The last post covered the fairly straightforward process for applying lap siding to a dollhouse–and ended when I got to this tricky bit. I entitled this post “‘Tis a puzzlement” because that’s what the King of Siam (played by Yul Brynner in “The King and I”) always said to Anna when he didn’t know the answer to something. It became a favorite quote in our family. Here’s how I solved this puzzlement . . .
Make a template! Luckily my gable had an easy pitch to it, and a sheet of sturdy white 12×12″ scrapbooking paper fit perfectly.
I used my thumbnail (fingers are such useful tools!) to crease along the line where I needed to cut. Once I had cut, I replaced the paper template on the dollhouse to be sure it fit. Then I labeled it so I’d be sure to remember which side to use.
The next step was to rule lines on the template the same width as I had used for the dollhouse. I laid the template on the dollhouse and continued drawing lines on the paper going up from the last line on the dollhouse side. Using the lines will keep the lap siding straight.
After the siding was glued on up to the bottom of the gable, I checked the fit of the template one last time. Measure thrice–cut once!
It was time to break out my handy junk cardboard that I use to protect my table top from messy stuff. I laid the template on the cardboard and sprayed it generously with spray-on adhesive.
Carefully peeling up a corner of the tacky template, I transferred it to a clean piece of scrapbook paper, sticky side up.
I laid my first siding strip along the lowest line drawn on the template. It’s VERY important to leave enough siding strip hanging over both ends of the template. The first time I didn’t, and although it looks fine when you’re looking at it, after you cut it you will discover gaps where the siding didn’t reach. I can’t explain why (probably because I was terrible in math!), but I know from experience! If you line up your siding strips like I have in this photo, you will be okay.
I continued laying siding strips one on top of the other, just like on the side of the house. I did not add any extra glue; the spray adhesive was enough to hold the strips in place.
I continued all the way up to the top of the gable, finishing off the tiny piece at the very tip-top.
Having goofed on my first try, I held my finished template up to the light to be sure that all of the paper was adequately covered. It was!
Very gently I flipped the template over and carefully cut along one side . . .
. . . then the other. No, I do not have magic scissors! I couldn’t cut and photograph with my right hand at the same time, so I had to prop the scissors.
Once I was done cutting around my template, this is what it looked like on the back. And by the way, I saved the discarded end pieces in case I need a filler piece later.
One final time to see if everything fit properly before I glued it down.
Laying the template wood side down I began to carefully peel away the paper. One place I read online said to glue the paper directly to the dollhouse, but I was afraid it wouldn’t adhere well. My method is a bit more labor intensive, but I think it will hold better.
I continued to hold down the wood strips as I peeled the rest of the paper template away. Note that the strips will be a bit tacky still from the spray-on adhesive.
I’m missing a step in the photos here, so you’ll just have to take my word for it! Holding the template-shaped section of wood strips very carefully, I flipped it over wood side up. The strips separated a bit, but stayed in order. That’s what’s important! One by one, I hot-glued each one down exactly like the rest of the siding had been done.
This one little piece was still sticking out, so I used my fine-pointed pencil to draw a line along the edge of the dollhouse on back and then carefully cut it off.
Here’s the finished side of the dollhouse.
And here it is, close up. I was pretty excited at how well it turned out! I’m sure you’re doing exactly what I did–scratching your head and saying, “How on earth could something that looked so tricky be that easy to do?!”
I have five simple words: The. Power. of. the. Internet.
There’s one more gable on the front of the house along with four odd-shaped sections of roof I’ll have to put shingles on, so I’m really thankful that I discovered the idea of using a template.
Stay tuned to see how I handled siding the front of the house with five windows, a door, a porch roof and pillars to work around . . .