Making a Doll House Stone Chimney

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I’ve been thirsting for more information, inspiration, techniques and resources for building a doll house. Unfortunately, there’s fairly limited information available for 1:3 – 1:4 scale doll houses (AG size).

However, I’ve discovered a plethora of doll house information in the traditional miniaturists world (primarily 1/12″ scale). Their attention to detail is incredible and sometimes unbelievable. I want to incorporate some of their techniques in our doll house.

I somehow came up with the idea that our doll house’s chimney should be visible in Kit’s attic room. I guess I like the visual of seeing the stone texture with the attic’s wood walls.

On the first floor of our doll house, I plan to add a stone fireplace to the family room. That fireplace will be right below where I’m putting the chimney in the attic. That latter detail really doesn’t matter, but for some reason, the realism and continuity of the fireplace from ground to roof is important to me.

I used a 1″ thick styrofoam sheet (like this) to create the chimney’s core. I cut it to size with a box cutter knife. I adhered the chimney piece to the attic wall with adhesive caulk plus some nails with using paperboard “washers” to hold the piece close to the wall while the adhesive dried (that probably doesn’t make sense).

I covered the styrofoam with plaster cloth (instead of doing paper maché) to give the stones something to hold on to. I also wasn’t sure how if the styrofoam would should through between the stones so wanted to cover it up.

For the stones, I used the type of cardboard from paper egg cartons. It’s different than regular cardboard; it’s softer somehow. Luckily, I didn’t have to buy dozens and dozens of eggs for my stones because we got a couple of packages with that type of cardboard as internal packing material. Score!

Ignore the Mod Podge, I didn’t use or need it for this.

I used utility scissors to cut an abundances of “stones” in round-ish shapes. Next came time to puzzle them together, making sure some wrapped around the edge. Once I knew where a few stones would go, I used Loctite Power Grab Adhesive to hold the stones to the chimney. I tried several adhesives before the Loctite Power Grab and it works the best for me.

I painted the chimney surface with a sponge brush and gray paint (a paint sample from Lowe’s), making sure to get into the “grout” areas really well. I didn’t end up needing to grout around the stones like I thought, so paint was enough.

I used a natural sea sponge and half a dozen different brown and gray paints to make the cardboard shapes look like stones. The sponges are from Michaels in the artist’s paint section.

I’m really happy with how it turned out.

P.S. In the last picture you can see that I’ve started to modify the wood piece that will become the door. I used iron-on wood veneer edgebanding (3/4″ wide) to add a border frame on the door. I’m going to add a second row of the edgebanding inside of the first to make the border thicker. Then, once painted, I think it will look a like a paneled door.

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