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The Dolls House Shopkeeper - Plans for a Street of Shops in Dolls House Scale

Shops To Suit Every Scene

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Front cover of The Doll's House Shopkeeper book by Lionel and Ann Barnard showing shop details.

Front cover of The Doll's House Shopkeeper book by Lionel and Ann Barnard

Photo Courtesy Price Grabber, Copyright 2001 Used With Permission
Lionel and Ann Barnard are known for detailed but simple to create miniature projects. The Doll's House Shopkeeper contains plans and instructions for five front opening shops in 1:12 scale, including counters, and displays, as well as stock and finishing suggestions. The designs can be adapted for several projects and periods,not only as shops. There are plans for a single story roombox with a large front window and door, a single story roombox with a raised platform and conservatory roof, a two story flat front shop, a two storey overhanging level tudor shop, and a two storey shop with double bow front windows.

Good Long Lasting Reference for a Range of Miniature Projects

Publishing Information - The Dolls' House Shopkeeper by Lionel and Ann Barnard, published by David & Charles UK, 2001. ISBN 0 7153 0966 8. Price $15 - $25.

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This book is very useful for a beginning miniaturist, not only for the excellent variety of building plans, but also for the range of display cases and shelving which are shown with detailed plans and assembly instructions. Each project is shown finished as a particular style of shop, and historical background information is supplied with each design. The shops could easily be finished for a wide range of uses other than those illustrated, and could be modified in scale to fit a Christmas village or garden scale railroad.

The book assumes the reader could be a complete novice, but mentions more detailed methods for those with more experience.

Lack of tools are also allowed for, although a table saw is used to cut the larger pieces for the shops and the rebates to fit the shops together are cut with a router. The book was written in the UK, so readers will need to get used to terms such as perspex for plexiglass and obeche and jelutong woods for which basswood is often substituted in North America. All measurements, except for plywood and mdf thicknesses are given in imperial measurement (inches).

Wide Ranging Contents, Clearly Written Instructions

The book is broken into chapters on:

  • Basic Tools and Materials - including hand and machine tools, woods, plastics, glues and finishes.
  • General Techniques and Lighting - including paint, brick, shingles, white metal furniture kits, and lighting.
  • The Shopkeeper's Resource - Plans and instructions for building shop counters with shelves and drawers, glass (plexiglass) fronted counters and sneeze guards, tiered display units with shelves, either plain or with decorative elements, drawers, and false drawers, bookcases, print holders, trestle tables, ladders, and signs as well as simple packaging and book displays.
  • Jingles - An Edwardian Toy Shop - plans for a simple single storey one room shop with a hinged front which has a protruding multi paned window and a glazed door.
  • Luscombes - A Victorian Ironmongers - A two story flat fronted hardware shop with a protruding front box window and a square glazed door.
  • The Clarence - An Art Deco Tea Room This is a one storey double front shop with a conservatory roof.
  • Pickwicks - A Victorian Bookseller - This Three storey Tudor style shop has a timber and stucco exterior and an overhanging second story and roof. The shop is constructed as a series of boxes which fit on top of each other.
  • Meadows - A 1930's Grocer's Shop - a two storey double front shop with rounded bay windows and a glass door, this shop has living quarters above.
  • Suppliers - a list of suppliers of the various dolls and miniatures shown in the finished interiors completes the contents of the book.

Beyond the Suggested Uses

Although the book is aimed at creating shops, the plans allow for the creation of a number of houses or living spaces as well. All three two storey buildings could have a second floor as living accommodation, and with modifications to the front windows, could be used to make small two storey houses. Although shown made up with particular themes in mind, all of the shops could be used for a variety of purposes. including pubs, florists, dressmakers and millinery shops and bakeries. The shops could also be built with solid fronts and back openings, although this would mean eliminating the stairs. The front opening designs give opportunities for natural views into the buildings and allow for a range of window displays as most have deep show windows on the front. The shop complexity increases as you get further into the book, so beginners should plan on starting with the easily built toy shop design first, progressing to the more elaborate grocers shop after they gain experience.

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