Creating elaborate props for our photoshoots is one of my favorite parts of building the Gloomth Universe! This time we decided to construct a semi life-size dollhouse! It needed to be big enough that models could sit inside of it or peer through the door/window, a scale that was larger than life but not so big it just seemed like a weird room within a room.
It began with my friend saying he’d rescued a bunch of foam core sheets from the recycling at his job, that they were fine apart from having advertising posters glued to one side and did I want to make something for a shoot with them? He and I have collaborated on a lot of the giant props for our shoots, from sewing a 6 foot rabbit to making a huge black glitter coffin! We decided it was time for a dollhouse! So I fired off a quick sketch of approximately what shape the final house would take on (below) and he cut the pieces out of the foam core and tore off as much of the posters as possible.
He brought the pieces over the following week and we set to painting them on a big tarp in the middle of my living room floor. I used leftover house paint, craft acrylics, and some black ink pigments to create the shabby, weathered look for the house.
I used a rubber stamp with a Victorian scroll pattern on it to create faded wallpaper on the back wall of the dollhouse with watered down black ink.
Once the paint was dry we then began assembling the dollhouse, which was extremely tricky. Some of the panels warped a little from the wet paint and had to be reinforced as we went. We used hot glue and tape to build the shape. Thankfully foam core isn’t very heavy so these materials worked well enough to hold it upright. Once it was assembled I stayed up very late painting the roof, adding vintage gold star stickers to the inside ceiling, and decorating the inside.
On the interior wall is an antique photograph, page from my grandmother’s journal, and another vintage photo I had. I also added an old brass earring bauble for the doorknob inside of the house.
The day of the shoot I got up terribly early and began slowly assembling the tattered Victorian Grunge environment in my studio! Here you can see the dollhouse next to my rocking horse.
Heaps of gratitude to D for helping me create yet another over the top prop for a shoot. Can’t wait to do it again!