I started with a lot of MDF – I cut the pieces and whilst I was cutting them, my twins drew pictures on them to “help” :-). They called the pictures “dragon party” – they take after me with a love of fantasy. I had no plans as such, just a scribbled drawing on a piece of paper with rough dimensions that I hoped would be ok.
I then stuck all the wood together and decorated :-)
I covered the chicken wire tree frame with modroc. I decided I was not happy with the fact I had missed off the little store room in the front big tree root, so I built a little separate room and stuck it down to be covered with plaster etc at a later date. It took a couple of hours, but I am glad I did it.
I went to Sherwood forest to do some research on trees! Took my twins and the dogs and took lots of photos and had lots of fun ‘hunting for Robin Hood’ I made the tree bark out of Masonry cement which is actually pretty difficult – my idea was to take a silicone cast of some bark (which I did) then press it into the plaster/cement, but when I did this it just kept falling off so I just had to ‘dab’ at it and it turned out ok!
Close up of the bark and moss. Once the cement was dry, I painted it different shades of brown and added different types of moss, grass and flock to make it look more realistic.
I made the fireplaces myself – out of scraps of wood, metal paint, I made hinges out of fimo and the bars are my egg whisk!! I needed some thin metal bars and that was what I had to hand.
I finally added a flickering fire lightbulb and some pans.
I made the wardrobe and cupboard in the bathroom out of pieces of wood – I did look in dolls house shops etc for ones to buy, but could not find any that were the right size so custom built them.
Next I made the beds out of pieces of wood I had leftover from making the beams on the ceiling. I borrowed my Grandma’s sewing machine to make the curtains!
All the window frames are hand-made. I measured the window holes, then cut pieces of wood to match and then used liquid wax to colour and added ‘glass’ (thin perspex). I then added pieces of wood for shelves and made some curtains to match. I bought fat quarters of material from Hobbycraft to make all the curtains with. All the curtain tie backs are the small ribbons that come in clothes when they are new to hang on hangers with. I always cut them out and save them (and finally found a good use for them!)
The floors are made from sheets of thin wood floorboards (dolls house emporium) and varnished/stained. The stone flooring is made with ‘realistic stone flooring’ from Bromley craft products – you get a stencil, make up the stone mix and spread it on. Once it is dried you can add shading etc. I highly recommend this stuff as it is a lot cheaper than buying individual floor tiles and looks effective. http://www.craft-products.com/dolls-house-brick-stone-tiles.asp
The grass at the front is static grass which you can get from miniature railway shops or Games Workshop.
Made some extra shelves for the pantry dresser so that it is as tall as the one in the book.
The bricks are made from cement and painted to look like stone. All the wood in the house is stained with coloured beeswax and carved with a craft knife to age it.
leftover wood strips from the beams – made these into a little table for the bedroom (see above) they also were made into the bed frames. I rarely throw any craft materials away as they can so often be used for other things if you have enough imagination!
I searched and searched for wallpaper to match the bedroom from the book, but could not find any, so in the end I painted it by hand and used a tiny flower stamp that I found in my craft box to stamp on the pattern.
frame all made and just waiting for decoration.
I really enjoyed making this house – my twins were really enthusiastic and drew pictures of mice for me and ‘instruction’ pictures to help me :-)
Sorry to all those expecting to see ‘The Prancing Pony’ I got so far with it, then decided it was looking too much like a traditional dolls house, and I lost all enthusiasm. Watch this space though, because I will very soon be returning to Lord of the Rings projects!