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From now on I'm just going to post any "work in progress" posts of my experience with my first dollhouse (the Corona Concepts, Willow) onto this thread in case anyone wants to follow along with me as I go. Hope it's ok if I post it all here! I don't want to block up the threads by making new posts all the time but I wanted it to stay all in one place.
Of course I'm still posting it all at my blog as well. :)

It's been a little while since I last updated, mostly just because life has been hectic and I haven't had the chance to get on here and post what I've already posted to my blog. But here is what has been happening lately with my Willow dollhouse.

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Posted on April 24th 2013:

Just wanted to make an entry about where I’m at with my dollhouse. I really haven’t done much at all, but I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to get supplies. I finally got some over the weekend but unfortunately not the things I need to really get started. I apparently (according to my dad) bought a grit level that is probably too course. I need something more gentle… But I can probably find some spare sand paper laying around here somewhere. I need to make a sanding block though. I also want to make a grey wood stain for the shingles. I intend to make this steel wool and vinegar stain but I still need to buy some steel wool (apparently we only have the copper kind :p)… Hopefully that will happen over the weekend (I’ll probably buy some tonight and not be able to use it til this weekend since it needs to sit). I also need to get the wallpapers printed. I bought this decopad but the pages are obviously too small to use directly. I intend to make some larger layered graphics out of them and get those printed. Then I’ll mod podge them on to the wood I think.


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Some things I bought.

  • A brayer for mod podge (will use for regular art projs and the wall paper for the dollhouse),
  • Sandpaper (I need some different grit levels),
  • Wood stain (#233 English Chestnut),
  • painter’s tape,
  • masking tape,
  • and a deco paper pad for the wallpaper.

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I actually scanned all the pages if anyone wants me to send them to you for your own use. Just email me! (beyourpet AT gmail.com)

I made some plans for color scheme and such by layering and filling in images of the techniques I hope to use onto the blank dollhouse images. Here’s what it ended up looking like.

A grey stained roof. Crackle paint on the outside shingles, although I’ve never used that stuff and have no idea if it will work well or what color to use… I want it to look like an old house that has been left for a long time without any care to it’s paint. So I figured the crackle paint might work well for that.
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The two greys are from steel wool stain. The crackle is some crackle paint jobs.


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The roof here is also the steel wool stain. The sample there is the stain I bought… Might not work as well as I thought it would with the more grey toned aesthetic…


Here are some samples of the papers from my decopad. I liked these, they looked like old torn up wallpapers and painted wood.


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I spent some time labeling each little tiny piece on every single sheet in the kit (with pencil) in case I misplaced anything…

I took photos of each sheet, mostly for my own reference guide in case I need to know where a certain piece is, but also as a reference guide for anyone either interested in getting this dollhouse kit, or if you already have it but mixed up your pieces. Sorry the photos look awful but I was trying to get the contrast to show the outlines.


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Sheet #1.

You can see the rest of them here.

I don't want to bore everyone by posting every single sheet!

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Shingles and junk wood in a bag. After putting them in here to get them out of the way I decided to pull apart all of them because they were coming out anyway. So now they’re all individual pieces. The junk wood is ‘kept somewhere else in case I need it.

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This is a regular size shoebox, this is how much the shingles fill it up (after they’ve all been separated). Quite a bit of shingles!

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Latest update...

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Posted on May 5th 2013:

The past week and a half I’ve done a lot. I finally just decided to start really making it, after putting it off for a while out of nervousness… Here’s a video of some of the progress, and some photos below.

I stained the shingles (or, most of them… I still have a lot more I need to do) with the steel wool & vinegar recipe I mentioned before. It turned out great, couldn’t be happier with the results! At first I was trying to be really careful, painting the solution on and even picking up each piece with tweezers (which took forever), but then I started to realize that this vinegar solution is not sensitive to every touch like regular stain is. I tried just dunking a few in the solution, grubby fingers and all, to see if that would turn out the same. It did! So from then on every piece just got a quick dunk and was laid out on the cookie sheet to dry. They turned out perfectly!

The thing I really love about this staining solution (other than the weathered grey color) is the way that each piece turns out a little different, they’re all slightly different colors. Much like I think happens to wood naturally when left to weather on it’s own. It looks really natural and not overly uniform.

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The shingles after drying completely.

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After deciding that I wasn’t going to break the whole thing just because I have zero experience in sanding… I decided to prepare the pieces and do a dry fitting…

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Sanding down the pieces and dry fitting the shell.

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It went well.

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Tools used to prepare the pieces for dry fitting. Also a plain sheet of sandpaper.

Before gluing I wanted to stain the floors to look more like hardwood floors. I don’t know if I’m done with them but I thought it would look better than wallpapering them to look like wood.

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Part of the way glued together. The floors have also been stained using the store bought stain.

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The lighting in here is bad but this is the dollhouse with everything glued except the third floor. Just the shell, I’ll add the roof and outside walls once I have decorated the inside.

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Starting to look like a little house. : )

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You're making great progress! I especially like your weathered wallpapers. They look really great! I cheat on shingles by putting them in a big jar with whatever I'm staining them with and then swirling, shaking it up good, letting it sit, shake a few more times, and then drain and spread out to dry. I've even done this with watered down paint. Sometimes I let them sit overnight for a deep color. I love the color you got with yours! Keep up the good work.

You might what to start a gallery here now that you have enough posts. It will give more members a chance to see your progress as your photos will get displayed on the main page in the top image banner. Just a thought. :)

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Love the wallpapers, and the shingles look great. For my past few houses, I have taken to staining or painting after I've installed them all, though this requires being very careful with the glue...

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I think you'll want to start an album with all your pictures anyway, Brittanie; there's a limit to how mini pictures you can import in a post, but not how mini you can post from your albums here. I see what your dad meant about the coarse grit of your sandpaper. Try finding some 180-grit or finer. DH made us a sanding block; he added a 1x1 strip to the middle of one side for a handle, so it's easier to use on flat surfaces, like the ones with flaws that I have to fill with spackle and then sand smooth.

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  • 4 months later...

I love the front door and shutters! Start a gallery Brittanie, I just started mine last night, super easy and a good way to organize your pictures. I am also keeping a journal as I work.

-Angela

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