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Victorianna – bay window exterior

I think die cut dollhouses look best when the plywood is covered up. It takes a lot of sanding and prep work to give luan plywood a nice finish, and I’ve never managed to completely hide slots/tabs no matter how much wood filler I use. My back to back Victorianna is half birch plywood, which is a step up from the luan quality-wise, but the two sides need to match, so I’ve been planning all along to cover up the bay windows somehow.

I looked at a lot of real houses to figure out how to tackle this. (Dollhouse bay windows rarely look like real bay windows…) Luckily, living in San Francisco, I see tons of bay windows just walking around my neighborhood, so I took inspiration from some of those. Also pictures like this (from a page about Victorian house styles) and this (from Houzz) gave me ideas.

After months of putting this off, I finally came up with a plan and went to Dollhouses Trains and More for the wood. Those little pieces add up! I spent about $50 on strip wood (not all of it’s for the bays, but it is all for the Victorianna…)

I wanted some kind of cornice for the top and bottom of each bay window. It needed to be around 1/4″ tall, 1/8″ deep, and have a flat edge on the top and bottom. I couldn’t find anything like what I wanted, so I ended up getting a flat trim (chair rail maybe?) and gluing it to a piece of 1/4″ x 1/8″ strip wood. Here you can see the two pieces at the bottom, and a glued together piece sitting on the porch.

I’m using 1:12 corner blocks as a decorative element. These were a bit too thick for my purposes so I sliced off the backs with a utility knife. Some got a bit mangled but I managed to cut them all without destroying any completely.

Here’s the concept. The vertical pieces are 3/8″ wide x 5/16″ deep, with a piece of quarter round filling the gap between them. The window acetate will be glued to the exterior walls, sandwiched under the strip wood.

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Half scale suede sofa tutorial

My Victorianna has a deep living room in need of a couple of modern couches, but the pickings are slim in half scale… so I made my own! These are made with wood and suede scrapbook paper that looks just like the suede/microfiber that’s so popular on couches lately. They’re kind of time intensive, with a lot of steps, but the end result sure is pretty.

After making the larger one as a prototype, I perfected the process with the smaller one and took oodles of pictures so I could post a tutorial. These are 1:24 scale, but of course you can use the same method for a 1:12 couch if you double all the dimensions.

Here’s the smaller couch with a Lee’s Line sofa for a size comparison. Most half scale couches are loveseat sized; that’s why I wanted to make a bigger one as well. (I actually started out planning to make a sectional, but mis-cut something early on and abandoned the idea…)

This is how they’ll be positioned in the Victorianna. Since the back of the larger one is on display, I had to make sure it looked good from every angle.

Read on for the tutorial, then go make your own!

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Victorianna – little girl’s room #1 complete

The Victorianna’s been on hold until I could make a Dollhouses Trains and More run to get all the trim needed for the exterior bay windows. (I was spoiled when I lived five minutes away from that place!) I made that trip over the weekend, so progress will be coming soon. First, though, I finished up the trim in the front bedroom (a.k.a. “little girl’s room #1″).

The bay window trim, baseboards, and crown molding were finished a few months ago. The remaining tasks were the edges of the wallpaper border, and the window.

When I glued in the wallpaper against the toy shelf I didn’t get it totally flush, so there was a sliver of bare wall at the top that needed covering up.

I added a very, very skinny piece of trim here. It’s not as tight against the side of the shelf as I wanted, but it’s unobtrusive and covers up the problem spot.

Then I added 5/32″ double bead trim to the tops and bottoms of the stuffed animal border. (It’s angled slightly where it meets the shelf, to fit over the trim piece.) I did my best to make the double bead straight, using the checkered wallpaper as a guide.

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