Construction and Assembly
When it comes to dollhouses, the assembly process intimidates many people. We frequently constructed dollhouses for customers from kits. Some were straightforward construction with little or no deviation from the picture as it was shown on the box. One such example was this pink House That Jack Built "Lady Anna" which was constructed for a little girl. We added little touches, like the white shingles in the peak and the accent teal color trim, to accent the cute Victorian nature of this house. House That Jack Built has since altered the tower section of this dollhouse but this older version is still stunning in pink, teal and white. We constructed, painted, shingled and finished off the interior with a basic white wall/ceiling and light-color stained floors.
Our most interesting assembly construction was an English dollhouse. Several customers who viewed this dollhouse taking shape expressed an interest in this house. But unfortunately this dollhouse manufacturer from England is no longer in business (Town House kit by Honey Church). This house assembled from the interior to the exterior. The center staircase was assembled first, step by step. Then the interior walls were glued to the staircases to form the hallways. Then the floors were slid in place. (see photo at right.
Finally the side exterior walls were glued and nailed to the floors and attic floor and first floor were attached creating a pass thru dollhouse (open on both the front and the back). Next the back wall was attached. This "reverse construction" was not only odd for us (as most dollhouses assemble starting with the exterior walls shell and then you insert the interior supports OR they are built level by level, from the first floor to the roof) but this unique assembly was complicated by the customer's blue/white stripe wallpaper for the hallways and back wall which required us to carefully preplan where the wallpaper would be attached so that the pattern would match up when we finally installed the backing onto the house (one of the last steps of assembly).
But before we could wallpaper or paint any walls, we had to lay the tape wire! Customer wanted the house electrified. Tape wire was run up the back wall and excess strips were left at the bottom and top to attach the tape to the base of the house where the junction splice would connect.
Before the front opening panels could be attached to their hinges, the window mullions had to be stained, assembled, sanded to fit and installed into the window openings on the front wall panels.
The customer desired a European style stained baby house, electrified and wallpapered. The customer’s dream of a baby house style piece of furniture involved us creating a custom table for the house as the dollhouse kit did not have any such structure included. We had many pieces of wood in various stages of staining around the store's workshop! This particular dollhouse involved a lot of preplanning and thinking thru various steps before we even began to construct the house.
Other Dollhouses we've constructed have invovled kit-bashing (changing some aspect or many aspects of the kit to customize the house to the customer's desire look). Some kit-bashing is a simple change: an extra door or a stairway up to the third floor where there previously was none. Other kit-bashing involves adding interior walls, creating additions or creating double porches.