Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.

Faux Brick Tutorial by Emily Boutard

Because I have so little room, my next dollhouse project will be in 1:24 scale (half inch scale). This way I can assemble a whole dollhouse on my desk with ease, and store it on top of the bookshelf without issues.

I decided to start with a kit and do a "kit bash" to customise it. This is mainly because I don't have any power tools in my little apartment, so can't cut any walls in order to start from scratch. I wanted to do a classic Victorian, so I chose the
Fairfield by Greenleaf.

I decided to give it a nice red brick base. I decided to do so because I like the brick bases on these little houses and I wanted to imitate them.




I decided not to use the plastic brick sheets you can buy in the shops because I don't think they look realistic (they are difficult to paint). Also, it is hard to wrap them around corners in a realistic way. As such, I decided to make the bricks one by one instead. 

Below is an example of what can go wrong with plastic brick sheets if the measurements aren't quite right (I found this picture on Pinterest, the owner has done a beautiful job on the house in general).


I used egg carton to cut out individual bricks. Egg carton has the right texture to be brick of that scale. 


I then glued them on to the base individually, being careful to wrap them around the corners.



I then mixed up some red/brown paint (you could make the brick any tint you want), and painted two coats onto the bricks.  


Then, in order to show the grout in the bricks, I used timber gap filler. I rubbed it in between each brick (this was a little bit time consuming).  


I then took a wet cloth and dabbed away all the excess gap filler.


I then gave the bricks a more realistic colour by dusting them with black, brown and green chalk pastels (the green was for moss in the corners). After this I sprayed the bricks with some gloss sealer which you can buy at art shops and is usually used to seal paintings. This gave the bricks a bit of a shine/glaze which looks a bit more realistic and also removed any suspicious a viewer might have that they were made of cardboard.



Below you can see that the right corner has been coloured with pastel, while the left corner hasn't. Notice how much more realistic the right side looks.  


I then decided it would be important to have grilles/lattice between the brick posts which support the porch (these posts were not included in the kit, I added them using offcuts). These grilles are quite common, and look very nice.  


I made them with some basewood strips I had cut.



They sit nicely between the porch brick posts, although now I am feeling doubtful that I have done them the right scale...I have a sneaking suspicion I should re-do them using slightly finer slats. Thankfully this won't take too long, and it is the small details that make a house!



Finally I used some off cut wood flooring to do the porch. All in all, it has made a good effect.



You can find more info on how to do brick in this way at one of my favourite blogs, Otterine's Miniatures (some more tutorials are referenced here too).  

You can see more of my Fairfield build on my blog, Architecture of Tiny Distinction.

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