Sunday, August 20, 2017

A dollhouse castle for my son

I've spent the summer building a dollhouse castle for my son, using the paperclay techniques I learned in Teresa Layman's wonderful class.  I recommend checking out her website:

Here is the beginning:  one front wall with the bottom floor:

My children and their 2 cousins play with dollhouse furniture and 3 dollhouses all summer at their grandmother's house, and I thought my son might want his own, so that the girls can have their own. (I offered my daughter her own as well, but she prefers the dollhouse that my mom built that is out here.  I should have taken pictures of that dollhouse.)

I have to admit that for some reason, when I first discussed it with my son, I thought the Dolls House Emporium castle would be an affordable option, but maybe I saw it when it was on sale or I just misread the price, but with shipping, it was going to be too much, so I realized I should just make my own.

For the floor, I used an awl to cut lines in the plywood to simulate flooring, and then I used Otterine's nail technique (although I did not add rust because I was afraid I would get that everywhere).  Then I stained it cherry.

Here is the door (same technique used as the floor) -  I used the plywood that I cut out:

I wanted to create a stained glass window, and I figured it should be a picture of a knight.

I had my local copy shop print out a knight picture on a transparency:

But I didn't check it closely enough at the shop (in a rush as usual), and part of the armor on the leg is missing, plus my son liked the brighter color, so I used the color printout behind a piece of plexiglass.  I painted the plexiglass with modge podge, but I don't think you can really see the effect.  Maybe I will use the transparency on the second floor. I still like it. 

Then I started painting the castle wall.

With the door and windows (the castle was renovated and so they put in modern windows :).

I bought a beautiful door handle from Olde Mountain Miniatures, which I still have to attach, but for practical use, I just partially screwed in a screw - because my son will have to use that to open it.  I fear the other handle will quickly come off if actually used as a handle.  The door has to be sanded more because it sticks. 

I also worked on the interior walls and glued it together (although not that one wall dividing the living room/dining room from the kitchen which still needs a door cut out).  I am thinking about tiling the kitchen, but the wood floors are very easy so maybe I will do that again. 

I managed to finally sand down the window to fit in the stained glass window and glued it into the partially painted wall.

Then I couldn't resist playing with it with some furniture.

I am thinking about covering this wall in this velvet fabric.

And then I added one of the front walls with these amazing bi-fold hinges I bought on Amazon that work so smoothly - perfect for kids to play with!  I love them.  

And here it is:

We have left my mom's house until September,so hopefully I will be able to work on it again on some September weekends.  I am excited to attach the other wall and to finish painting that other wall. 

The second floor (with its three bedrooms), though, may have to wait until next summer.

Have a great week!


  1. Love your stonework! I actually like the stained glass. It doesn't look like he's missing anything. His surcoat drapes over one leg so the armor isn't visible but nothing looks like a misprint to me.

    1. You're right. I just put it backwards from the other print - which is why I thought it was different from the paper picture. Way too tired me. I will try to use it upstairs in the boys bedroom.

  2. What a wonderful castle for an imaginative boy! He must be so excited to see it coming together and turning out so cool!

    1. He is SO excited. I hear him talking a lot about his castle.

  3. Love what you've done so far! This is going to be fabulous!

    1. Thank you! I love what you have done on your HBS build! So stunning!