The Walls! — Miniature Project Phase 3: Orchid Dollhouse, Chapter 2

Continuing the adventure of building my first dollhouse…

After the windows and door were constructed and most of them installed, and after I’d planned and built the first parts of the extension, I’ve moved on to the next stage — preparing the walls and planning the floor plan.

This is where I first begin to feel a little bogged down, though I don’t think I really am yet. The instructions are getting more complicated, with several steps overlapping each other (as in “do this, but first do that”). This is also where I need to make decisions about wall coverings and so forth. A lot of waiting for paint to dry and glue to set up is involved, as well as some putting it all together and then taking it all apart again.

I find myself making more solid commitments re colors and finishes than I had planned. The kit comes with tips from the manufacturer about various methods for finishing the interior and exterior. I was going to go with one of their recommendations in which wall and floor coverings are cut with templates and then fixed in place after construction with removable double-sided tape. In the actual doing of it, however, I’m just painting the wood and gluing paper onto it. Although I would like to have a house that can be redecorated easily, I’d rather get the construction right on this, my first try. I don’t also want to battle with hanging 1:12 scale wall paper. I’ll figure out how to get rid of a slate gray accent wall when that sort of thing goes out of style in full scale. 😉

At this stage, I’m also making full-sized tracings of all the major parts to use for cutting future wall coverings and future walls, too, for future houses. That’s another complication I’ve added by choice. So, basically, I have only myself to blame.


orchid 2.1

The floor plan begins with a second dry fit. A paint stirrer indicates placement of the stairs. A mini manikin gives proportion.


Sunlight in the studio creates interesting interior light on the gessoed walls.

Sunlight in the studio creates interesting interior light on the gessoed walls.


Construction zone with the templates I'm making as I go along.

Construction zone with the templates I’m making as I go along.


Partition wall placement.

Partition wall placement.


With extension walls.

With extension walls.


The extension and interior wall are just wedged or taped in place for now. The original Orchid house comes with one partition wall for each floor. I’m adding a second full partition on the second floor to create a landing separate from the bedroom and a second half-long wall on the first floor to create an entry foyer.

The mannikin and some random furniture pieces are set about for proportion. To my happy surprise, between this photo above and the first dry-fit photo further above, I think the walls make the first floor look bigger.

Note: The extension side walls will probably be hinged to swing out for easier access and camera angles.


orchid 2.6


I love this close-up view of the roughed-out kitchen. The light is great. I like the details and textures. I can’t wait to start playing/working with this thing. 🙂


orchid 2.7

Clothespin clamps.


This is why I feel like I’m slowing down. Clamping, drying, clamping, drying… Ugh. How many rounds of Freecell can I play in day?

After figuring out the wall placements, I took that dry-fit apart so the parts could all be fully painted, etc. This is as far as I’ve gotten so far.

Below are some photos of the first finished parts leaning up on each other. Here you can see the semi-gloss shine on the acrylic paint/PVA glue mix I’ve been using. You can also see the floorboard lines drawn on the first floor.


orchid 2.10 orchid 2.9 orchid 2.8


Right now I’m painting and finishing the interior walls. I’m building windows for the extension walls, and I just decided that the rooms will need baseboards, so I’m adding those to the interior walls before installation. I’m also experiencing commitment anxiety about bathroom tiles and papering one kitchen wall.

More to come.





About Mura

Mura Muravyets is the screen-name of Jen Fries, surrealist artist, book artist, hope-to-be writer.
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