Monday, August 19, 2013

How To Make A Simple Stone Dollhouse Fireplace

dollhouse fireplace made of stones

Back in 2011 I made my first stone fireplace and that was for my homemade castle. It is a corner piece and
it is also big enough to fit  my little Santa Claus inside, so on Christmas Eve you can see his boots dangling in there! I put a little x-mas video together and at the end of that video you'll see Santa's boots just coming down the fireplace.

Now I'm making a Gnome home out of a coffee can and for this one I used the same method as I did for the castle but this one sits up against the can wall and not in the corner. I needed this one to have retaining walls so it wouldn't sit flat against the wall. I used an empty box and cut it down to size but you could also cut a piece of poster board and fold the sides in. It also needs to be covered with paint or something dark so if there are any gaps in your stones you won't see the light colored background. I covered the entire surface with a piece of dark craft felt, just hot glued it in place and that works great!

Supplies:
small box made of thin cardboard or just use poster board
dark piece of felt or dark craft paint
hot glue
stones
Optional:
piece of wood for the mantel piece
air drying clay but you can use stones for this part too.
bowl of cold water
The mantel piece can be made from anything you choose and there's many ways you could do the mantel. Use google to give you ideas.. type in "stone fireplace mantel" and click on images, there's bunches of ideas there. For the one in the castle I actually used a long flat stone which is awesome! For this fireplace I used a piece of balsa wood. If you don't have any balsa on hand consider coffee stir sticks or popsicle sticks. Hot glue them in place and you can give that a coat of minwax (I used golden oak) and/or linseed oil. If you don't have minwax or linseed oil on hand consider *rubbing* on a watered down brown acrylic paint then cover that with a clear coat of nail polish.. Remember to always test colors on a spare piece of the wood you're using  first so you'll know how it'll look. Have the mantel overlap the top edge a bit so the stones fit nicely under it.
dollhouse fireplace mantel homemade
Now you'll need a good pile of small stones. I actually have a bunch in my own yard so I didn't have to go far. But if you don't have a supply consider the river or the beach... maybe a park close by has some stones they won't miss. Make sure to get way  too many!  It's surprising once you get started gluing them in place just how many stones you'll pick through to get to the right one, haha
I did sort through my pile a head of time to find the small, flatter stones.

bunches of stones
Now the fun part.. hot gluing each and every one of them!! I put the glue on the felt then placed the stone over top. I found that the safest method but still keep a bowl of cold water close by just in case you get hot glue on your fingers, OUCH!!! If that happens just quickly put your finger in the bowl of water. You want to cool down that glue as quickly as possible.
Now the picture below does not accurately show how I glued them on.. I just loosely placed these ones for the picture but for the ones I did glue in place I made sure to have the stones just overlap the inside and outside edges of the sides so you don't see any felt or board underneath. I did NOT overlap the top or bottom edges of course as the fireplace needs to sit flat on the floor.

gluing stones on a box

part of stone fireplace
The inside back wall piece that you see when you look into the fireplace is done the same way as the rest.. cut a piece of the box you used, there's no need for sides now.. you just a flat a piece, cover it with dark felt then hot glue the stones on. Hot glue that entire piece right onto the wall then place your fireplace over top that.. but wait until you have everything made so you can piece it together and know exactly how it will look and how big you'll need to make the inside wall.
The floor piece inside the fireplace is a piece of air drying clay I got from the dollar store and I just squished it in place and left it to dry. I did paint parts of it later to look like black soot, I also did the same to the back wall so it now looks well used. For the castle I made a stone floor which looks great too.

Ok so for the chimney I cut a piece of poster board.. If you do this part and you want it wider at the bottom like I did mine just size up the piece you'll need then fold it in half and cut out the shape you want. That way you'll get symmetrical sides. I thought of this after much frustration of trying to get sides that matched, haha.
Then again, cover with dark paint or felt and glue on the stones. Once done hotglue that entire piece right onto the wall over the bottom piece
Do all the same steps for the front piece that sits on the floor in front of the fireplace, then hotglue that in place.
Easy stuff hey?!
making a template for dollhouse chimney

stone fireplace inside dollhouse

Ant that's it! A cozy stone fireplace.. hope you enjoyed this tutorial and hope it gave you some ideas on how to build your own. Until next time, keep dreaming and building!!

2 comments:

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