Beacon Hill: Left Side–Chandelier


I have chandelier!

I made this myself with findings from JAR / JAF and Cirkit candle holders and bulbs. It was a challenge!

Can’t remember if I showed the garage light, but here it is. (I purchased this one.)

I had to dial way back on minis to finish writing a book and turn it in, but I’ve returned to finishing the Beacon Hill.

Not much left! I need to make a chandelier for the middle floor room on this side, then put in floors, trim it up, and I’m done!

I’m gathering my thoughts on making this big house and I’ll do a tips / lessons learned post on it later.


Beacon Hill–Fireplaces


The fireplaces for the Beacon Hill are pretty straightforward, but as the instructions are sparse and have few photos, here’s the fireplace construction:

Fireplace pieces laid out. From top row to bottom: Trim, front, firebox back and sides; base/hearth, sides; top pieces (mantel), which get glued together, flush in back–one is smaller than the other.

Test building: Front goes in slots on hearth / base.

The mantel: Glue smaller on top of larger, centered, and flush at back. Have the “good” side of both pieces on the outside.

Firebox from the back. Sides angle from back to front.

The whole thing roughed together. Larger piece of the mantel goes on top.

Trim goes on front. Note that the trim is flush at the top of the front (not bottom).

I finished my firebox and hearth with brick paper before gluing together. Shot of the angles of the back.


I glued my trim on before I glued the piece to the hearth. This is how I discovered that the trim should be flush on top not bottom. (Bottom part of trim does not fit in slots.)

View from top with sides added. Edges of sides go against back of front piece.

Sides glued in place.

Mantel added.

Side view.

Front view of finished fireplace. I finished painting after I glued it together, because I didn’t want it to warp.

Finished and painted fireplace in position in house. The second floor fireplace is identical to this one. I’ll show the third floor one when I get there.

I finished the floor and all the trims (baseboards, cornices, trim around the bay openings, trim, trim, trim. Lots of raw edges!)

Note: I did not use the scrolled “bay window trim” that comes with the kit. For what the kitchen bay one looks like see Beacon Hill: Trimming the Interior. The bay trims go into the front and left bay on this side of the house in the same way as the kitchen bay’s.

Staircase set in place. I still need to finish the staircase opening, add an extra step, and a few other details before I glue it in. Plus I want to make a chandelier so I’m not dodging the staircase when I put it in.

Gathering all the pieces and tools for new chandelier!

Beacon Hill–Catching up


I’ve been working on the Beacon Hill since I returned from Chicago, in between working hard on about four books at once. I have made some progress.

The left bay window is finished and installed. You can see I have much cleaning up to do.

I also finished the inside of the garage (painted) and added a light.

This gadget is a junction splice between the tape wiring and the power supply. It can be used with LED lights (the black and red posts where wires can be placed), or simply screwed into the tape (which is what I did). I bought this from Carl Sahlberg at

A bad photo, but this shows how the inline switch plugs in. The black cord leads to the transformer / power supply.

It works!

Roughing in floor and staircase.

Floor stained and installed. I need to finish it.

I’m trying to decide whether to go with the piano …

Or the harpsichord. I like how they both look.

Staircase is almost finished. I had to take it apart to stain the treads and railings while having everything else white. I broke four of the spindles and had to replace with Houseworks ones. I’ll show more of the staircase when I’m done with it.

Moving to the other side … I have much of the outside trimmed and finished.


Playing with furniture placement.

I decided to switch the bathroom to the top floor. The fixtures fit well in here, better than they did in the second floor room. Oh well. They match the wallpaper too.

The other side of the top floor will continue the bathroom. The washing and sitting area.

First floor / ground floor. Entrance hall will double as a sitting room.

This is my reasoning behind building the tall bay window extension–so I’d have more room for furniture! Not sure that the sofa in the window will stay, but it might.

Upstairs will have another sitting area / writing room. I plan to add a desk, either in the bay window or behind the staircase.

This is now the bedroom. Not much space, but it could be cozy. Everyone has a mannikin with a tutu in their bedroom, right?

Kitchen is still empty. I keep putting in the stuff I have for it, taking it out, debating arrangements. I’ll get there.

That’s it for now. Sandy has to make sure all is well beneath, though.

It’s definitely getting there!

Beacon Hill–Left Side–Garage


On with the Beacon Hill!

As I’ve talked about, I set the left side of the Beacon Hill on top of the Houseworks garage.


I decided to proceed finishing this house from the bottom up, which means finishing the garage first.

Touched up outside paint, finished inside paint, and painted the floor.

Houseworks has a garage door to fit this kit, so I painted and installed it. Tip: Do not paint the rollers or the roller tracks if you want the door to work (it rolls up and down). I used this same door kit in the Mechanics Garage I did a few years ago.

Outside finished and trimmed.

I didn’t construct the garage exactly to the specifications of the kit, because I needed a flat roof, and the kit has peaked sides. I could have simply cut the peaks off the sides, but in the absence of a good power saw I decided to use other pieces of the kit to create the side walls.

This leaves me with a hole in the upper left side, because that piece of wood was supposed to be a floor with a hole for a ladder or staircase. Now it’s a window!

I went back to my own “Windows Tutorial” (link below) and did a custom-made window. First lined opening with 3/8 strip wood.

Making the two window frames from 1/4″ strip wood.

Frames ready for plastic or micro-glass in between. I imagine most people’s windows will be neater than mine.

The finished window with outside trim and sill (I haven’t trimmed the inside yet).

The Windows Tutorial post shows in detail how I put together custom windows. This method will let you make any window for any size of opening. Very convenient when you have an odd-sized opening or want to make different styles of windows without relying on what’s commercially available.

Now we have the garage! I need to do more trimming on the bottom.

While looking at this house head on, I made the decision not to do the entrance stairs up the side. I like how it looks, I can pretend there’s a way up from the garage, and it will be easier for me to display in a tight space, which was why I cut the Beacon Hill apart in the first place.

I will most likely put the left bay window in where it’s supposed to go.

My decision is not set in stone–I might change my mind again. But I like the simple appearance of the house as is.

If I do put in the bay window, I’ll prep all the parts.

Next thing for me, though, is the Chicago International Show! I am going this year for the first time! Signed up for workshops and everything. Let’s hope I don’t spend too much money. 🙂 I have $ set aside and a budget. Really.

Hopefully I’ll be able to take some photos of exhibits of cool minis. Which I of course will share!

Beacon Hill: Add-ons


Because I cut my Beacon Hill in half, I need to fill in what I took away. In the left portion, I’m leaving the side open for easier viewing, but because I put it on top of a garage, I need a new front door, and a staircase to reach it.

I’m turning the side bay window into the front door. I’ll build up the opening and then put a door in it, possibly with sidelights–I’ll think about it.  A staircase runs up from the ground to reach it.

The opening below will be an archway through which our imaginary people can walk to get to a door into the garage. More realistic if they can park and walk out to the stairs without having to use the rolling garage door.

This is a rough-in of the outside stairs that will run up to the front door. You can sort of see what will become the porch roof as well.

Another view relative to the garage.

I will build the walls, put in the stairs, and then trim it with plenty of moldings, spindles, posts, and lots of Victorian gingerbread.

On the right portion of the house …

I’ve added the outside wall with bays on ground and second floors. The bays give me more room on each of the floors to add furniture–it’s a small space without it. I painted to match the rest of the house.

When I get it all trimmed up with moldings and roof brackets I’ll post more pictures.

The inside of the second floor bay window. I need to wipe the dust off the floor, but this bay extension will let me put in a desk or sofa or something as I decorate. Again, more pics when I get it all trimmed and cleaned up!

Using the large windows lets me have a different perspective of the inside, one I wouldn’t see well if I’d built the house as one unit. This is looking into the upstairs and the French door to the balcony.

Ground floor with front door and staircase. The staircase is intricate and hard to build, so it’s nice to see it!

I have more trimming and painting to do, not to mention the outside staircase on the left house, but I’m getting there!

Beacon Hill: Cellar Window


I wanted to make sure I used the cellar window. It is supposed to go at the bottom of the the left side of the house. But because I’m putting the left side on top of a garage, and so eliminating the window opening, I decided to relocate the window to the right side of the house, under the kitchen bay.

This meant, of course, that I had to cut an opening for the window. It was fairly easy to cut through the thin foundation piece.

In fact, the foundation piece fell off as I cut it, which turned out make the window easier to put in. So maybe the cellar window should be inserted before the foundation is glued on?

The four cellar window pieces (from top to bottom): Back, sill, window trim, and window frame.

The sill slides under the foundation, the notches fitting around the foundation piece (very much like the window sills in all the other windows in the house).

The back of the window is glued to the sill–the back’s edge is flush with the bottom of the sill. (If you glue the back on top of the sill, it will be too tall.)

The plastic window glued to the back of the frame.

The window frame set in place, resting on the sill.

The window trim over the frame, ends resting on the sill.

Foundation glued back on house with window in place. I added the bricks to the foundation to finish it.

The cellar window done and in place.

As you can see, I’m also in the process of bricking the foundation (textured brick paper).

I plan to finish trimming this side of the house before returning to the left side.

Beacon Hill Left Side: Windows! and Shingles


I found some time to complete the windows and shingle the roof.

Single window pieces painted and ready to be assembled in the window. See my post on the windows for the first half for more details on how to build them: Beacon Hill: Single Windows

The double window is put together very much like the single window. I like the hole in the trim that will show the window sash beneath it.

Window sill is put in first, smallest sill, then medium sill, then large sill. Top trim is large then medium then small.

I’m painting the window sashes a darker shade of green than the trim but lighter than the house. I came up with this shade by mixing the dark and very light greens (simple).

I decided to go ahead and do the dormer windows as well. (See my post on the first side of the house for more details: Beacon Hill: Dormer Windows

This is what the sill looks like, wrong side up. The wider part of the sill goes inside the house.

The painted sill fitted into the window opening.

Sill from the inside.

Sides and front slid through the opening and glued. It is much easier to fit the windows before shingling, but still it’s tight and not quite accurate. You have to get the roof pieces curved and glued down exactly, or the window pieces don’t fit together. Mine were close, but I still had to trim and wiggle and clamp before they were stable.

“Ls” in place with dormer slats glued in.

Completed dormer window with the arrow trim painted and attached to the front. I went with the same dark green as the house for the trim.

Front of the house with all windows done. I won’t put the window pane in the dormers until I’m finished decorating the inside. Learned that on the first half!

For this part of the roof, I added a matte board to the bottom edge (it was cut away to accommodate the tower), and shingled over it. I’ll have to add a wall or something interesting under it to finish off that side.

This half of the house is pretty much done, except for the final trims (the gazillion brackets).

I want to concentrate on the bottom half of the house now, which is the Houseworks garage kit. I need to build the stairs to the front porch and door (and build the porch) as well as get a garage door and do some trimming.

I am thinking I’ll start at the bottom of the house and work my way back up until it’s finished.

I will do the cellar window that comes with the kit, but I’m going to put it on the other half and cover up the opening for it (you can see it in the photo above). More on that when I return to the first half of the house.

I’m also not going to use the shutters. I thought about it for this side, but I like the way the house looks without them. I might make one and test it–I can always change my mind.

If I don’t post between now and then, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Yule, and Happy New Year!

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