Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Dollhouse Kit Assembled

My 11-year-old niece is mad at me. What's the point of her old aunt (me) building a dollhouse if I'm not going to give it to her (the niece) to play with? Hard to explain that it is for her, really, but it may take me 20 years to "finish" it. Twenty years seems an impossibly long time when you're eleven going on twelve.

But for the moment, I'm done with construction... apart from a few paint touch-ups and a little bit of judicious gluing and wood-filling, that is. I've decided to leave out the shutters, the downspout and the staircase, as I don't like the way they look. On the other hand, I've added quite a bit of detail the kit didn't specify... particularly extra bits to strengthen potential weak spots.

The box label that promised "easy assembly" lied. It was a full work week for someone with a house full of tools, a lot of determination and a fair supply of DIY know-how. But I must say, the design is ingenious, and produces a pretty opulent effect for something that's almost entirely made of cheap, thin plywood and glue. (Lots of glue.)

Oh, and roughly 400 redwood shakes, which had to be glued on by hand, one by one. I had a momentary panic when I ran out of glue (this being a holiday weekend with nary a hardware store in sight), but a kind neighbour family helped me out. This is why it`s good to share banana bread when you have extra.

I've already collected a few bits and pieces of furniture, but doesn't this bedroom have the gloomy look of the summer home after everyone's packed up to leave at the end of the season? That 20 years of extras would include things like quilts and pillows, pictures on the walls...

...perhaps some brushes and combs for the dressing room...

...a stove in the kitchen (that's coming, actually!) The washtub needs to be hung on the wall. I could do with a few more jam jars too. I made myself a prototype for about 15 cents. More to come.

That cat plate on the little chest of drawers needs to be mounted on the wall. And what about some rugs and a curio shelf? Not to mention seasonal items like a Christmas tree. A loaf of bread would be nice with the tea, too, now that I think of it.

But for the moment, I`m feeling quite pleased with myself, despite the odd plywood sliver working its way back out of my poor fingers. This is my first try at a project like this, and although I wish I could apply some of the lessons I learned along the way (too late!), there`s nothing I feel too bad about to kill the satisfaction of looking at this pretty, sturdy little dollhouse and knowing I put it together myself (with a little help from my brother when my hands got too blistered to cut the last few sticks of trim).

And for now, back to my regular work as a writer instead of a doll contractor.

1 comment:

  1. I am impressed! The house looks wonderful. You did a great job. I didn't know the finished kit would be so quaint and detailed. Congratulations!