Sunday DIY: Magic in miniature

By Greig Morgan

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Greig Morgan's clever little dolls house will make young eyes light up

This dolls' house is child's play to make. Photo / Michael Craig
This dolls' house is child's play to make. Photo / Michael Craig

For many children, a dolls' house is the holy grail of play equipment. If you buy one from a shop you may bankrupt yourself, so why not make one instead? It's not as complicated as you may imagine and the result is spectacular.


Step 1 - Draw a sketch plan with measurements in proportion to how you'd like the house to look and to suit any miniature furniture sets your child may already have.

Step 2 - Bottom levelMeasure and cut the floor out to your measurements - this is your starting point.

Step 3 - Measure and cut the two sides at the height required; this will give you the height for the second level. Now measure and cut the sides at the same width as the floor.

Step 4 - Measure, mark and cut the front piece at the same height as the side pieces and to fit flush on the outer side pieces.

Step 5 - Measure and mark the positioning of the windows to whatever shape you like using a jig saw.

Don't forget to cut out the positioning for the door, allowing enough room so the child's dolls can get in and out.

Step 6 - Fix the side pieces to the floor with glue and nails, before fixing the front to the floor and side pieces.

Step 7 - Top levelMeasure, mark and cut the floor to overhang the sides, and front if you like, on the bottom level.

Step 8 - Repeat the steps on cutting and fixing the side pieces together.

Step 9 - For the front piece, cut to fit flush with the side pieces as before, but this time instead of cutting the top flat, mark the centre higher, giving you the angle for your roof pitch, down to the height of the sides.

Step 10 - Cut four pieces of framing to the same angle as your roof pitch. Two to be fixed flush and on the inside front piece.

Step 11 - Cut and fix two pieces of framing for the open side of house. Cut the top edges to fit flush against the roof framing. Cut to fit the framing support at the bottom level as well.

Step 12 - Cut roof rafters to fit framing, creating one for the centre, one fixed to the sides and the rest evenly spaced along the roofline.

Step 13 - Measure and cut your roofing to size, allowing for an overhang on the sides, front and back, before fixing to the rafters with glue and nails.

Step 14 - Using a jig saw, mark and cut out an opening for the stairs from the top floor. This should be off to one side, and of the same width as the stairs you want to make.

Step 15 - Mark out on the bottom floor for the placement angle of your steps, then mark and cut two step pieces, one to sit flat on the floor and one on the top floor cut out. Now divide the upward angle evenly to give you your risers and treads.

Step 16 - Cut out a piece of MDF for your door, allowing an even gap to fit when fixing the hinges to your door opening. Remember to put on your handle.

Step 17 - Make any shaped trims around the outside, either with paint or with cut-out pieces, to give as much or as little detail as you like.

Tips

Before you start cutting out your windows, drill a suitably-sized hole first through which you can fit the jig saw blade.

Painting the components before putting them together makes the job a little easier.


Materials
• MDF 6mm, (roof, door, trims) 9mm (sides, front & floor)
• Pine 40x20mm (framing)
• Pine 50x35mm (steps)
• Small butt hinges x2 (door)
• Plastic (windows)
• 25mm panel pin nails
• 15mm screws
• Push pin (handle)
• Wood glue
• 120g sandpaper
• Wood filler
• Paint to suit

Tools
• Mitre saw
• Jig saw
• Square
• Nail punch
• Tape measure
• Pencil
• Putty knife
• Scissors
• Hand plane
• Hammer
• 12mm drill bit
• Screw gun
• Paint brush

- Herald on Sunday

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