Dolls' Houses Past & Present

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

Dolls house Decoupage by Joan Joyce

Here is a project to keep you quiet on winter evenings! Not for the fainthearted!

Take some cheap mass produced furniture, you could even use plastic. I have even used brass. 


Give it a good sanding.  



Do the base colour with artists acrylics or emulsion paint.  



Source suitable cut outs. I sent for a Mamelok relief catalogue to see if there were any small scraps I could use and when it came the catalogue proved to be the ideal source material. You could also cut out very small pictures from magazines etc.  



This is me enjoying the summerhouse  while cutting out. You will need a pair of tiny scissors which are sharp right to the tip. It is possible to get scissors especially for the job, they have a small curve at the tip.  



Get cracking with the glue! I used pva. Make sure you get it right to the ends of your cut-outs so that they sit nice and flat.  



Give the pieces 2 or 3 coats of varnish. I used antique pine acrylic and a soft, fine brush.  



A close-up of the hat boxes and side table. When the varnish was dry I used gold artists acrylic paint. I applied it liberally on the table legs and wiped it off with kitchen towel, leaving the gold on the crevices. I painted the edges of the boxes and smudged it using my finger.  



A close-up of the chiffonier showing that not all decoupage has to cover the item, understated is sometimes good! I also used gold paint to highlight this. I bought this from Dale and Michelle. It wasn't expensive but I hate "plastic looking red mahogany " finish so reckon it was worth the effort.  



Here are all the finished articles, including the trays that I made by cutting down some little hat boxes.  



A close-up of the tiny embroidery case.  



Inside the little hat boxes.  



Here are some pieces I have done in the past, including the bath, which was a brass soap dish, and the grandfather clock, which was a brass ornament. The screen is one of those Japanese plastic ones. It is rather large. There is one I made in the photo of the finished articles above, standing next to the chiffonier. I used thick card, cut out the shape and scored it on alternate sides so it would fold, painted it matt black and went from there. I made the blue washstand myself but there are unfinished wood ones readily available. The ochre chest I made from the base of a tall cupboard, the fancy knobs are tiny buttons.  



I hope you have enjoyed my little article and hope I have inspired you to have a go yourselves at transforming some of your tired pieces!

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