Ermagerd, SD roombox is DONE! O:

I finally finished the roombox today!!! Yay!! I thought I was finished yesterday and then I realized I totally forgot to add the back wall’s baseboards and I was like (⌣_⌣”) *sigh*, but I quickly cut and painted them last night so they would be ready to be glued on today. Anyway without further ado, here are a couple shots…(yeah I need to get better at photography, that is the next goal along with making props).


Here is a shot of the whole room with Mio sitting in it. The chair is a little doll chair I found at an antique store. It’s a bit shabby and probably needs a bit of washing, but it’s cute and the perfect color for the room! Actually Mio sits on that very chair on my nightstand in my room. 🙂


And here’s a zoomed out shot that better shows the scale of the room. Please ignore some of the junk in the background. I still have a few things to clean up now that construction is done.

Well, I’m really happy overall with how it turned out and I hope I get a chance soon to take more photos with it and improve my photography skill. I also want to make a little fake backdrop for behind the window so it looks like there is some nature out the window. I was thinking I could make a large print and pin it to foam core board or alternately I have some inkjet transparency paper left so I could experiment with printing greenery on that and then shine a light through it to see how that looks….Definitely got to get better with lighting overall though.

SD Room Box – Flooring

I’ve been meaning to blog about the room box flooring for a while now, but it’s been so busy around here and then my Taren arrived, heh. Anyway I’ve made quite a lot of progress on the floor so now I feel I can make a substantial process blog about it. So without further ado, here is how I went about making my room box floor.


So, materials wise I thought I would try using craft sticks, the jumbo variety that look like tongue depressors. With my craft saw and miter box I sawed off the rounded ends and then started gluing them to my plywood base.


Here is a progress pic of the gluing process. I also want to mention that you need to be sure to have some heavy objects to weigh down the planks of wood after you glue them because glue is wet and causes the wood to warp slightly before it dries. Weighing down your floor will keep things more uniform and save you from having wood planks punking up from the base in an unsightly manner. I suppose I should also mention that I did not cut all my wood and do a test layout of the whole floor. I worked two rows at a time and just made sure that none of the end seams lined up. I wanted the floor to look as close to a real hardwood floor as possible so I strafed all of the board ends and tried to make it as random as possible since real floors are random, well at least ours is.


So, you are definitely going to encounter problems when working with craft sticks, and the above picture is one of them. Because craft sticks are not uniform in size and some warp slightly you are going to get gaps between boards, especially when you are working at 1:3 scale. To solve this you will need to fill in the larger gaps with a wood filler.


I used the wood filler in the picture above to fill in my gaps. To be honest I was not all that impressed with this wood filler, and I probably would have selected something different, BUT this came to me free from my father’s workshop so I can’t complain too much. The thing about this wood filler is that it has tiny chips of wood in it and I would have preferred something with a much finer grain about it. Lastly I wanted to mention that I used one of my palette knives to apply the wood filler. It really makes filling in the gaps so much easier than using a regular old spackling knife since it’s more to scale.


And here’s where I have filled in some of the gaps with the wood filler.


The next step is to sand the whole floor. Sanding the floor will help you get rid of the slight bumpy irregular feeling your floor will have that just comes with using popsicle/craft sticks, not to mention that it will prime your floor to take a stain and/or varnish as well as smooth out your wood filler. I really think this is a necessary step if you are making a floor using craft sticks. I don’t care if you say you want it to be “rustic”, it’s not a “rustic” issue, it’s a craftsmanship issue, because even a good rustic floor has good craftsmanship. Haha…sorry for the lecture. XD


I opted not to stain my floor and decided to go straight to varnish because I just really like the light natural look of wood, plus I think it will be a nice compliment to the shabby beach theme I’m going for with the room box. I had been at a bit of a loss as to how to finish my floor though, because for one thing it’s winter where I live and using a polyurethane varnish inside the house, well I think you can imagine the smell and the headache afterwards. XP My other reservation to using a polyurethane varnish was that I have in the past had issues with some of the plastic or rubber soled doll shoes sticking to the flooring if left sitting on the flooring for any period of time. If not polyurethane varnish, your other options are to use linseed oil or a polyacrylic varnish, which is basically an acrylic varnish that washes up with water and is less smelly. As you can see from the pic above I opted to go with the polyacrylic varnish and I am currently waiting for my first coat to dry so I can gently sand it and then apply another coat.


This is my floor after one coat of the semi-gloss polyacrylic varnish. I ended up doing a really thin coat so it will probably take me 3-4 coats if I keep on like this with the ultra thin coats, but I think in the end it’s better to apply thin coats and build up to a nice semi-gloss. I chose semi-gloss because I didn’t want my floor to look too shiny since the floor looks a bit rustic and I would rather it look a bit more like a worn beach house floor than something high gloss and brand new.

So, now all that I have left is to sand, varnish, sand, varnish until I get the finish I want. I’ll be sure to post up a pic of the finished floor after this. I am getting excited because I am getting closer to having this room box finished! I am getting antsy to start working on some 1:3 scale furniture and props so I want to get it done within the next couple weeks!

SD/SD17 size Room Box Window

I’ve made a lot more progress on the room box, but I just haven’t had much time to blog. I wanted to share with you though my process for creating the pin hinged window. All of these pictures I was a bit lazy and just took them with my iphone camera since it was convenient, so please excuse the photo quality and also my ugly dry hands….They just get so dry and bleh whenever I’m doing woodworking. XP

Ok, so for the basic construction of the window, please refer to my last post where I showed how I laid out the frames, sashes and glued and painted them and etc… Here I will be focusing on the hinges and attaching the window to the house.


So the first thing I did was mark where the side of the window panel meets the bottom of the frame. I drew the box there so I knew where that wood board would be and then I marked with a dot about where I wanted to attempt my hinge. I decided to put the hinge a little off center and more towards the edge where I want the window to swing open. I made this decision by following this dollhouse pin hinge tutorial here: Pin Hinge Tutorial at


The tutorial at has you using a hand drill for this next segment, but because I do not have a hand drill bit small enough for my liking I ended up using the hand drill here just to make an indentation into the wood to give a starting channel for my dremel which has a much smaller drill bit that is more suitable. Anyway the above shows you my hand drill tool and the starting channel for the dremel.


So this is the dremel drill bit that I used. It’s super tiny, but because it expands at the base, it is not possible to drill through the entire width/length of the wood pieces, but this is ok, because we will be using a dress makers pin for the hinge and you can gently force it through the wood the rest of the way.


Here is after I dremeled the hole and stuck the pin straight through to the other side. The next step is to line up the window inside the frame and pierce it with the needle.


Here I have perfectly aligned the window to the frame as I want it, and I re-inserted the pin through the hole to pierce the wood of the window itself. What this does is it gives you a small hole exactly where you need to drill the corresponding hole in the window.


After you pierce/mark the window board, remove the pin again and dremel the hole. If need be start the channel again with the hand drill. I also want to point out that at this time, you need to bevel the side of the window that is facing the direction you want the window to open towards. I have decided I want my windows to open outward since it will be less likely to interfere with any future furniture arrangements. You can see my bevel in the picture above, but I will show another one below.


Here is a close-up of my bevel. Basically you will sand the corner off of the side the faces the direction you want the window to open…it will be about a 45 degree angle. You don’t need to do much and you can always touch up paint later. The reason why you need to do this is because your window won’t open if you don’t since it will get hung up on the squared corner of the wood. If you are having trouble grasping this section, then please refer to the tutorial I mentioned earlier as they explain it a little differently and it may make more sense to you. Oh and lastly you do not need to bevel where the two window panels meet in the middle, you only need to bevel the side which butts up against the window frame.


Lastly after doing your touch-up painting you will just reassemble your pin hinge. Here you can see my window snug in the frame with it’s bevel all ready to go. Now, since this is a larger scale window, you have two options to finish the pin here. You can leave the head on like I did and just gently press the pin all the way into the wood so that the head is flush with the bottom of the wood of the frame. If you do this, just take your time and be careful not to bend your pin! The other option which is discussed in the tutorial is you can cut off the excess pin. If you cut off the excess pin though you will need to putty in the hole at the bottom so your pin does not fall out. Take care though not to accidentally fix your hinge in place. Personally I think it is easier to leave the head on, and considering this is for a 1/3rd scale doll roombox the tiny amount of pin head at the bottom won’t matter much in the long run when trying to fit your window into the window cut. That’s just my opinion though and you should do what is best for you and your project.


OK, so basically you will just need to lather, rinse and repeat the above steps to create pin hinges for the top and bottom of both sides. You will have 4 pin hinges total. Above is my finished product which I tested out to make sure everything was working fine before I went to glue it into place. Once you glue your window into the window cut you are pretty much stuck with it unless you want to remove the window to make changes, which is tough. So, get everything right the first time!


Ok here is the window being glued in. Be sure to have some little clamps handy if there is a section of window that is being testy and wants to come off center. I also tied my window panels together for safety since the pin hinges are delicate. Yes, please do keep in mind that the pin hinges using sewing pins is delicate at this scale. If you want something more durable for rugged play you may consider trying small finishing nails. Also, one more tip and that is to be sure during the whole process of creating the window that you are double checking the fit to the cut in the room box. It is very easy for things to become a little off, especially when gluing in all those sashes, so keep checking up on the fit so you don’t have any unhappy surprises at the end where the window doesn’t want to fit into the window cut without extensive sanding. If you keep checking the fit you can make minor adjustments here and there and save yourself a lot of tears and frustration.


I also wanted to point out here that making window cuts with the saber saw are never perfect. Here you can see one of the larger gaps between my wall and window frame. You can fill a little bit with glue at this point if you are concerned about stability or you have too many big gaps like this. Keep in mind though that you will be cover the window frame and part of the wall with your window trim anyway and the additional layer of wood on glue will also add stability and perhaps more importantly HIDE YOUR ERRORS!! hahahaha!


I have yet to trim my windows as I ended up getting started on the wood flooring right after this, but I will leave you with this picture that shoes the scale between the window and my Zaoll hybrid. It’s not a very good photo of the doll, but I guess that’s not important. So another thing to keep in mind, Zaoll is only 53cm tall. The current design is probably best for 60cm dolls give or take a centimeter. The 65cm boys will still be able to look out the window, but they will seem a bit overly tall. This is fine for my purposes though because the room is for my girl, and the scale will play up her shortness a little. I’ll be sure to pose the final touches with the trim later and perhaps later on tonight I might blog a bit more about laying down this flooring while the glue is drying yet again.

SD/SD17 Size Room Box Progress.

I had a chance to get more work done on the SD/SD17 scale roombox, and I’m really pleased with how things are going so far. Come tomorrow though it’s back to work so I’ll have to focus on that and if I get my work done early then I might have a chance to get a little more done. :3 Anyway the two main things I worked on since the base was created is I started painting the walls and I created the window.


I decided to pain the back wall of the room box a pale blue color. It was actually some paint we had leftover from repainting the bathroom. I really like the color and since I plan to do a pastel shabby shic, beachy sort of room I thought it would work well.


While I waited for the paint to dry to add more coats of paint to the back wall I started constructing the window. Above is just the frame of the window. Previously I had always framed out the window directly onto the window cut in my other dollhouses. This time however I decided that I will create the window entirely and then just seat it into the window cut when I am finished. The main reason I am doing this is so I can use pin hinges for the window. If you don’t know what pin hinges are, they are basically hidden pins that hold together the window to the frame and allows them to pivot. For more information, just google dollhouse pin hinges and some great tutorials should come up.


Here I have two window panels made and I’m preparing to glue in all the sash crossbars. Both of these panels fit inside the frame which is off to the side.


Here’s a bunch of the sashing being done.


And here it is completed! At this point I start sanding any trouble spots, and I also want to make sure that the window panels will be able to fit nicely together and also be able to open freely. Normally something gets a little off when creating a window so I have to do some sanding on the sides so the window panels don’t fit so tightly into the frame. After sanding everything I started on painting the window frame and panels white. I don’t have any pictures yet because the one shot I took turned out a bit too dark. XP Anyhow I will say though that when painting the window and frame I use acrylic paint that I thin down a little bit. You want it to be thick enough to coat, but also thin enough not to be clumpy or build up horribly. That small fraction of a millimeter of paint on the window could make the window fit too tight again, so it’s best to start with thinned paint and build up slow even coats of paint.

I should also mention that I started painting the side wall white, and I think I’m going to play around a little bit with beams and paneling on that wall. Well, that’s pretty much it for now. I plan to work on it a little more tonight before bed and then if I can get my work done early tomorrow maybe I can squeeze in a little more room box time. 😉

SD/SD17 Size Roombox Project

Well I guess I decided to go crazy and I’ve started building a gigantic room box to use as a backdrop in my doll photography. This particular room box was designed with my Mio/Zaoll hybrid in mind who is 52cm, as well as my future plans for a 65cm boy, as well as leaving the window open for it to work well with the 60cm dolls. Beyond that I also have the hope that my MSD sized dolls could also make use of the space as well despite it being more to the scale of the 52cm to 65cm dolls. Another key point in making this piece is that it absolutely has to be collapsible because I just do not have the space for the sheer size of this thing! Anyway enough introductory blabber and on with the production. 🙂


So as with all large projects, it’s best to start out with a plan on some graph paper. I spent a couple days researching other room boxes and then took extensive measurements of my current dolls as well as the few key props they have like chairs. Because this house must also work for 60-65cm dolls as well I also sketched their sizes into my plan mock-up so I could have a better idea of how big my window needed to be. I knew I wanted the window to be large and I also wanted all of the dolls to be able to look out it and to be able to open it (it will be a casement window on pin hinges that I will have swing out and/or in). In the end my window ended up being 10 inches wide by 18 inches long….it’s a long window, but it enables all the heights of dolls to look out it.

Speaking of measurements, here is what I arrived at for my final dimensions…The room box is 47 inches wide, 31 inches deep and 33 inches tall. To keep this in perspective, it’s about 75cm in height so even a 70 cm doll could stand and be photographed in it, though I feel those dolls are probably a bit too big for me to handle. ^^;

Now on to the materials I chose. For the walls I decided to go with 1/4inch birch plywood, because the walls will be hinged, I knew that the weight and size of the 1/2 birch plywood would be too unwieldy for me to comfortable handle. The only problem with using 1/4 birch plywood for the walls though is that at the size needed for the 60cm range dolls, they wouldn’t be very stable. My dad gave me the idea though that to rectify it we could make a “frame” on the back of the boards out of 1 inch thick 2 inch wide boards the length of the walls. For those boards I just used some packaged Aspen because I didn’t want to deal with the less expensive but lesser quality boards which could have warping or cause other problems. For the base I chose 1/2 inch pine plywood. The base needs to be solid to hold the walls and they will also suffer the most as it is the floor afterall. Lastly I needed hinges and they needed to be long with how we were going to butt the walls together in the corner, so we went with strap hinges.


Ok, so after planning and buying all of the necessary wood, we started on building it the next day. I’m going to say that if you have help, getting the bare base of your room box done is totally do-able in a day. The above picture was taken after we had cut down all the of the boards to their proper size and had cut out the window. I will mention that to cut a window you will need a saber saw and a drill. You drill a hole somewhere in the middle of your window (the part that will be cut out and scrapped). The hole needs to be big enough that you can fit the saber saw blade into it. Once you do that start up the saber saw and start sawing at a smooth curve towards your cut line so that when you meet with your cut line you will be parallel to it, then just follow your line as straight as humanly possible. If you fudge up a little bit, it won’t matter, and don’t expect the window cut to be perfect…you will frame it out later anyway so if there are a couple little wobble gaps, those will get filled in with putty and eventually covered with the window trim. That’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves at the moment though, so I’ll talk more about that later.

So, after everything is cut and ready to go, it’s time to apply the frames, we mitered the edges of the frame, but you don’t need to get as fancy if you don’t have the appropriate saw for the job. Just butting the wood together in L-shapes will suffice. After cutting all of our frames to the proper length we started by gluing the frames to the back side of the wall. Because the walls had a slight warp in them we clamped down all of the frames to the wallboard and let the glue dry for around an hour. Afterwards we put a nail through where the two frames met for added support and then used a special long and narrow staple to really secure the walls to the frame boards. It was keep at the minimum though because each staple creates a hole in the wall that will then need to be puttied and sanded to finish…less holes equals less work! However we were sure to do as many as we felt we needed too.


Ok, so after putting the frames on both walls, we then applies the hinges and set it on the base. You can kind of tell from the house interior that this thing is HUGE! XD Haha, maybe it’s overkill, but I’d rather have it be bigger than is needed than too small. Anyway I’ll go more into detail about the exact construction here with a few more photos.


So here is a shot of the back of the box and you can see how the hinges are situated. The side wall “nests” against the back wall but the back wall’s frame edge comes out and meets flush with the edge of the side wall frame. It’s probably easier to see it so I got a close-up shot of the hinge.


Here I think you can see the construction a little better. Basically you need to have your boards in position so that each hinge flap is PARALLEL to the board it is on so that it will come around and fold flat. This is how we arranged the wood so it does that. There is only one problem here however, but it will get fixed tomorrow and that is that the way the screw holes are positioned on the hinge, only one screw (the far one) is on the side wall’s frame. Tomorrow we plan to drill a hole through the metal in order to attach one more screw close to the edge for the frame board to prevent jiggling.


Now I want to show you the base real quick. We decided to try out sawing small channels for the walls to drop into for added stability. I feel the verdict is still out on whether or not it was a good idea, lol. Because the base also has some slight warping it’s a bit tricksy to get the walls to fall into the slot proper, but when it does it looks fine. If you were planning to make a room box of your own you could consider this an option, but I also tested setting my walls directly on my base (without slipping into the channels) and it also seemed fine. Lastly it pays to keep in mind that you can add baseboards to your walls to cover up any gaps you may have and make things look nice and tight.


I thought I would go ahead and show you how this thing closes over on itself. I think it also helps to illustrate how it was constructed. You may also notice in this picture the small holes left by the nail gun from the staples. As I said before, those will be filled in with wood putty and made to be invisible. 🙂


And further we go….Here you can see how the two hinge holes on the side wall don’t really get any purchase, on the side wall’s frame board. This gets fixed tomorrow though as we will make a new hole and add a screw.


Lastly you can see here how it folds up. The side wall will end up protecting the window nicely from one side. If I do store this between the bedframe and the wall I will more than likely secure the window and then have the window side face the wall. If under the bed storage, I’d probably lay the window side down on the base.

So there you have it, this is the basic construction of the room box. Now comes the painting, flooring, window making and etc… to truly finish the piece. I’m hoping to have a little more time to work on it this weekend, but come Monday it’s back to work for me. XP Anyway I’ll be sure to share more things as I get them done…thanks for reading! I hope if you decide to build your own room box you have success!