Good morning, everybody!
I worked most of the day yesterday with Olivia getting this little tutorial ready..I do so hope that it is helpful, and becomes a part of some wonderful memories with your children!
Okay! So. For one dollhouse, you need, as stated in the Cookie magazine instructions, a standard 20" x 30" piece of foam-core. Get your cutting mat, straight-edge, and a sharp utility knife. You'll also need some spray-glue, a pencil, and scrapbooking or wrapping paper.
This is the scrapbooking paper I used for the Charlie and Lola house. It's available here.
Using a straight-edge and a utility knife, cut two 10" pieces off one of the shorter ends of your piece of foam-core so that you have two 20" x 10" pieces:
measure over 10" from the edge...
use your straight-edge to cut...
Next, lay your two 20" x 10" pieces out like this:
On one of your pieces, measure over from the side 10" and make a line, from the top-down, 5". Then cut a 1/4" wide notch where you drew your line:
Measure in 10", draw a line down from the top 5"...
Cut a 1/4" wide notch along that line...
Do the same thing along the bottom edge of the other piece. Your two pieces will look like this:
Next, along the bottom of both rectangles, measure in 4 1/2" from both ends, and cut doorways 2" wide and 5"tall:
measure in 4 1/2"...
and cut out a door 5" tall and 2" wide...do this from each end of the bottom of both rectangles.
Yay! That was the hard part! Now, you get to decorate! Put your pieces together like so:
Mark on each wall what room it will be (kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc.), so that you know where to glue your pieces of paper...Take the pieces apart, and get ready to glue.
***(Gluing must be done outside [believe me, you do not want this stuff in your house]. I am not showing how I did it outside, because it was windy and hot. But do take the time to go out. It doesn't smell good and, as all good glue should be, it is very sticky.)***
Anyway, spray your chosen paper, lay it on the room you are doing so that it just half-way covers the notch:
Do the same for the other half of the side you are doing, and line it up so that it is touching your first piece of paper, covering the notch completely:
Next, turn it over, and using your straight-edge, trim all around the doors, edges, and the notch:
Make sure that you only do one side of the board at a time, or it will be very difficult to cut your doors and notches out!
We (Olivia and I) chose this time to make the home of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, beloved Australian gumnut babies created by May Gibbs in 1918. They are almost like little fairies, but they are based in the Australian Bush, and their home reflects this.
So, for this second dollhouse, we used a kind of nature-y, Borrowers kind of feel for our papers, as if it was in the woods (or Australian bush) and had been patched and decorated with found items and papers. This works with the story of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Obviously, my papers were very different for the Charlie and Lola dollhouse--sort of shabby British chic (!?)...Do what works for your characters. (I think a log-cabin paper would be very cute, for instance, for Little house on the Prairie.) Have fun with it!
For both houses, I used iron-on transfer paper from the craft-store to make my dolls. I just copied the pictures from the books. If you do not want to do that, MamaKopp has (or can make) some wonderful wooden dolls that would be perfect for this! And, of course, small Barbies or Polly Pockets would be super too, as shown here. There's absolutely no need to get fancy, if you don't want to!
Hope this is clear...I'll be back just a little later with more pictures of our Snugglepot and Cuddlepie dollhouse. Cheers!