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Big oops…now what??


Dlcalifornia
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Hello,

So I recently got inspired to build a dollhouse….saw one of my friends do one on her craft blog and thought it looked fun and right up my alley! So I picked the house that called out my name- the Harrison! I can't wait to finish it!

So I opened my box, read and reread the directions, bought the supplies and built it over the course of several days with my dad's help. The house is almost 2/3's done and entirely assembled with hot glue- as the directions said! Then I find this forum and everyone is saying what a big no-no that is.

So….now what should I do? Disassemble the whole house and redo? Are there parts of the house that can stay with the hot glue or do I really have to undo the entire house? And anyone have any tips of how to do this? I read somewhere a hair dryer will help.

Oh my…so sad. Very very sad.

thanks for your help.

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The reason hot glue is a no-no is that the craft hot glue sticks available everywhere are a low melt formulation; warm weather will soften them again and your house will start to fall apart. Even the industrial strength hot glue available back when the instructions were first written isn't all that wonderful, as I'm rehabbing a Pierce that was originally built with hot glue. This is the second hot glue built house I'm rehabbing; my first was the Laurel, and when you go to that album the before piictures were taken when I propped it all back together.

Yes, I do take the houses totally apart and rebuild them. Sad to say, in both cases, the windows and doors had been built and installed with hot glue and did not survive the removal process (I have a hot glue built Orchid awaiting rehab; its window trims have been quietly dropping off into the house, but some of the outside ones were already gone when I rescued it); windows and doors are easy to make from 1/8" basswood and clear flat acetate from packaging. I would think a hair dryer would work. I don't have one, so I use our heat gun, very carefully.

FYI, when I build a new kit, I wait until the shell is built and most of the decorating done before gluing together the windows and doors.

I hope you'll find a few minutes to introduce yourself to everybody in the newcomers' forum.

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Holly nailed the remedy--I did the same as you with my Orchid, and ended up using a hair dryer and the glue gun (without glue) to heat the seams and siassembled, then scraped and sanded the residue and using carpenter's glue and clamps. I hadn't done my windows yet so did not have to deal with that part.

Glood luck, and welcome.

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Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I put a little intro in the newcomer's :)

Well, I guess now that I know what the house looks like, I can take it apart and start doing the walls and floors as I reassemble…haha.

I read somewhere to mix molding paste and ceramic stucco (Liquitex) with the paint to create a stucco effect. Has anyone tried that?

I've also read that you can use coarse pumice gel mixed with paint to create a stucco effect. I'm not sure which is better so I bought both...

any suggestions or experience with either? I'm trying these methods because I heard that the miniature dollhouse stucco material doesn't work as well.

thanks again!

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Havanaholly - thanks for the link. My internet is so slow today I can't see the pics. I'll have to take a look at work tomorrow! Maybe I should send you my house to rehab :)

GirlPiper- good to know I'm not alone making this mistake!

It's too bad the directions are out dated. I wonder how many newbies made the same mistake I did.

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Well, as you can see by my "title" my stucco of choice is spackling compound; I went sort of berserk with it and used several tubs of it on my pub: http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/index.php?app=gallery&album=151

Here's the Laurel's exterior before:

gallery_8_1103_172797.jpg

and the interior before:

gallery_8_1103_130685.jpg

and the exterior after:

gallery_8_1103_124346.jpg

with some of the windows and doors I made, as well as the porch.

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I'm so sorry about the hot glue. How disappointing! I don't understand why GL doesn't update their directions?!??

That being said, I'm so glad you caught it early! :)

For a stucco look on my Drink Me Cafe, I used gesso, which is what artists use to cover canvases. I blobbed it on with a small sponge. When it dried, I painted it with regular craft paint. I used a kind of light coat. You could use more if you want to.

post-1461-0-63990600-1385353931_thumb.jp

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I spread wallboard mud/joint compound (two names for same thing) on, then dragged a toothpick through it to form the stones. Some of the raised edges formed when making the trough were sanded off with an emery board when the mud dried and then watercolor washes were applied. If I were to do it over, I'd give the stones a little more dimension.

The stucco texture was formed by lightly tapping a damp sponge on the surface while the mud was quite wet. It reminds me of the stucco finish on the house I grew up in. The stucco reminds me of the stucco on my childhood home.

gallery_818_328_8079.jpg

You may have realized by now, when working in miniatures, there's no right or wrong way to do much of anything (other than construction with hot glue!). Do whatever feels right to you. :D

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...KathieB- that looks amazing!! I hope one day I can get to that point...

Save you some scrapwood to play with and make test pieces. I promise it's not hard. On the pub's chimney instead of stucco I carved "stones" into the spackle.

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KathieB- that looks amazing!! I hope one day I can get to that point...

Dora, you can be are at that point now. This stucco & stone is on my first ever dollhouse build. :D The beauty of wallboard mud/joint compound is that if you don't like the look, you can rework the surface or even scrape it off if you really don't like the result (while it's still wet).

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Dora, I am sorry about that but I have to put in my two cents here. Some of you have heard it before but I built my first dollhouse, The Jefferson, years ago and used hot glue also. The house after more than 30 years is still in one piece! I had no forum to go by and just did what the instructions said so its not all bad.

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I know hot glue isn't always appropriate but once you have it together and if you don't want to take it apart I would just leave it. Just sayin.....

I have ruined more than one build trying to undo mistakes.
Good quality hot glues work well for some things. I did my roofs with hot glue and they are fine. No issues at all. Just don't get your glue or your blue tape at the dollar store.

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Oh I know.......I had a drawer full of all kinds of glue sticks. Hot....cold.....warm and doesn't work ! lol I bought a good quality glue gun and good quality glue. I have fixed everything and anything with it around the house. I worked in the flower and dry arrangement kiosk in A C Moore Craft store for a long time and that is all we used to make professional arrangements for customers. That was the most fun job I ever had, by the way! I just played all day making things and got paid for it! :p

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Hot glue is not used for wooden dollhouse assembly for a variety of reasons. Its aesthetically horrible because of its globs and the extra thickness it creates between glued parts, which is not a big deal in life scale crafts but noticeable at these small scales. It also can become brittle and crack, weakening the assembly in the future. It does not allow you to fit parts together correctly because of its instant drying time and makes the structure rigid, making assembly harder. Not to mention the countless burns you might sustain on such a time consuming project.

Having said that, if you built it with hot glue, let it remain hot glued. There is no point in trying to take it apart now. I assembled my first Willowcrest and a Cambridge dollhouse, decades ago using hot glue because I didn't know any better and they never came apart because of it. Just keep the no hot glue tip in mind for your next project.

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I have never used hot glue for anything mostly because I don't like the idea of burn injuries to me. If I had ever used it and then found out it was a no no, I'd either have kept the house hot glued and hoped for the best or just pitched it. Undoing hot glue is above and beyond the doing this for fun level. Hot hair dryers, scraping etc. Not fun, No way. On the bright side, I'd have learned a lesson, lost money, but Oh Well.

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On the other hand, if part of the pleasure of a rehab is to undo the yuck stuff and try to turn it into something lovely, IMO it's worth melting the old, globby stuff and scraping it off to rebuild it into what it wants to become. Thank goodness we're all different!

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I'm really happy to have found this forum! Great advice for experienced builders. Well, halfway through the deconstruction I realized I was probably causing more damage than good to the wood so I stopped. I'm going to take the advice to stop and leave it as is. Probably reinforce with wood glue where I can. It is frustrating and I want to enjoy this hobby not dread it :)

If it falls apart then it's a good lesson learned...if not then it's still a good lesson!

Hope everyone had a good thanksgiving weekend!

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