You’re building your first dollhouse – either from scratch or using a dollhouse kit. You want to be sure you have a basic understanding of the project as well as all of the right tools before your miniature dollhouse building begins.
Keep in mind that building a dollhouse from a kit is a much simpler task and will include all of the pre-cut pieces in either MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) or plywood. If you decide to build your own dollhouse from scratch, you will need dollhouse plans, more tools and must have an adequate understanding of how to work with different types of wood and power tools.
If you are planning to build your dollhouse using a kit, this article will provide you with a simple overview of what to expect as well as the basic items and tools you will need to get started.
The type of dollhouse kit you purchase will determine its level of difficulty to assemble. Room boxes, which are simply that – just one room, are the easiest to assemble and a great starting point if this is your first dollhouse project. Single story dollhouses are more difficult, but much easier than multi-story, multi-room dollhouse kits. Also, decide before purchasing your dollhouse if you would prefer one that opens from the front or from the rear.
Before you begin, know what to expect when you open the box that contains your dollhouse kit. Basic dollhouse kits include all of the basic pre-cut pieces. A quality dollhouse kit will include 3/8” thick walls with clapboards milled directly onto the exterior walls. All pieces are designed and built to fit together perfectly. The windows and doors will arrive pre-assembled. Your kit will include roof shingles in either cedar or pine. These will arrive in individual pieces and will be glued to the roof of your dollhouse one shingle at a time. Gingerbread trim is included in the dollhouse kits in strips. Depending upon the actual kit purchased, your kit may also include moldings, railings, staircases, shutters and window boxes, which are more common in the larger, more expensive dollhouse kits. Kits do not include finishing touches such as primer, paint, glue, curtains, landscape materials or miniature dollhouse furniture and miniature dollhouse accessories.
The basic tools needed to build a dollhouse will include a carpenter’s square, carpenter’s glue, tacky glue (found at craft stores), tape measure, exact-o knife, sandpaper and masking tape. Also, be prepared with a hammer and finishing nails.
Since your dollhouse kit will not include paint, you will want to purchase a good quality acrylic latex paint as well as a primer. Small quantities of trim colors should also be purchased (you can find these at a craft store).
Be sure to read through all instructions before you begin. If you opt to electrify your dollhouse, the basic wiring should be installed during the construction phase and completed before decorating your dollhouse. The materials needed for this are included in a wiring kit, sold separately. Cir-kit Concepts makes one of the most popular kits on the market.
Stay tuned to our other blog articles for more in-depth instructions and tips on building a dollhouse!