ziplock baggies. Once I know which rooms want to be what I begin my decorating frenzy with the floors!
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so far I've only sanded and painted the window casings and sashes (I don't even want to THINK about the bay window yet) and I think I'll mess with all that later since I'm afraid I'll scratch the plastic windows. Right now all the plastic window pieces are sitting in an envelope and I think I'll leave 'em there. I have to add a few more coats to the sashes and casings and then I plan on leaving them alone till later and just dry-fit the house tonight.

I CAN'T wait to shop online. This is SO addictive I have to be careful not to spend too much. B)

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