Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Some Inspirational Hand Painted Wallpaper & Other Ideas For Your Dolls House By Jane Parkin!

The other day a customer mentioned that she was making wallpaper for her latest dolls house. I was so intrigued that I enquired on how she was making it. Further communication ensued, resulting in photos dropping into my inbox. The designs were unique and beautiful, and quite different from anything I have seen before.  I asked the lovely lady if it was possible to feature her wallpapers on this blog, as I know that many of you would find them inspiring. Not only did she agree to allow her hand painted wallpapers to be shown on here, but she has also shared some other photos plus useful tips that she has discovered along the way. 

A pastel horse scene by Jane Parkin. 

 Jane Parkin is an equestrian artist from Yorkshire. Although the majority of us will not have the level of Jane's artistic skills, you could still have a go at creating your own in some way, perhaps by adapting and simplifying your patterns/designs. I love some of Jane's other creative ideas too, including the thatched roof!

The following text and photos are Jane's...enjoy!


By Jane Parkin

Jane's First House Bought As A Present - A Kit House

I never had a dolls house when I was a girl and often longed for one.  It was a complete surprise when the Christmas 5 years ago, my daughter presented me with one.  When it came to applying the wallpaper, I made so many mistakes I soon became very frustrated by the whole thing.  Eventually after three attempts it was passable (just!)

Dolls House With Coir "Thatched Roof".

The next house I found at the side of the road outside a junk shop in a very sorry state, without windows upstairs. I made new ones out of margarine lids and the roof from coir, which you use for lining hanging baskets.  

Beamed  Dolls House Walls By Jane Parkin

I decided to try a heavier wallpaper in this house and used the plain side of some paper we had left from our real life size dining room.  This was much easier to manipulate, and I realised by this time that to have any success, I needed to cut each wall out separately.  I then cut strips of floor covering to make the beams. (Getting better)

Tri-ang No. 42 Dolls House - Jane Parkin

The next house was my Triang no. 42. I love this house and wanted it to be as authentic as possible.

Kitchen Of Tri-ang No. 42 Dolls House - Jane Parkin

The exterior was original but had some damage on the side of the roof, however I was amazed how easy it was to put this right.  I made two false internal doors and found some 1930’s style wallpapers.  I added picture rails and bought most of my furniture of that period from KT Miniatures.  The papers were a bit on the thin side and so I decided that with the next house I would try and design my own paper to get what I really wanted and a good weight.

Lines Bros. DH8 Dolls House - Jane Parkin

The next dolls house was my Lines Bros. DH8.  This house I think has been much loved,  it is very grubby inside with not much of the wallpaper still on, and has two new chimneys.  

Lines Bros. DH8 Before Renovation - Jane Parkin

The pictures above and below show two rooms that I have done already in the DH8. 

Lines Bros. DH8 Dining Room With Hand Painted Wallpaper - Jane Parkin

I recommend using a good quality watercolour paper and cut it exactly to the size of each wall - one piece of paper to each wall.  I started by painting the wall facing as that is the focal point.   I then marked the other two pieces of paper where the design needs to follow on.

Lines Bros. DH8 Dining Room - Matching Up Hand Painted Wallpaper - Jane Parkin

Lines Bros. DH8 Upstairs Room With Hand Painted Wallpaper - Jane Parkin

I used plenty of PVA glue and with a dry clean cloth smoothed it over.  In doing so I used a hair drier to help it dry quickly and avoid bubbles.  If you have a go and find that bubbles appear again a few hours later, repeat with the hair drier.

Lines Bros. DH8 Staircase Before Renovation

Lines Bros. DH8 Staircase After Renovation

In my experience I found it best to leave the old remnants of wallpaper on and give the walls a really good sanding down with a medium sandpaper.  As the staircase was so narrow I painted it completely with cream matt emulsion, then used a cotton bud and my fingers to try and make some sort of a pattern.  The carpet I made myself using a simple design in cross-stitch.

Repeat Pattern Idea - Jane Parkin

Design Idea - Jane Parkin

Small Check Design Idea - Jane Parkin

One of my ideas, the small check as seen above, I think would be suitable for the kitchen.  I will try another idea, similar, only more muted, so as to not fight with the existing floor.  Yes the floor is scuffed, but I want it to look lived in. I have learnt quite a lot from my previous experiences and I feel much more confident.

Good luck if you have a go, it can be great fun!

 © Jane Parkin

Huge thanks to Jane for allowing us to take a peek at her images and sharing her tips. We really hope that this has inspired you to have a go, whether you have an old dolls house with none of the original papers left, or a modern reproduction dolls house! 


KT Miniatures