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Cowqueen

Kid-Friendly Garfield?

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Hello! I a new here, and am attempting to build the Garfield.  I wanted a dollhouse for my two little girls (3 and1) and a friend had the kit sitting in her attic and she graciously gave it to me. I plan to leave a lot of the trim off until the girls are older, but I have a could questions about making the kit more child friendly.  I won't paint or decorate the interior yet- can I just rub paste wax on the wood for now to seal it? I really don't want to shellac or varnish it yet. Also, are there any other modifications that make the houses more play friendly?  Thanks!

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The Garfield is quite difficult to decorate after it has been built as there are inaccessible little places that even tiny hands can't get to with a paint brush or wallpaper but I understand why you  might not want to spend time doing it. I would say paint the interior walls all white for the time being using ordinary household emulsion paint. Then if in the future you want to decorate it you can leave the bits you can't get to white and match the rest of your decor to it. 

 

PS nice to meet you by the way.

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Childproofing a dollhouse for very little children to play with is a topic that arises frequently.  Little hands like to reach through windows and doorways and love to decorate with stickers and crayons, markers, etc.  Even if they don't improvise the dollhouse as a seat or a stepstool, visiting playmates might.  Then there's my favorite horror story, one of the houses I made for a coworker's grandchild was demolished when some of her playmates decided to see how thoroughly they could turn it into a pile of splinters.

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Hi, Kristie, and welcome to the forum. As you may have deduced from the above posts, the Garfield may not be a good choice for young children. You might consider storing this kit for several years and in the meantime build something less ambitious and more child friendly. Many of us started out with Greenleaf's Orchid. It has four rooms, is fairly easy to reinforce for child's play, and can be upgraded as the children get older. If there is a Hobby Lobby near you, they carry the Orchid, and with the 40%-off coupon it will cost about $25.

As Holly suggested, leave out the window panes as they will get poked out or incur damage fairly quickly. I would also leave out the stairs for children this young and all of the gingerbread trim. Save it for adding later if you decide to upgrade the house as they get older. You might even consider leaving off the porch posts and railings. Somebody's sure to try to use it as a handle to pick up the house. Square dowels can be glued and/or stapled into the inside corners for added strength, and pieces of 1x2 can be added under the base to reinforce it.

Paint the inside with white (or a light color) latex house paint in a satin finish for relatively easy clean-up when the young muralists want to redecorate. Small sample paint jars from Walmart or Home Depot are plenty big enough to do the job (and they are satin finish).  It will act as a sealer/primer for whatever wall and ceiling treatment you want to use later on. You can score lines in the floor pieces to mimic boards, then stain it and coat with clear polyacrylic. Again, this will seal the wood and prevent little fingers from getting splinters and be upgraded later on.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but really, Garfield + children does not promise a happy outcome. I hope this doesn't dampen your enthusiasm entirely. 

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Hi to all dollhouse Fans.

I know the above question isn't about what I'm asking, but does anyone know how to put the re-moveable roof pieces on and how do they stay on without gluing? Like the re-moveable bay roof piece and the skylight roof piece.

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Jody it's OK to start your own post so people can respond to your question and in future people searching the archives for the information will be able to find it.  Not having built the Garfield, I was not aware any of the roof pieces were removable.  Do feel free to post an introduction in the Newcomers' Forum.

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