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Hello from Saint Augustine, Florida


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Hello my name is Lauren Parker and I am a psychology major at Flagler college. For my art course I am building a doll house (The Orchid) for my term project. The house will be given to my soon to be 3 year old son, Felix. I am in the process of building. I've decided not to use the plastic window bits. I don't like the looks. So far I've glued together and painted my front door a nice red. It looks good. It has a ceramic pale blue door knob made from a thumb tack. I plan to clapboard or just paint the outside white and the trim and windows in a dark dove grey. The white might be a creamy white or slight grey white. Have any of you put together a house without using the plastic window glass? I am trying to come up with a clever idea for the middle of the bay so it's not just a gaping hole. Any ideas? I hate the plastic.

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Welcome to the Greenleaf Family, Lauren. Sounds like a fun project you're working on. Must warn you though - miniatures can become very addictive :) But the hobby is also very therapeutic.

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I am planning to do this one house. I've always wanted to build one since I was a child. Now that I have a child and my art teacher thought my idea was a great one I am building The Orchid. I plan to make a bedroom upstairs and tile a small bathroom. downstairs I will do a big livingroom or make a galley kitchen across from the big bay window.

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Hi Lauren, and welcome!

I didn't like the windows that came with my kit so I made my own using the color in stained glass in this book http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0486237400/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=usedusing thin colored markers. I cannot for the life of me remember spending this much on it though! I inserted the colored windows between pieces of clear acetate, which I put between the window frames.

This tutorialhttp://glorioustwelfth.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-make-authentic-realistic-looking.html shows how to make 'stained glass' for dollhouses. I know there are quite a few people here who make their own 'stained glass'.

Have fun with your build. I'm looking forward to watching your progress.

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Great windows, Chris. Eulalie--welcome, and I'm sure if you are in an art class it's because you're creative. The Orchid is many people's first kit. I used the kit windows, and played around with other details. Is it the stencilling you don't like because you could get some sheet acetate and cut plain ones instead. (Packaging from electronics, toys, etc.-- if you have any-- make sturdy plain wlndows.)

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Welcome to the forum from Gainesville, FL!

I make all of my own windows and doors, but I cut the window panes from sheets of 1/16" thick plastic sheets. Finding and cutting real glass that thin would be difficult. It may not survive the minor bumps that a house may experience during a move either.

My daughter is almost 5, but doesn't want either of the houses I'm working on. She wants a "doll castle", so hers is on a list of future projects. My sons are happy with their Legos, so they may not want a mini.

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Hi, Lauren, and :welcome: to the forum!

After all of the good window advice above, you may want to consider leaving the windows without "glass" of any kind. Small children like to reach through them in their play, and whatever you use will likely not last long.

There are other ways to child-proof the house as well that you may want to think about that can result in a beautiful little house.

1. Leave off the front porch. The porch posts aren't strong enough to use as a handle when your son or a friend picks it up that way. And one of them will. It's just a matter of how soon.

2. Leave off the lattice trim in the gables. It will be pulled off.

3. Paint the roof instead of gluing on individual shingles, which will break and/or be pulled off entirely.

4. Reinforce the build as you go. Square dowels in the corners. Heavy duty staples in the well-glued joints. (Use wood glue, not hot glue.) Sooner or later Felix or one of his friends will use the house to sit on or as a step to climb to someplace you'd rather not have them be.

5. Use a high gloss paint on the inside or coat with satin-finish clear polyacrylic. Easier to clean off the crayon & marker designs the kids will add. I used scrapbook paper (sturdier than dollhouse wallpaper) in an Easter house I made for my adult sister-in-law -- here. Maybe sponge-paint "wallpaper" -- Upstairs bedroom is done that way in this Orchid that I built with a 9-year-old.

6. Paint the curtains onto the walls. Cloth curtains will be torn down in a flash. (I made permanently attached wooden curtains in a house for my young granddaughter. Examples here and here. The curtains are cut in one piece from thin birchwood, painted, and glued to the window & wall)

7. Don't install the front door. It will be pulled off almost immediately.

8. Maybe faux paint paint bricks, flowers & vines on the outside instead of using siding and landscape materials. Or decoupage with several coats of clear polyacrylic to seal.

9. Think about faux painting table settings instead of gluing in "real" plates & silverware.

Of course, this is all moot if you decide to hold off giving it to Felix until he has a daughter of his own. :D

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Welcome to the little family, Lauren. I replied to your post about the windows elsewhere where you'd asked, before I'd read it was for your son. He's three? By all means KathieB has already listed what I would recommend.

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