Thursday, June 25, 2015

All The Cool Dollhouses Have Removable Walls

Kidding...but I'm not the only dollhouse builder incorporating removable pieces into her current build. Brae is doing a sliding wall for Milo Valley Farm (she also put removable walls in the Aero Squadron Lounge and the Newport). Muriellisa has already built a removable wall for her miniature Petit Trianon (go look - it's absolutely gorgeous!).

While considering how to build the boathouse, I knew I'd have to make a few parts of the structure removable.

I couldn't very well leave one side of the boathouse's tower open - it wouldn't look right. So, I made one wall removable, and left the tower top removable to enable removing the back tower wall.

Now you see them... you don't!

(Obviously, I haven't started the interior yet. But you get the idea.)

Muriellisa is using magnets to hold her wall in place; Brae is using channel molding. Between the tower rooftop and the adjoining middle-floor roof structure, my removable wall is staying put pretty well with tension alone (if it wasn't, I'd conceal some hooks and eyes under the tower top roofline). To my complete amazement (Brae and Muriellisa are far more skilled and talented than I am), it hasn't fallen down once.

The removable wall all by itself (still need to add more trim to the top floor). It's painted differently in real life (and there is a window next to the door), but as this is a dollhouse, I didn't think it would look quite right if the design didn't match the rest of the tower.

Another part of the boathouse also called for a removable piece: the ticket office. Stuck onto the front of the boathouse next to the entry, the ticket office is supposed to be accessible through a door inside the boathouse queue (the door is locked to keep guests from tampering with the props, but you can look inside). I couldn't very well make the wall removable; it's a load-bearing wall holding up the middle floor. So instead, the ticket office will have a removable roof.

I've cut the piece for the roof, but haven't gotten around to thatching it yet. This picture should give you a pretty good idea of how I will be accessing the interior.

As always, more to come.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


I'm sure you all know roofing a dollhouse is a lot of work. This one has its own unique challenges.

In real life, the boathouse roof is made of corrugated metal shingles (perhaps the skippers had to make do with scrap pieces saved from various sources?). I wanted to use real metal (so I could get it to rust realistically), but realized it would be a good way to repeatedly cut my fingers. So I bought corrugated plastic roofing, have been cutting it into shingles (thankfully, it can be cut easily with scissors), and have some ideas for making it all look like rusty old metal.

Here, you can see back and front views of the main roof section and the tower top being shingled. (The tower top is removable because the tower's back wall is also removable, which I'll discuss in further detail in a later post. If I attached the tower top, its overhang would prevent removing the wall.) 

Two other sections of roof, which I haven't started yet, are going to be quite a bit more complicated.