The dollhouse shingles were dry after five days. Here’s how they turned out.
I love them. They’re so pretty. Up close, there’s still some uneven dying, but, now that I’ve played with laying them out on the roof, I’m not worried. I’ll be able to cover and unevenness I don’t like.
Thing is, I was so worried about having enough time to dye and dry the dollhouse shingles, that I totally forgot that once they were dry, I need a place to put them!
Newbie mistake. (And, also, my newbie excitement.)
During those five days, I should have been assembling the dollhouse roof.
So, that was the next project. And what a project it was.
Collecting the Dollhouse Roof Parts
First, I grabbed my bag of pre-labeled dollhouse parts. Super glad I did that. It really makes things easier.
Then, I got the box because I’d been storing the roof piece in it (the solid piece for the singles), and that’s where I found this:
Some missing pieces. Fantastic! No stair stringer, though.
I grabbed the long piece and looked at it. Based on the parts list (and picture in the instructions), this one has to be the rear roof piece (the one that goes across the back). Notice the beveled edge.
Then, I grabbed the two side pieces and held them to the long piece. It looked just like the picture, so it was time to get gluing.
Glue Is Sticky
The instructions have a lovely picture (seriously. It’s quite useful) of how to put the rear roof together.
I did the exact same thing. Then, I taped it together and did a dry fit.
Everything looked good, so I started gluing the pieces with tacky glue.
I did the short edges on the “side” pieces. My first attempt involved way too much glue.
I wiped that off then glued the piece on. Then, I put the piece down on the newspaper to glue the other side together.
This did not go as planned.
As I had the two pieces resting on the newspaper, I added tacky glue to the third piece (the other short side piece), then glued it to the long piece. I held the two pieces together for a minute then saw some glue had leaked out, so I wiped it off. No big deal.
Then, it occurred to me that there was probably glue on the other side, and I should flip the whole piece over to get it.
I was right. There was glue. But, because I had waited too long, the glue on the first side had already started to tack to the newspaper. Sigh. I got it partly off, but not totally.
Stuck newspaper, though, was the least of my worries.
As I flipped the piece over, guess what fell off?
Yeah, the bond wasn’t very tight yet. I figured that would happen because it’s such a short edge connecting a long piece. So, sure. But, man! That messed me up.
I had to wipe off the glue, hold everything again, and just plain wait until I felt confident the bond was more secure.
And ignore that fact that there was more glue leaking out and that I was going to get more newspaper on the piece.
After the whole thing had tacked enough that I felt I could leave it alone, I grabbed the painters tape and taped the ends together to ensure there’s a decent bond.
Once these three pieces are tacked together, I have to attach it to the roof, and I don’t want the short ends falling off.
Even if it would make me laugh.
The Big Job
While the rear roof tacked, I tackled the front of the dollhouse roof. This is where a majority of the shingles will go. Fortunately, there’s no glue involved in the part of the project. There is, however, a little bit of measuring, drawing, and math!
It’s important to get this right.
The measuring and the drawing are to create the shingle guide for attaching the dollhouse shingles. If you measure wrong, you’ll end up with a funky looking roof. And, while you could create shingle lines with the roof already on the dollhouse, I do not recommend it.
First of all, if you do it post roof job, you’ll be figuring this all out on an angle. With the roof piece off the dollhouse, you’re working on a flat surface. While I suppose you might enjoy working at an angle, I can’t imagine doing it like that. It seems awkward.
Second, with the piece flat on the table, I found it easier to work with in terms of manipulating the roof piece while measuring it (and manipulating the rulers. Yes rulers). You could manipulate the roof while it’s on the dollhouse, but you’d have to manipulate the whole dollhouse. Seems like a pain. Plus, for this particular kit, I had to measure from the bottom of the roof up. Still doable on a dollhouse, but I’m betting it’s a pain.
Lastly, if, on the off chance you mess up your measurements (looks uncomfortably away), it’s easier to fix it when nothing is attached. You just flip and start over. If it’s already attached, well… I mean, you can get it off, but do you want to? I’m betting no.
I grabbed my supplies
(yes, that is my ruler). Because I wasn’t sure what would work, I had both rulers on hand (regular and tape), and a pencil with a good eraser. You don’t want a dried out one that smudges and leaves marks. I also had a calculator handy. Turns out, I didn’t need it.
Once I messed with the rulers and roof piece for a bit, I decided the easiest way to mark the shingle lines was to take the tape measure, hook it on one end, then mark off where the lines would go.
So, I hooked on the tape measure and started marking off where my shingles will go.
And I was right. As long as I kept one hand on the tape measure, it was easy to run down the side of the tape measure and make small marks for each guideline. I planned to make a set of marks on the end, a few across the middle, then again on the other end. Then I could play connect the dots with my marks and make shingle guidelines.
Where I goofed
The bottom row of dollhouse shingles is supposed to be 1 and 1/4 inch from the bottom of the roof piece. This is because when you lay out the shingles (you’ll see), the bottom shingle shouldn’t hang over the edge of the dollhouse roof. Kind of like a real house. You need that space for gutters. While my Keeper’s House won’t have (or need) gutters, many dollhouses (and real houses) have decorative stuff at the bottom of the roof — like gingerbread detailing.
The Keeper’s House instructions explicitly said to start at the bottom of the roof piece and mark off 1 and 1/4 inch for the first shingle, then measure in one-inch increments up from that first mark.
I did not do that. That was partly due to my laziness in how I would have to lay out the tape measure. I figured, whatever it will work out. If I start at the bottom and go up in one-inch increments, I should end up with 1 and 1/4 inches at the end.
Without getting into the math behind it, that did not work. Here’s what I ended up with.
As you can see, at my final mark, I have 1 and 1/2 inches left. Sure, it’s just a quarter inch, but that makes a huge difference.
I started over and remeasured my marks, following the instructions this time. Then, I laid out the dollhouse shingles side by side. One follows the old marks, one follows the new marks. Here’s what I saw.
The shingle on the top is the one I measured correctly. The one on the bottom is incorrect. That 1/4 inch makes all the difference. Here it is going all the way up:
You can imagine what it would look like using the old marks.
Getting It Right
With that fiasco out of the way, I had to create the actual shingle lines all the way across the board. I took the tape measure, made the right marks, slid it down the board, then repeated.
I did that all the way across the board then used a ruler to connect the dots.
Because I knew I’d forget, I marked the top and the bottom like so.
That would help me get the right end on top and not mess up the shingles.
This didn’t take nearly as long as I had anticipated, and I was giving the small roof part extra time to tack. So, I took the painters tape off the roof edges (since I’m about to glue the roof on). I’m still amused by the fact that I picked a paint color that’s exactly the same as the tape. Here’s what I saw after lifting the tape.
Looks like some of it snuck in under the clapboard. Oh, well. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for this newbie.
Read the second part of putting dollhouse shingles on the roof.