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Hi I Am Hoping to Find Help/Hints for my 2nd Dollhouse the Willow


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This will be my second dollhouse, I just built the Harrison for my 3 granddaughters' Christmas present. I did find the blogs until way late in the game and man could I have done a better job if I had found them. I am doing the Willow not (for a charity auction) and am very nervous so any help/suggestions would be most appreciated.

Just Grandpop

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Hello Joe and welcome to the forum!!!

While we all have different approaches when starting the builds, there are a few things most of us follow:

If it is plywood - sand the edges, clean up the parts before gluing them together.

Paint/finish the exterior sides before gluing them together and before you add the window and door trims (and whatever else trim there might be)

If you already know the wallpaper you will use, you can even wallpaper the parts before gluing the shell together, you can mark the interior walls by doing a "dry" build using tape to hold the pieces together

If it is MDF - skip the first step - those parts are usually very clean cut.

If the shell is already built and you still need to wallpaper or add ceiling and floors (paper or other) make a template. I usually recycle paper I had to print out and use between one and four sheets, line them up along the edges and tape them together. You can also use strips, cardboards - whatever you have - as long as it can be taped together and it will give you the layout.

Use the right glues! I use wood glue only on the shell itself and whatever wood parts needed. I like tacky glue for shingles, and for wallpapers I use bookbinder paste (Yes glue). I get whatever glue I need from HobbyLobby or Michaels, I buy them one at a time and use the 40% off coupons - you can't buy glue any cheaper than that.

I'm pretty sure you know most of what I said already - so, i there is anything specific you want to know : just ask.

Personally, if the house goes to auction, someone with kids might buy it for them, make sure that it is solid. I don't think the Willow has parts that easily break off, so I think you will be okay on that front.

So in summary:

1. Prep the shell

2. dry-fit the shell, mark interior walls

3. Paint exterior

4. Wallpaper/floors/ceilings

5. Glue shell together

6. Windows/doors and trims

7. Done

Hope that helps.

Glad you joined us here, Joe and whatever advice you need - let us know.

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I am having a difficult time finding my way around this site. I live in Center City Philadelphia. Before retiring I worked in a Tech Dept. but mostly a the end n the Project Mgmt. are so I should be good at this. They say to introduce my self: I am 65 yrs. old, I retired early from my white color job and decided to go to culinary school where I graduated with a degree in the culinary arts. I worked for 2 years as a personal chef but then got ill and came down with lung cancel which really zapped my energy. Health wise I am doing okay today and have been looking or something to occupy my time and I think I found it here in building dollhouses. I had such a blast building the first one and am approaching it different this time and doing my 'homework' to avoid the troubles I had with the first house.

Now I have to figure out how to introduce topics and how to follow the topics of other members. I am interested in finding out more about magic brik and a) how difficult it is to use and 2) how realistic it looks. I used stucco on my first house and really liked it. I really do like the look of the Willow and want to see how realistic I can make it look both inside and out.

I relied heavily on glue guns on the first house; I don't have any clamps and can't figure out how to keep the piece in place until the glue dries.

So that's me (well some of me) and I would greatly welcome and advise, suggestions, or directions that you more experienced builders can give me.

Thanks

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I relied heavily on glue guns on the first house; I don't have any clamps and can't figure out how to keep the piece in place until the glue dries.

Hi Joe, and :welcome: to the forum!

I hope you didn't use hot glue on the Harrison. The instructions say to do it that way, but those instructions were done years ago, when hot glue had a different makeup. The only place you might want to use hot glue is on the shingles. There are a few members here who have rehabbed houses that were built with hot glue and deteriorated in just a few years.

As for clamps, a lot of us use masking or painter's tape to hold pieces in place.

One nice feature of this forum is that at the bottom of each topic is a list with other threads tagged with similar key words. Click on them to see what's already been said about the Willow.

Do you have pictures of the Harrison? We love eye candy. :D

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Hi Joe and welcome! :) Not only is building these doll houses fun, it is great therapy! I built my first house before finding this forum and the second one - what a difference! You'll find all sorts of information and inspiration here, happy building!! :D

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Welcome to the little family, Joe, and know that you are in good company! Chris' outline is a good example, but you can work in whatever order is confortable for you. I grab my painter's tape and put up the shell of the house with it in a dry build first thing (after reading the instructions a few times) and let it sit there and talk to me, tell me its story and what it wants to look like and what, if anything, it wants different. I then take it apart and stain what needs staining and prime the rest and start the build. (I mask off whatever surfaces will get glued before I prime). I decorate the inside as I build, then I decorate the outside as I finish and shingle the roof last. The trick is to do what works for YOU.

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Welcome Joe; you've gotten alot of great advise so far. There are some great Willows out there; check out Stenty's Willow at http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/index.php?app=gallery&album=1548, and kellyannmo's half-scale Willow at http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/index.php?app=gallery&album=5560, and you can see my Willow with an egg-carton stone treatment at http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/index.php?app=gallery&album=6065.

My Willow build blog is at http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/index.php?app=blog&blogid=82&cat=7; I added a staircase and dormers and made a few other changes. My most helpful hint is masking tape. :p Happy building!

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Welcome, Joe.

For clamps, I often use those binder clips which come in many sizes in the stationery stores. They help with little things, including gluing on window trim, but will not help with bigger stuff like keeping the walls together. Painters' tape is helpful. Also, putting weight on things while the glue dries helps. I have put things together (I swear it's all perfectly lined up!!), left to let the glue dry, and returned to find it crooked. I blame gravity.

Have fun!

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You can never have too many clamps. This is what my husband told me when he took me to the hardware store to build my first kit. Harbor Freight is my favorite "toy" store, and they put their bar clamps on sale from time to time.

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