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Need help with windows


christinee
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Hi everyone!

I have a slight challenge ahead of me with rennovating my old dollhouse. The windows are odd-sized. I have 10 windows that have openings 3"w x 4" high and 2 windows that have openings 8 1/2" w x 4" h. In the picture below, you'll see the windows. Presently they have silkscreened acetate stapled inside the walls, but it is yellow with age, and coming off. I would like to replace the windows with something nice. The problem is, I can't seem to find anything that fits those dimensions.

Also, the front door is 3 3/4" w x 6 1/2" h, and the 2 porch doors (on the side of the house) are 5"w x 3 1/2" h and again, I can't find a door meeting that exact size (though I can find one that's 4" w and 3 1/2" w but most doors are about 7" high or higher.

My problem is, what do I do? LOL I found replacement acetate that would work for the smaller windows here but I'm still without something for the bigger windows. I would liked to replace the windows with something nicer, perhaps trim or something, but I don't think I have the skills to build my own windows. Perhaps, with some tutorials, I could try my hand at modifying windows, but I'm not sure I can do that, though I wouldn't mind trying if it means I can get new windows LOL

Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas how I can solve this? I'm open for anything, even trying to modify/build my own windows.

Thank you for reading!

Christine

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I don't think I have the skills to build my own windows
:rofl:That's what I thought until I began to rehab Pearl, the Laurel! You'd be surprised at what you can do with craftsticks! and the basswood boards from the hobby shops.
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Build non opening windows is very easy. Even the opening windows are not nearly as complicated as they seem. All you needs is stock size milled mini lumber, it comes in 24" lengths. Measure the widths of the current windows and get the closest size. There are a couple of sellers on ebay that have pretty good prices and Ernie's is having the 20% sale for Labor Day. You can sign up and shop at Ernie's on the web, it's a great place and Ernie is a nice guy also.

Besides wood all you needs is a pattern, for this you will need some small squares for the corners. Magnet boards are nice, look on the web for instructions to make one. Long single width Lego's from Goodwill epoxied together make very straight corners. I use there for all sorts of squaring.

Patterns are available in many older books, Mccall's Dollhouse book (name?) is older but can be found on Amazon for a couple of dollars, your local library might also have this or another book. Another way to make a pattern is to take a good look at the windows in your own house and copy them. For period details, like the tiny bits on the bottom of upper window frames to keep your fingers from getting caught if the window slams down, look at house photo's on google image.

The other options are finding larger windows and cutting them down or paying (or trading with) someone else to made them.

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For acetate for the windows, many of us use the transparency sheets that you get at office supply stores ... the ones that you can print on. In fact, if you get the kind of sheet that's compatible with your color printer, you can even print stained glass patterns on the "glass".

If you want to simulate the mullions on the windows you're trying to replace, you can use a white marker or try making them out of square toothpicks.

You may wish to use white glue to put in the acetate instead of staples.

Any missing woodwork can be replaced with craft sticks or the milled molding that Aggie mentioned.

You can do this. Most of us were once where you are now, so "I can't" isn't something we pay much attention to. Of course you can do it -- you just don't' have the experience to figured out how yet. That's why we're here! You'll get all kinds of suggestions, and you'll see a method that strikes you as perfect for your situation -- the "AHA!" moment. And you'll be on your way.

Hang in there and chant the mantra: I can do it -- as soon as I figure out how! :)

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I had the same problem with a dollhouse I'm currently renovating - it's a non-standard scale, and nothing fit right. I ended up enlarging the window openings and using the smallest standard windows I could find - they're enormous compared to the front door, but the overall effect works out allright.

But you could make windows with various sizes of moulding and scrap wood, use transparency sheets for the glass - it would be a bit more tedious than force-fitting standard windows, but it could be done. I'm finding that with my renovation, I'm having to build more components / furniture than I'm buying ready-made, simply for the fact that the sizes are all off.

stoned2.jpg

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Caite, the windows look great! I agree with Holly about lightening the door and adding trim. I think that would make it look like a perfect fit.

Thank you to everyone who responded with words of advice and encouragement! After some searching on Ebay and Ernie's site, I am beginning to think I can actually make windows! LOL Ernie had a brief how-to explaining how to assemble door and window trim which seemed very easy and I found a seller on Ebay that had loads of trim of various shapes and sizes! Now it's just a matter of getting exact measurements and determining the type of trim I want.

While searching and thinking about making my own windows, I figured what's the worst that can happen? I spend a few bucks, cut some wood, glue it together and either end up with a window or a mess and some experience under my belt and one step closer to getting it right. LOL This is a challenge to me and I LOVE challenges so off I go!

Thanks again everyone! You've been a tremendous help!

Christine

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Thanks for the advice - I definitely need to add trim to my door - haven't gotten around to that yet. I think you're right about lightening it up - the dark red isn't really working somehow.

I'm a big fan of Old Town Alexandria, it does remind me of some of the streets down there!

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If you look in my "Laurel rehab" album, here is Pearl with all the new exterior trims and windows I had to make her: med_gallery_8_1103_48615.jpg

and here is the front door under construction: med_gallery_8_1103_127646.jpg

The EZ Cutter is THE tool of choice for this job, with a gluing jig definitely making the job lots easier.

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