Welcome to the brand new Maple Street Dolls House Gallery!

All our customers are invited to send us pictures of their houses, along with a few words about how and why they were built (or maybe a few tips!) so other miniaturists can enjoy them! You can send houses, shops, room boxes or basements - in fact anything that you think might be of interest to other enthusiasts - add your doll's house...


The dolls Shop

I have seen the shops that other people have done and thought i would like to do one myself, so we bought one in kit form put it together and decorated it and I thought that the shop would be nice with some of the old fashioned packaging – we were really pleased with the final outcome!

These dolls houses were made from kits by Barbaras Mouldings. They are all Georgian houses -the largest is a morcott and the last one is also based on the morecot but it is called a liddington which the ground floor is a  shop which we have made into a bakery and on the other side is a tea rooms! also have another dolls house waiting to be made up and that one is an Edwardian house.

I have always loved dolls houses but never got one when I was a little girls so I now have 4!

Chris Courtman

Although new to the hobby, when we decided to undertake construction of our first Dolls House we decided to choose a kit which some might consider to be fairly advanced (although we had absolutely no problems with it!) We started with a degree of intrepidation as neither I nor my wife have ever built a dolls house before and although still work in progress, after three months the exterior and the majority of the interior are now complete with only the pub to finish.

Fortunately we live in an old coaching town surrounded by Tudor buildings which have proved to be an invaluable source for building materials and construction, with particular reference to timbers and perhaps, most importantly how they have aged over the years.

An all brick construction using the multi textured slips (2 courses making a depth of 13mm appeared most effective) with the wooden roofs tiles being perfect for an undulating finish prior to being painted in gouache and thus simulating years of neglect, moss and pigeon droppings!

Although now nearing completion I am utterly amazed by how enjoyable this has all been and can only compare it to my very first model of a Hurricane when made as a little lad.

Mike & Sue Carrington, Essex

The Artists Residence

This is the artists residence.   It is based around the Maple Street 1/24 scale Room Box and is filled my own original work! Done for a competition a while back, this property has become an ambassador for my work both as an artist and as a miniaturist.   labbet.jpgThis year I was hoping to use this image for the Surrey Artists Open Studio’s scheme.

The ground floor is a gallery displaying the latest collection of original artworks, and pints.   This level is the artist’s studio space and living quarters.   In here I covered the walls in my own artwork, and used items splattered around the room that I made, as well as objects that were found and acquired.

Sophy Labbett (Surrey)

Harry Potter

This is my first attempt at a miniatures.  The 1/24 scale shop box was purchased from Maple Street on an impulse, having seen the advertised competition.  img_0873-2this.jpg       My initial thoughts were to create something conventional such as a cake or hat shop, but neither of these ideas really appealed, which is when I came up with the idea of creating my interpretation of Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes from the Harry Potter books. I quickly discovered that the range of  is somewhat smaller than 1/12 which meant that, although I did manage to source some great bits and pieces, I had to make a lot of the shop stock myself from scratch which was a huge learning curve and required a lot of experimentation.  The stock now includes Skiving Snackboxes, Weasleys’ Wizard Whizzbangs, the Wonder Witch products, Pygmy Puffs, Edible Dark Marks, Daydream Charms, various Books (including the full set of Harry Potter!), trick cauldrons and broomsticks … and much, much more! img_0886-this.jpgI also had to get creative with the Fimo to transform 2 resin standard shopkeeper models into Fred and George Weasley. This project was great fun and I have lots of plans for future models.

Jill Loader, Somerset, England 

The Tudor Corner Shop

My wife always wanted to build a Tudor House, and this seemed a fairly simple one to start with, and apart from the roof beams, which were a little tricky, the rest of it was fairly easy. It would be good to move on to something more challenging, like perhaps the ‘Ye Olde Coach House’ but it will be necessary to ensure we have enough real house space first! Tudor style houses are more difficult than say a Victorian or 1930′s style house, the building itself must be as authentic as possible, but to bear in mind that it would be lived in today by a more modern family or run as a shop. It’s a mistake to furnish it like a museum!

corner11.jpg The house was bought from Maple Street in kit form. The instructions were very clear and there were quite a few useful tips as well. The internal and external beam cladding was our own wood, however, usually sapele with a dark oak stain. The edges were ‘distressed’, made much quicker by use of an electric grinding wheel!

There were 2 aspects in the kit which we decided to change, one being the stairs and the other the beams and cladding. Because of the small area of the ground floor, a straight stairway would have taken up too much room, so a curving stairway was constructed using triangular blocks of oak wood glued together, with rounded bull-nose fronts to the treads. This was built into the corner of the room and came out in the same corner of the first floor, alongside the protruding fireplace, and the same curving stairway has been duplicated in the opposite corner leading from the first to the second floor.

tudor32.jpgFor the curved stairway, I obtained some real oak offcuts locally from a kitchen supplier, and cut them to a pattern found in a doll’s house construction book. All the wood cutting was done on a miniature electric circular saw which is the most useful doll’s house tool I’ve ever bought. It was not expensive, either, around £50 I believe. But if you have the time, cutting by hand would look better, especially if you cut a little crooked, as it’s more realistic (one of the tips in your own instructions!) Also less risk of losing a finger tip! The second floor has panelled walls and just a ladder to the loft space. The 3 ceilings were marked out for beams, with a larger angled ‘dragon beam’ to the external corners, which enabled cross beams, all of the beams extending out to act as a support for the larger floor, with 3 external angled brackets supporting the thicker beams.

tudor21.jpgAll of the electric lighting is ‘candle’ type in keeping with the period. The ceiling candelabra on the second floor has concealed wiring in a large groove cut into the underside of one of the large beams. A tip here: glue into the groove a large diameter drinking straw and this will enable easy threading of the cable should it ever need to be replaced. The photos clearly show this, with the house being decorated just for Christmas. The finishing touch was the house sign ‘The House That Moved’ in old English black lettering, swinging from a decorative metal bracket. On the rear roof there is a red-brick chimney breast with 2 chimney pots, one for each fireplace, but this doesn’t show in the photos.

The roof was covered with cedar shingles, dyed in a dark grey. Internally the house has hanging tapestries on wood panelled walls, Tudor figures and Tudor-style furniture. The whole project took about 2 years, on and off.

Tom and Rosemary Dunn, Exeter, Devon

The Victorian Cottage

Having attained the age at which a certain government department sends you a little book which entitles you to queue at your local post office once a week I decided there was going to be a bit cottage2.jpgmore to my life, so I treated myself to a Victorian cottage and basement!

After basic construction, extra walls and doors were added to allow all members of the household to travel from the public pavement to the attic via stairways and hallways without going outside or through private rooms in the house itself.

The flagstone basement consists of kitchen to the left and laundry room to the right all fitted with the latest appliances of the day. Whilst the ground floor sees us looking into a typical Victorian parlour and dining room with all the usual clutter.cottage1.jpg The first floor houses a large bedroom on one side and bathroom/toilet on the other and finally the attic rooms are fitted out to accommodate a child’s bedroom with space on the other side for a live in nanny.

As with our other house, the OLDE COACHING INN (shown elsewhere in this gallery) all exterior finishes were covered in authentic bricks, welsh slate and flagstones. Lighting was installed and guttering and drainpipes were also added for the final touch and we believe they make the house look extremely realistic!

As with our second house we loved every minute of it and I am afraid we have now well and truly got the ‘bug’!

Marion Godsafe, Ashingdon, England

 

The Olde Coach Inn

Having just completed my first dolls house (a Victorian cottage) I decided I needed a bit of a challenge and took a trip to Maple Street. There I found just what I was looking for – a superb Tudor Coachinpgodg.JPGg Inn! .

I decided early on that I did not want the property to be set only in the Tudor era – this would have been too constricting when it came to choosing lights and furniture. My house was going to combine the best features of both ancient and modern so the interior is set firmly in the modern era!

One side of the ground floor is a public house with a detailed bar (complete with happy customers!) whilst the other side has a old fashioned general store. The middle floor consists of a kitchen, restaurant and toilet blocks ( male and female!) and finally the top floor houses a games room, reading room and cloakroom.

godg.JPGWhilst we were building the kit we had a great idea and the chimneys were hollowed out to incorporate actual inglenook fireplaces. The bar has a mirror fitted on the rear wall to reflect the whole room.
We wanted to really go to town on this kit and spent many hours on the exterior finishes. The roof,walls and courtyard are all individual authentic tiles, bricks and stone(over 15,000 in all!).

Enjoyed every minute!! Marian Godsafe, Ashingdon, England

Gino’s Antique Shop

This Sid Cooke Regency Shop box was my first attempt at the 1/12th world. I was immediately impressed by the comprehensive instructions and although I found some parts tricky to assemble, on tlucy12.jpghe whole it went smoothly.

I found it easier to paint individual components before attaching them to the house, the windows in particular would have been impossible had they been glued to the front prior to me getting the paintbrush out. I wanted the exterior to have a ‘rough’ texture, and at that moment in time I had not discovered the amazing stone coating products offered by Charles Products. To create the look I was after I first covered the sides in a thin layer of polyfiller, then when that was almost dry I stippled my yellow paint on. I then tried to get a little ‘arty’ and painted some trailing flowers and foliage around the windows and doors.lucy22.jpg

Inside I pretty much knew how I wanted it to look; I had already spotted a William Morris paper that I absolutely adored, it is called Pimpernel and I thought it would be perfect for my Antique Shop. Together with the green paint (tester pot from Homebase) and the wooden floor, it created just the image I was after.

I had already collected quite a few pieces to go on the shelves and over the years I have added to these. I tried my hand at painting and re-covering a chair; I also tried some of the Phoenix metal kits which really are lovely to paint. I think that Gino, the proprietor has an unusual, eclectic mix of bits and bobs in his shop; and if I were 1/12th then I’d definitely step inside to browse around!

Lucy Titchmarsh , Orwell, England

The Maples

copy-of-country-house-copy.jpgWe bought a 1/24th house as we already had a 1/12th house and of course, space is a premium. This is our third house. We choose this particular house as it was small enough to fit the space we had and had the advantage of having the shops in the basement section.Price was also a factor with nothing coming close for the price. Janice decided that she wanted a flower shop and a pub. We thought this would be a good mix and new fitments were available for both. I bought the Maple Street Country House as a Christmas present for my wife.Why this particular house? Because it gives so much scope. If you purchase the basement you will not only have a house but also two shops as well.

Having looked at what is available in 1/24th and after seeing the finished article in the Maple Street store. I decided that this was the best value for money for a house and shop combined.

It was a straight forward build which anyone who can follow basic instructions could build. Of course the more effort you put in the better the finished article will be.arcade-copy.jpg

The house has lights throughout including the secret room in the archway.

This house and shop should cover all your needs for a 1/24th project and we are very please with our choice.

Tips: Take your time and familiarise yourself with all the parts. Have a dry run holding everything together with masking tape first.I used 3m spray adhesive, which makes paperhanging very easy, but also very costly. Groove out channels for the wiring. Not really necessary in this scale but does make for a neater job. We used modelling cable ties at the back to keep the wiring neat and tidy. Also we used 1/12th plugs and sockets as we found the 1/24th very fiddly.

Alan and Janice Maynard, Turnford, England

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