by Teri Hanson
For a long time now I’ve wanted to build a Craftsman style house but the finished size has always been an issue. I simply do not have room for another large dollhouse. This week I decided against an entire house and instead will build a room box for a living room/dining room scene. I hope you enjoy the build and that it inspires you to create something new!
After much deliberation, Foamcore was the material I’ve decided to use. Actually, I’ll be using a combination of Foamcore board, medium weight Chipboard, and Basswood materials. For those who don’t know, Foamcore is a polystyrene foam clad with an outer facing of paper on either side. It’s available in various sizes, thickness, and is easily cut, glues well, and can be painted. Chipboard is a type of paperboard, much like cardboard, and also comes in various weights. Generally, I use a medium weight (1/16″) thick brown or natural chipboard. It’s easily cut with a craft knife, can be sanded and painted.You can find a link to the chipboard I use in my “Need Supplies” list at right.
Note: This project is created in 1:24 half scale
- 17 1/4″ wide, 8″ deep, 6 3/8″ high (right side), 9″ at roof peak
The roombox will be created with the Foamcore, then strengthened with chipboard and basswood, as I create the wall, floor, and ceiling decorations.
Cut from Foamcore
Note: I did not bevel the cuts on the roof sections. You can if you like but it will all be covered and not show in the end.
- 17″ x 8″ – bottom
- 17″ x 8 1/2″ – back wall (see more info below)
- (2) 8″ x 6 1/8″ – sides
- (2) 7 13/16″ x 6″ – room divider wall (see more info below)
- 8″ x 7 7/16″ – roof 1
- (2) 8″ x 5 1/2″ – roof 2
- From the back piece you cut earlier, measure from bottom left corner up 6 1/8″ and draw a tick mark. Repeat for the right side.
- Draw a line across the full width of the board connecting the tick marks on the left and right sides.
- From the 6 1/8″ tick mark on the left side, measure inward 7 3/8″ and make a tick mark.
- Find the center from the 7 3/8″ tick mark over to the right side and make a tick mark. Now draw a line from that tick mark up to the top of the board.
- Draw lines from the line at the top of the board down to the 7 3/8″ tick mark and to the line at the right side, to form the roof line.
- Starting at the left side 6 1/8″ tick mark, cut across to the 7 3/8″ tick mark, then upward to the top, at the center line drawn earlier, and lastly, down to the right side tick mark – or end of the line.
- From the top, measure down 1″ and draw a line across the width of the board.
- From the bottom, measure upward 2″ and draw a line across the width of the board.
- From both the left and right sides, measure inward 1/2″ and draw a line connecting the two lines you previously drew at top and bottom.
- At the bottom left, measure inward 2″ and draw a line from bottom up to the 2″ line you drew previously. Repeat for the right side.
- Cut on the draw lines to create the wall shown to the right, in the image below. You will need two of these.
- Once created, glue the two walls together.
Do not assemble with glue. Use painters tape to assemble and check the fit of all pieces, as seen in the image above.
Once assembled, use a pencil to mark lines on the floor and the back wall. Do the same for the sides, where the floor meets the sides. And again, for the ceiling where the back and sides are attached. This will mark off the areas that will be glued, areas that should not be covered by floor or wall finishes.
When everything has been marked, you can dis-assemble it.
From this point you have choices to make about how you wish to proceed. You can build up your walls directly on the foamcore or build them on chipboard then attach to the foamcore, or do a bit of both. I think I’ll be doing a bit of both.
I recently ran across another builders site where they were showing how they took the top paper layer off the foamcore, creating a nice texture for painted wall areas. I’m going to give this a try and see how I like it.
Here’s an example for you to see. As you can tell, the top paper layer peels off pretty easily. On the far right I’ve sort of pounced the paint onto the foamcore. On the left, top, a thin layer of paint was brushed on. On the bottom I’ve painted on two coats, letting the first one dry before adding the second. The two coats area still has some texture but not as much as the other areas so it depends on what you like for your walls.
Once that paper layer has been removed, you can score the foam or push things into it to create boards, bricks, or stones. So this is something you might think about when creating your walls.
Windows and Doors
If you will have windows and doors in your roombox, now is the time to cut those areas out. Alterately you could create faux windows by printing an outdoor scene, adding it to the back of a window, then glueing the entire piece to the wall. I think I’ll be cutting mine out of the foamcore so first I’m going to draw out my walls onto the foamcore. This will help me with measurements and placement for other details.
I managed to get part of the back wall architecture done today. I’ll have lights in several places and will need to figure out those before I go much further. So for now . . . here’s a look at the wall
Up next . . .