Week One of Project Doll House


Hey Guys,

Week one of Project Doll House was not very productive at all. The only things that I achieved were: Making a couch, painting primer on the back walls, making some sort of start to a bit of the floor for the top shelf and put no more gaps on to fill the spaces, I would have loved to add some colour to the walls or something, but.. life. Haha. So any way here’s what I have so far:

The house with the prep coat on the back walls.

Before and after the no more gaps, there were other spots but this spot was the worse of them all.

 

The floor is made from popsicle sticks, I just cut the round ends off of them and cut some to size. I drew a line on the floor space indicating where I wanted the floor to stop at and just arranged the popsicles until it filled the space.

Here is the couch:

This is the finished product.

It took me a couple of days to get to this point. With a whole day of calculating the measurements (because mum life is consistent of pausing and un-pausing when trying to do something that requires brain work to assist little people), a half day to cut, because I had to measure one piece get it cut, then measure another so that we had no wastage of the MDF. Putting it together didn’t take too long surprisingly. (That’s the beauty of quick dry wood glue, it sticks enough to get the next piece on. I did however have to let it sit over night to make sure it was completely dry). Then a complete day of gluing the fabric on and making the cushions. 

Here is a more detailed look at how I made the lounge:

The Measurements:

The prototype couch before the house was made (as you saw in my last post), fit perfectly in the intended spot for it, I was just going to use it and not worry about making another one but I really wanted to improve the design. So I worked off of the measurements of this one and made one with a 1cm back and an arm rest. These were my final measurements:  

 

The Cutting:

I actually didn’t get a photo of the cutting process, but it was a long process having to measure and cut to save on MDF and also to make sure we didn’t take off a couple of mls of the piece next to it.

 

 

 

 

The Gluing:

This process was pretty easy and didn’t take more than about an hour. The glue dried fast enough for it to be able to stick together and not fall apart while I did the next piece.

As I was putting it together I noticed that either my measurements were out or the cutting wasn’t right. Either way the couch didn’t come together how I was imagining it. There were gaps and crooked pieces and it looked like and felt like it would fall apart while the girls played. So I used some other smaller off cuts to put in the gaps and waited for it completely dry before seeing if I needed more reinforcements.

The Covering:

The covering took me a little while, I have never done any thing like it before and it was a new experience. I used a hot glue gun to glue the material onto the wood. The first one I messed up pretty badly, I have all of the folds on the top, which when I did my practise run it was all where it wouldn’t be seen. I guess because I kept burning myself and my glue gun wouldn’t stop leaking and I was trying to work fast that my whole id

ea of how it was supposed to be just went out the window. I don’t know. But here is the results of that:

 

 

The Cushions:

This was a crazy unnecessary waste of time for most of it. Don’t ask me what my brain was thinking. I should always remember; google is friend, youtube is friend. But my brain just kept trying to teach itself some thing that it was just never going to get.

Instead of making just plain cushions like this:

I wanted to make them like this: 

(I did want them to look a little better but ended up getting a bit frustrated).

I tried making 2 squares and a long strip to sew around the edges, but then couldn’t get it to sew the ends up, I cut it and tried to do it in different sections but couldn’t figure out the trick to make the corners neat.

 

So I unpicked it and googled how to make cushions and found a youtube video of a guy making seat cushions. He measured the top with the sides and cut the corners and sewed them together. I decided to do that method

 

Although mine didn’t turn out like his (nice and neat) I was happy with what they did turn out like in the end.

 

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day, Angie xo

 

Hey!

So, the tool came that we needed a while back. But finding the time to start the project has been a bit hard. We had all of the materials gathered and ready, we just didn’t have the tool to cut the pieces of wood. So then other stuff became a priority while we waited and then this new project was pushed to the side for a couple of weeks after the tool came.

A couple of months ago, in June actually. My daughters were going through the Big W toy sale catalogue and circled all of the houses in it. It didn’t matter if it was a dinosaur house, fairy house, barbie house etc. They circled them all. The main ones they really wanted was the LOL Surprise Doll house and the Barbie house with the slide. Their doll house was from before my second daughter was born so I thought it would be a good idea to get them a new one for Christmas. I looked at it for a bit and asked my littlest one what she would want in a doll house (the eldest one was at school). She rattled off a few things and the only thing the other Barbie house had that was on her extras list was a slide that went into a pool, . The other things were a room for Sam (her boy doll) Chelsea (the girl doll) a room for the mum and dad their babies. (When the big one came home she was happy with what her sister had chosen), with some added things. So I asked them if they would like me to make them a doll house and that is how the doll house journey began.

My inspiration came from a picture I found on Pinterest. My doll house is kind of based off of it: 

With the picture of what I wanted to do in mind, next was working out how big and what measurements I needed for a good sized barbie house. I tried to base my measurements on the 1:6 ratio for barbie houses, but if I am being honest and to all the people who know me, know this: my maths is terrible! I had no clue how to calculate it. I even spent a few hours watching videos on youtube and reading things on the internet.  That was not sitting well with me. I think all up I wasted a whole day trying to figure it out. I did end up with the conclusion, (with some help from the brains of this operation), that I would need to picture a doll in a 100 x 100 x 300mm rectangular box. (I also got a big headache).   

My next move was to make a couch. Yep. I made a prototype couch out of left over MDF I had from making the sections in my drawers. I thought that if I made the couch it would give me a rough 3D view of how big the furniture and space I will need for the furniture would need to be.

I got a rough idea in my head and then we headed to bunnings to check out the wood… and then came home. So many options! I decided to google what type of wood was good for doll houses and alot of them were MDF. The ones I saw on youtube had the plywood stuff so I was a little worried I was choosing the wrong wood. But went with MDF any way. (No Regrets, yet).

When we went back to bunnings we found a piece of 1200 x 600mm MDF and the choice was made. The floor space would be 1200 x 450mm. We would only need to cut 150mm off of the side. I taped some sheets of paper together and measured the size of the board onto them. I had 3 storeys in mind with a little attic type thing at the top with a roof. I made all on the paper except for the attic. I wasn’t sure what to do with that part yet.

I spent all day figuring out the measurements of the loungeroom, dining room and kitchen furniture and drawing it onto one of the pieces of paper. I had figured out what I wanted and the measurements. The kids room floor were the same the next day. I didn’t worry about the top floor before the attic because I just based the measurements off of dividing the rooms up and making the master bedroom the biggest. 

With a few calculations and some drawings it was time to go and get the wood needed. We worked out that if we were to get 2 1200 x 600mm and we would cut 150mm off of them, we would have 2 floor spaces and the roof (which would be a little on the thinner side, but didn’t matter). No wasting here! We then chose to  get 4 1800 x 450mms and cut the excess 600 off of two of them to make 2 more floor spaces and the left over would be for the wall dividers. The remaining two would be the sides. Which calculated to be 1140mm. The excess would be wall dividers also. Then for the backing a 2440 x 1220 x 3mm sheet of MDf. The left over is to make furniture for the doll house. So all up we had: 2 1200 x 600mm, 4 1800 x 450mm and 1 2440 x 1220 x 3mm pieces of MDF. (Try storing that with no shed space). For about a month it was just crammed into my sewing room and the biggest sheet on the floor covered in a bed sheet because we had no way to cut it.

We ordered a jigsaw after we bought the wood, and because of Covid-19, they were out of stock so it was a little bit of a wait and then like I said previously, other things got in the way.

Then when we got the jigsaw, we thought it would be an awesome idea to cut the two 1200 x 600mm together, looking at the blade thing it looked long enough to get through the two at once. Big mistake. Big disaster. But… fatter roof pieces could be cut off of it, WIN). Back to bunnings to get a piece that was 1200 x 900mm and cut straight down the middle. Fixed.

So for the past week and a half we have been busy bees. Measuring, cutting (well I didn’t cut, I tried and I am still wayyy too wonky donky), making mistakes, measuring again, cutting again, then painting (that was the girls and I) and building. (Brent and I). It wasn’t until we were building the project that we decided on the exact positioning of the sections but in the end it turned out great. The girls are very pleased and I am quite excited to start decorating it for them.

Here is the shell of the awesome little doll house I am hoping the girls will treasure and make some cool little barbie stories with:

Angie xo