Dollhouse Blogs

Saturday 2 July 2011

Fireplaces and kitchen hood

I love fireplaces! When I designed this dollhouse I made sure I had a fireplace in every room. I try to make my miniatures look as realistic as possible and one important detail many people overlook are the dimensions of fireplaces. I made sure that every fireplace was at least 1 and 1/2 inchs deep to realistically accomodate logs. As I posted earlier, I made all the fireboxes, earths and surrounds in double thick poster board.

To make each firebox I cut 3 pieces out of the posterboard: 1 for the top, 1 for the bottom, and 1 long piece for the back and sides. To fold the back piece, I first drew the lines where the piece would be folded, then I scored it about 3/4 of the depth of the posterboard with a sharp utility knife. I glued the pieces together with carpenter's glue and a few dots of gel super glue and held the pieces in place with some masking tape.

When dry, I painted it the color of the mortar, then used the magic brick system to create the bricks. I then stippled on black paint using an old fat round brush to look like soot. When all was dry I varnished the firebox with matt varnish.

The earths and most of the surrounds are painted posterboard to look like marble. The one exception is the dining room fireplace. I had a book with pictures of palace furniture. One picture was of a "Pietra Dura" (cut stone) panel from a dresser. I cut up the sections of the picture, glued them onto the posterboard surround with spray adhesive, and then put on 3 coates of glaze. I think it looks great with the painted mantel.

In the kitchen, I wanted a copper hood for the stove. I could only find one size of copper sheet. It was very thick and I had a difficult time cutting and bending it. I had to use metal cutters and made a jig to get accurate folds. I had a piece of molding that had a good shape for the hood, so I glued the copper over it with The Ultimate Glue and finished folding in the sides.
When the piece was dry, I glued on brass strips with The Ultimate glue and gel super glue. I added the brass for 2 reasons: it looked good and it covered up any imperfect cuts or folds. I then cut wood brackets out of full size trim I had left over. It looks like they are supporting the hood and I used them to hold 2 copper cooking utensil bars. When the time came to glue the pieces into place. I first glued in the brackets because the hood was rather heavy and these would help hold it in place. As usual the Ultimate glue and gel super glue worked great. I liked the brackets very much, so I made more to hold a shelf that goes around most of the kitchen.


  1. Hi Giac! I love that you have a fireplace in every room --as it should be! In my own Merriman Park, I am planning to do the same. Once again, I learned something from you re: poster board hearths. Can't wait to see your 'magic brick' technique...I assume it's written about earlier on? Cheers! --John

  2. Hi John,
    I haven't written about the magic brick step by step yet, I most likely will when I brick the house.
    Basically, the magic tape system consists of a bag of powder and a tape about 3 inches wide if I remember correctly. The tape has the bricks punched out.
    Once the cardboard is painted the color that you want the grout, you apply the tape over it, making sure your grout lines are straight. You then moisten the powder with water until it has a frosting-like consistency. You then apply a thin layer over the taped surface, basically the thickness you want the brick to stick out.
    After 5 minutes you remove the tape carefully, and let it dry.
    You can then age it or paint individual bricks and finally varnish.
    It's an easy technique, but a little messy at times!
    Have a great day,

  3. Your fireboxes are the best I have seen Giac! Wonderfully realistic! x