Saturday, 25 December 2010

Making the Christmas dollshouse

I won the house on eBay last year. Originally I was looking for a kit I could customise, but found a ready built house that was just right. It is handmade and not from a kit.

The idea was to make a Swedish Christmas dollshouse, pretty much as Algot's old house near Lulea could have looked at Christmas.

The dollshouse proportions are much smaller, with just three rooms, 8in, 7 1/2in and 8in wide - (from left) a bedroom, living room and kitchen.

Furniture was customised from commercially made dolls house furniture and kits. Some of it was originally bought for other house projects, where it didn't work well in the rooms. The accessories had to be glued in place, as this was the only way to make them stand or drape realisitically.

The curtain poles are bamboo barbecue skewers painted gold, with metal jump rings for curtain rings (glued in place) and metal beads at the ends. The curtains were starched, pleated and glued to the poles. The rugs are offcuts of striped Japanese cotton.

The Swedish bench was made using the frame from the House of Miniatures Chippendale sofa kit, with turned legs by Houseworks replacing the straight leg frame supplied with the kit. The "carving" is a brass pressing painted. I painted the bench green at first but it didn't look right.

Sofa cushions made from faux applique fabric.

The Christmas tree was bought undecorated and most of the 'ornaments' are beads. It has 24 miniature lights. The tinsel is a scrapbooking trim. The star was made from an enamelled metal filigree from the Button Lady, backed with thin gold painted card.

The stove was unfinished wood and painted to look like enamel (I hope), using an acrylic enamel. The kitchenware is assembled from a Chrysnbon kit (plastic, a bit like Airfix kits) and painted with traditional enamels. These give a better finish than the acrylic enamel, as they dry more slowly. The miniature turkey and other food was handmade by various dolls house suppliers - very specialised work and it would have been a lot more outlay on Fimo and other materials to try to do them myself.

Kitchen sink with potatoes in the "water" (pva glue, now dried clear) -

The angels on top of the dresser are plastic figures I "gilded with acrylic paint.

The "sweets" are beads and the mini Christmas tree is made out of scrapbooking tree laser cutouts. The runner is braid. Candle holder is made from a flat metal bead & dolls house candle.

These "candles" and their holder are made from beads and a painted wooden disk. The heavy brass goblets have been hoarded over many years from the fronts of Kirschberry wine bottles.

I made hangers for the Christmas cards from ribbon, thread and metal beads -

Unfortunately the bed sheet on the larger bed was glued to the mattress and couldn't be removed - or another added easily. I unpicked the unfilled "duvet cover" that came with the bed and remade it into two duvets, adding the miniature check. I tried shaping the duvet using a layer of tinfoil (tip from a miniature quilt website) but ordinary tinfoil isn't strong enough, so I had to glue them on. The sweater on the bed (being wrapped) is made from an old sock. The wrapped present on the end of the bed has an empty sewing machine needle packet inside. The painted cupboard is a very inexpensive piece by Eye Candy which looks very much like old Scandinavian country furniture - cupboard door paintings.

Filling miniature frames & photo albums was fun. It's the kind of detail that makes a dollshouse more personal.

The wall decoration is made from Swedish Christmas ribbon, tiny bells, a cocktail stick and two metal jewllery pieces, assembled by sewing & with superglue for the stars. The mirrors were made from mirrored acrylic and metal frames. The hearts wallhanging on the side of the bedroom cupboard is another ribbon, with a metal Christmas tree pendant.

There are still a few more things to add...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Such amazing detail Susan! It's fascinating! :)