Jump to content

1st house ever- Washington2.0. Any how to books for beginners?


Recommended Posts

Hello !

I've always had a fascination with miniatures and dollhouses but was unsure how to get started. I finally purchased the Washington 2.0 in hopes of transforming It into my own version of "A Christmas Story" house. I have absolutely no clue on how to get started besides reading the instructions and was wondering if there is an informative how-to book on the dollhouse hobby. I did find " A Beginners' Guide to the Dolls' House Hobby: Revised and Expanded Edition" but there were mixed reviews. I just want the basics like tools, which glues are best, helpful hints for beginners. I realize that's what this whole site is for but I'd like to read something before I begin. Excited but nervous. I can tell this is going to be addicting :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Desiree, introduce yourself to everyone in the Newcomers' Forum. At the top right there is a "Search" box. Type in "getting started" for a couple of weeks' worth of reading what some of us have had luck with. My personal basic tool kit starting out is a couple of rolls of 2" wide masking tape, a Stanley box cutter utility knife, a cork-backed steel straight edge, a carpenter's square, sandpaper and carpenter's wood glue. I like clear drying tacky glue (Elmer's all-purpose white glue is what I have on hand) for the clear acetate inserts. I have a Washington 2.0 still in its box that is clamoring to become a WWII-era farmhouse.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Once you decide you enjoy the building process there are a lot of fancy tools and power tools you can buy, like a jeweler's hammer or a pin vise or a rotary tool, but start simple; you might discover you'd rather collect than build.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Desiree....love your idea of the Christmas Story house! I did a lot of reading of the instructions and then jumped in with my first house. There was no internet or Forum to help me out when I built my first house! This forum is a wealth of information . Just ask and someone will be able to help you out I am sure! Have fun! :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum Desiree! As the others have said, you don't need much to get started. But do take some time to browse through this forum. There are numerous threads about glue, wallpapering, to prime or not to prime, etc. etc.

Google your particular kit and you'll probably also find numerous images to see what others have done with theirs. KathieB (one of our members here) recently turned the Washington into an adorable haunted house.

Have fun! This is a marvelous hobby, and yes, very addicting. Fortunately, you've found the best enablers right here :lol:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Desi, and :welcome: to the forum. I understand wanting to do some reading about building before beginning. When tackling something new, that's my modus operandus, too -- read as much as you can, find out what the experts do, and then jump into the deep end of the pool. :) No matter how many books you read, you'll come to the same conclusion: there's no right way to build a dollhouse and not very many wrong ways (besides using hot glue for construction).

My recommendation is to read and re-read the instructions, then get started. Do what seems logical. Doing a dry-fit will help you "see" the whole house and make decisions like whether or not to include the stairs, how the rooms will be used, and so forth. Don't be afraid to apply common sense and so what seems like the right thing. If it isn't, it won't be hard to fix.

Good luck and have fun!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing like the ole baptismal fire! Just jump in and get started! Read the instructions and then read them again. Once you have done that read them again! Any questions feel free to ask. Welcome!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your replies. I will be sure to introduce myself in the newcomers forum. You all gave me that little bit of added information and encouragement I needed. I will be sure to read, reread, and read again those instructions before starting and I will go out and get the basic tools for the beginning process.

Kimba- That blog link you put in looks really helpful to get me started with my particular kit.

:)

One quick question. The kit has not arrived yet because I just bought it two days ago. Is it possible to change the railing, stairs, window, door so it's on the other side of the front porch or are they "slot" style kits. Not sure anyone will understand how I worded that. It's just that the house in the Christmas Story movie had everything on the opposite side and I'm just being picky. Here's the house I'm speaking about. http://shop.greenleafdollhouses.com/Wooden-Washington-Dollhouse-Kit.html# Thanks again for all the help !

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well of course you can! It's possible to change things around however you want to, if you aren't afraid of making mistakes and have the patience to repair them. I'm a firm believer in making test pieces and samples first, but sometimes even then the ideas don't always translate well. I have also gone back with spackle and sealed up a door or window and cut a new one elsewhere. If you have time to read the building blogs you'll see how some of these kits can be bashed (changed) to get a desired effect.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I figured as far as the front face of the house was concerned (for the door and windows) but it looked like there were slots for the front porch railing so I wasn't sure if I could make the rail opening and stairs on the other side.

You can flip the first floor/porch floor piece upside down to move the stairs and that will also move the slots for the front facade tabs to the right place to accept its reversed configuration. The surface may be a bit rougher than the intended surface, but a little sanding and maybe a little Spackle will smooth it out. This is where dry fitting comes in. :thumb:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha ! Ok - great, it sounds like what I do in my house. Spackle fixes anything right? :)

When I learned that, I became the queen of spackling compound.

You can flip the first floor/porch floor piece upside down to move the stairs and that will also move the slots for the front facade tabs to the right place to accept its reversed configuration. The surface may be a bit rougher than the intended surface, but a little sanding and maybe a little Spackle will smooth it out. This is where dry fitting comes in. :thumb:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading the "warm-up" sheet I'm curious if you have to paint before assembly or can you do it after as long as you prep it before hand? I feel like I have to have it together before I can paint it as the house in the movie. Also the instructions say to use the dreaded hot glue gun for the clapboard though I have heard time and time again not to. Thoughts on either of the 2 subjects? Should I post this in a separate post/topic? The Don't Panic part did not make me feel any better after looking at all the pieces and reading the instructions..lol

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wood glue does not stick paint to paint as well as it sticks wood to wood. During the dry fit I decide what and where I want to paint/ stain and then I trace along the inside corners and mask off the areas I want to glue if it's something like a stairwell that I'll never get my hands, much less a paintbrush to reach after it's together. Otherwise, floors get stained before assembly and then masked well when I do prime and paint or paper the walls.

Hot glue used to be recommended in the instructions that were written back when hot glue melted at a much higher temperature than it does now; although I still watched a Greenleaf dollhouse built with hot glue fall apart in a store window in Sylvester, Georgia, over 20 years ago; so I won't use hot glue on any aspect of a dollhouse build.

The Warm Up sheet isn't meant to be intimidating. It merely suggests things if the new builder is totally clueless. Since you have joined the forum, you obviously have a clue... One of the purposes of the dry build is to figure out whether you have to change the order of the instructions for the way you build. I forget which kit it was, now, but with one of the kits I wound up laying the instructions aside until I had the shell pretty much together.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By JSundbakken
      This may have been answered before but I have some questions about adding electric light fixture...I have electrified my house with tapewire, first time electric user. I have successfully tested the circuits from top to bottom and all is good.  My next step is to add my fixtures and posterboard walls.  How do you add your fixtures?  Do you plug directly into the tapewire or use an outlet?  I am using scones, ceiling lights and lamps along with posterboad walls - to easier make adjustments/design changes if needed later. May need sconce adapters...
      The Cir-Kit tapewire instruction book says to use the brads (pg.20) as placeholders for the outlet, then push the wallpaper over the brads.  I am thinking that I will mark the placement of the tapewire on the opposite side of the posterboard wall so I know where to puncture for the outlet/or plug insertion point.  Does anyone have an easier method? 
    • By AlisonJR
      Hello! 

      I'm currently working on my first dollhouse. I bought this already assembled and have noticed there are hinges in the corners of most of the rooms (photos attached) some of which stick out quite  bit. I am wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to hide these as I don't want them to show under my wallpapers. (it seems as if they were used to pull the corners of the dollhouse walls together)

      Thanks!
    • By AlisonJR
      Hi,

      I am currently working on my first dollhouse. It is an Alison Jr. I am hoping to handpaint and illustrate my own wallpaper and am not sure where to start. What paper is recommended? Also wondering if a seal, specific glue is required. I was hoping to make individual entire wall sized paintings (probably with watercolour paint) that will mount to the walls as wallpaper (and won't fade over time). 
    • By rblanda
      Hello everyone! 
      I have taken the liberty of sharing my Layered PSD Photoshop file of the Greenleaf Fairfield Dollhouse. I created this file to help my wife choose the colors that she wanted for the outside of the house.
      Photoshop File: You can download the Photoshop file at: http://www.caddisart.com/fairfield?utm_source=LinkToCAIFairfield&utm_medium=LinkToCAIFairfield&utm_campaign=LinkToCAIFairfield
      You can see the :30 video of me making this file at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa7tgUjgUo0
      If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and let me know or reach me on the download page. 
      PS - this page wouldn't let me upload the 157K cover photo of the project even though it says I can upload a 500K image. Something broken here. 
    • By JennyBuilds
      Hi everyone. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I have read the instructions thoroughly, as well as the warm up sheet, but I am having issues differentiating which pieces are which!! They are unlabeled. Am I supposed to remove everything from the box and label? This was specifically prohibited in the instructions I read as it said to remove and use IN ORDER, but I am unclear how in step A I am supposed to locate foundation back (1) and bottom support (27)!! SEND HELP!!
×
×
  • Create New...