Friday, June 24, 2011

Mckinley Dollhouse Build Blog (Completed)

May 26 2008
Posted by Minis On The Edge
The Finished McKinley Dollhouse

These are pictures of the finished McKinley Dollhouse! The Greenleaf dollhouses are loved by many great miniature Artisans. There are so many things you can do with a Greenleaf kit. They are lighter in weight but sturdy when assembled. They are simple to cut (I only used my hobby knife for this. All you have to do is think outside of the box. I always regret not taking the final pictures of this house after I cleaned up the edges and did touch ups but, these are the only completed shots I have of this kit.

Remember, if you dream it, you can do it! Have fun & feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comment section.
This is what the Kit looks like on the box:
This is what mine looks like:

You can see more pictures of the McKinley by clicking here:

Thank you for viewing my blog today!! 

McKinley Dollhouse Build Blog (Electricity)

May 26 2008
Posted by Minis On The Edge
Adding Electricity
 I used a mixture of hard wire and tape wire to light up this house. Because this house has a flat back and will hang on the wall, I fed all of the wires to the back of the house by clipping off the plugs and feeding it through holes that I drilled into the back of the house.
After that, I added a 11" strip of tape wire and took the plastic cover off of the tape wire. Next, took the wire and split the two wires about half inch down and then added one side on each side of the tape. Do not let the two exposed hardwire touch each other when you lay them down. I then took some masking tape and tacked it in place so that I could do all of the wires this way. Once all wires were added, I then took my soldering iron out to heat it and while it was heating, I added soldering flux (just a little touch) to the exposed wires (All of them) so that the solder will adhear to the wires to the tape wire. 
After that, I add some solder to the tip of my soldering iron and then to the exposed wired to affix it together. I do this to all exposed wires. Here are the pictures to help you with the visual side of the instructions

After that, you can remove the little pieces of masking tape you use to help tack down the wires and keep them in place while you solder them in.

After that, I taped down all of the loose wires and labeled which room each wire it for. You can also add more lights & outlets to this later on if you like.

  Now, all you need to do is add the Junction Splice and put one prong on each side of the tape wire. Then you add your transformer lead in wire and transformer and You have Electric!

It really is simple to do. Don't over complicate things by thinking too hard.Remember, if you have more questions feel free to ask in the comment section.

McKinley Dollhouse Build Blog (Roof Editing)

May 26 2008
Posted by Minis On The Edge
Roof Editing

I started with foam core just to see if this design would work and if it would look really nice. I ended up cutting the roof height (on the raised roof side) down to 8" high. This is what it looked like in the beginning:

It took a while (3.5 hrs. ) to get the angles right because I found out that this house needed a little more support now that I was bashing it away from how it should have been done.

This is after I added the wood roof & attic parts. It was level on one side and not the other and I went around and around with the leveler :) I did finally get it right :p . After I got it to the point where I was satisfied , I added sandpaper and painted it black to give the roof floor an "Asphalt" look. I then added the Chimney stack ;) :

I wanted to add roof trim to give the roof more detail. At first I started off by using the kits trim:
I ended up using some iron railing for the widows walk instead. 

I aged it with a sea foam green paint:

Thank you for stopping by to read this blog!

Mckinley Dollhouse Build Blog (Fireplace & Tower)

May 24 2008
Posted by Minis On The Edge
Fireplace & Tower Alterations
This is the close up of how high the attic wall would have been. You can see where I added the extension here:

This is the way the stairs & fireplace originally look. 

I decided to add an extra wood storage shelf I also added stones on the fireplace:

My next change was to alter the look of the Mckinley's front door. I did this by using 2 strips of wood that is 1/16" x 1/4" x 36" . I used the actual door but used the strips of wood to alter the door design and not add the windows. I then added a lion head knocker to it that I hand made.
After that I started trying to figure out where to add the porch light. I found out that the area is too tight to add a light next to the door but, you can add the light above the door. 

I also wanted to make a pointy tower roof as i had with my Pierce that I built last year so I did this by cutting wood in long triangle shapes to make the roof pointy :) I would have added a weather vane but decided that a tower cap would look good too.

 I hope these changes help you to realized that the picture on the kit box is just that. A Picture. A few alterations and already this kit is looking different. Don't be afraid to have fun with your kit.

McKinley Dollhouse Construction Blog (The Beginning)

May 24 2008
Posted by Minis On The Edge
Starting The McKinley

This time I am only blogging the changes that I made to this Gorgeous doll house kit. The McKinley has been my favorite since Lisa from Greenleaf asked me to make one 4 years ago. This is something that a newbie can do if they have the patience but since most new people have a hard time with the kt instructions I want it to be known in advance that, this McKinley Dollhouse blog is really for the advanced builders who can look at these brief comments listed and make the changes.

I started the building of this house a few weeks back. I started out building this kit pretty much like everyone else on the Greenleaf Build Team. You'll notice though (if you have your instructions nearby) that I did start a little bit out of sequence. When I have built a kit several times, I don't view the instructions as much. I have been wanting to bash (Alter) this kits' design since I completed my last one :) . I started on the back wall since I knew I was going to bash it by extending the roof line. I took wood that Greenleaf uses for their kits. They sell extra sheets but you have to call them for plain sheets that are not punched out yet.

When the original roof is finished, it is only 4" high. Mine right now is "bashed" to have a 9" high ceiling. ;)

The next big change was that I wanted to change the kitchen wall so that the opening would be in the front of the room, not the back. I did this by cutting this wall into three sections so that most of the tabs would still be in most of the right parts of the floor for stability. I figured this out through trial and error and it took me over an hour to get it straight, stable & right. I also moved the kitchen wall over by 1" to make the kitchen larger.

I then had to attach it to the rest of the structure that I had already assembled:

It ended up looking a bit like this:

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog today. I am moving my build blogs over to my blog here on blogspot so that things will be easier to find. That is why you may see older dates written on the blog posts.
Hope you are having a Fantastic Day! 

The Thought Of The Day is ~ There is a saying "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficult thing." What thing is difficult in your life right now that you can turn into an opportunity?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Brimbles Mercantile Dollhouse 2011

I know, I have not posted anything for about a week. I'm not on vacation but just been busy with keeping the kids busy (They are home for the Summer) and my oldest daughter graduated from 8th grade. 

Most of you don't come to my blogs to hear about the regular being a mom stuff. You come for the dollhouses so, yes, I have been working on another project. I started working on a new Brimbles Mercantile kit for a client of mine. Here is a picture of where I left off at last night (or early this morning depending on how you look at it).

I'm not sure yet if we are keeping the stained glass windows. The shot above is a shot I sent to my client to ask her if she likes the stained windows there or if she wants plain clear windows there. Plain ones came with the kit. I am a little further along and will blog step by step info of this entire build project. I'm just not doing it right now because the kids are home all day and, when they are not home, I'm catching up on cleaning lol.

I love the color combo's she picked. It really makes the room look "rich". I am really enjoying this project. I hope you are enjoying you day too!

After this project, I have to renovate my youngest daughters Barbie room box.

I hope you all are having a Fantastic day! 

Thought of the Day~  Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.

Thank You for stopping by to read my blog!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Magnolia Dollhouse Build Completed

April 9th 2007
Posted by Minis On The Edge
The "Maggie" Dollhouse Kit Day 10

Today I had to add the shingles and add a base to this house. I had a total ball building this house. The windows and porches are Wonderful. This is the PERFECT house for the Newbie. It's Great for a Child and is also WONDERFUL for the Dollhouse Collector! I stained the Shingles a Dark Mahogany 

This is the Greenleaf Magnolia Dollhouse built By Minis On The Edge (Tracy Topps). This house was done for a Customer of mine who wanted this house built for his Grand Daughter for their Christmas Holiday. He was in the VA hospital and was not expected to live through the new year (which would have been 2007) . He wanted to purchase a lasting gift to give to his Grand daughter and so while in the hospital, he tried to build this kit along with the help of a couple of nurses. 

On November 30th 2006, I received the phone call from him and he told me his story. TJ was such a sweet man and I promised him that I would have this house built and sent to him in the hospital in time to surprise his Grand daughter. He had someone else making something special for his Grandson. I  started building this house on December 2nd. I was so happy to complete it in time for them. I was worried and up late several nights because I was worried about letting him down.

He sent me pictures of his family (I asked him to send me 3 of his favorite family pictures and I would surprise him with something special) I added one of the pictures he sent me of his daughter along with her husband and kids to the living room. I hung it above the fireplace. I also added a picture of him on the mantle and in the one bedroom on the wall. I gave a grandpa doll along with a card for him to give to his grand daughter. The doll looked so much like him and it was a new product that I had ordered during the summer of 2006. It came in 2 days before I shipped this house and the grandpa doll looked so much like TJ I had to give it to him.
I had a matter of days to build it and I built this house, wallpapered & electrified it in 10 days! It was a complete joy to do this for him & his family and I still think about him from time to time and wonder how they all are doing. When I did the blog for this house finally in the spring of 2007, I had just received another letter from him (My neighbor had gotten it months before and was afraid to give it to me because she accidentally opened it thinking it was her mail since the mail person had put it in her mailbox). 

In January 2007, I received a letter in the mail with a picture of his Grand daughter with the house:


Here are pictures I took as I started building this house all the way till completion of it. I do this so that my customers can see how things are coming along as I build for them.

Thought of the day ~ You know you're in love when the hardest thing to say is goodbye.

I hope you all are having a Fantastic Day ! Thank you for stopping by to read my blog today.

Magnolia Dollhouse Build Blog Days 5 - 9

April 9 2007
Posted by Minis On The Edge
Days 5 - 9 Of "The Maggie"

This house is really a Fast Build. I completed it in 10 days with working on it just a few hours every night. I added the window trim and it really makes this house begin to POP I also added the porch roof and porch trim. I covered the plastic windows so that I could do touch ups to the window frames. I LOVE this house and look forward to making another one soon

These are pictures of the staircase assembly. I used Quick Grip glue because it is paintable

I used the foundation brick sheet that came with the house kit. I put a dirty wash of black paint over it to color the mortar Gray. You can see the difference it can make because the left side has the "dirty wash" & the right side shows the natural way it comes in the kit (which looks to clean to my eyes)

 I also decided it was time to add the roof

This house is almost finished in time for Xmas giving. I'll tell you the story about this client I was building this kit for soon. Towards the end of the blog. His story is what kept me working so hard and so late in the early morning hours to have this done in time. It's a True Story about a Grandpa in a VA hospital and the love he had for his Grand daughter......
Thanks for stopping by to read my Blog today!! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Magnolia Dollhouse Kit Build Blog Days 1 - 4

 The Original date of this blog entry was 04 April 2007

Please click pictures to enlarge them for more details! Pictures updated 8/7/2020 🙂

I am moving my dollhouse build blogs to this blog so that people can find them more easily. I hope they help assist you in building and creating your own dollhouse dreams! I have been building dollhouse kits for almost 17 years. If you would like to have one professionally built by me, feel free to contact me. You can visit my website at

April 4 2007
Posted by Minis On The Edge
The Magnolia Dollhouse Kit Day 1

This house is large enough for the child or collector. The rooms are big enough to get a lot of play out of it and yet, this house is detailed enough for the adult collector to enjoy displaying their collection of dollhouse miniatures in it. I called my Magnolia "the Maggie" for the little girl I built it for in December. I built this house, painted, electrified, wallpapered and added a base to it all in 11 days!!

This is a fun house that you can enjoy to build. Have fun watching my journey in building this delightful house!! I started building this house on the 5th of December. First I selected the floors. It took 2 sheets of this hardwood floor to complet the living room of this house. That is how large this house is!


I then added the Kitchen floor. I only needed one sheet of this one. You can look in the pictures to see what I used

Then, I added the back wall and roof support & front wall

This house can be a fast build! I added the wallpaper to the front wall (the kitchen area & kitchen side wall) I also added the wallpaper to the living room wall

I messed up initially on my lattice trim. These parts should have been BEHIND the foundation frame. I made the mistake and assembled it in front of the foundation.

As you can see, even I make mistakes. Hopefully it will help you feel batter if you make any mistakes. I must admit that I make mistakes on all of my houses. The good thing about that is that they are all simple to correct 😉🙂 

I assembled the house using Quick Grip & Masking Tape 😃

April 9 2007
Posted by Minis On The Edge
The Magnolia Dollhouse Kit Days 2-4

This is the Kitchen wallpaper I picked for the Maggie

This is the front bay after it's been added

This is the inside of the front bay. I always add the wallpapers as I assemble the house

I used "Old English" to stain the wood floors because the wood was too light for my customer

I added the top front wall after I added the wallpaper

The top Divider wall has been added now too

My customer that I built this house for, wanted the house to be the same colors as it was on the box so I had to try and find paint colors to match those colors. I did not want a "flat" paint look so I added a little textured (I got my customers approval of course first). I used the Greenleaf "Stucco" and added paint to it for the outside walls

This is the inside of that same wall

This is the outside walls once I finished them

Thank you for viewing my Blog! ✿(◠ ‿ ◠)
Thought of the day ~  "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it." Johnathan Winters
Hope you are all having a Fantastic Day!! ~