After looking at lots of different scrapbook papers, contact paper, even fabrics, and not finding anything in the scale I wanted, I pondered whether I wanted to paint the wood grain, or print it out myself. I was standing in a dollar store while thinking about printing it. If I did that, I would have to do it in pieces, as I couldn’t print as large as the floor I needed. That’s when it hit me! Do it in pieces, just like a real wood floor! I have found, over the years of making things for dolls, that the best way to make things look more realistic, is to do them in a realistic way.
A real wood floor is made up of boards, laid down side by side. So that’s what we’ll do! The dollar store had a nice wood grain contact paper that I had previously rejected, as I didn’t like how big some of the knots and things were, and the “boards” were basically human scale. With my new method in mind, it didn’t matter. Here’s how it would have looked if I just used the paper as is.
We can do better. I measured how deep the room was, and cut two pieces of contact paper to that length. (Enough to cover the whole floor twice.) Then I decided how wide I wanted each board, and cut the pieces into strips. I used the grid marks on the back of the paper to make it easy. Now I had a pile of board strips. I cut a lot more than I needed, so I could be picky now. I pulled out all the strips that had large knots or just too big of a grain pattern, keeping the smallest and nicest looking ones. Make sure you keep enough, don’t be TOO picky!
I cut about a third off of each strip, so I had long boards and short boards. To make sure I kept everything straight, I measured and marked a few straight lines with a pencil. I used these to keep everything lined up nicely as I went along.
Time to lay the floor boards!
*I did two rooms like this, and some of the pictures are from the second room….pay no attention to the sudden change in walls! 😀
This was so easy! Just alternate long strips and short ones, until you’re done! Keep an eye on your pencil lines so you don’t start going crooked if you accidentally overlapped somewhere. When you get to the side wall, lay your strip down without peeling it first, to see if you need to trim it a little narrower.
I folded all the ends under, then took one of my leftover strips and added it to the front. I positioned it with just a small amount on the floor, and the rest of the strip folded over underneath. This added a nice finishing touch, and also kept all the little ends nice and secure.
That’s it! All done! I told you it was easy. It looks great and will hold up to doll furniture and such, better than paint or paper would have.
I’m going to be using a similar technique to do a tiled floor, by cutting a marbled paper into squares. Can’t wait to show you that one too! I was able to easily do both rooms with one roll of contact paper. My floors are 18″ x 18″. That makes the cost 50 cents each! How’s that for a bargain? Do you have any thrifty dolly tips?