How to wallpaper a finished Dollhouse


This has turned out to be a quite annoying problem.  My hands are too big.  The opening are too small and aligning small pieces of wallpaper try the patience of Jobe.  There had to be a better method.  I think I have found it.  The ideal situation would be to wallpaper the dollhouse as it is assembled but making all of those decision before the house is built is too difficult for me.  So... I decided to install fake drywall throughout my dollhouse with the wallpaper already attached.  I think poster board would probably work fine but I used 3/16 foam board.  This is lightweight and rigid with a nice smooth surface.  Warping should not be a problem.  It can be purchased at any hobby store as well as Office supply stores.  However, it is not cheap.  The tools needed are a sharp hobby knife and a good ruler.  A tablesaw was used for initial sizing but is not necessary.

Image 1 is photo of the interior with unfinished plywood walls and new in place section of foam board.  Images 2 thru 4 are how I took accurate measurements within the dollhouse.  My house does not have perfectly perpendicular walls with perfect corners.  A ruler or tape measure was used also.  Tracing irregular outlines worked best in certain situations - Image 8.  Foam board can be cut with sharp knife as well as with power tools  Images 5, 6,& 7.  Whatever suits your fancy.

Images 9 and 10 show my problems with paper and glue.  Any fairly heavy white paper should do.  The newly printed wallpaper was sealed and protected with a Krylon spray sealer for charcoal drawings, etc. .   The glue was chosen by what I had on hand.  I hope the gluestick will have some longevity.  The ease of use was great.  I used white glue on problem areas as needed.  Push pins and glue were used to attach the foam board to my plywood walls.  I used smaller pieces of plywood wedged to apply uniform pressure when applying the first pieces of foamboard.  This would not work when there is foam board on the opposite wall.  Outside corners were more of a challenge and required a little manual dexterity.  I did not want my wallpaper joint to fall right over an outside corner.  Later, I did do that and used thick crazy glue to hold down the tiny edge.  It worked well.  An edge board was used to compress the paper joint until it dried.  Images 13 thru 15.

My finished product is seen in images 16 and 17.  I will never go back to directly papering the inside of a dollhouse again!





 Basic foamboard "drywall" - 1

  1. The foam board is cut in sections and put up as drywall in a full size home.  How is described below.

 Inside Measurement - 2

  1. Homemade calipers are used to measure inside and outside dimensions as needed.  A ruler can be used directly where possible.  Commercial calipers would also work if you can find the right size to match your dollhouse interior.

 Outside Measurement - 3

  1. Homemade calipers are used to measure inside and outside dimensions as needed.  A ruler can be used directly where possible.  Commercial calipers would also work if you can find the right size to match your dollhouse interior.

 Calipers and ruler - 4

  1. The calipers were made out of aluminum with fairly sharp points on one side.  If the calipers are rotated 180 degrees they would be setup for an outside measurement.

 Basic drywall construction - 5

  1. A tablesaw was used to cut strips of drywall.  Each floor has a basic height which varied slightly because of poor construction.  However, I just cut the "drywall" height to fit within the opening with a small gap in the tallest areas.  This gap will be at the bottom and will be hidden by the floor covering.

 Drywall pieces - 6

  1. A tablesaw with a sliding table was used to trim some of the individual pieces.  Some of the pieces had the edges cut with a ruler and sharp knife.   The line was traced on the foam board which then matched precisely any construction irregularities.  Not all of my walls are perfectly perpendicular.

 Window cutouts - 7

  1. A knife and ruler are needed.  I initially used the calipers to place the window.  It worked well but was laborious.  A quicker method is tracing the window - see image 8.

 Window tracing - 8

  1. This a tracing of inside of the window from the outside.  I then enlarged this to accomodate the window wood thickness and then cut the opening with a hobby knife.

 Paper compare - 9

  1. These side by side comparison wallpaper samples are compared.  The left is thin, regular copy paper.  The right is thicker, matte photo paper.  The photo paper looked so much better.

 Wallpaper glue - 10

  1. I applied the paper with vinyl wallpaper paste.  It started wrinkling within a minute or two.  I then tried a glue stick which worked perfectly.

 Sample wall - 11

  1. It is easy to apply the wallpaper to a flat surface with ample working room.

 Drywall attachment - 12

  1. I used push pins to roughly attach the foamboard and white glue to affix the finished wallboard.

 Finished Outside Wall - 13

  1. I think this is a major improvement over my wallpapering within a dollhouse.

 Papering an outside corner - 14

  1. Here I papered two foam board pieces at once over a frame to cover the outside edge with a single piece of paper.

 Edge board - 15

  1. I used an edge board held down with push pins to affix a wallpaper edge until it dried.

 Finished wallpaper - 16

  1. What do you think?

 Finished wallpaper - 17

  1. What do you think?


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