Things You'll Need
Craft foam or very thin Styrofoam (R)
Artist's utility knife
Siding material of your choice: slab wood, stock wood, thin bamboo, birch bark, clay tiles, paint sticks, craft sticks or balsa wood
Clear acrylic sealant or wood treatment
Doll-house siding can be made from almost anything that you would use on a full-size home, cut to scale. Like fencing, siding is easiest to apply as prefabricated panels. It is also possible to make trompe l'oeil siding. Siding materials should complement the style of the house. Quarter rounds cut from twigs can be used to side a log cabin. Slab wood works well on a rustic cabin. Thin stock slats can be used to make clapboard and decorative gingerbread trim for a Victorian home.
Cut a piece of rigid craft foam or very thin Styrofoam (R) to the dimensions of each side of your doll house. Have a helper hold the foam in place against one side of the house at a time. Carefully mark the outlines of the door and window holes onto the foam with a black marker.
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Cut your choice of siding material to the lengths needed to lay across each foam side panel. Cut the longest pieces first, then the shorter ones.
Apply clear epoxy to one piece of craft foam at a time. Lay the longest pieces of siding material first, working from the "ground" edge of your foam sheet. Be sure to overlap clapboard siding, clay tiles or cedar shakes, and butt half-round siding. Press each piece firmly into the epoxy to create a good seal. Let siding panels sit overnight while the epoxy dries.
Use a 2-inch-wide paintbrush to apply epoxy to the side of your house. Apply epoxy to the blank side of your craft foam and press into position. Allow epoxy to dry overnight again.
Trim around windows and doors to ensure smooth sills. Seal the entire exterior of the house using several coats of clear acrylic wood treatment. Allow acrylic to dry completely between coats.
If you are working with vertical siding materials, such as clay tiles or cedar shakes, do not overlap more than half the length of your materials.
If you want to make trompe l'oeil siding, paint your foam a dark color, then use an artist's utility knife to cut grooves into the foam. You can also use a wood-burning tool to create grooves. Try creating scallop, octagon, wave, square-edge or other patterns.