Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Graphic 45 Victorian Doll House

Hi friends...Dr Sonia here and I am so happy to share a very special is  the biggest handcrafted project I have ever made till date and  one which took the longest time and dedication to perfect!
I made a mammoth DIY Doll House or Victorian House as my daughter calls it completely from scratch using cardboard packaging, wood scraps, chipboard ,lots and lots of gorgeous Graphic 45 papers and a huge amount of Dress My Craft products

Since it is a huge project  a full Tutorial is impractical but I have tried to share key steps and important tips in 3 D construction so that it will help you to make any type of 3 D project even if it is not as humongous as this one!

Here is a short video where you can get an idea of how the door works and how huge this house really is!

It all started when Shalini sent me this gorgeous Wooden Carved Door in my DT kit and my daughter asked me if I could make her a doll house  using it!

When I told her "yes" I had no idea what I was getting into! She had very clear demands that the house had to be huge enough for her "Barbies" and Wonder Woman doll and that there should be doors than open and a balcony! And of course I had to make it strong enough for her to play with!

My daughter just loves Graphic 45 papers and so I really went to town in this project using gorgeous papers from A Lady's Diary and Gilded Lily...both perfect for the theme!
The House is 24 inches wide and the door and window frame are 12 x 12 inch and are attached to the walls with 3 sets of metal hinges and held closed by a special metal lock in the middle.

The house was designed to allow the beautiful door to fully open inwards and the dolls can actually enter through it! The bay window is my favorite part of the house and the one part which was the toughest to make!

The bay window has a triad of windows each fitted with glass[ acetate] and having its own flower bed

Tip :  To get the perfect matching flowers  for your project...make them yourself and use inks such as Distress Inks  to get the perfect shade of flowers and leaves to match your papers! 
I used Heartfelt creations  Sun rise lily stamps and dies to make the flowers .And to get them to match the Graphic 45 papers ,blended different colors of Distress Inks  to get the exact shade of peach for the flowers and muted green for the leaves.

I used several shades of pastel pollen in each flower so you can see grey, pink, white  pollen in different flowers.And of course all the flowers and leaves were jazzed up with Sparkling dust.
Tip : If you are using hot glue in flower making...take a few minutes extra to pull off the glue strings as you go otherwise your project will have unsightly stringy elements!

The windows were made with several layers of foam, chipboard and cardstock and after painting with gesso given a nice coat of Finnabair White Crackle texture paste .

Though this step added greatly to the project time...I love how it adds so much beauty!

The Bay window has a separate floor and roof. The roof is made from chipboard and is sturdy enough to hold  flower pots and for toy pets to stroll in and sunbathe !

This is how the inner part of the Bay window looks has a recessed alcove which has a sturdy floor and you can place some furniture inside for the dolls! The cute curtain was made by my daughter using scrap fabric from her dress[ the same one she is wearing in the video]She threaded the lacey material through a chopstick and I helped hot glue 2 large pearls to complete the curtain rail!
The Window frame is attached to the side walls with 3 metal hinges and brads and swings open easily
Tip : Use really long brads to help hold the hinges on the thick chipboard. Gesso over the metal elements to blend in more with your project depending on your theme.

The sides of the house were decoupaged with beautiful Graphic 45 papers and I have framed beautiful images from "Graphic 45 A gilded Lily" inside each window.

I was so happy to frame these images as they are actually scraps from an earlier project here : Graphic 45 Desk Organizer

Tip : Make your own filler flowers from foamiran!  I used Elizabeth Craft Designs dies to die cut dozens of tiny flowers from white foamiran.

Just heat the flowers for seconds and the petals will curl beautifully without you having to spend hours shaping them with tools like you would if you were making them out of paper !

Wire pollen is also pretty useful to save time while making a bunch of filler flowers quickly.

Dress My Craft Sparkling dust
 and Microsparkling dust were used to give a subtle shimmer to all the flowers and leaves.

This was such a mammoth project  and took me nearly 3 weeks to make! There were so many steps involved and a good part went into planning, measuring, cutting and gluing. I wont bore you with all the little details but yes I will  run you through the main steps.

The gorgeous wooden door is pretty large and actually opens like a real door. Use 2- 3 layers of chipboard to create a sturdy frame for  the door. I used 1600g thick black chipboard and just to be extra sure backed it with a 2mm thick chipboard to make it super sturdy.
The door has a protruding part on it's back ... mark out this dimension onto your chipboard

 Cut out the aperture and sand the edges

Check the fitting of the door inside your should be snugly fitting...not too loose. Keep it aside for now. Only fit in the door after gluing your pattern paper.
To make the bay window- cut 3 pieces of chipboard -  keep the central one wider than the other 2.Glue the pieces in shape  at an angle .

 Make a chipboard floor and roof for your gable window also. Stick this to a 12 x 12 chipboard from which you have cut out a large square- this is completely optional and just makes your work more but it is so cool when you have a window seat in an alcove  just like in real houses!

Tip: To make your windows nice and realistic - use several layers such as chipboard , foam and card stock. Using foam layers give thickness without adding to the weight and using chipboard makes it sturdy.Also add acetate to your windows for a lovely glass effect!

After gluing on pattern paper[ from Graphic 45]...add the windows.
Since my doll house was going to be put to use rather than be a mere showcase item I was rather obsessed that it should be very I coaxed my husband to cut some scrap plywood pieces  to make the Doll house floor and back wall. In retrospect I think I should have used chipboard  as it was so difficult to glue the thin wooden planks together!

In the end we used a thin block of wood to hold the 2 wooden planks in place using nails and glue!
The main side walls  and  divider walls are chipboard and were glued using wet glue and  masking tape .
Tip : When making 3 D projects : Don't be tempted to use hot glue in areas requiring good permanent adhesion!

 The roof needs to be light so you can make it out of cardboard. I used the package of my Aquaguard water purifier ...cut it into 3 equal segments and glued the edges in a triangular prism!

 Glue it onto the house and your basic frame work is done!

You can take the easy way out and keep the roof simple or be crazy like me and spend hours  cutting corrugated paper into squares and then go the even more crazier perfectionist route and spend more hours rounding off the corners of each square to make "tiles"

For a perfect tiled roof look one has to curve the tiles and glue them...which can be really tricky if you are using wet glue and a smooth surface. The best way is to line your cardboard roof with foam sheets and then hot glue the corrugated paper tiles one at a time...going slow and steady and taking care to pull off the glue strings every now and then!

I spray painted the roof silver and then sprayed adhesive and gave a generous sprinkling of Dress My Craft Microfine Glitter [ hard to see the shimmer in the photos]

The roof is rather special and has a secret room in the attic!

I made a triangular closure for both sides of the roof and it can be pulled down to reveal the secret room!...My daughter was especially thrilled with this!

A large  fabric net is attached via magnets to the roof of the house and  you can either fold over this fabric to see the inside or remove it and keep aside.

The inside of the house is completed lined with Graphic 45 papers!

My daughter helped to  paint some of her old wooden toy furniture pieces [ they were originally wood color but quite old and worn out looking]

The little teapoy has a pearl table mat and a cute flowervase. I even dressed up some of the chairs with Graphic 45 papers!

The flower vases have thread pollen and cute roses

The pillars were handmade by rolling and gluing together different lengths of corrugated paper !

They turned out really cute!

The other side has more tiny chairs and a cute oval table ...I used toy furniture my daughter had but do check out the gorgeous miniatures at Crafters Corner!

The framed pictures were made using Skaura Air drying clay---- which in my opinion is the best clay to use with molds.

I again put to use scraps of Graphic 45 paper to make the frames. The lily images are actually from the front cover of the paper pack!

The cute oval table was dressed up with a foam mat and gorgeous white lace from Crafters Corner.

Now let us go to the lower storey. Here you can see the inner side of the gorgeous door.

The first room has an armchair and tea, donuts and biscuit laid out!

The biscuit was made out of air-drying clay and a chocolate mould and the doughnut was made freehand by my daughter!

 Do you like the cute glass kettle---hehe I love it too as I made it at home using resin and a choocolate mold!

The 2nd room is a dressing room and has lace curtains[ again cut from my daughter's dress!] and a wooden cupboard. The glass slippers, the pink heart, the bows, the little crown and the winged heart were all made using either clay or resin and moulds!

And finally the last daughter's favorite...with a super cute porcelain  tea set I picked up from Crafters Corner when I visited Delhi for the Crafty feast!

I hope you liked my project!
The list of supplies is huge and in case you  need further information please leave a comment.
Wooden Carved Door
Adhesives :  E6000 Spray, Elmer's Craft Bond, Aleene's Tacky Glue, Red Tacky Tape, Hot Glue Gun, Mod Podge Matte
Papers and Chipboard: Dress My Craft Floral Exotica, Corrugated Paper, Graphic 45 A Lady's Diary, A Gilded Lily, Acetate, Chipboard
Fabric : Lace - Vintage Lace white 5
Flower Making : Foamiran Sheets- White
Pollen : Pastel Thread Pollen, White Wired Pollen, Pointed Thread Pollen Light Green
Scissors : Tonic Tim Holtz 7 inch, Tonic 9.5 inch, Micro Serrated Mini
DiesHeartfelt creations Sunrise Lily,Elizabeth Craft Designs 728 Bunch of Flowers ,Sizzix Tim Holtz Window & Window Box,Sizzix Tim Holtz Pediments
StampsHeartfelt creations  Sunrise Lily ,
Tools : Groove Golf Tool Set, Squeegee  and  Mod Podge Tool Kit, Funnel Tray, Cropadile Big Bite
Miniatures Miniature Flower Pots, Miniature Porcelain Tea Set
Glitter : Dress My Craft Sparkling Dust, Dress My Craft Rainbow Glitter, Dress My Craft Microfine Glitter
Clay : Sakura Air Dry Clay
Mold : Plaid Trinkets - Used to make the heart, bow, bag
Inks : Archival Ink Coffee, Distress Inks  Mowed Lawn, Distress Inks  Peeled Paint, Tattered Rose, Abandoned Coral
Media : Finnabair White Texture Crackle Paste
Die Cutting Machine : Sizzix Big Shot Machine
Stamping Accessory MISTI


  1. Indeed a humongous project !!A fully functional doll house that too about 2 feet tall !! Hats of to you !!

    1. Thank you so much for your continuous support and encouragement Pooja
      Dr Sonia

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