We already covered making miniature walls, miniature water, and miniature floors. So guess what we are going to talk about today? Right: how to make a miniature roof and how to craft dollhouse roofing materials to accomplish this!
As usual, there are several ways to do this, from buying shingles ( I will cover this later in another article) to making them from different kinds of materials, let’s try to get oversight and dive right into things!
1. Use balsa wood to make roof shingles.
This is how I made my first project: my backyard shed, I just cut out shingles with balsa wood. This is pretty easy with just a crafting knife, you don’t need a mini table saw for this. And then painted with gray acrylic paint.
If you wonder why it is still wrapped up in cardboard: it is covered against my predator-cats, until I get a final and safe place for it 😉
Would I do it differently now? No, I don’t think so, I would still use balsa wood, although I would paint it very differently now, to make it look more ‘real’.
I would now use a mix of colors, like the way people paint their miniature walls, plus make it look more ‘ messy ‘. Because after all, it is a roof. But hey, you learn as time goes on, right?
The roof of my treehouse, however, is made from leftover veneer wood, that I kept in my backyard shed (did I mention already how I keep about anything that I could still use for my miniatures? ;-). Look at what can be ‘upcycled‘ ).
I am not going to cover that veneer wood with shingles, but something unique. It is going to be a surprise though! Keep an eye on this article of my treehouse!
All of this is a lot of work, but I think it is pretty straightforward and anyone can do it. Yes, you too!
Of course, you can also just use paper or cardboard! Have a look at this video on how to do that :
Or even use sandpaper:
2. Make a thatched roof.
I just love this method and I didn’t think about it before when doing research for this article. It is usually used for modeling, so on a smaller scale, but I think you can apply it to a 1:12 scale dollhouse for sure. (read all about the different scales here).
Materials needed :
– ruler, pencil, a drawing compass, crafting knife
– twine ( Jute )
– a comb and a brush
– balsa wood beams
– some foam board
– an empty ballpoint pen
– coffee stirrers
– Draw and cut triangles on cardboard to make a structure to hold the roof
– If your cardboard isn’t thick enough, but you do want thick triangles for a sturdier structure, glue pieces of cardboard together with a glue gun. ( if you are going to make a 1:12 scale dollhouse, I would really advise using very thick cardboard! )
– Cut out a structure again from cardboard for the roof itself. Slightly cut it in the middle, but not all the way through. Glue on the triangles for support.
– have a large strap of cardboard, glue the twine on it and wrap it all around the cardboard. Secure the end again with the glue gun.
– make sure that every piece of rapped twine is glued in on top, on both sides of the cardboard (but not on the edges, please see what I mean in the video). Then at the bottom, you can cut the twine in half. And separate it as well on top.
– comb and brush the twine so that it looks like thatch.
– cut out some beams and attach them to the structure and then cut out foam board for the triangles and attach them as well
– for a while he talks about how to engrave the bricks in the triangles, you can find out about that in my miniature wall tutorial.
– add some beams on the roof (as in the video), made from coffee stirrers, and hang them over the roof, so that the thatched roof will hang over the edges as well
– glue on the straps of thatch to the roof (make sure to use enough glue, because the strings aren’t very flexible)
– trim the thatch roof and DONE!
Have a look at the video:
Another way that I have found on Facebook is this roof, where pieces of a newspaper were rolled up and just glued together. I prefer the previous way, but you might think this is easier. Have a look at the picture below.
3. Make miniature roof tiles from clay with a soda can.
Now, this is a fun (and very cheap!) way to make those dollhouse roofing materials: out of clay!
– a soda can
– a rolling pin
– a pencil
– air-dry clay
– brown acrylic paint
A walkthrough :
– make a clay cutter from a soda can.
– role out the clay with a rolling pin and cut out your tiles (about 2 mm thick)
– give them the right shape with a pencil
– glue them to the roof (from the bottom and overlap them as you move further up) and paint them with brown acrylic paint
– and done!
This video tells a bit more about the same project :
4. Miniature roofing iron.
This is probably the cheapest and easiest way to make a roof 😉 You basically don’t need anything else than cardboard as a way to craft dollhouse roofing materials.
Although personally, I would only use this method for a backyard shed or warehouse or something like that. On a regular house, I don’t think it looks pretty, do you?
– ribbed cardboard (you can buy some or you can use some from packages that you removed)
– a ruler
– crafting knife
– acrylic gray paint
A little walkthrough:
– buy suitable ribbed cardboard or remove the paper from ribbed cardboard-packages by slightly wetting it with a sponge
– cut the ribbed cardboard to the size you want it for your dollhouse and glue it on your roof
– if you are going to make layers of cardboard, you will notice some paper underneath and that doesn’t look good. So what you do then is making the piece of paper a little bit wet with a paintbrush, then let it sit for a bit, and do it a second time.
– Remove the paper very carefully with a crafting knife and trim it off with scissors. You can now carefully glue the layers on the roof
– cut out the ridge off the roof from paper
– paint it all grayish and done!
5. Just buy shingles on Etsy
This one is really obvious of course because there are so many fine artists on Etsy, they are amazing!
I hope you like my little tutorial on dollhouse roofing materials. If you have any other methods that you want to share with me, then please leave a comment below!
I wish you happy crafting!