Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mini Mansion Built from Scratch

It is possible to make your own large dollhouse on a budget.   Just take a simple box shape, add a lot of creativity, and turn it into a mini mansion.   Take a look at this Mini Mansion project.   Click the buttons at top of Mini Mansion page for DETAILS and FLOORPLAN.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How I Made the Bathroom Fixtures- Toilet

Bathroom, finished

In the $5 dollhouse, everything in the bathroom was made from scrap wood and found items.  This dollhouse is for a 4 year old child with even younger siblings, so everything has to be sturdy and kid-safe.  No tiny or dainty, fragile fixtures here!  ;-)   See previous posts for how to make flooring, sink and tub.   Floor tiles, towels and door between bathroom and bedroom were all printed out and glued on.  The baseboard trim and window trim is cut from white craft foam.

The toilet was a challenge.   How do you make a modern toilet from a piece of wood, short of being a master carver?   I guess I could have modeled it out of air-dry or polymer clay, but I didn't think of that until after I finished making the one shown below.  But this came out OK and was quick and easy.  Next time I'll do better.   Maybe I'll make a new one out of clay when they're a little older.  *G*

The bottom, base, of the toilet is a miniature wood flower pot. It was just the right scale!  The toilet llid is a ready-made wood disk.  The tank is a small rectangular block of basswood.   I drilled a small hole on one side of flower pot and a matching hole in bottom of tank block.   A sturdy wire was threaded thru the holes and bent to connect the 2 parts.  Before glueing, the bendy piece of a flex-straw was added to cover the wire.   Everything was painted white and a flush handle was painted on.

How to attach the lid was a challenge.   I thought it might be fun if the kids could lift the lid....but that wouldn't happen if it was glued on.    After attempting a few different things, I ended up using a couple of pieces of scrap magnetic vinyl.   One piece was glued to flower pot as the toilet seat, the other piece was the hinge and also glued to the lid.  To make the hinge work, the wire that connects the base to the tank was passed thru the hinge before straw was added.    Now the lid open and closes magnetically.    How fun is that!  LOL

Stay tuned ....almost finished with this project!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How I Made the Bathroom Fixtures- Tub

Finished Bathroom
The bathroom is now finished.   All fixtures were made from wood.   The baseboard molding and the  molding around the door and window is white fun foam.   Making the flooring and sink was discussed in a previous post.    The door between the bathroom and bedroom is a printable.

The tub is a block of wood, about 1.5"x2"x5".  The interior of tub was routed out (by a friend...not me) and all edges were softly rounded by sanding.   The first photo below shows tub after being primed.  Hot and cold faucet knobs (child safe) were made by embedding dowels at end of tub.

Tub was painted white and faucets were painted metallic silver.  After paint dried, both the tub and sink|countertop were sprayed with a high gloss finish.   

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How I Made the Bathroom Fixtures-Sink

Finished Bathroom

The 2 main goals of this dollhouse project is to spend as little as possible and to make it child safe....all while making it fun and realistic, of course!  The $5 dollhouse is a gift for 4-year old granddaughter, but I have to keep in mind that she has a couple of younger sisters who will undoubtedly handle the furnishings.  So "clunky and sturdy" is the name of the game for the bathroom fixtures.    If that's not a concern for your dollhouse, you might like one of these sets, all designed for children.
This Melissa & Doug Bathroom Furniture Set  is recommended for ages 6-10.  I think it's scaled nicely enough for an adults hobby!

Plan Toys has a couple of wooden bathroom sets suitable for ages 3-8.

Fisher Price has a plastic bathroom set.   Recommended for ages 3-7.

Although there's quite a few bathroom sets available to purchase in 1" scale,  most of them are either too fragile for my younger grandchildren or too expensive for child's I opted to make some out of wood.

Bathroom sink-unpainted
The photo above is the unpainted rough beginnings of the sink.    It is simply a block of wood about  3"x3" and 1.5" thick.  I added a couple rectangles of basswood to represent doors and gouged out a round "sink" in the countertop.   The faucets are 2 small pieces of dowel inserted in wood next to sink.    It looks real enough once painted.   Let the kids imagination fill in the blanks!   LOL     

Bath sink and cabinet
The photo above shows the finished sink along with a wall cabinet and some faux towels.   The faucets were painted silver and the countertop painted pink with a multi-color splatter technique (used an old toothbrush to splatter various colors).   Both the sink and countertop were top coated with a high gloss finish to add a little to the realism.   

The wall cabinet was rescued from the original dollhouse.   It was missing a door!   Made a new door from basswood and painted it all white.   I had a small piece of very shiny silver vinyl in my stash of stuff and used that for "mirrors".     The towels hanging on the wall are a printable set of towels glued on.

Oh...and the cabinet doors open and close with hinges made from tiny nails.   A nail is inserted in top of cabinet, going all the way thru and nailed into the top of door near edge.   Another nail is goes thru bottom of cabinet into bottom of door.  Works swell and is completely embedded in wood so should be safe.

In the above photo you can also see the finish molding around the window and the baseboard.   All moldings were made with white "fun foam" cut to size.  Much easier than cutting & painting wood and it looks surprisingly nice!

Next we'll make the tub!

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