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Father/Daughter Build: 1st timers


Sammy Ray

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Hello Greenleaf Community! 1st time Builder. Bought the Orchid for my daughter a couple years ago. She just turned 6 and is super excited about building it together. I am excited at building memories with her that she and I will carry in our hearts forever. I want this to be a very special keepsake that will last her a lifetime. I look forward to updating with pictures and time lapse of the build. I love that there is this forum for me to rely on and consult with. 

That being said... I need help and tips ;) Seems a bit overwhelming, and I don't want to mess it up for my little Sweetie Pie. She means the world to me. Glad to be a part of the community.

Now.. let me see.. where to start... lol

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I'm almost finished with this build! It's a great little house. Make sure to mark all of the structural pieces with pencil-right, left, in, out, etc. The side walls, dormers, and gable definitely have a right side and wrong side. The bay window was a little challenging, but just take your time and keep fiddling with it until it fits. Invest in good quality sandpaper, wood glue and small craft brushes. Oh, and a quick-dry wood putty or spackle will cover a lot of small gaps and holes.

Read the instructions and dry fit everything along the way. I cannot stress that enough! There's a link here on the site that has really nice detailed instructions with very helpful diagrams. Print that out and refer to it often.

You can always post questions here, there's always someone willing to help. Have fun!! 

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Welcome to the little family, Ron & Sweetie Pie.  There are also two building team blogs for the Orchid.:

http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/?app=blog&module=blogs&controller=view&id=25 and

http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/?app=blog&module=blogs&controller=view&id=26

 

 

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Hi, Ron, and welcome to the forum!

Don't worry about messing up. This crew can help you work your way out of any challenge you might encounter, although the Orchid is fairly straightforward, as you'll see from the links shared in previous posts. One thing you might consider is leaving out the stairs. They take up a lot of room in the kitchen and, in my opinion anyway, seem awkward as they end nearly up against a wall. No stairs? No problem. You can always tell people they are in the unseen part of the house. :) 

Also, some have left out the downstairs inside wall to make a great room. Add a column/post to keep the upper floor from sagging, although a piece of channel molding along the edge of the floor will also work.  These tweaks to the original design are easy steps into the world of bashing -- modifying the original kit to suit your own vision. It will be fun to see what you and your daughter envision and how it turns out.  

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Thanks so much for the encouragement, support, and tips! I spent a goog bit of the day sanding roof shingles and prepping them for paint. She wants a white roof. She also picked a light pink for the house color and a deeper pink/rose for the "squiggly things" on the outside of the house :rofl: .. love my little bug.

Have been researching on how to add texture and character to the home. Trying to figure out if the hardyboard/siding look some of these homes have is painted on, created, or purchased. Also debating on adding texture to the roof. Sigh.. being a perfectionist, I can see how this may take some time.. lol 

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2 hours ago, Sammy Ray said:

Have been researching on how to add texture and character to the home. Trying to figure out if the hardyboard/siding look some of these homes have is painted on, created, or purchased. Also debating on adding texture to the roof. Sigh.. being a perfectionist, I can see how this may take some time.. lol 

You can buy siding strips at the Greenleaf Store (here). Some folks have cut the cardboard from cereal boxes into strips and used that for siding. You can get a stucco look by putting on a light coat of Spackle or wallboard mud/joint compound and then tapping it with a damp sponge to raise a texture. Some folks have used tissue paper smooshed into a base of white glue to resemble stucco. I've also used stone-textured spray paint for a stucco look. The light gray stone spray paint could add texture to the shingles, too, and could be painted over with white to suit the project supervisor. :D  You can buy bricks or draw them into a thin layer of Spackle and paint them, if that's a direction you think you may want to go, although painting them pink might get a little too far over the top. 

The further you get into this project, the sharper your "miniature eye" will become. You'll see all kinds of uses for real life items in the mini world.

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I use premixed sanded grout for stucco applied with a putty or spackle knife.  You can buy a small tub of it in the tile section of any hardware store.  I prefer the siding board sheets instead of single boards. I think they might be sturdier for a child.  I'll attach a post of what they look like on a house. 

Edit: sorry the picture is not very crisp. In reality they have nice clean lines.

 

image.jpg

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You can also make a "comb" from metal or chipboard the angle and spacing you want your siding to be and spread spackle or joint compound over the exterior of the house and smooth it and then "comb" your siding into the damp joint compound and let it dry thoroughly.  I do recommend using the trims to trace around the windows and door and masking those areas off first, and then remove the masking tape whilst the joint compound is still damp. so you can glue on your trims after your siding is dry.

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Thanks so much for the help and advice to all 3 of you! KathieB, Sable, and Havanaholly.. tons of options out there for just about every situation it would seem. I can see already where I will be finding uses for, and finding lil thingamabobbers that will have a perfect use for something... :D 

For now I will give an update on day one. The Bug and I spent last night sanding and smoothing shingles out. We started prepping and then painting them today. It has been a blast and a great time chatting with my Lil Angel most of the day. Here is a pic of us getting ready to paint.. loving this experience a ton and already thinking of houses I can make for the oter ladies in my life.. Wife and Momma that is.. :bigwink:

2015-12-13 19.49.35.jpg

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41 minutes ago, Sammy Ray said:

...I can see already where I will be finding uses for, and finding lil thingamabobbers that will have a perfect use for something...

If  you can find any books by Patricia King or Helen Ruthberg you will discover all sorts of goodies in restaurant table trash, thrift stores and parking lots.  I made barstools from golf tees, buttons and cutouts from the hubster's circular saw and an old leather ballcap:

gallery_8_151_70178.jpg

The bunk bed is stripwood and popsicle sticks, the drawers are stripwood, scrap wood, empty single-serving jelly packet and beads (the toy panda is chenille stems and seed beads):

gallery_8_988_45225.jpg

I make almost everything that goes into my houses.

 

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Roof hint: paint the roof base the same color as the shingles, as it may peek through in some places. Often in places you don't even notice until you take pictures. Those photos give it all away! 

Clever of you to stick the shingles to masking tape. :) 

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Thanks for tip on the roof KathieB, I would love to take credit, but I am sure I read somewhere about the masking tape.:bigwink:

Also looking out for those authors HavanaHolly.. I know that will definitely help to keep her creative little mind a bubbling with ideas.:artist:

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I actually apply my roof tiles directly to blue tape in order to have them perfectly in line.  Face side of tile down on the tape. Then I apply Quick Grab to each tile, flip the tape over and attach the entire row to the roof all at one time.  I leave enough tape on both edges to hold the whole row in place for a few minutes. Then slowly remove the tape and apply the next row.  I've been trying to find the site that first taught me this but I just can't seem to find it anywhere.

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Agreed. Great tip. I have my shingles all painted and stored for finishing now. If you run across that feed with the taping info please link it. I know I ran across it somewhere as well.. but right now I am a sponge and eating up anything and everything I read.. so just chewing up info and not doing a great job of bookmarking. So exciting ;)

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Quite a bit late to the party..... Welcome to the forum,'Team Ron'!

For texture I have used tile glue (spackled on) -which adheres like nothing else I've ever tried. It's like concrete and needs a few coats of paint.

I also have a whole role of very fine grade wood-chip wallpaper (Europeans use that a lot) which - when glued down with wallpaper paste is incredibly forgiving, It will adhere to rounds (using little pieces torn off) and any other shape - the secret is to not cut it, but tear it. That way you can do invisible overlaps. It takes paint very well.

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Chris, I had to look up wood chip wallpaper. It appears to be available only in Europe. I also looked up anaglypta wallpaper, available in the USA, and found some textures similar to the wood chip. Expensive, but I recall someone here mentioning getting a roll on the cheap at Lowe's or Home Depot.

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