Thursday, July 18, 2013

Building a Haunted Doll House

I was never that into doll houses when I was a kid, but after seeing some of the haunted doll houses people are doing I changed my mind.  I have seen many neat doll houses that were repainted and turned into haunted doll houses.  That is a quick way to go, however, if I really want to get into decorating this thing I need to get the right scale and do it correctly the first time.  I knew I wanted 1:12 scale.  This means one inch in doll land is equal to one foot in the real world.  This is the scale most collectable doll furniture will be in.  Once I started looking for that scale of doll house I realized they were really big bucks.  No problem, I will just make my own.

This is the journey of building my dream haunted doll house:

I started by looking at pictures of spooky old houses and found a design I liked.  Then I went looking for the largest cardboard boxes I could find.  I drew a rough sketch of what I wanted.  Must have front porch, must have creepy attic, must have 9 ft ceilings and large rooms like an old manor house.
Once I had my design I just cut up my boxes and put it together with tape.

Now comes the paper mache.  I covered everything with paper mache; the walls, floors, ceilings, windows.  It is important to pay close attention to all joining pieces of cardboard. I would hate for it to fall apart later.  I was also careful to cover every edge; the walls, floors, windows.  This will make for much cleaner lines and a more finished out look.  

It took 10 hours to get the first coat finished.  Happily it was a third of that to do the second coat.

You will notice the walls and floors are not perfectly square.  I'd love to say it was by design, but truth is that it just sagged a little while drying.  It totally works, though, because I am building an old, dilapidated, haunted house.  The imperfections give it character and realism.  :)

The second coat seemed strong enough for me.  It will get more reinforcement when I attach the siding on the outside and the wall paper and flooring on the inside.

I hope you will check back and watch my progress on this build.

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