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Overwhelmed


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1)  Take the clear acetate inserts sheet/s and put them between the fold of the Warm Up sheet and lay it to one side of the box top.

2)  Lay the schematics sheet/s on top of the instructions and lay them on top of the Warm Up sheet.

3)  With a black Sharpie marker or soft lead pencil go over the dotted numbers on those sheets of plywood and lay them in the box top in ascending numerical order (#1 on the bottom, then #2, and so on).

Take a deep breath, close your eyes and imagine you are going on a cruise to an unknown destination.  Look at the picture on the instruction sheet and see if it starts to talk to you (no, you aren't going crazy).

4)  Pick up the schematics sheet and hold it in one hand as you pick up each plywood sheet and compare it to the schematics sheet.  I used to label the parts with a piece of masking tape.  Then lay the plywood sheet face up in the box bottom; continue with each sheet until you have all of them stacked in the box bottom with #1 on top.  Lay the Warm Up Sheet with its acetate inserts on top. At this point if you aren't freaking out, read over the instructions and refer to the schematic sheet to find the parts referred to.  If you're freaking out, skip this part for later and proceed to Step 5.

5)  Lay the schematics and instructions on top of the Warm Up sheet, close the box and go fix yourself your favorite adult beverage or eat a piece of dark chocolate; I find a nap helps, too; but I'm almost 80, so naps help a lot of things.

Assemble your masking tape or blue painters' tape, a utility or craft knife (with lots of new, sharp blades and an empty bottle with screw-on lid to dispose of dull used ones),sandpaper and emery boards and begin by building your kit with the tape instead of glue, which is what we call the dry fit; this will save you aggravation in the long run.  Usually by now the kit will begin to chat you up about what it wants and sometimes how you can go about it.  This is normal for us.

 

 

Edited by havanaholly
correcting typos
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Probably mostly what Holly said, but I'm usually less overwhelmed and more impatient... But still, I make sure I label each bit of wood according to the schematics (with a lead pencil that I can sand off if I need to later) and read the instructions a couple times, then dry fit with tape, maybe sand a bit as I go. My houses tend to have a few dry fits as I change things or check a decoration works. 

If I get to the punching out stage and know there are a hundred window and door trim bits I'm not ready for, I put them all in a plastic bag or box for later. Same with stair treads and risers. 

As long as you're building with tape you can super easily fix things that you might have placed wrong or change something (bash) here and there. 

When you're finally ready to glue, use wood glue not hot glue. 

Edited by Muriel
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Hi Debbi :wave: Welcome to the forum.

What kit do you have? We can probably guide you to some on-line pictorials that can help clarify the printed instructions.

Meanwhile, get organized per Holly's instructions. Then take it one small step at a time. One of our most experienced builders has a great mantra: Hard by the yard, but a cinch by the inch.  You'll be surprised how quickly those inches add up. :) 

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I agree with what everyone above has said.  I also recommend investing in a battery-powered Dremel and several of the rotary sanding heads.  Use it to lightly sand the edges of all of the pieces as you punch them out.  Not only will it save you time and energy, it will save you a lot of splinters.  My Dremel is definitely my favorite dollhouse building tool.

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Overwhelmed is definitely a common stage. For me, I think some of the stages are:

1. Shear excitement and impatience: after you order the kit, look at pictures on-line, and finally get the kit home

2. Overwhelmed: once you open the kit and see all the parts, the often-wonky instructions & schematics

3. Excitement, impatience and some early gratification: when you dry fit and see the possibilities before you

4. During the build, I experience all kinds of emotions: frustration, elation and amazement

Like Holly said, sometimes you need to walk away, have a nap or beverage, etc. Our minds are unconsciously sorting out the problems and absorbing what the house wants to be when we take a break.

 

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Debbi, a warning:  building dollhouses is like eating potato chips.  Don't hurry the process, enjoy the trip, even the parts that don't go well.  You are embarking on a learning process, and you will make mistakes that you will learn from.  Don't be afraid to take things apart and start over (I have dry fit the same house several times before it was happy).  Shingling, siding and other seemingly boring parts will allow your mind to go into a Zone.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you for the help and advise. (I couldn't remember my old login and password because I made it while I was overwhelmed).

I laid everything, put them in order numbered them and started painting little things as I was going along. 

Just about to put the main pieces together, floors/walls, and my schematic flew into the pool. I fished it out and waiting for it to dry but I don't think it is savable. Now, I am looking for a copy of the schematics.

I now know to come here more often. Saw lots of great advice and links in the search!

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On 9/19/2021 at 2:47 PM, debbid said:

Just about to put the main pieces together, floors/walls, and my schematic flew into the pool. I fished it out and waiting for it to dry but I don't think it is savable. Now, I am looking for a copy of the schematics.

Oh no! Which house are you building?

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