- Arts and Design
Make a Tudor Dollhouse
The Tudor: A Surprisingly Cheap Dollhouse Option for Collectors
If you want to put together a real Tudor house, it's going to take some amazing construction skills! If you want a miniature Tudor, though, it may be easier -- and cheaper -- than you think. There is more than one way to make a tudor-style dollhouse: You can make it from scratch, you can make it from a kit, or you can start with a kit and hack it or upgrade it.
If you're making a 'half timber' dollhouse from scratch, you won't need the fancy molding that you do for some other housing styles. If you've got the basic tools, you'll get a long way on MDF and pre-cut wood strips. A lot of it does come down to the finish!
Starting from a kit? Tudor dollhouse kits are usually at the bottom end of the price range for their size. That's because the price of a dollhouse depends largely on the materials, with punch-out plywood the cheapest, cabinet grade plywood the most expensive, and medium density fiberboard somewhere in between. Punch-out plywood doesn't work as well for some styles, because it can't be milled or molded and the texture of the wood isn't necessarily realistic. It works well for styles where the trim is flat and a texturized paste is applied -- Tudors. You will find cottage kits starting at about $35 and three-story mansions starting at about $120. (The one you see in the picture was made from a $35 kit. I have seen some even fancier things done with this particular model.)
On this page, I'll introduce you to two Tudor dollhouse kits I know well, a few more I have admired, plus a few hacks and a variety of resources from around the web.
The Sugarplum: A Tudor in Disguise
The Sugarplum Cottage Kit
Some years back, Hobbybuilders ran an special and contest featuring the Sugarplum Cottage -- that's when I got mine. It doesn't exactly shout out that it's a Tudor, but it is. The trim is actually cardboard, but it looks pretty real once it's painted brown -- just lay the trim sheets on some newspaper and begin. You can apply a matte varnish to help protect it.
Two things you'll need that aren't in the kit are wood filler and stucco. (When you put something together that has tabs and slots, there will be some gaps.) Apply stucco lavishly inside and out.
The roof? My shingles are done in two shades of plain craft paint. I drybrushed the lighter over the darker one. It's a bit intensive, shingle for shingle, but it's cheap -- and in a kit this size, nothing is really that time consuming.
The Harrison: A Tudor Mansion
The Harrison Dollhouse Kit
The Harrison is pricier, but it's huge! If you're like me (on a budget and working long hours) it may take years to finish. It's a fun one, though. I got mine as a shell at a thrift shore, pre-constructed, but unfinished -- and yes, missing a few things. That forced some creativity. I made shingles from sheets of cork, painted with diluted brown acrylic.
The Harrison can be made too look more realistic than the one in the Amazon photo. You can start with the basic kit, and upgrade over time. You might, instance, want to replace the balcony railing with something molded/ three-dimensional. Most of the windows can be easily replaced, but not all -- there are some that are a nonstandard size. You can also choose to replace or alter only the window "glass" itself. If you create a design with fine matte graphic tape and go over it lightly with silver paint, you've got leaded glass windows.
My Harrison... Not Quite Done
The Harrison... Bought as a Shell from the Thrift Store
The Storybook Cottage: A Could-Be Tudor
Storybook Cottage - Not a Tudor Yet, but on its Way...
It has the basic shape, but I wasn't planning on including it on this page because it looked like it would take quite a bit of work to get it to "turn Tudor". Then I found multiple examples of people hacking the Storybook and making it into one. There are indeed models to go by, and you'll find some below!
Album: The Storybook Cottage Re-imagined - Pictures of Tudor Doll Houses
The pictures in this album are just stunning, and the artist has quite a few more albums featuring similar houses.
View the modeled Storybook Cottage from all angles.
Tutorial: Create a Tudor from a Storybook Cottage Kit
This is taught as a class: hacking a storybook cottage and turning into a little half timbered Tudor storybook cottage. Here, though, you'll find a four page tutorial.
- Storybook Cottage Tutorial
Half timbre a storybook cottage.
The Aster Cottage: A Classic Tudor Cottage
The Aster Cottage
The Aster Cottage is just a little more expensive than the Sugarplum Cottage. It's easily recognizable as a Tudor, but it could still benefit from some upgrades. I can picture it with a thatched roof -- you'll find instructions below. People make their thatched roofs from a surprising array of materials.
Make a Thatched Roof for your Dollhouse
The Glencroft: A Classic Tudor
The Glencroft Dollhouse Kit
I've never seen the Glencroft, except in catalogs, but I've always admired it. It has such an English look with the upper rooms jutting out over the lower ones. It has four rooms, so it has some flexibility, but isn't necessarily a major undertaking.
See the Glencroft Built in Stages
This Glencroft is remodeled in paperclay. There are a number of blog posts detailing its construction.
- Unpainted, but Finished
The Glencroft, with remodeling and additions -- just before painting.
Cheap Tudor Dollhouse Kits
I was surprised to find that some of the models were actually selling for a bit more through eBay than Amazon. Below are the ones that were marked down on eBay. At the moment it's the Aster. They certainly do look different from each other -- you can see how varied Tudor designs are.
Starting from Blueprints
Tudor Dollhouse Plans
A Google search of Tudor dollhouse plans yielded many results, but a lot were disappointing -- that wasn't exactly what I found when I got there. I am linking below to the "good stuff" that I find.
More Tudor Dollhouse Plans - On eBay
The Tuxedo is a six room dollhouse plan. You'll need 3/8 MDF to complete the design.
The Harrison and Sugarplum Cottage are mine. The small photos are shared according to Webshots guidelines
- Cool Dollhouse Albums