Wednesday, November 11, 2015

DIY Barbie Dollhouse: Week#5 The STAIRS and Landings.

Week 5 Stairs and Landings

Why did Mattel make all those vintage elevators for Barbie houses?----two reasons, because of the room it takes to make stairs and the difficulties. Yanking a rope on a box(elevator), is way easier...but also non-permanent. So many Barbie houses end up in resale/thrift shops in various states of not working. I have yet to see one with a working elevator. We chose, I have to remind myself...CHOSE to make the stairs for this dollhouse and that is also why we made the house is 16" deep rather than 12"deep  like so many others. (We should have made it 18" deep!)

Seriously---I know the Grand is going to simply SLIDE the dolls up and down the stairs...for at least a few years. But with safety first in mind, Hubby and I decided we had to make realistic stairs and landings. We have nixed the handrails---because the dolls are so our of proportion and the angle is so sharp it would look odd and be very restrictive in the tight space.

Working from an OLD stash of acrylic scraps that have lurked in the garage for years, I decided NEW contemporary glass-look landings would be a great idea and a bit easier than installing a gazillion spindles. After all, Barbie is a bit contemporary, shabby chic, and mod all rolled into one. And 95% of the furnishings will be REDO and vintage.

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Here is the kitchen landing. Hubby slotted some wood square posts, added some knob tops and set in place to see how they will look. We had picked up some plastic slotted trim to carry the lighting wires in the house (next post). However this ended up being the miracle trim, I have used every bit of this trim for this and that.

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Here is the piece of miracle trim---from the end side on top of the measuring tape. It's aheavier flexible, paintable plastic channel from the bathroom paneling section of the lumber stores. We cut pieces to cover the tops and bottom edges of the acrylic panels, (they were sharp). I also cut the longer side off to match the short side with a scissors. These cut moldings with a few dabs of Gorrila Gel Super Glue finished of those railings in short time. This was about the easiest thing I have done on this house...and it looks great.


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Besides being tall and skinny---Ken is seriously useless...and is sleeping on the job, again.

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 Here are the posts, lined up at the top of the stair holes. Looking great! We chose scalloped trim, kinda kitschy, to cover the floor edges (also hides the lighting).

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Good thing Ken isn't adventurous that hole goes down to the next level.

Now the stairs. I do have to thank Hubby for all the intricate cutting and planning. He used a downloadable ap, Stair Builder Pro for designing the stairs. This is something he has used multiple times for doing my Dad's stairs, our deck stairs and the play house stairs in the backyard. He took the height of the ceilings, the measurements of the holes, and the scale-1inch to 6 inches, and plugged it into the ap...chose the design of how to fit them on the landings (we don't exactly have headers or beams)...and the ap gave him a picture and measurements of how to do it.This made designing so easy and the stairs fit well.

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Here is the actually drawing made from the ap, and the stairs. Scaled paper helps and makes measurements easy to sketch out.

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The risers are made from plywood, and the treads are from 1/4" craft wood stock. The tread wood is very soft, and easy to sand to the rounded edges. They are substantial and will last as well as real stairs and anything a child can dish out---even multiple dolls sliding down the stairs!
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I filled the nail holes and lightly sanded, making sure to smooth off any residual glue. The treads are glued on with that super wood glue that is all over everything at this point.

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The backside of the stairs shows the actually simple construction. One stairway will be seen from the back, so we finished that off too.

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Two coats of white paint/primer. And then a quick spray of white enamel after.

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Ready for installation. The stairway final reveal will be done in next post with the lighting.

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Yesterday I started painting so much of the trim, while Ken napped.

ONE THING we would do differently is paint all the wood trim before installation, but I wasn't home and Hubby started putting up all the unpainted wood trim. The primed or plastic skinned trim will need a final coat to match also. The house is flat on the kitchen table now to finish the wiring and moldings and more painting touchups. I so need my kitchen back, soon.

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So, now there is lots of fussy painting and clean-up to do. Here are the stairways set in place before finishing. A total reveal will be done with the lighting in our next post, just like a real house...a reveal, chuckle.
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Here is Hubby, crawling on the floor to get the stairway shots. That mess behind is our recyclables...we are so behind on normal life.

Thanks always for stopping by, and I will be happy to respond to your comments or questions.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own or I am in possesion of the originals, 
I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or products used. 
Please do not use my photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

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Sandi


6 comments:

  1. Well all I can say is "Shame on Ken for sleeping on the job"! LOL, Sandi! The guy I bought my dollhouse from did provide the stairs, rail and opening in the floor, but nothing is finished or attached. Once I get more of our condo fixed the way I want it, I'll find more time to finally get to mine. I'm anxious to see yours when it's finished.

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  2. Sandi, I love your doll house. I am simply amazed at the detail work that is going into that house. And about your recycle mess, I have the same problem., I work on blogging all day and have no time left for real life... yikes!!

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  3. Hi Sandi, what an incredible doll house. So much detail in the work being done to complete. It truly is a labor of love. I had to smile with Ken taking a nap while you painted.
    Thanks for sharing and also for stopping by my Prairie tour and your sweet comments. Have a great night. xo

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  4. What a labor of love! Shame on Ken for not helping ;) Thanks so much for sharing @Vintage Charm! Blessings, Cecilia

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  5. So much darling detail in this little house! Can I move in? :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Yes, lol, tonight Hubby glued stone tiles on the chimney...honestly we will be eating beans and wieners for a year, by the time we finish it. I DON'T have stone back splash?
      and that bathroom is bigger than both of mine combined, lol. Thanks for stopping by. Sandi

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi