The Den of Slack

Seaside Villa porch lattice and flooring

I first learned to use plastic needlepoint canvas as 1:24 scale lattice when my Gull Bay came with some. What a brilliant idea! It’s cheap, too — I paid about two dollars for a 12″ x 18″ piece to make lattice for the Seaside Villa, and will have a ton left over.

I painted the section of the foundation to be covered with lattice black, and then cut the canvas on a diagonal. Since the trim on this house is white, I don’t even have to paint it.

I made a frame for the lattice out of 1/4″ x 1/16″ strip wood, painted the same gray as the house. I did this with the house lying on its side and lined the edges of the strip wood up with the bottom of the foundation.

But when I set the house upright, I realized it’s not quite square and the front part of the foundation is slightly lifted off the table.

The glue hadn’t dried yet, so I pulled off the side pieces and replaced them with pieces that were slightly longer. Then I added wood filler to the seams, did a final coat of paint, and cut the lattice to fit inside the hole.

Next I added flooring to the porches. A local hobby shop closed down over the summer (sob) and I bought a bundle of very thin wood pieces in their going out of business sale. Most of the bundle are dark brown, but there were about 15 raw pieces that I pulled out.

These are 3/16″ wide, perfect for 1:24 scale floorboards.

I dyed the end of one with Minwax Classic Gray as a test — it goes well with the gray paint.

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Seaside Villa egg carton stone foundation

I planned to give the Seaside Villa a brick foundation. I bought this embossed brick paper back when I was going to paint the house Belgian Waffle. It would have looked good with that color scheme, but it’s too orange to go with the gray.

I dug around in my stash to see what else would work. These are Lemax bricks that I bought years ago the day after Christmas, at a deep discount. A little too fake looking. I considered painting them gray but it wasn’t really singing to me.

This is a leftover scrap of the paper I used for Sam & Max’s office. The color is great, but the scale is not (the paper is 1:12 scale and the Seaside Villa is 1:24 scale). This paper does come in half scale so I could have bought some of that, but I didn’t need anything else and didn’t want to pay more for shipping than the paper cost.

So I turned to the old standby: egg cartons. I don’t know who came up with the idea of using egg cartons for dollhouse stone, but I owe that person a debt of gratitude, because it’s one of my favorite techniques. I’ve used egg cartons to make a stone foundation for the Hillside Victorian, the foundation and chimney on the Queen Anne Rowhouse (pictured below), a fireplace, a wishing well, and probably other things I’m forgetting.

Egg cartons can also be used to make bricks — I really liked how this turned out in my Four Seasons Roombox. (The “concrete” stoop is also made from pieces of egg carton.)

But cutting and applying those tiny bricks is really tedious, especially in half scale. Back in 2015 (!) I started putting egg carton brick on the Victorianna’s foundation and I still haven’t finished it.

So, stone it is, but I didn’t want it to look exactly the same as the Rowhouse’s foundation. I Googled “stacked stone foundation” and found this website with some pictures. I decided to try something similar to the fully pitched Scotch bond. I cut a couple of egg carton lids into 1/2″ wide strips, and then cut these into 1/2″ and 3/4″ pieces.

These will be staggered to look something like this.

I’d neglected to paint the bottom edges of the walls when I did the rest of the house, so I did that first.

With the house on its side I realized I had not done a good job of painting the undersides of the lap siding when I painted over the Belgian Waffle with gray. You can’t see it when the house is upright, but I took this opportunity to touch it up.

Next I painted the stone part of the foundation with gray paint (Granite Gray from Glidden), and under the porch with black (this will get lattice instead of stone).

When the paint was dry, I glued on the egg carton stones, leaving small cracks between them. I snipped off the corners on the stones, which makes them look more like stones and less like pieces of cut-up cardboard.

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Rowhouse stair room finished

I actually did finish the Rowhouse stair room the same weekend I last posted about it, just didn’t get around to writing about it until today…

Before I tackled the trim in the the stair room, I glued in the attic stairs and fixed the floor around the opening. My tasks were to cut new frame pieces for the side and edge of the hole, and to patch holes in the floorboards that occurred when I pulled out the original staircase.

I had saved this little piece of floorboard all this time, intending to glue it back in, but you could tell it was a repair.

On to Plan B – I used a razor blade to pry out the rest of the board.

I cut a replacement floorboard, as well as new frame pieces for the side and edge of the hole. The remaining gap is where the top step used to be.

Even with the border piece added, the gap was a little too big for a floorboard.

I cut a teeny tiny sliver off a piece of floorboard to make up the difference.

Here it is with the new pieces stained and glued in.

I had to sand the edges of the floorboards to get the side piece to fit, and I sanded a bit too much. There a visible crack where the floorboards don’t butt up against the trim piece.

I used Minwax Golden Oak wood filler (same color as the stain) to fill that in.

Here’s the finished attic. I want to replace those two brown chairs with bar stools and add a table with the cocktail set I made for last year’s half scale swap. I like these chairs but the shipping from Australia is too expensive.

Heading downstairs. Now that the shelves have their accessories glued in, I can glue the bookcases into the house. This is necessary because once the stair railing is glued in, there won’t be enough space to remove them.

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