Saturday, March 25, 2017

Building a faux primitive dollhouse

After seeing so many wonderful little primitive/folk dollhouses on eBay that I couldn’t afford I decided to make my own.
Then I came across two wonderfully handmade little creatures. Cookie the giraffe and Dee the dragon. A wonderful artist in Australia made them, Di Paulovich. You should take a look at her art its just amazing. Woollybuttbears on Etsy.

Cookie was perfect because she also has a vintage look. So she has been cheering me on along the way.

I was amped to finally start working in my newly organized wood-workshop in my basement. For the past three years I have been working hard at selling things I inherited out of my childhood home to make room. Thank you eBay!!

My goal for this build was to only use scrap wood I had in my basement. My father left me with some sheets of scrap wood from projects he worked on and always told me never to throw them out. I used my table saw, jigsaw, and drill to cut everything out. (The drill was used to drill holes in 2 of the corners of the window to fit the jigsaw into to cut out the squares.)

I also had some cans of paint left over from painting my human size house and mixed a few colors together.

After it was painted and dry I sanded it with coarse sandpaper, then used pastels rubbed on with my fingers and a damp coarse paint brush to dirty things up. The molding was left over stained wood from my Santa cottage that was damaged because of a white paint accident. I painted and sanded it so the dark stain came through.

I used finishing nails (which keep the wood from splitting) to piece everything together .

The beautiful floor was the only part I kept nice. I was just about to cave in and go to Home Depot to get nice wood for the floors when I found a thin sheet of this behind some boxes. So I stained, varnished, cut, and glued it onto a thicker piece of plywood.
I was so nervous because I only had a small bit of it and one wrong cut would ruin everything. Somehow I did mis-measure, but I trimmed out the mishap with molding on the bottom floor. It only added charm and mystery to the “old” house.

Above show my mis-measure before I trimmed it out.

I love looking at old primitive/folk dollhouses because they have a mysterious story. Imagining who made them so long ago and who they made them for is fun for me. And the fact that some have made it though the years of being handed down, getting thrown into moving vans or withstanding summer heat and winter chill in attics just add to the respect they deserve.

The fun in making this one was the freedom. Definitely more physically challenging because of the use of power tools and heavier wood, but lots of fun. I have always loved the sound of power tools and the smell of fresh cut wood since I was little. I would help my dad with small projects and my neighbor is a contractor so I grew up hearing his tools in his work shed.
Unfortunately my poor fingers get splinters and scraps throughout the process because gloves drive me nuts. But it’s nothing that a Hello Kitty band-aid can’t fix! This is also a great warm-up for building my next scratch build (1920s farm cottage). That will be much more precise.

Still have to finish the outside, but I was so excited I wanted to share my progress. 
I am still debating adding a skylight just incase Cookie the giraffe's neck decides to grow. ;)


I may add some shutters and window boxes.