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I’m having the hardest with the instructions!! Would it be easier to build out the frame first??? Maybe I’m overthinking but it’s just confusing!! Who can help me!?

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Hi Angel.....

Don't stress,  it is suppose to be enjoyable.

I haven't built the Magnolia so i don't know what the instructions say to do first.

  • If it is the windows, stop right there.  Do the windows after paint and wallpaper. It will make it so much easier
  • Do a dry fit of the main structure and interior walls....be sure to mark these pieces in pencil with their name and sheet number. A dry fit allows you to see how the house goes together and you can prep the tabs and slots so everything fits together. Use a masking tape to keep the pieces together.
  • Do the fancy exterior trims once the house has been glued together. Paint them before you glue them to the house (leave the side you put glue on bare)

Any mistakes can be fixed or cleverly disguised.......keep asking questions :sad?: You Can Do This!!

 

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Thank you! Yes the windows are confusing! Then it doesn’t really tell you interior or exterior. I did see a very helpful link on here for the windows that I already glued on the casings & put some on the house already!! This house is given me anxiety!! 

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Hi Angel -

I'm new too - I find that these questions/answers are my most helpful source!  Do all of your decorating (flooring, wallpaper, interior painting, baseboards, etc. BEFORE you put the house together. Label everything - literally everything. I use painter's tape and write on it with a Sharpie. My husband helped me fit all the large pieces together temporarily so I could have a much better idea of what walls went where, and I labeled them (bedroom wallpaper, hallway stain, etc.) which made it much easier to visualize exactly where everything goes.  It's hard when the large pieces are just laid out and bare to just eyeball it. 

Good luck - and don't be surprised if more family members get into it. They are always stopping by my work area and wanting to help because it's so fascinating!

Carolyn

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@Minis On The Edge built this house and took some good pictures, maybe her blog posts will help you.

Part 1: https://minisontheedge.blogspot.com/2011/06/magnolia-dollhouse-kit-build-blog-days.html

Part 2: https://minisontheedge.blogspot.com/2011/06/magnolia-dollhouse-build-blog-days-5-9.html

Part 3: https://minisontheedge.blogspot.com/2011/06/april-9th-2007-posted-by-minis-on-edge.html

I just saw Carolyn's response... I know some people like to paint and decorate before assembly, but I prefer to put the shell together first and then do the painting and wallpaper. Painting feels like less work to me when the house is assembled, and when you wallpaper the assembled shell you can wrap paper around the corners to hide seams where two walls meet. But definitely paint all your trim separately and then apply it. Don't be afraid to stray from the instructions if you can think of an easier way to do something!

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The Building Team built and blogged the Magnolia and I was asked to build the house "unfinished", so I called my entries "The Bare Nekkid Magnolia"; hopefully reading the building blog will help you.  I attached all the trims, etc., with poster putty because I was going back to finish it off as a Florida "Cracker" house:

KathieB's photos:  Mafggie's front

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Is there a blog available for Beginners (and I mean Beginners who have NEVER been exposed to dollhouse building or built a dollhouse)?

Just some basic steps on  how to start--which is terrifying once you open that box, the pros and cons of sanding first or priming first, and how to keep this fun!!! I've taken all the pieces apart, labeled them, and put together by the Sheet #. Was this the right start? Should I have done something differently? 

I'n thinking about doing a blog on my own experience, which may help the next builder!

Thank you once again for your help, fellow dollhouse builders. Wait a minute...I'm not worthy to be put into the same group!

Have a fantasatic Friday!

Carolyn

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This forum is about the best place for a beginning miniaturist, you can do a search for getting started, basic tools, etc.; or just ask the specific questions you want answered and someone (or more, usually) will reply.  Juat as there's more than one way to skin a cat, there are as many ways to start building a dollhouse kit as there are individual forum members.  For starters

When I open a box the first time I lay the lid of the box beside the bottom of the box.  Then I remove the paperwork and the clear acetate sheet, if any, that contains the window and door inserts, and if it's a Greenleaf kit I lay the acetate sheet between the pages of the Warm-Up Sheet and lay them on the other side of the box top.  Next I remove the instructions,  read over them, and lay them on top of the Warm-Up Sheet.  Next I remove the schematics sheet and grab a soft pencil or black Sharpie and begin to go through the pile of plywood sheets in the box bottom, starting with sheet #1; I compare that sheet with the schematics to make sure all the pieces are there, trace over the numeral so it stands out, and then lay the sheet face down in the box lid.  I go though the rest of the pile, pulling the plywood sheets out in numerical order and repeat the process.  When I'm done I put all the sheets, still in order, back into the box bottom, face up, so I can readily find them when I begin to build.  If there are any shingles or siding strips in the kit, I leave them in the bottom of the box until the house is built.  At this point I return the paperwork to the box, close the lid and go eat a snack and wait for the kit to start talking to me again.  Your method probably will work just fine for you; I'm klutzy.

Once the kit has begun telling me what it wants I take my roll/s of painters'/ masking tape, my trusty utility knife, a pencil and my sandpaper and lay the Warm-Up sheet with its acetate inserts on a nearby surface IN PLAIN VIEW and with the instructions in hand and begin to assemble the shell of the house using the tape instead of glue to hold it together, sanding or shaving the tabs & slots & edges for a more perfect fit; this is called the DRY FIT.  Once I have the house in dry fit I can see what it wants to have painted or papered (and therefore primed) and what it wants stained, and which rooms it wants for what purpose.  This is a good time to play with any furniture you might think of wanting to put in it, to be sure it fits.  Whilst the house is in dry fit I take my pencil and trace along the corners where walls & floors abut.  After I take the house back apart I also lay the door and window trims over their respective openings and trace around them.  Then I zone out cutting strips of masking tape into 1/4" widths and masking all the areas I will want to glue later, since bare wood adheres so much better to bare wood; and for heaven's sake do use a good carpenter's wood glue, NOT hot glue, to build your house.  I reinforce the corners with  steel staples because I tend to manhandle the carcase as I build.

I hope that gets you started.  Which house are you building, Carolyn?

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Thank you! I have The Magnolia and I have printed your blog on building The Magnolia. So, my next step is the dry fit, masking tape the areas you mentioned...if it fits together, do take it apart again and glue the pieces together? Or do you sand, then prime? 

I apologize for being so "beginner." I've been in  RA flare for the past week and every moment I work on this house has to be essential. Redoing things over and over again are going to make me quit. I know how I am and just trying to get a clear understanding of the "system."

Thanks so much,

Carolyn 

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Redoing things over and over again to get what you want is sometimes necessary.  There is no reason to apologize, I think an awful lot of us deal with health issues, and this is a great way to ignore them temporarily.  Redoing doesn't make me quit, but it slows me down because I go away and do something else until I see a better way.

Once I figure out what I want to paint or paper I begin the build.  I mask everywhere I'm going to glue.  I stain the floors the color I'm going to stain the floorboards once they're laid, and prime any parts of the floor I'm going to paint.  Once the walls are up and the first floor is in (glued) I prime the interior walls and paper or paint them.  Whilst the paint's wet I remove the masking tape from around the windows & doors; when the wallpaper adhesive is totally dry I cut away around the windows & doors at least 1/8" from the openings so I have bare surfaces to glue the trims to.  I wait until then to work on the windows and doors and install any interior doors. I finish any floor treatments and install any baseboards and/ or cornices.

I stain the second floor and prime and paint or otherwise finish the first floor ceiling and install the second floor and repeat the whole performance again.  With the Magnolia I already had the walls and floors glued together, so I went over all the corners' edges with a heavy duty stapler and merrily flipped the house sideways and upside down a few times to get to all the places.  I had not glued on the roof, so I was able to bash an extra room on the second floor to make an indoor bathroom.  I think this is the last house I built using chamois strips to hinge the doors; eventually the bench vise & I arrived at a workable way for me to pin-hinge my doors.

Sometimes the layout of the house needs me to work in a different order, but what I have described is what generally works for me.  As you read the other building blogs you will find all sorts of different methods that all work for the individuals using them.  With RA you will need to go a bit slower, perhaps.  Several of our members also deal with it, and will be better able to weigh in with their suggestions.

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I apologize if I said something inappropriate to you. I've been in a flare for almost a week and don't realize how my voice tone is received...especially, through writing.

You have gone above and beyond answering my questions and providing an outline to dollhouse building! Now I can "see" the process.

I know how difficult it can be to explain a process, especially, to a beginner. (As a line dance instructor I eventually learned how to teach dance steps to people who literally had two left feet! However, their desire to dance was enormous and they refused to give up as long as I kept working with them!)

In other words, your valuable time and written instructions have not fallen on deaf ears -- this project means a lot to me. And if I have to redo a section, believe me, I'll redo it!

This amazing community of dollhouse and miniatures building are exceptional human beings!  Your love and passion for creating beautiful, amazing houses are greatly respected. And in your presence I am humbled at your desire to share your expertise.

Please forgive my shortcomings and thank you so very much for sharing your "building-system" and advice.

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As I said, there's no need to apologize.  We learn by doing, and a lot of "advice" is how we learned NOT to do something.  Mistakes aren't the end of the world; some of my  best bashes have been the result of dealing with a major "oops".  BTW, you live in an awfully pretty part of Georgia.

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