Making a Brick Wall and Tile Floor for the Doll House

I created the mood board above to give me a direction for the doll house Craft room design. I love the look of a brick wall (plain or painted) and want to create a focal painted “brick” wall for the back wall. I’ve been seeing the black and white tiles every where on interior design accounts and thought this would be a perfect place to use them in the house.

The idea for a beamed ceiling comes from the need to cover the seam in the ceiling. I used a thin plywood (1/4″) for the doll house roof (third floor ceiling) since the the roof won’t have anything heavy sitting on top it. The quarter inch plywood comes in 2’x4′ sheets so I had to use two sheets butted up against each other to cover the top rooms. The seam runs through the middle of the craft room ceiling and the adjacent library room ceiling.

I made the bricks for this room the same way I made the bricks for the doll house porch floor. This time I documented a little of the process of creating the bricks.

I purchased a roll of thin cork. I got it at either Jo-Ann or Michaels. I selected several different colors of craft paint plus a bottle of glaze. For this painted wall I picked some off whites, whites, gray, tan and rust. I primarily used the whites and off whites paints and used the other colors to tint the whites/off-whites here and there. I mixed the glaze in the paints occasionally to allow the colors to show through with each layer. I applied the paint with a natural sea sponge to give a mottled less-uniform look.

The next step is to cut the piece of cork down into AG scale brick pieces. The brick shape I’m creating is the side view of a brick. My pieces are around 2½” x 1″. I’ll have to go measure to get the exact measurement.

I used a 6″ x 14″ OmniGrip ruler to cut the cork sheet with my Olfa 60mm rotary cutter that I’ve had since 2005. I have these tools because I am a quilter, but I’ve found them come in handy for other crafting uses. I used a worn rotary blade no longer good for cutting fabric to cut the cork (you can see I’ve written “DULL” on it so I don’t mistakenly use a good blade to cut non-fabric items). A fresh rotary blade lasts only so long for cutting fabric well. If the blade gets a knick (from being dropped) or once it gets dull, it doesn’t cut fabric well anymore BUT it is still useful to cut other materials like paper or cork or felt or craft foam.

You have to use a plastic ruler like this with a rotary cutter. Trust me, you can’t use a metal ruler (or a metal-edged ruler) with a rotary cutter if you want the blade on the rotary cutter to last longer than one use. If the width of my ruler seems too wide for your needs, a 2½” x 18½” ruler would be a good size for crafting. The longer 18½” length is great for cutting paper that’s too long for a typical paper cutter. There are a lot of sizes of clear rulers available. I prefer the OmniGrips brand.

Once all of my bricks are cut, I use my scissors to clip the corners off the brick pieces to make them look worn, or less than perfect. Note that I don’t toss the bricks that aren’t full length. These pieces come in handy for filling in on the ends of rows.

Next up, I prepped my floor “tiles”. I looked online to find design inspiration for black and white tiles. I then created a tile pattern I liked in Illustrator. I

I printed the tile design on white card stock, then cut the tiles apart using my two paper cutters. The big one for cutting the rows of tiles. .

SIDENOTEE: I do not recommend my big paper cutter. It’s terrible because the blade doesn’t line up square to the gray edge at the top, what you normally put your paper against when cutting. I have a better chance of ending up with square cuts when I manually and visually line up my paper with the lines on the board. Not efficient but since it still kinda works, I haven’t replaced the cutter.

Then I switched to my favorite little paper cutter to turn the rows of tiles into individual tiles. According to Amazon, I purchased that little paper cutter in January 2012. It’s so much easier to make small cuts on a small paper cutter.

I guess I didn’t take progress shots of laying the tile! Whoops. I painted the floor a medium gray color which will show between the tiles as my grout. In pencil, I drew a grid on the floor to keep the tile placement straight. The grid size lines left room for the “grout” lines to show.

Tile placement: the tiles are centered width wise in the room (the right and left edges have the same size tiles running along the sides). The edge of the room closest to use has full size tiles where as at the back wall, the tiles have been cut to fit.

Tile Installation: Starting from the front center, I brushed regular ModPodge on in small sections using a foam brush. I placed the tiles on the ModPodge, smoothed out the paper and then left it alone. I continued this process around the room until it was covered. Once the ModPod and tiles dried, I used a clean high quality 1″ paint brush to brush a layer of HARD COAT ModPodge over the surface to seal it (don’t use an applicator that could leave debris, like a foam brush or chip brush). I did this a couple of times to make sure it was sealed well.

For the wood “beams”, I got 1″x2″s, cut them to size, distressed the wood, then stained and sealed it. I attached the beams to the ceiling with nails from above as well as wood glue to make sure they wouldn’t fall down.

I think these design elements give us a great start to a future craft room. I’d love to have a craft room with these ‘bones’!

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