Puzzle house redux

The puzzle house that I was so gung-ho about last fall has been sitting patiently in the workshop while I’ve been focused on the Fairfield, so yesterday I gave it some love. Months later, I’m still unhappy with how off-center the upstairs window looked under the gable (you can see a picture here), so I tried to balance it out with some homemade apex trim. Nothing I could buy commercially seemed to be the right angle—it’s about 60 degrees, and most apex trim is 45. So I cobbled this together out of some trim from the Orchid that I didn’t use when I built that house, and a half scale newel post.

This is the dry fit. The gap between the two trim pieces was too big to bridge with wood filler. I was fiddling with basswood, trying to figure out how to connect the two pieces, and thought of some apex trim I’ve seen in the dollhouse store that has a decorative doodad hanging down from the middle. I just happened to have some newel posts handy…

Thinking that the window, newel post, and trim would be too similar if they were all the same color, I decided to try a different accent color for the trim. This is Warm Caramel, another shade that Glidden recommends to go with the Belgian Waffle my house is painted with.

These weren’t the easiest pieces to glue! Luckily the fit up in the angle is tight, so I was able to wedge everything in while the glue dried.

I’m having trouble deciding if the end result is cute and funky… or just weird. At the very least, I’m starting to think I should have used the Sandy Feet paint I used for all the windows and other trim, rather than the Warm Caramel. The color goes with everything else just fine, but it’s the only place the darker color is used, and together with the black shingles, the whole top of the house is looking a lot darker than the bottom. (Yes, I’m a perfectionist!) So the jury’s still out on this. But I do like it better with trim than without.

I also papered the two downstairs rooms, which are nice and square and went together very easily. I suspect the upstairs rooms won’t be quite as much fun. I used scrapbook paper for the walls and white bumpy paper that looks like plaster for the ceilings. (I bought a roll of the stuff at Lowe’s years ago and so much remains, I’ll probably be using it on dollhouse ceilings for years to come…) I’m planning to lay skinny stick hardwood floors and add baseboards, window trim, and crown molding, but I’ll paper the upstairs rooms first and do all of that at the same time.


  1. A. Wright

    I love how it turned out. I’ve still got mine from last year on my to do list :/ I really like the window upgrades you used, I may have to borrow some inspiration here for mine :)

    • Emily

      Thanks! I used these windows since I already had them, but I think Houseworks windows would look nice, too — especially in the dormer, they have round and octagonal windows that I think would work great in that space.

  2. John Morganti

    Cute detail Em. Consider shortening the post so that the bottom curves of the two side trims “land” against the square part and have only the ball protruding down. I think it would look more realistic.

  3. KLC

    Love the apex trim, it’s definitely cute and funky, not weird at all. If you’re interested imo, I’d paint it the sandyfeet colour too. Great work!

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