Sunday, 1 June 2014

Glazing Over

After trying out several of the more ornate options, my mother settled on the simplest form of window frame for the dolls' house. Part of the issue was that we needed a total of eighteen windows - four each side, with five front and back - and, by this point, we didn't have time to fuss over finding matching sets in several sizes... or the funds, for that matter. We did discuss the idea of blocking up the side windows, both to simplify the eventual task of adding brickwork to the outer surfaces and to reduce the number of windows we'd need to prepare and install. My feeling was that the side windows added immeasurably to the overall look of the house, and to the natural light that could get in for daytime play.

The most basic form of window frame available came in two thin MDF halves, each featuring space for two panes. Since our test fittings had already installed (more ornate) central windows above the front and back doors, we only needed sixteen more frames, a total of 32 pieces. Each one was given a coat of white gloss paint to make them look as close to proper (albeit simple and toy-like) window frames...

But that's not all... The dolls' house's original windows were glazed... albeit with plastic barely thicker or more rigid than cling-film (slight exaggeration... but most of them had warped to some degree, several had broken 'hinges', and the 'frames' were largely painted on) and we did want to have properly glazed windows, even though we weren't installing windows that would open this time round.

Glazing was achieved simply by gluing the frame to a sheet of clear acetate, ensuring the parts were clamped together securely to allow them to bond adequately. Once the glue had set, the excess acetate was cut away from the outer edges of the frame.
Fully tooled up: that's a total of five clamps being used

The end result - glazed dolls' house windows
At first, it seemed like a shame to have all the windows the same size. I had hoped we'd make it look more like a real house by having different sizes of windows - larger ones for the through lounge in particular - but this project had a budget, in terms of both time available to work on it and money available to pay for the parts, so these cheap-and-cheerful window frames made sense. They also look just right as dolls' house windows because, when you think about it, when children first start drawing houses, they tend to have square windows with four panes...

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