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Dolls' Houses And Dolls Of Cardboard And Paper

Source: What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games And Pastimes

A cardboard house, furnished with paper furniture and occupied by
paper dolls, is a very good substitute for an ordinary dolls' house,
and the making of it is hardly less interesting. The simplest way to
make a cardboard house is to cut it all (with the exception of the
partition and the roof) in one piece.

The plan given here is for a two-roomed cottage, the measurements for
which can be multiplied to whatever size you like (or whatever is the
utmost that your sheet of cardboard will permit). The actual model
from which this plan was made (the house was built from a royal sheet
of Bristol board) had a total floor measurement of 8 inches by 14. The
end walls were 5 inches high, the side walls 5 inches, sloping up to 7
in the middle, and the partition was 7 inches. The roof was slightly
wider than the floor, in order to make wide eaves, and as much longer
as was needful not only for the eaves but also to allow for the angle.

The first thing to do is to rule the outline of the cottage. All the
measurements must be most accurately made, as the slightest
incorrectness will keep the house from fitting together properly. Then
cut it out. When this is done, draw the windows and doors. Then lay
your cardboard on a board, and run your knife along each side of the
windows and the three free sides of the doors until the card is cut
through. A ruler held close to the penciled line will make your knife
cut straight. The bars across the windows can be made of strips of
paper glued on afterward. If the doors have a tiny piece shaved off
each of the cut sides, they will open and shut easily.

To make the front door open well, outward, the hinge line of the door
(KK) should be half cut through on the inside. The hinge can be
strengthened by gluing a narrow strip of paper or linen along it. At
the three points marked H make small slits through which to put the
tags, marked G, of the partition wall.

All drawing and painting must be done on both sides while the house is
still flat. The doors inside will need handles and keyholes. Small
pieces of mica can be glued over the windows instead of glass.

Little curtains of crinkly tissue-paper can also be made, and, if you
like, the walls can easily be papered with colored paper pasted on.
This will cause some delay, however, for it must be well pressed.
Instead, wall-paper patterns could be painted on.

Outside--that is, on the underside of the cardboard--there is a great
deal to do. Both walls and roof can be painted, and tiles, bricks, and
creepers imitated. The front door should have a knocker and a
letterbox, and around both the door and the windows should be
imitation framework. As the upright joints of the four walls will be
made of linen painted to imitate brick-work or stone-work, you need
not carry the painting of the walls quite to the edges, because these
will be covered by the joints. It is best to paint the joints before
you stick them on.

Before turning the card over again, run your knife along the four
sides of the floor to assist the bending up of the walls. Do not on
any account cut through; merely make a half cut.


When you have drawn and painted all you can think of to make the house
complete and pretty, take your strips of linen, for the fastening of
the walls, crease them in half, lengthwise, and glue one half to the
outside of the edge of the walls marked CB and DE in the plan. When
this is quite dry, bend the back wall and the two side walls up, and
glue the free sides of the strips to the wall marked AB and EF,
holding the walls firmly together until well stuck. Strengthen the
fold LM, which has to serve as a hinge for the front of the house,
with a strip of linen glued underneath. The sides of the front wall
must remain unattached, as that forms the opening. It can be kept
closed by a strong pin slipped through the roof.

Next: The Partition

Previous: Clothes-basket

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