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Someone suggested newbies start a thread about their build and ask questions so that everything would be in one place for them as they work on their projects. Sounds like a great idea so here is mine. I am building the orchid with the intent it be a tea room or tea room and gifts shop. The exterior will be painted in a true Victorian color scheme of rose tones, cream/white, and gray. I wanted to paint my own Victorian house in this palette but the Victorian next door to me is painted orange, yellow and brown. Color clash with my pinks. I opted for greens, beige, cream with a deep red burgundy accent in real life.

The first floor will be a kitchen and dining room with a conservatory out the end of the dining room for additional seating/garden area. The upstairs will either be a bed and bath living quarters for the shop owner or a bath and gift/shop area. I haven't decided for sure yet. I have many questions and hope you all will be able to help out and give me your ideas, opinions and web sources. I have been reading like mad the past few weeks to learn about things I don't know about like wiring and lighting etc.:crazyeyes: Yes I am cross eyed at this point so it's time to ask questions. I would like to paper the house with Victorian damask or floral type papers and have not found exactly what I want.  I checked out miniature.com, Earth and Tree along with ebay and many printable paper sites. I didn't find anything I was in love with for this project so I thought I would make my own papers. I found some beautiful images to use and take to a printer to print out since I don't have a laser printer. I have only been able to find one short video without sound on how to do this. I need more info. Like what to set the dpi for if I want to print on legal size paper and how to cut the image to make the pattern repeat. I have gimp but would be willing to download something else if someone here knows how to use different software. There are tons of videos on how to use gimp but I don't know what other terms to search for to find the right video to set up for large paper printing and making my pattern repeat. Any suggestions? Even printing out on 8.5 x 11 would be fine since I am going to plug and play my electrical and use corner molding to hide wiring. Been a long time since I used gimp so I don't mind learning things again.

While researching lighting, I found warm white led bulbs but not cool white or daylight led. Do they exist? I may put some of these in the ceiling as can lights around a focal point Victorian type of light fixture in the dining room. I'm also interested in making some of my own light fixtures and led would work perfectly for this. Are there any in particular lights you would recommend for this purpose or suppliers. I think I can plug and play led bulbs. If I am wrong, please let me know.

I have hung lots of wallpaper in real life and rewired my fair share of antique lights and chandeliers so I think I'm ready to tackle a dollhouse. Thanks in advance you wonderful mini makers!

Please help me with these two dilemmas. 1. wallpaper 2.led bulbs/lighting.

 

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Welcome! The Orchid is the first dollhouse I built (a long time ago, and I cringe when I look at pictures of it now!) I used the 1:12 Houseworks conservatory with it, and you can see a picture here if you want to see how they look together: http://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?p=8946

For your wallpaper, print quality is 300dpi or higher. I use Photoshop on my Windows computer and a free program called Seashore on my Mac, which isn't as robust as GIMP but it might do what you need (but I don't think there's a Windows version). Many years ago I wrote an article for Miniature Collector about optimizing dpi for miniature printies, it's kind of outdated now but maybe it'll still help: http://www.emilymorganti.com/samples/miniaturizingprints.pdf

This is a good site for Victorian wallpaper (life sized that you can scale down and print out): http://www.bradbury.com/

That being said - I had had very bad luck with printing my own dollhouse wallpaper and I won't do it again. I used special inkjet paper that had been recommended to me by another prolific miniaturist, sealed it, and still had horrible staining emerge behind the paper within a few weeks, plus sun fading and blurring over time. I've read that not priming the wood (which I didn't) can lead to this, but in one of the cases I put a piece of scrapbook paper between the wallpaper and the wall to act as a barrier and the same thing happened. Maybe it was caused by the glue (Minigraphics wallpaper mucilage) but I use that glue on everything and never had it happen with any other wallpaper or scrapbook paper. I also had fading occur on printed tiles that I purchased without knowing when I purchased them that they were printed on a home printer (looks like it, anyway). One of the rooms where this happened to me is very intricate and there's no way I can fix it without tearing out a lot of other things. It makes me want to cry every time I look at it. That's just my horror story -- I know other people print their own wallpaper all the time, but before you embark on this, just be aware of what can happen!

If you decide to buy instead of printing your own, Itsy Bitsy Mini is a good source for Victorian miniature wallpaper. She even has some of the Bradbury wallpaper patterns. https://itsybitsymini.com/

She offers a lot of styles that are no longer displayed on the website, so if you're looking for something specific like a damask in a certain color scheme and aren't finding one on the website, you could email and ask if she has anything else like that. My only caveat with Itsy Bitsy is that sometimes the colors are slightly different from batch to batch, so if you buy one sheet at a store and then order a second sheet of the same thing from a different store or the Itsy Bitsy website, they might not match. (I had this problem several years ago and don't know if it's still an issue, maybe someone who's ordered from them more recently can weigh in.)

About the lighting - you can paint a lightbulb with Gallery Glass to change the tone of the light. There are different tones out there (some are brighter, some are more yellow), but if you're buying online you won't always know what you're getting until you get it, especially if you're buying a premade fixture versus making your own. I've heard good things about Evan Designs: https://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/

(I don't do much with electricity but I'm sure others will have more to say about this!)

 

 

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Thanks fov, I will check out all this wonderful info you have bestowed upon me. If I print my papers, I will use a laserjet and not inkjet. The toner is more UV friendly than inkjet dye. Yes I did prime my walls already to seal them. I'm tempted to paper on a template and then add it to the house so I can easily change it later and fix any electrical issues easily. I made a template without the trim on so far but wonder if the trim cut outs will be too much of a pain. Not sure I am exact enough to use this method and still have it look fabulous. Does anyone use this method for papering?

I have been wondering if anyone had Bradbury papers. I could be papering and detailing for days if I go that route.

Thanks so much for the info!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone ordered any of the wallpaper assortments from Miniatures.com? Have any feedback on the quality of their papers in general? The prices are great for those assortments. 18 sheets for $10. Starting miniatures from scratch is pricey so I really like their assortment price tag.

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We ordered the wallpaper assortments from Miniatures.com.  We liked the price per sheet.  This is our first time using dollhouse wallpaper with mucilage and so far we have had good experience with the quality of papers.  The selection varies.  We liked some of the patterns and some we did not like.  But overall pleased so far.

I don't know how to post a picture in a thread.  Will try to post a picture of the attic playroom in the Porch Mystery House album (a work in progress) that shows a selection of the wallpaper we received.

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  • 4 months later...

How is the Tea Room progressing, Paula?  Did you find the wallpaper you wanted?

I absolutely prime/seal my walls with flat white latex paint - unless I wish to stain and varnish the wood of the kit.  I like to do two or three coats, sanding in between.  I'm sure one or two coats is just as good.  Not only does the paint prevent acids/tannins leaching through, but you end up using less wallpaper paste - no thirsty wood surface drinking it all up!  Painting the wood helps to smooth over any tiny imperfections.  On top of all that, I believe the white surface below the wallpaper allows the colours to appear truer.  Depends on the thickness of the paper, I suppose, but to me, it always looks much brighter and cleaner somehow.

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 4/20/2018, 7:07:18, Shy Spirit said:

How is the Tea Room progressing, Paula?  Did you find the wallpaper you wanted?

I absolutely prime/seal my walls with flat white latex paint - unless I wish to stain and varnish the wood of the kit.  I like to do two or three coats, sanding in between.  I'm sure one or two coats is just as good.  Not only does the paint prevent acids/tannins leaching through, but you end up using less wallpaper paste - no thirsty wood surface drinking it all up!  Painting the wood helps to smooth over any tiny imperfections.  On top of all that, I believe the white surface below the wallpaper allows the colours to appear truer.  Depends on the thickness of the paper, I suppose, but to me, it always looks much brighter and cleaner somehow.

 

Well, when I couldn't figure out and decide on wiring so I put the house away and just made miniatures for my house and etsy. I was overwhelmed about what I didn't know and continued to read up. Then I recently visited a dollhouse museum and started on assembly of my house. The exterior walls are up and primed with exterior window casings and sills attached. Making my own staircase and changing interior walls.

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As a beginner I am using scrapbook paper. I like the more thick cardstock types so far, and am lucky to have a recycled craft store with stacks of the stuff. But even buying a book of pages that have the style you are looking for might work :)

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On 6/20/2019, 1:24:19, SaraChimera said:

As a beginner I am using scrapbook paper. I like the more thick cardstock types so far, and am lucky to have a recycled craft store with stacks of the stuff. But even buying a book of pages that have the style you are looking for might work :)

I have been a paper crafter for over a decade and have stacks and stacks of paper/card stock. I mean tons but most of the patterns are too large or the stack is too small. I have found most good dollhouse papers are heavy. Hobby lobby dollhouse papers are very thin and need to be clear coated before use. Some internet sellers print their papers on inkjet machines so read up before you buy.

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1 hour ago, Minigirl said:

...Hobby lobby dollhouse papers are very thin and need to be clear coated before use...

If you're using their scrapbook paper.  I have found Mingraphics dollhouse wallpaper at HL.

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