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SBL

First time builder in Texas!

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Good Morning Everyone,

We are getting the Beacon Hill for my daughter for Christmas for us to build together.  She loves all things miniature (as do I) and will be thrilled with the traditional style.  As a first time builder, my main question is where do we start? Is there a reference book we should have on hand, any tool kits I should buy in addition to the doll house, favorite glue? I would hate to open the box and find we need several additional items, or start and realize we should have done things in a certain order.  I am so excited and nervous to start this project with her and want to be as prepared as possible!

Many many thanks,

Sophie

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Welcome to the little family, Sophie & daughter.  If you are buying this kit new in the unopened box from the Greenleaf store or a reputable dealer the instruction sheets and schematics ought to already be in the box.  Depending on how you (and the house itself) want it to look you might need to think about siding and shingles, but you can cut card stock poster board into strips for the former and sandpaper for the latter, or study some of the real life sized houses to see if y'all like a different style roof or siding.  I like to finish off the exteriors of my houses with drywall compound or spackle to simulate plaster or stucco.

IF the instructions tell you to use hot glue, please ignore them and use a good carpenter's wood glue like Titebond or Probond.  Invest in some blue painters' tape or beige masking tape, and do use it to hold the house together first before gluing anything (what we call dry fitting).  This gives you the chance to sand or shave the tabs and slots for a more perfect fit for when you do glue, it allows you to build the house to see if you understand the instructions before committing yourself to glue and possible "oopses", and you will be able to see which areas of the interior will be impossible to fit your hands into to decorate once it's glued.  If the kit hasn't already begun to do so, I find that this is where it begins to talk and tell me what it wants & where, and its back story.  You will also be able to figure out how you will want to finish your floors (stain or some other treatment) and walls (primer and paint or wallpaper, for example).  I recommend studying the building blogs and gallery albums of members' Beacon Hills.

My favorite tools are a utility knife with a retractable blade and lots of brand new sharp blades, a pack of cheap emery boards for sanding itty and fiddly spaces and a sanding block and sandpaper for general sanding, a cork-back steel straight edge/ ruler (because sometimes I just scribe my floorboards directly into the wood of the kit and stain them), wood glue, clear drying all-purpose white glue for the clear transparent window and exterior door inserts, a self-healing cutting mat and premixed wallpaper paste from the hardware store for hanging wall coverings.  I use a 1" paint brush and white interior flat latex to prime with and the little sample paint jars from the hardware store for painting the dollhouse.  I use the hubs' old teeshirts torn into rags for tack cloths and for applying stain.

I am writing this reply after the middle of November.  You will not want to rush yourself or build 24/7, so you will not finish this beautiful dollhouse for Christmas of 2019; but you and your daughter will have a blast working on it together and have it done and decorated for Christmas 2020.  

Finally, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to build a dollhouse; you work with what works for you.  I don't always follow the instructions in order because I like to wait until the inside of the house is decorated to install windows , doors and their interior trims.

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2 hours ago, havanaholly said:

Finally, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to build a dollhouse; you work with what works for you. 

Holly, that's the truth and well said. :) 

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Thank you, dear heart!  You & I know how much of the trial & error teaches us this!

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thank you holly and kathie,

we are buying new and directly from greenleaf.  one thing i know she wants to do is have working lights.  any tips and tricks for running power to the dollhouse?

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Hi SBL,  I live in Houston.  Where are you located in Texas?  I also built the Beacon Hill.  It was my first build and I learned so much about dollhouse construction.  I put lighting in mine too and for the first one it's was a trial in patience for sure. 

 

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we are in dallas and unfortunately do not have a local place that i know of where i can go and look and ask questions of folks who know what their talking about! thankful for you knowledgable group!

 

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Sophie, I googled these stores:  https://www.yellowpages.com/dallas-tx/miniature-dollhouse-stores and here is some information about NAME (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) in the Dallas/ Ft Worth area:  https://miniatures.org/search/node/dallas%2C%20tx

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no dollhouse stores that I know of in Texas.   The Dallas Miniature show is held in Dallas every year and a couple of members from here and I attend that show.  They have great classes several days before the show and then the show on Saturday and Sunday.  This years dates are June  24th thru the 28th.  It's a great show. and you should definitely plan to go if you can.

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