If you haven't built a dolls house kit before you are probably unsure what to expect. Dolls house kits are generally supplied as a large box of accurately cut parts which need to be assembled and painted to create a finished dolls house. This guide is intended to give in insight to anyone considering purchasing their first dolls house kit and also to provide some useful guidance and tips to help avoid common mistakes.
Whilst dolls house kits come in varying shapes and sizes, but in most cases the basic parts and the assembly process are very similar. This guide is not intended to replace the instructions supplied with your dolls house kit which should be followed carefully.
Before You Start
Materials & tools needed: PVA wood glue, parcel tape, sandpaper, screwdriver, set square.
Work space: Sufficient working space, flat level surface big enough for the house.
Help: An extra pair of hands can be useful, especially for larger kits.
Inspect and Identify Kit Parts
Kits usually include a parts list which can be used to help identify the individual parts and check that nothing is missing. It is a good idea to begin by identifying all of the kit parts and laying them out in an organised way to make assembly easier. You should also check for damaged parts.
It is highly recommended that you assemble your kit temporarily without glue initially ..this is known as a 'dry build'. This step is key to avoiding serious mistakes as you can go through the whole assembly process ensuring that parts are identified and positioned correctly and that the parts fit together properly. During the dry build if any problems are encountered it should be easy to resolve them. You should follow the parts assembly sequence advised in the instructions provided with your kit, but instead of using wood glue we suggest using parcel tape to hold the parts in position. The kit parts generally slot together with rebated joints so parcel tape should be sufficient to hold them in place temporarily.
Before Final Build
It is tempting to go straight from dry build to final assembly, but you should carefully consider how you intend to finish the house (lighting and décor) before proceeding as many tasks will be easier to complete prior to assembly and doing so will probably result in a better job.
Having previously completed a dry build it should be fairly straight forward to complete the final build as the process is mostly the same except PVA wood glue should be applied to the joint surfaces before locating each part. We recommend using parcel tape to hold the parts in position during assembly whilst the glue is drying. Important: It is strongly recommended that ALL parts are assembled and correctly located and that the whole house is sitting flat and square during final assembly until the glue has dried. If the house is not sitting perfectly flat and square during final assembly then it will not be possible to correct this after the glue has dried. Also, the wet glue will make the joints more slippery than when dry building so parts can easily creep from their correct position ..parcel tape should prevent this. Once the glue has dried it will be too late to make adjustments so it's a good idea to re-check as soon as the build is complete before it's too late.
After the main body of the house has been built and the glue has completely dried the front opening panels can be attached using hinges provided. Most houses also include an assortment of small pieces including window cills, lintels, quoin stones and other details. It is generally best not to glue these into place until after painting.
Dolls houses which are ready built rather than in kit form.
Dolls house kits designed for adults to build and decorate and for children to play with.
Room boxes and small buildings of various sizes and designs.
Purpose made table stands for dolls houses.