Thursday, 9 April 2015

Fixing A Hole In The Ocean

Mini people face death via the hole in the floor


Dear Melissa and Doug, 
Why did you put the stairs in the middle of the floor? And why did you make such a HUGE hole on top of it?


The giant stair opening never seemed an issue until I decided to make this a real dollhouse. When you have a giant opening for stairs in the bedroom and attic, where do you put the bed?  This is what happens when you make a kiddie dollhouse a "real" dollhouse.

The 2 stair openings were in the master bedroom and the attic. They were large because it allowed you to reposition the stairs to where you wanted them. Simple solid stairs that I had stained the treads and painted the risers white.

I really try for realism, so not having stairs bugged me (still does).  But I really didn't want to cut a new hole on top of everything else I was doing. So, I plugged those holes and secretly know the resident teleport between floors. Okay? Don't ask questions.




Here's what I did:


I went to my local art store and bought a large sheet of birch (used for painting on) for $2.68 (also known as canvas board). Amazingly cheap. Easy to work with sizes, and tons of variety. Close to the same thickness as the floor




Trace the opening on to card stock and then traced it on to the wood sheet

Cut your wood using whatever you choose. Aim to make it a wee bit larger so you can refine it for a snug fit

Use your Dremel (or electric sander) to fine tune the fit. I also sanded the exposed top edges to a rounded shape for safety

Stain the wood and give it 2 coats of clear coat vanish





The wood for the ceiling (under the floor piece)


Cut a larger (by at least one inch all around) piece of wood to act as a new ceiling piece and something for your floor piece to attach to. 

Paint the ceiling piece to match your current paint colour. 












Since my floors are a dark espresso stain, I painted the not exposed side of the ceiling piece black.  This ensured if there were gaps in the floor piece edges you would not see the white ceiling piece, but rather black













I glued stir sticks to the back of the floor piece and then glued it to the ceiling piece. This raised the floor piece up enough so it was close to flush















Using No More Nails adhesive throughout, I used it to glue the ceiling piece in place (along with its attached flooring piece














Use green painters tape to keep it in place and prevent buckling. Let dry overnight!

I didn't use heavy books on top because I didn't want to put too much pressure on it and cause the ceiling panel to push away from the actual ceiling.




Oh How You Learn......


As I was wrapping things up, I thought, what was the most important thing about this project to stress to my readers?


ENSURE YOUR WOOD GRAINS ARE GOING IN THE SAME DIRECTION 

Yup.  Well, I took the finished attic floor piece and popped it in and SURPRISE I didn't have the grain going in the same direction.  It was horribly obvious and could not be saved.  Total redo of that floor piece.  You think I might have noticed it when I was sanding and fitting the piece? Ha.

I even took a picture of it before I noted the error.  The piece of the right is the incorrect grain.  Didn't even notice it then!

My very obvious error

8 comments :

  1. 1. Cover it with a rug (or a bed!)
    or
    2. Paint it to look like a rug painted on the floor.
    or
    3. Just paint the whole floor.

    Sorted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about lighting a match? Ha. Thought about that too!

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  2. I agree with all of the comments made by the Shopping Sherpa as noted above. These things happen but they are not the end of the world or unfixable,Kat, ( and I bet that Miss Kitty is not bothered about it at all). :))

    elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My OCD made me fix it. Thankfully I had extra wood left over. Miss Kitty went to the park with her grandparents and I got out the noisy tools and fixed it!

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  3. Melissa and Doug are so thoughtless. Tsh. I would go for the rug option *nods*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rug was my first thought, but it either would have become a napkin or Elmo's diaper.

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  4. I have often looked at dollhouses in store and bemoaned the placement of the staircase. I think its a great idea to change it (and getting the grain wrong and missing it even after you've photographed it is something I can absolutely relate to :) ) Hope you find a fix!

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    Replies
    1. I usually force myself to stop and critically look at what I'm doing for intricate things (because I get so wrapped up in them and pleased with myself) to prevent mistakes. It's the technically easy things though that will always get you!

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