Lately, we have been submerged in the world of dollhouses. One is finished, and a couple more are planned, so I am eager to share our experience and ideas. In this article, I would like to tell you how to make a simple fireplace for a dollhouse. A fireplace is a very cozy detail for every house, whether big or small, and looks great in different settings: a vintage manor, a castle, a modern house or a little hut in the forest.
When I decided that the dollhouse I was making for my son needed a fireplace, I was thinking of sculpting it from clay. But it would have taken a while and turned out too heavy for a portable play set. It would be only one small detail, and it could take a several days to make. No, I was planning to make the whole house in a couple of days! So I needed a simpler solution.
I thought of painting it on the walls, but that did not seem realistic enough. If only I could add some dimension to it… So I took wooden blocks and built a fireplace with them. The form looked great! All I needed to do was to paint it now.
– a set of cheap wooden blocks (like these blocks)
– wood glue (like Elmer’s Wood Glue)
– acrylic paints (if you are building a dollhouse, it is a good idea to buy a set, but for this project I used titanium white, cadmium red, yellow ochre and burnt sienna)
– (optional) white paint marker (like Pentel)
1. Take a set of cheap blocks and build the shape of a fireplace you like. Trim the ends of the blocks with a handsaw to make the fireplace fit well into the height of the rooms. Glue the blocks together with wood glue and let the construction dry for an hour or so.
2. Make a brick colour by mixing together cadmium red, yellow ochre, white and a bit of burnt sienna. Paint the whole fireplace with this colour. Do not paint the back or the bottom because it will be glued to the walls and the floor. Take a white paint marker or a thin brush and paint the bricks. You can use a ruler to create straight lines.
3. Age the fireplace by using a dry brush with burnt sienna, thinned with water on it. Also use the paint on some individual bricks to create a variety of colours.
4. Take a sheet of black paper and glue it to the back of the fireplace – nobody wallpapers the inside of a fireplace, after all!
5. Use glue for attaching the fireplace to the walls and the floor permanently.
6. You could use dowels for creating a little fence in front of the fireplace, or a very thin piece of a trim to create a moulding on top. Experiment with the design to make it the way that suits your house!
If you like building doll houses, you may also find these related activities interesting:
– Dollhouse in a Box: take a look at the house for which this fireplace was built!
– Fairy Tree House: build the house, using natural materials from your backyard
– Furniture for the Fairy Tree House: furniture does not have to be complicated either for fairies
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