Mt. Plaster (Thursday Dollhouse Update)

Today I started doing some experiments on plastering the walls to cover up the gaps, brackets, and so on, as well as giving it a more interesting texture. I tried a bunch of things including “big gap” filler and wood filler but what worked best for me was flexible gap filler. None of it held my intended stamped texture very well, but I did manage to impart a nice brick texture onto the mini-tower. The hill was done by roughing out the form with some spray insulation, fine tuning it with crumpled up newspaper, and then laying down a shell with plaster bandages that we’d cut into strips an inch or two wide. Nefarious and I did all of this together and had a great time and even greater results. There will still be some sanding and smoothing (and painting and decorating of course), but the basic shape is there.

As always, here’s one picture to get you started, and there are lots more after the break.

Keep going for more.

Let me show you a close-up of the little mini-tower. I think once this is painted it’s going to look awesome. You can see in the background that this is before we built the shell of the hill, so it’s just a mound of foam insulation.

Finally, a teaser of what I’m thinking about the floors. These are just one foot square vinyl tiles (which cost $0.89, so they’re totally cheap) that I’ve cut to fit. They’re self-adhesive but so far I haven’t attached them. Tomorrow I’ll cut out the rest of them for all the floors and walls (we have many different kinds, as well as some carpeting samples and other goodies) and mount them, and might also use them to do better trim around the windows.

We’re starting to get very close to done. On the weekend it’ll be play-with-able if momentum holds.

A few people have made very kind comments about how amazing it is that we’re doing this, and as flattering as that is, it’s also kind of a sad reflection on today’s mass-manufactured society that a dad (or mom) building a doll-house for their daughter (or son) is no longer the norm. That said, I do sympathize that not everyone even has basic tools these days (not that this needed more than a saw and drill to achieve — but it did make a huge mess that would suck in a normal house).


  1. Meghan wrote:

    We recently took the time – as a family – to build a military play table, complete with scenery and realistic paint. At first the 6-year-old was just setting up his military men/equipment, but now we’ve recently started playing a less-complex version of 40K (the role-playing war game that my SO used to be involved with). It’s fun and it was a manageable project. So you aren’t the only one, don’t be sad! But I think what you are doing is very cool! :)

    Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  2. Shannon wrote:

    That sounds really cool! Have you posted pictures of it anywhere?

    Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
  3. HighlyRefinedPirate wrote:

    That is really coming along great! I really dig the stained glass style windows. It’s great that you spend time doing constructive things with your daughter. This project reminds me of the fun I had with my dad growing up. It’s strange how society has changed since I was a kid. I never even see kids playing out in the yard anymore. Sad really. Anyway, can’t wait to see the finished product!

    Friday, October 29, 2010 at 12:46 am | Permalink
  4. Jilary wrote:

    I think not everyone has the creativity that you do!

    I’m kind of wondering if this doll house will turn out like the swingset my dad built with/for my son when he was little. My son had more fun building the swingset then he did playing with it!

    Friday, October 29, 2010 at 5:43 am | Permalink
  5. Jennie wrote:

    Not everyone has such a good relationship with their parents. It’s great you and your daughter have that. I would have loved to have done something like that with my dad.

    It’s looking better each post. I can’t wait to see the end result. Are you going to make people for the house as well?

    Friday, October 29, 2010 at 8:16 am | Permalink
  6. Twwly wrote:

    In a normal house you would have a garage or shed to do this in. :)

    I’m looking forward to bringing home the doll house that belonged to my mother. I played with it as a girl. My grandfather made it for her, it is a replica of the house she grew up in. I’m planning on waiting another couple of years, I think the kids would be a bit too rough on it yet.

    Friday, October 29, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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