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My Garfield


angie q
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Well here goes, first I am so glad I found this forum I have learned so much already just by going back and reading others posts. My husband bought me my first dollhouse for Christmas 2009 and Iwas so excited I could not wait to get started, even before I opened the box I had visions of how I would decorate my Garfield but then...I opened the box and looked inside. :clap: I was so scared and overwhelmed. I closed up the box and it sat there for a couple of months. I finally got the courage and opened the box again, read through all the istructions and start up sheet. I struggled building the foundation and was once again discouraged at the way everything was fitting together, although I did get it built. Instead of continueing I packed it up and took a long break.....January 2011 I am once again inspired and anxious to continue and one day finish my Garfield especially after finding this site. :)

I have almost finished both staircases and can't wait to continue, I was wondering if anyone has a step by step blog with pictures of their garfied build? On another blog I read some spaces can be hard to decorate once all put together I have concerns since this is my first dollhouse. Also I am looking for suggestions for doors and windows because I would like to put ones that work. All suggestions welcome trying to find ones that will fit good to minimize adjustments/added framing.

All pointers welcome on how to build this house, any special instructions not specified on the instructions page....tips and tricks

Thank You, Angie

I look forward to posting pictures of my progress in the future.

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Welcome to the neighborhood Angie :) The Garfield is a Stunningly Beautiful house! I built it's little Sister (The Pierce) a few years back. I have been told that they both go together kinda the same way. Just remember to take your time and that by an inch it's a cinch but by a yard it's hard. Take one step at a time and celebrate every step you complete. The kits can be difficult to build especially when your first build is a huge house. Also remember to build this house in a room that has large doorways so that when completed, it can be in the room you want it in.

On our old Greenleaf forum (several years ago) someone built this kit in their workroom and discovered they could not get it out of the door. They kept it there but wanted to move into a new house and was upset that they would have to leave their house (or cut it so it could get out of the doorway). Hope to see pictures of your Grand mansion! :clap:

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Hello Angie, welcome to the group and congrats on getting the Garfield. It was my first build too and I know exactly how you must be feeling as I felt pretty much the same.

As Tracy says, take it slowly and if you aren't happy with something redo it so that you are, before moving on. I'm sure lots of people get discouraged because something went wrong and they just pack it all back in the box. Yes, it happened to me too. I had a disaster with the siding and was so ready to give up and dump it. Next day I undid everything that was wrong and started again with the siding and after it was done I felt so much better.

The Garfield does have spaces in the corners of the T shape and that are hard to get to to decorate when its all glued together - in fact just about impossible I'd say so dry fit everything first using masking tape. This way you will be able to see which bits are inaccessible and decorate them before you assemble the walls. I did most of my wallpapering this way and the inside window trims etc.

If you've got the foundation and the stairs almost finished then I think you have done most of the tricky bits. The only thing I had a problem with was the tower roof - I needed 8 hands but had to make do with 2.

Someone has definitely blogged the build but I can't for the life of me remember who but I'm sure someone will be along in a while who has more than one brain cell and will recall in a flash.

Good luck

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Thanks everyone already so helpful. I noticed in the blog she used fabric for wallpaper......any suggestions....paper? or fabric? any bad experiences? Also, I used hot glue for the foundation and stairs but after reading a few posts I see everyone says to use wood glue...oops. Any other glue suggestions?

Thanks Again,

Angie

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The Garfield was my first build, too! And like you, I was pretty intimidated when I opened the box! Heck, I was intimidated when the box arrived at my front door, unopened!! :lol:

But I took it slow, asked a ton of questions, made more than a few mistakes (resulting in taking sections apart and starting over), but now that she's done, it's a lovely house!

Stuff to do in advance: decorate the tower! I didn't..and 5 years later, it's still not done. That's going to be my summer project. I'm not at all sure just how I'm going to get in there, but I'll figure something out!

Decorate the hallway from the back door into the kitchen. If you don't do this in advance, you'll have to hire a team of 5" tall contractors to do it for you. :lol:

Somebody already said to tape sections together before you glue them. This will help you make sure you're putting together the right pieces...but also show you where you might want to decorate before gluing.

It's good that you're no longer using hot glue! I use Aleen's glue -- there are several formulations for different purposes -- but the general Aleen's glue in the gold container seems to work pretty well for most things. Some folks have found hot glue to work well -- in very small amounts -- to do things like hold down shingles, or tack pieces together before gluing with a wood glue.

What kind of glue is "best" seems real subjective. Lots of folks will offer their suggestions, everything from Aleens' to Elmer's Wood Glue, to lots of others. Find one that seems to work best for you, and stay with it. I like Aleens because it is "forgiving". While it holds really well (in my experience), it also flexs enough that you can separate the parts ...carefully and slowly..should you find you've goofed somewhere, or just want to change things.

If you check out my gallery, there are a ton of pictures there as I built my Garfield. Maybe some of them will help...or perhaps confuse you more.. :)

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Hi Angie...WELCOME TO THE FORUM!!! :)

You will quickly find that this is the best place you could be...everyone here is sooo helpful and awesome...please post pictures as soon as you can.

I haven't built the Garf. myself, but I did read Gina's/More Mini's blog...she is awesome...(she set up her blog day by day, so you can see the process)...everyone else that has also built the Garf. is great too...DollyhouseLover has been changing out her windows with Houseworks ones, so she might be able to help you with that...

I've heard that the staircases are super difficult to assemble so congrats that you've already done them...yes, hot glue can be an enemy, but other people have used it and done just fine...I would not continue using hot glue, but that's my choice...if you choose to take things that you've already built, a hot hair dryer works well for separating the hot glue... :lol:

I wish you luck...can't wait to see your progress!!! :lol:

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Welcome to the forum! Have fun building your Garfield, it's a beautiful house! I don't really have anything else to add, I think everyone has it pretty much covered. But, here's a link to Gina's blog the minifan suggested.

http://moreminis.blogspot.com/

And her Garfield Blog

http://moreminis.blogspot.com/2009/03/garfield-day-1.html

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Tape is perfect for dry-fitting. It also works well for the actual gluing too. I like to use the bar-type clamps, like these. http://www.miniatures.com/Large-Clamps-P17887.aspx These also come in tiny size. I also have some that work a little similar but have a trigger handle so seems to hold a little tighter in weird places. I have 1 of these that is really big too, probably about 16 inches or so, that I use for building the shell. Binder clips, clothespins, and those other pinchy clips also work real good for trim and such.

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Hi Angie!

I just saw this thread and had to jump in. I too am building the Garfield. I know how intimidating seeing all the parts can be! But as everyone above said, one step at a time, and don't look at it as such a massive undertaking. This is my 3rd GL house to build so I was aware of how some pieces don't fit perfect. Making tape, a sharp x-acto knife, and patience all come in handy!

I used a few rolls of masking tape to hold my parts together while dry fitting and gluing. As for decorating as you build, many suggest you do that! I am bashing my Garfield, so am waiting to decorate after I completed the exterior. Many of my interior walls will be changed so I did not want to wallpaper, paint, etc. I changed the windows and doors out as well. My windows were purchased a few years ago from Miniature House (I think they are out of business). I adjusted the opening with my x-acto knife and then filled in the gaps when I sided. Of course I will have to use shim strips to make up the thickness difference. I am also replacing the staircases, so my placement of them in the interior will change from the original layout.

All in all, have fun with it, and if you get frustrated, take a break from it for an hour, or two, or a day (even a week)! Its a hobby, so enjoy the build!

Matt

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Hi Angie! I too have just signed back on because I'm tired of seeing my first dollhouse half built moving from room to room!!! I can imagine your thoughts when you opened your dollhouse, I thought the Fairfield was overwhelming!!! I've received great tips from the members here and they really have helped me become enthusiastic about working on my fairfield again. I used hot glue as recommended on the instructions and that was a major mistake. I was going to take it apart, but don't have the heart too, so I'm slowly un-glueing the bad stuff. Looking at everyone's gallery also gives me inspiration. Good Luck! I was given a hint to look at scrap-booking papers at the craft store for wall-paper. I am really excited, I know if I can do it, you can too! Looking forward to seeing pics!!!

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So I was going to order the things I need to tapewire my house and am getting a little bit discouraged.....anyone else have issues with the cir-kit concepts website? I found them to be the most reasonably priced for the electrical stuff and tools I need but for some reason when I go to check out it gives me an error :)

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Angie, a lot of people just go get their wiring materials from Hobby Builder's Supply, which we also refer to as Ernie's, and it's website miniatures dot com lol..excuse the stretched spelling, but it's website name and the url are exactly the same. Just click on the colored url to go to that site.

But you know Greenleaf also carries Cir-cuit wiring, in kit form. Just go to the store site and look there, too, k?

J

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Hi Angie,

Welcome! I am looking forward to seeing your progress when you post your gallery and/or blog. I certainly know what you mean about being a little intimidated. I am taking it very slowly and I don't know how many times I have read the instructions and scratched my head. I am wishing there were pictures for each step.

Can't wait to see your Garfield,

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wel I got my electrical supplies in YAY lol, I have made templates for my floors, worked on my kitchen cieling(although I don't know if I like it yet...maybe it needs to grow on me :roflmao: ), and I have laid a little bit of tapewire and have my connection working.

I have posted new pictures......yay for progress lol.

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Looks like you're definitely making progress! Only thing I would ask before you get any further along is are you using brads for your connections in the tape wire or soldering them together? Only reason I ask is on this forum and several others I've visited in regards to learning the different wiring techniques most everyone has the opinion that after a couple of years the brads film over and no more electricity...

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I am still going strong....I finished my first floor dining room, hall, and living room floors. The skinny stick floor looks great...now I have moved onto the kitchen tile. I also reworked my 1st floor staircase AGAIN!!! Soon I will be putting all the wallpaper on the 1st floor and then I will REALLY have to resist wanting to go on a furniture shopping spree. I keep telling myself I am not going to buy any furniture until I am on the home stretch of my build. It gets harder and harder the further I get in my build. I am SOOO tempted...especially when I look in the gallery for inspiration.

I uploaded pictures to my gallery of my work, I need to get better at posting pictures sooner.

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