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Roombox Tavern:  - just built a 1750's tavern roombox, and I don't know how to finish the top of the box.  I framed the front and finished the sides in upright timbers and chinking, but what do you do with the top......all I've ever made before were actual buildings, not roomboxes.

Lynn (No E)

Drawers to dollhouses: About drawers under dollhouses, I build them individually to each dollhouse, Make a base for the dollhouse out of fairly heavy plywood (heavier than 1/4") take a 1/4" plywood sheet, cut a piece to fit the base inside the foundation walls, take a heavier piece of wood such as lath type trim to make the sides and back. in that order. The back piece fits inside the sides, If it is heavy enough wood, drill holes for nails or small screws (screw countersunk) glue as you go with carpenter's glue, letting each piece dry thoroughly (clamped too) for the front cut a piece of plywood, (1/4" will do) to fit outside the foundation and floor. Add a block of wood or a handle of some kind or two.

This has to be according to what is underneath the floor in the foundation area. For two drawers, you need a dividing piece of wood all the way back. Or a divider at the edge and a strip to keep the drawers apart.


doll house plans:

Connie Sapronetti

Dollhouse Plans: For everyone who is looking for dollshouseplans. You can download them for free at these urls:


Pubs: I saw the post from the lady who is doing the scottish pub but is someone doing an Irish or English one too. Sorry, if I missed something. Anyway here are some ideas for pubs. I made a room box one some time ago and had a great time with it. For a typically English pub try:
1. Beams on the ceilings and walls
2. A real coal fire with coal scuttle nearby
3. Dartboard
4. Dominoes on table
5. The mandatory old man who has been using the pub for years and years, who gets grumpy if someone is using 'his' seat when he arrives (strange but very true), oh and not forgetting his old dog, who sits patiently under the table - - usually to be found with big doe eyes and that 'don't you feel sorry for me' look on his face so that others will feed him crisps/peanuts for the duration.
6. Beer would be traditionally handpulled - you can make these by cutting up staircase spindles set on a plinth
7. This last one is a bit more recent, but a must in any self respecting brit pub - PUB GRUB!!!!!. Just use your imagination for this - sandwiches, crisps, peanuts, chicken in a basket, scampi, even the traditonal Sunday roast. Just generalised a few things here but if you want any more info, just email me, I'll be happy to help.

Also, must tell you about my latest addition. I went to my local (ish) dollshouse shop on Monday and came away with a fab new house. It is the latest in their range and very reasonable price wise. Its called Victoria Street. You can start of by getting, say, the house, then there are pubs, shops etc and they can all be joined together in such a way that you can run a drainpipe between them and make the whole street. PLUS, you can get back yards too. Its a really great idea and a good way for continually extending (space allowing). They also have a village school and.....wait for it........a Church with mini gravestones!!!!!!! yuk, not my idea of a fun project but he did say he had sold one or two. Have a look at them at

Vee (Scarborough UK)

Thatch roof: There are illustrated instructions on my web site, under Tom's Tips.

Tom Berkner, Earth & Tree Miniatures

Thatch roof: please look at my webshots albums to see examples of the real thing......

also if you look in "Mini house build" album you will see the start of my mini thatch roof. Hope this helps.


Thatch roof: Here in England thatching, although an ancient craft, is still practised. My great grandfather was a thatcher near Oxford. The method is this; armfull size bundles of straw are gathered together and tied with a straw twine. These are then placed on the batons of the roof and held in place with a wooden peg. A whole layer was done like this. Then the second overlapped the first, the same as a tiled roof. In some counties, thatchers have their own "signature" of an animal or shape modelled from the straw and the roof.

Tudor houses often had thatched roofs, but you must remember that the more affluent owner would have been able to afford a peg tiled roof. A mini thatched roof could be made from raffia or bristle, or even a scim of finishing plaster with the thatch indents made in it. I hope this is a help to you.

Liz Taylor

Stucco on Foamcore: Terri said she wants to stucco the outside of her foamcore roombox and is worried about warping. Just a thought--and I confess I have never used foamcore--if you draw the dimensions of your outside wall on a piece of paper, cover this with clingfilm and make your kleenex stucco wall right on the clingfilm and let it dry flat, you can then peel off your wall and glue it to your box with much less moisture coming into contact with the foamcore, which seems to be the root of the problem. It should work, but you might want to experiment on scraps first.

Donna from Devon

Foam core: I've used foamcore without any warpage problems because I generally spray it on both sides with fake granite paint for a stucco effect. When assembling foamcore, I always strengthen the glue bond by simply sticking straight pins through the joins. The textured paint finish "disappears" the pinheads on the finished building.

Loretta Sniarowski

Foam core: I had a miniature shop years ago and built several structures from foamcore. I was inspired by a fellow named Garth Close who was the owner at that time of Handley House Miniatures in Texas. He had a booklet/plans for several very nice and very sizey houses built from foamcore, so I tried it. This was some twenty years ago--and the structures I built are still very sound. I can't recall all I did while constructing them, but I know they are painted inside and stuccoed outside in one case--and I don't recall any warpage problem. Mind you, this is 1/2 inch thick, not 1/4 inch. I know I used contact cement to glue them up. I would think that some of the glues today would work as well. I may have painted them after they were assembled. Can't recall for sure but believe I did.

My point is: don't give up on 1/2 inch foamcore. I don't know that I would use it for a large complex house, but it certainly works well for room boxes and wall hanging pieces and small houses. In the shop, we did do a few with foamcore as the basic room and then enclosed by a larger plywood box. It is easier to wire that way. You can always slip it out for maintenance.

Phyl in Kentucky

Street of shops: I've made five of them (did two of the larger shops) They are: soda parlor, garden shop, gourmet shop, candy store and baby shop. I used all kinds of different gingerbreads and colors to set each one apart. They all have brass coach lamps, address numbers, copper bay roofs. I'm in the process now of changing the inside lighting so that each one has it's own transformer. The plexi top is being exchanged for an 1/8th inch wood top. I used ceiling beams to hold the chandeliers in each shop. If I were to do them again, I would definitely make the back hinged and have a solid top. That way you can get in them easier. Oh well, live and learn. I love mine all stretched out on a wall shelf with gray brick sidewalk to unite them. They are all FULL and I mean full. I collected for them for quite awhile.

Roberta in Wisconsin

English Dolls Houses: I bought a Classical dolls house from The Dolls House Emporium in the UK, and have been very pleased with it. They also carry The Manor House and Montgomery Hall, the houses you mentioned in your post. The house went together very easily and I'm pleased with the quality. It was super easy to electrify the house,(my first try at lighting) and I love looking at the lights shining through the windows.. The shipping on the dolls house was free; they offer free shipping on all orders over $60. I've been pleasantly surprised at how many miniature businesses in other countries offer free or reasonable shipping costs. This makes it just too tempting to shop online! They also offer a free catalogue, and have a different sale each month.

Their website address is

Katie in California

Zero Clearance Turntable: I have the zero Clearance Turntable and it works as advertised. I sent away for additional ball bearings because my house was very heavy. I also added legs ( standard ones from Home Depot) to give it more stability. I bought it from:

Innovative Necessities,
312 S Babcock St,
Melbourne, Fl 32901.
Tel # 1-800-523-4142

Harriett- Framingham, MA

Yard for a large house:  I am building the Thornhill (48 x 24). What I plan to do is, yes, plywood for the yard, but I don't intend to "attach" the house, but the landscaping will be. That way, the house can be picked up and moved, then the "yard" can be picked up, turned any way it needs to be to get through the doorway. When you get to where you are taking it, place the yard, then the house in place on the yard. You could even have pegs or something at each corner of the house for proper placement and to keep the house from shifting with movement.

Rusty in Ky

Japanese homes:  I just bought a fabulous book last time I was at EPCOT at Disney World, called, "The Japanese House". It had styles from all eras, both interiors and exteriors. It is written by Murata and Black, and is published by a company called Tuttle.

Alice Zinn- Pt. St. Lucie FL

Japanese homes: For the person looking for interiors and exteriors of older style Japanese homes, there are at least three different Dover Press/Publications books with both photos and illustrations. Tuttle Publications is also one of the largest publishers of Asian-related architecture and art books, so you can try them too. And if you can find anything by Kodansha Press (Tokyo) even if you can't read the Japanese, there are plenty of picture books that they publish in English also with great gardens.   Sorry that I can't be more helpful with specific titles, but you know where I am and how bad these proxy servers are.

Sara in Paris

Japanese homes: while foraging in one of my piles of books, I found the book I knew was required - The Japanese Home Stylebook, Architectural Details and Motifs, illustrations (and yes, it's ILLUSTRATED, to the max - hundreds of perfect architectural renderings) by Saburo Yamagata. This is a fabulous book. It is a paperback, published by Stone Bridge Press ($18.95)  and it has wonderful scaled drawings of almost everything you could want if you are doing a traditional Japanese house - plans, interior elevations, shoji screens, tatami arrangements, windows and doors, railings and garden stuff.....  Worth every single cent, and many more.  I got it from Amazon, but I'm sure there are other ways.


Using up Unwanted Minis: On a visit in the USA, I picked up a small shadow box /printer's tray about 23cm x 30cm (9" x 12") at Hobby Lobby, for about $10. I took it apart, sanded it, spray painted it and reassembled it. I also added a glass front, to keep it clean. Then, I filled all of those spaces with my unwanted mini accessories - vases, flowers, kitchen accessories, books, pictures, a tea set, etc. Different scales were of no consequence. This made a wonderful gift for my 13 year old niece, who thought it was the best gift she ever got, next to her stereo. I also added some things I bought specifically for it, that I knew she'd like, like a miniature dog and a teddy bear.

Jonathan in Israel

Ruetter roomboxes: I found that my Rueter roombox was one of many different kinds of rooms and scenes produced by Ruetter. Carol from spminiatures has a page full of different ones available on her website at

Really neat if you want to display minis but have limited space, ideal for enjoying minis at work, which is where my wee kitchen is now proudly displayed.   My kitchen was number 17   ....and as one is NEVER enough I am already planning which roombox I want next:) 

Kim from Oz

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