Table of Contents
This is part 2 of the story. This is what happened the first time I built a dollhouse. You can check out Part 1 for earlier details.
“Front” and “Back” Don’t Make Sense
With that crisis passed, I tried to figure out what I did wrong. I think what screwed me up was the terms “front” and “back.”
Yes, I know the difference. I did go to school.
But, in the instructions, “front” refers to the front of the dollhouse. As in, the door side. Which makes sense. When I talk about the front of my house, I’m talking about the door side, too. The one that faces the street. You know. The front door.
Thing is, with dollhouses, I don’t think of the door side as the front. I think of them as the back because, when you think about it, most dollhouses have the front facing away from you. That’s almost always the side to the wall. It’s that back that’s open and what you look in.
So, I guess as I pursue this, I’m going to have to change how I think! Front is back and back is front from now on.
Watching Glue Dry
Here’s the final result:
I put a lot of tape on the corners to make sure everything held in place. It’s masking tape, but I pulled it pretty tight to make sure everything stays together.
Get a Little Groovy
Then I had to put in the groove filler. It’s a piece of wood that goes in the gap by the stair hole. The groove to insert the floor piece goes all the way across (since you can put the upper floor piece in either way). So, the side pieces are all cut with the same groove all the way across.
The side with the stair hole ends up with a gap.
That’s what the groove filler is for, to create a solid wall on the stair hole side. The instructions warn that it will be a tight fit, and they are not kidding.
But first, I had to find the piece.
I probably should have done this before I started putting things together. But, if you read the post about unboxing day, you’ll know that I couldn’t tell what was what. I decided I would just figure things out as I went.
For this piece, that was OK. Mostly.
I ripped open the bag that had a ton of parts in it and spilled it out. Because that’s all I could do.
Since the groove filler is going on the inside and will probably be covered, I knew it had to look like the same brown as the floor pieces (not like the wood trim). Kind of like this. For the record, that’s not the right piece.
I finally figured out that it was a piece like that, only smaller, and it needs to go in vertically. Ah! All the pieces I was trying out I was putting in flat (like in the picture), and I couldn’t figure out what the heck piece I was looking for!
Once I realized I was putting the groove filler in wrong, I found the right piece, added some glue to the groove and tried shoving the piece in.
The instructions were not kidding. “Snug fit,” doesn’t even begin to describe it. I got out the hammer and tried to force it in, but no go. Sorry, no video of that.
Here’s a pic of what I ended up with. It’s hard to tell, but it’s sticking out a bit from the wall. Is that good or bad? I don’t know.
For fun, I grabbed half the stairs and shoved them in. They fit, snuggly, so I think I’m OK. Again, we’ll find out.
Tackling the Stairs
Since I had the glue out and was on a roll, I decided to do the stairs, too. Technically, I was supposed to do that before gluing together the house, but, hey, I’m not much for rules.
First, I had to figure out which half of the stairs were the top half. That took some doing. I had to take each half and flip it around to figure out which end fit “nicely” into the hole. By that, I mean, it looks like actual stairs that you might walk down without a gap or a bump you might trip on.
Then, I had to take the other piece and figure out which one went on the bottom. That was actually easier because (and you’ll see) it soon became obvious that there was only one piece that looked “normal” at the bottom of the steps. Everything else just didn’t look “right.”
I know that’s kind of vague and unhelpful, but, honestly, I think that was the best way to do this. The stair pieces aren’t labeled “top” and “bottom,” so I have to rely on my opinion to figure this out.
I suppose I could put them in however I want and say it’s some kind of surrealist version of a house. Or, that they’re moving staircases like at Hogwarts. But, I’ll wait until it’s time to actually put in the stairs, first.
Once I settled on the top piece, I played around with joining them and came up with this:
Here’s a side view:
It seems fine. I tried it out in the house, and I think it works. Problem is, it looks nothing like the picture in the instructions!
Well, that’s not totally true. In the picture, the bottom part of the stairs (the non-stair side) looks like a totally straight line. As you can see in the picture, the bottom part of my stairs aren’t totally straight. It’s close, but not quite. We’ll see how this works!
Also, I think I was supposed to put the stair stringer on the bottom, but there was no way I was trying that out this time.
Phew. That was a lot of work. I’m letting everything dry now. The next steps involve the roof. But, think I’m going to paint the walls, first. I have a feeling that’s the right choice for me. Plus, I still have to dye the shingles, and that looks like a massive project (that I already know is going to take about five days).
What do you think? Where did I go wrong? What would you do differently? Bets on what happens when I take the tape off?
Image credit: Canva