The Den of Slack

Victorianna upstairs hallway

Half scale dollhouses often need to be decorated as they’re built, or else you end up with spaces where it’s too hard to reach your hands in. I give you Exhibit A: the Victorianna’s upstairs hallway.

Because of how I’m bashing the house, this is a long skinny hallway that takes up the whole luan plywood half of the house and extends into the birch plywood half. The space is 2″ wide and about 9″ deep. The wall on the right is part of the structure, but I put off adding the one on the left until after I’d finished the hardwood floors and wallpapered the right wall.

Next I glued in the wardrobe that’s forming part of the left wall, and the wall itself. The ceiling isn’t glued in, it’s just there to hold them in place while the glue dries.

Here’s the hallway with both walls glued in. It’s starting to be a tight squeeze!

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Victorianna – assembling the second half

Moving on to the second half of the Victorianna, here’s the back side of the part I built first, ready to get the back wall glued on.

The back wall was a bit warped so I used lots of clamps. I had previously glued together the back walls from the two Victorianna kits, so this piece is double thickness. I had to be careful not to get too much glue in the slots that would dry into glops and interfere with the tabs for the remaining walls and floors.

Here’s the half I’ve been working on, with the back attached.

Before gluing in walls and floors on the other side, I added a piece of wallpaper to the living room wall that wraps around above the fake closet door. I wanted to deal with this before the other walls were glued in, so I wouldn’t have to reach my hands in.

The wall the closet door is on isn’t quite flush with the walls perpendicular to it. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be this way but by the time I realized it, it was kind of too late to fix. I added a piece of basswood to add enough depth for the crown molding to attach. Then I cut and painted the crown, but didn’t glue it on yet since the ceiling paper from the other side of the house will overlap here.

Next I glued in the walls and first and second floor. During gluing I put the third floor in for stability, but didn’t glue it yet to make wallpapering the hallway and bedrooms easier.

Ta da – a double-wide house!

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Tomy dollhouse kitchen (a.k.a. “embracing the yellow”)

Working my way through the Tomy Smaller Homes revamp, the next room I tackled was the kitchen. I bought the kitchen furniture second-hand off eBay and it was kind of grimy, so I started by washing the pieces with soap and water and putting them out in the sun to dry.

I had thought about painting over the yellow cabinets for a more realistic look, but it would have been a lot of work with potentially bad results, so I decided to embrace the yellow. I looked online for pictures of “mod kitchens” and got some good ideas. First off, I decided to make the white knobs silver, using my trusty silver Sharpie.

I colored over just the top part of each knob — not the handle, because it would have been too easy to get ink on the cabinets.

Then I did the same with the orange bar stools.

The finish isn’t perfect, but it’s neater than paint and appropriately metallic.

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