Saturday, April 19, 2014

Finishing the Roof

I routinely find myself puzzling over ways to have realistic room layouts in a dollhouse while still having the contents be accessible. In a real house, it's not unusual to have furniture against the outside walls, but this is a problem if you have an open back wall (as with American-style dollhouses) or a front wall that swings out (as with English-style dollhouses).

However, this re-booted bungalow solves that problem very neatly. Since it's a single-story home, I designed it so the roof could simply be lifted off for access to the interior. (It's working much, much better than the complicated, multiple-opening-panel approach I tried first.) 

So, the roof structure is complete, the shingles have been applied and aged, and it's on to the next steps.

I had some shingles in my stash, but they weren't uniform enough in size for all of them to be used. However, I did have some Greenleaf clapboarding strips as well. They didn't quite work for the siding, but their near-perfect uniform width was just right, and the grain and shading varied just enough to suggest a real, old roof with the odd replaced shingle. So, I sliced two and a half bags of clapboarding strips into shingles - it was a lot of work, but well worth it.

Following a tip on Pepper's blog, I opted to age the shingles rather than staining them, since this house is based on a real, early-20th-century house that doesn't appear to have seen much, if any, updating. Below, you can see the bare birch shingles on one side of the roof with the other side still wet from its first round of aging solution.


After two rounds of aging, the roof looked pretty similar in color to the inspiration house's actual roof. There were a few spots where the aging didn't take, so I strategically covered them with some "moss" I had. The shingles have warped up in a few places, but I have some ideas for covering them that I will address later.

The finished roof. More to come...


  1. Another bungalow! looking good. You do start to feel like you are actually getting somewhere when the roof is finished don't you!

  2. I like where this is going Im working on my roof later so I'll take a peek at what Pepper is doing..thanks for the tip


  3. Hey Anna, the roof looks very realistic. Adding the moss to the roof will add an extra dimension of real to your mini house. Wishing you a great weekend!
    gr. AM

  4. I love the colouring of your roof. Beautiful.

  5. Thank you all! I love the way it turned out, but next time I age a shingled roof, I'll age the shingles before gluing them (to prevent those pesky glue spots where the solution won't take).

    More roof details to come...