Tag Archives: Sid Cooke

How to wallpaper a dollhouse and how to lay self-adhesive dollhouse flooring

The 1:12 scale Sid Cooke Edwardian shop that I am building is the first dollhouse kit that I have ever put together. So when it got to this part, I Googled ‘How to wallpaper a dollhouse’ for some help, but to be honest, there wasn’t much. ‘How to lay self-adhesive flooring’ turned up even less….. so I worked out my own version!

I did get rather carried away with what I was doing, though, so I don’t have ‘process photos’ for this blog post – but I do have some rather nice ‘finished’ ones  🙂

This is the point where I started – the interior of the doll’s house shop had been painted with white emulsion, to give a better key for the wallpaper paste (otherwise, the paste would just seep into the plywood/MDF walls really fast).

I chose to paint the ceiling with two coats of white emulsion, and cut and fit the coving as well, before wallpapering.

Sid Cooke dollhouse shop interior painted

For the downstairs of my shop, I wanted a pinkish/feminine look, as the shop will feature mainly dolls downstairs. I found a lovely 1:12 scale wallpaper from Les Chinoiseries in Spain with a frieze of Victorian dolls around the top. I bought three sheets, as the lift-off frontage will be painted, not papered, so three is enough. Each sheet is about 18 inches wide, and my miniature shop is 17.5 inches wide on the outside, so that was plenty.

I cut test wallpaper pieces out of plain paper first, to make sure everything fitted, then I measured again and cut the pieces from the real stuff! I cut the side wall pieces with a half inch overlap to wrap around onto the back wall, which I pasted in first, and then the back wall piece I cut exactly to size, and fitted that in last. My pasting technique is to paste the wall lightly, and then paste the paper as well, and then slide the paper about on the wall until it’s in place properly. I used a soft make-up sponge to smooth out the air bubbles in the paper. This brand of paper is quite robust, but sometimes you’d need to be careful at  this point, or the paper can rip while it’s damp. I used ‘normal’ wallpaper paste (for real houses!), diluted a bit more than was recommended on the packet, and applied it using a one inch wide brush.

Then I left everything to dry – testing it occasionally with the sponge to make sure any small bubbles were squished out to the edges.

This is the downstairs of the shop:

How to wallpaper a dollhouse tutorial

For the upstairs of the shop, I haven’t quite decided yet what I will display there, so I wanted to make the wallpaper design sort of ‘flexible’ – it might end up being a second shop room, but it might also be living accommodation – so I chose a beige floral wallpaper for this room. I applied it in the same way as for the downstairs room. It was easier to do, as the wall height is lower in the upstairs room, so the floppy pieces of wet wallpaper were easier to handle!

How to wallpaper a doll's house

So far, I have just painted the reverse of the lower lift-off front a light green emulsion, as it’s such a complicated panel, with all those window cut-outs, that I’m not sure how I will decorate that – but as it’s on the inside of that panel, I don’t think it’ll be seen much, anyway.

I intend to make little removable shelves for the two bay windows later, too, and maybe add some bunting.

Tutorial on how to wallpaper a dollhouse and paint the interior

The next little job was to hang the upper wall panel onto the body of the dollhouse. The Sid Cooke kit came with hinges to do this part – but they were enormous, and I don’t like realistic scale models being ruined with chunky hinges. So, my husband designed this snazzy method to hang the panel – he drilled a hole in the side walls near the top, then filed down a nail that would fit tightly in the hole, then added glue to the drilled hole and bashed in the nail. On the front panel itself, he marked where the nails touched, then drilled a hole for the nails to fit into (after I’d wallpapered the panel ). The nails are deliberately at a slight angle, pointing upwards, so that you kind of slide the panel down onto the nails, so that it’s held in place with gravity. The nails stick out about 3/8 of an inch. Neat, eh?

How to attach the removable front on a dollhouse

For the floor in each room, I bought a sheet of real wood flooring from Jaspers Miniatures – this is great stuff to use. It comes as a sheet of strips all glued onto one piece of paper, and you just cut it to size with a craft knife, peel off the backing and lay it in place. Be warned, though, that the glue is really strong, and once it’s touched something, you won’t get it off easily! Once I’d cut the pieces to size and peeled off the backing, I started by lining them up with the front edge of the room, and then kind of rolled them back towards the back wall. Any little gaps around the edges are then covered when you stick the skirting boards in place. I bought walnut coloured floor boards, and then varnished whitewood skirtings with walnut varnish, so the two items matched very well when I’d finished.

How to lay self adhesive wood flooring in a dollhouse

What do you think of it?

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

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How to tile a dollhouse roof with card tiles

My Sid Cooke dollhouse shop kit was looking good so far – the next stage was that I needed to work out how to tile a dollhouse roof with card tiles! I’d bought the Versi-slate textured card doll’s house roof tiles from Richard Stacey at the same time that I bought the Versi-slips (textured card brick slips) for the body of the doll’s house. The tiles come in smallish packs so you don’t have loads left over, and they are light grey on one side and dark grey on the other, so you can choose to have dark, light, or a mixture of the two – I chose to use all the dark sides. The brickwork had been time-consuming to do, but the finished result was wonderful, so I expected the roof to really look good once it was done.

However….my husband is a perfectionist, so when I said, ‘I’m going to tile my doll’s house roof today!’, he said, ‘What, all of it? In one day? Are you sure?’ Such confidence! I think he thought I’d do it in too much of a rush, or something….Anyway, he decided to help me do it – so we had a great time sticking tiles on all day, and it meant that I could take the photos while he did the fiddly bits!

I had already painted the two sides of the roof with grey undercoat. Chris nailed the roof panels onto the body of the house with panel pins.

I drew guidelines in pencil on the roof before the panels were nailed in place, so that I would then be able to line up all the tiles really straight. The first row up from the bottom is the depth of one whole tile, and the rest are half a tile deep (as the tiles overlap).

How to tile a dollhouse roof

This image shows the overhang of the roof panel when the first one had been attached – you can see the groove that the gable end boards will be pushed into later. All my lovely neat brickwork into the triangle of the roof will be covered up then <sniff>.

How to tile a dollhouse roof

I stuck a thin strip of dark card along the very bottom edge of the roof, so that the tiles would poke out at a bit of an angle, like real ones do. The instructions said to make this about a millimetre deep. Mine was about 5mm deep. Once the strip was stuck on, we realised that you would be able to see the lighter roof colour a bit in between the tiles – it would have been better to make the strip about an inch deep, to cover up the vertical gaps between tiles on the first row.

How to tile a dollhouse roof

So, we ‘coloured in’ the roof with a permanent marker pen for about an inch!

How to tile a dollhouse roof

Using PVA glue, we attached the first row of tiles, starting from the outside edges and working in towards the centre. Working fairly quickly, it allowed enough time to adjust the positioning of the tiles before the glue set.

How to tile a dollhouse roof

After attaching three rows of tiles on the back roof side, we worked out where the chimney stack was to go, and glued that in place.

How to tile a dollhouse roof

This is how we attached each row of tiles – adding a line of PVA, then spreading it out with an old brush (*any* brush is an ‘old brush’ after I’ve been using it, as I never clean them properly!!), putting the glue partly on the previous row of tiles, but being careful not to spread it so low down that it would show when the row of tiles is attached.

How to tile a dollhouse roof

Chris did the fiddly bit of cutting the tiles to fit around the chimney stack. The tiles cut very easily with scissors.

How to tile a dollhouse roof

You can buy packs of ridge tiles, which are made of the same material as the tiles, but to a different shape, and you just fold them in the middle and glue them over the ridgeline of the roof. In this image you can also see the gable ends stuck in place.

How to tile a dollhouse roof

This is the chimney stack, in place on the roof. If I was doing this again, I’d have started bricking the chimney itself from the base up to the top, and not the other way round, as there is a small area that isn’t bricked right at the bottom of the stack, but that’s just me being picky!

How to tile a dollhouse roof

So, this is how my Sid Cooke dollhouse shop looks now. I love the way the roof tiles have worked out. It looks so much more ‘solid’ now, and like a real building!

How to tile a dollhouse roof

To tile this roof, I used 2 packs of the Richard Stacey Versi-slates (each one covers about 185 square inches) @ÂŁ12.95 in 2017 , and one pack of 20 Versi-slate ridge tiles @ ÂŁ2.75, so it was quite a cheap option. The tiles can be bought from the Stacey’s Miniature Masonry website.

And we got it all done in one day!!!  🙂  What do you think of it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

For new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint embroidery kits from Janet Granger

How to assemble, then paint, a Sid Cooke shop kit

Having done a dry run of my Sid Cooke shop kit, I then pinned and glued it together.  This is how it looked when I assembled it roughly, holding it together with masking tape:

toy-4

The instructions said to glue and pin each panel of the main house in place – the kit even includes plenty of panel pins, and some wood glue – so I had no excuse not to do it properly. It went together very well (but I didn’t take any process photos – sorry!). I had bought this shop kit as two separate pieces, as it’s available like that to give people choice – you can buy just the base shop part, or add on the top half to make it look more like real building. If you buy both, you just glue the middles together to make one structure.

The front lower panel will eventually just lift off from the main shop part itself. It consists of quite a few pieces, but they are all cut accurately, and just needed gluing together with the wood glue. Fine bead trims are provided, cut to length, to cover over the joins of the main pieces, so it ends up looking more complicated than it actually was to assemble. I’m very pleased with how it came out!

The only piece that needed to be put aside for now is the signboard, which is fitted in place last, once the lettering has been added. Not sure yet how I’ll do that.

I then painted all the surfaces with white emulsion paint, partly to stabilise the surfaces ready for finishing with the final colour, and partly to stop the wood from warping if I’d only painted one side of the wood. I even painted the base.

For the top coats, I used various shades of emulsion that I bought as match pots. One match pot in any colour is plenty for painting a doll’s house, and sometimes I bought several close shades at once, and then tried them out at home, to make sure I had exactly the right colour (just what match pots are for, really, but used on a mini house, not a full-sized one!).

Most of the time, I found that Dulux emulsion gave the best coverage, and had a large range of colours to choose from. Wilkinsons paint was too thick, and the colours didn’t match the labels on the outsides of the pots, which was very annoying, and Crown seemed to have far too many beiges, and not much else.

The chimney for this kit is to be painted and attached last, after the roof is on, so I painted the chimney pot at this stage, then put it aside to be ‘bricked’ later.

I also cut the covings and skirtings for the two rooms at this stage, as the covings needed painting (the skirtings needed varnishing – different job!), so while I had the emulsion out, it made sense to paint everything at once.

outside-1

When the lower shop frontage was completely dry, I undercoated the whole of it with a pale green emulsion, and was planning to do the top coat a dark olive green. This was far harder to find in the correct shade than I’d expected. I looked online for hours, then had a fruitless trip round all the local shops….it’s just that a dingy olive green isn’t fashionable at the moment for real houses, so hardly anyone is making that shade of paint. Eventually, I found the range made by Little Greene. I don’t think they realise how hard they are to find online, when you key in ‘little green pot of paint’ into Google! You’d expect them to come up first, wouldn’t you? It took me days to find them, as Google doesn’t work like that  🙂 Anyway, the olive green paint I used (undercoated with a pale green emulsion) was this Little Greene match pot which I sent off for, and was a beautiful Edwardian-looking shade. Eventually.

outside-2

The inside of the shop window area I painted with Dulux emulsion in ‘Putting green’ shade – a soft pale green. I’ll need to make some kind of shelving for the inside of the bay windows at some point to display the toys on, probably painted in the same colour.

outside-3

This shows you how it will fit together:

outside-4

Next up, painting and wallpapering the interior.