Beacon Hill: Little Bit at a Time

The Beacon Hill seems daunting, but broken down into a series of steps, it’s manageable. I am making it more complicated by building it in pieces, but what I figured I’d do is build each section a bit at a time, starting from the ground up.


I did the foundation of the kitchen / tower side last time. Now I’m finishing a few of the walls and putting them together. The instructions tell you to seal all the wood, and true, the plywood it is very thin and porous. I’m using Minwax pre-stain, but any wood sealer found at a hardware store I imagine will work.


Looking at my notes from the Fairfield (another Greenleaf kit), I note that I finished the walls I wanted to paint in the following manner: Two coats of craft acrylic paint, one coat of gloss acrylic sealer (Delta or Americana), another coat of paint, then another coat of sealer. Foam brushes work well to cover areas quickly and not leave brush strokes. If I’m going to paper the wall, I’ll do a coat of white, and then paper over it when dry.

I am currently finishing the bottom two rooms of the tower side, which will be the kitchen and the staircase hall / entrance / sitting room. I want to go shabby chic or cottage / country style, so I’m using Folk Art vintage white for the walls I’ll paint.


I decided in the staircase hall to wallpaper the ceiling with a scrapbook paper that looks like faded wallpaper. I was a little worried, because it’s not made for scale modeling, but turned out well.


I’m putting the bottom floor together–this is the bottom floor plus (as they’re labeled in the instructions) the Second Floor, the Right Partition Wall, and the Front Wall /Right. The boards warp easily, so I had to use a strap clamp to keep them in place while they dried.

I’m prepping the Right Wall, which will be the kitchen and outside wall with pre-painting. I will probably wallpaper the kitchen now (or at least cut a template for the paper), which will make it easier than after the house is together.

While the paint and wallpaper and glue dry, I’m building the staircase, which I’ll start in the next post.

The instructions have us put together the house in the following basic order:

  1. Main walls (minus tower front)
  2. Staircases
  3. Tower front and interior walls
  4. Chimney (partial)
  5. Main roof
  6. Porch
  7. Bay windows (all)
  8. Tower roof
  9. Exterior Trims
  10. Chimney (completion)
  11. Tower roof window
  12. Doors
  13. More exterior trim
  14. Interior trim

I have a way to go! I’ll likely build the tower part of the house first then do the other half of the house, which I will build on to.

Next–the staircases! (with lots of photos)


Beacon Hill: Foundation, Tower Side

I glued the basic foundation to the tower side of the house. The pieces are the first floor (that I cut in half), the foundation back (which I cut to fit), and the support piece, which I used as is, though I put it not in the middle but on the side (on the right, where I cut the floor apart).


When I built the Fairfield, I realized I wanted more support for the foundation, and I feel the same way about this house. I added three pieces in the middle (they are 1.5 inches high and 1/4 inch thick). On the left side, the outside kitchen wall will form another piece of the foundation, and there are foundation pieces for the porch (bottom) that will be added later.


Here is the first floor and foundation, ready to go. This is looking from the back; the porch is on the far side.

Now I need to start sealing wood, deciding what kind of flooring I want, how I’ll be decorating the rooms, and how to do the electricity.

Thinking about wiring, I realize there are benefits and drawbacks to each system (round wire or copper tape). I will probably use a combination of both–whichever is most easily hidden.



Beacon Hill–The Beginning

I’m going to do it. I am going to put together my Beacon Hill.


I’m going to try to show how I build this, step by step, though I’ll be kit bashing.


When I took the large sheets out of the kit, many of the smaller pieces fell out of them. I gathered them up and put them into ziplock bags to keep them safe.

Back before I moved, I located the main pieces of the house, which are used in the first couple of steps in the instructions, and taped everything together.


Here is a shot from the rear, showing the main three floors. An interior wall goes on the bottom floor to separate the staircase hall from the big room on its right.

Here’s a photo from a dollhouse website showing the back view of the house as put together but unfinished.


I like this one because you can see what the kitchen window on the left is supposed to look like.


Front in another example (I think this is from the Greenleaf site).

Anyway, as I looked at the house and photos of the finished house, it occurred to me that 1) I don’t have room for another big dollhouse; and 2) This dollhouse could be cut apart to form two very lovely smaller houses.

And so, as I am slightly insane, I whacked the Beacon Hill in half.


This is what you get: Here is the left side when looking from the front, the one with the bay window on the front and side.


All I had to do was cut the three floors in half where the two parts of the house naturally come together. The walls are pieced so that the left front, tower front, and right front are separate.

I will have to build another wall to go either in the back or the side, depending on what I decide to do.


Here is the tower side taped together. This will make a nice San Francisco style row house.


Rear view of the tower side. Staircase hall is on the right.


I also realized I had in my stash a garage kit I’d bought a while back when HBS had one of their really great sales. I thought, might be cool to incorporate it somehow.


The garage fits perfectly on the underside of the bay window side of the house. Whether I’ll use it as an actual garage or a basement or simply the first floor, I haven’t decided.


If I use it as garage or basement, I’ll build a grand entrance on the side of the house for the front door. I might add a half story on whichever side I pick, with stairs leading up to a front door. (Probably on the right so I can have the bay window that comes with the kit on the left)


My goal is to keep the footprint of the two houses small. Where I might not have room for one large house, I can tuck two smaller ones into corners.

Plus I have the fun of coming up with two different decorating schemes! I plan for the bay window house with garage to be an elegant place with beautiful furniture and chandeliers.

The tower side will be more homey and cozy, maybe with a shabby chic theme going on. Or vice versa.

It’s a beginning! I’ll try to keep a photo record as I go.



More projects in finishing stages


Another half-inch scale house I’ve been playing with is this one. I won it, unfinished, in a raffle at a miniature show a couple years ago. It was originally a rustic shack with a pot-bellied stove and a built-in bed–I believe the house was called “Possum Hut.”


I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with the rustic look. The gallery had been on the right wall–I moved it to the back so the ladder to it didn’t take up the entire middle of the room.


I also decided to put in a few electric lights–you can see the tape wire I started here.


The outside I left alone. It’s cute and weathered, apple green and burnt orange.IMG_6595

Inside, I decided to wallpaper. I like the spattered-look floor, so I’m leaving it alone. I couldn’t find any wallpaper I liked in my stash, so I chose some scrapbooking papers, three different ones, to wallpaper the interior. I cut each to fit between the beams, which took some doing.




The gallery in its new place with new railings. I might redo the bedding, which is original to the house. I purchased the weathered sink on Etsy.


The distressed half-inch scale table/chairs and hutch I bought at a NAME show–it was made by Ron and April Gill’s daughter, Michelle (I think I’m remembering all this correctly).

I will add one or two more pieces of furniture and accessories, a rag rug or two, but this tiny house is done enough to put up on my shelf on display. I like how it’s turning out!

What I’ve Been Working On

Now that I’m finally settled into my new house, I’ve been able to get back to projects. I am nearly finished with the inside of the Real Good Toys Half-Inch Scale Bungalow. Scroll down for photos!




As you can see, I moved the staircase to the middle of the house, made this one big room, and put in a fireplace.


Needs pictures and other touches, but you get the idea.




Upstairs, I made the left side of the house one big room instead of cutting it up. I wanted more room for furniture. The staircase comes out in the middle of it, but why not?







I’m pleased with the way the scrapbook paper came out as a mural. Amazed too! It wasn’t easy.


I played with the interior a little bit, removing a wall on the second floor and moving the staircase on the first floor.


I have more finishing touches to make (pictures, rugs, towels, plants, porch furniture), but it’s come a long way from blank pieces in a box!