Dollhouse miniatures · tutorials

Concealing the Wires of Battery Operated Mini Lights in a Dollhouse Attic

For months I have been kicking around the idea of a including a bathroom in the Victoria’s Farmhouse dollhouse. When I first started building, I did not want to include one in this house. I had too many other rooms that I needed to decorate. Then I started thinking about all of the cute accessories that I can make for a bathroom. THEN it took me weeks more to settle on a design. So many options and so few dollhouses.

string lights installed in a dollhouse bathroom.

Now that I have the bathroom under way, let me show you how I’m working the lighting fixtures. You may recall that I said that I am totally over 12 volt wiring on a dollhouse. There are already a couple battery operated LEDs installed as well and now I am switching to a different way of lighting the rooms. Three different lighting installments. Yep, this first house has been a learning house for me to be sure. Anyway, I’ve decided to use a battery operated mini light string for the attic. This top floor will contain a bathroom and a large craft/art room, both of which need lights.

old light fixture from an E-bay auction

When I first started making my dollhouse, I bid on a couple of E-bay lots of miniatures. Some things were very cool and some things – not so much. Never fear, even the “not so much” will receive the treatment and become totally cool. This little light fixture pictured above was kind of cute, but kind of boring so I tore it apart to use just the star globe in the bathroom. I will use the base for something else at a later date.

inking "lead" lines on a plastic dollhouse light fixture
Fixture lined with permanent pen to simulate leading

To start the transformation on the star, I used a Sharpie pen to draw lines at each edge to simulate leading. Then I attached a bead that I painted with silver nail polish. Already much more attractive, don’t you agree?

Lovely dollhouse light fixture
Refurbished hanging dollhouse light

To install my string of battery operated mini lights, I made a false ceiling to hide the wires. First, I cut a strip of mini blind slat to fit the length of the room. Then I cut little wooden blocks to act as stays to be glued to the dollhouse walls. One half of the Velcro was attached to the blocks and then the other half was glued to corresponding spots on the slat. The blocks are glued to the walls of the house so that the “Ceiling” will stay put when stuck to the house. Make sense? Stick the “ceiling” up there and the Velcro will grab the blocks and hold the slat in place.

How to attach lights in a false ceiling in dollhouse
Back of the false ceiling with lights secured through the drilled holes with hot glue.

Next, I drilled holes large enough for the mini lights to slip through. From the backside of the false ceiling, I used hot glue to fix the lights in place.

Fixtures glued into false ceiling in dollhouse attic.
In this picture, you can barely see the LEDS poking out from the grommets. One hint: If your lights are too bright for the room, you can coat them with a little hot glue. It won’t hurt the lights but it will dim them a bit.

On the side of the slat that will show in the room, I attached grommets that were painted with silver nail polish. This is just to make the holes look pretty and finished – like real light fixtures.

Now I just have to finish the slat on the craft room side and I’m done with lighting on this floor. oh! And I will hide the battery box in a cabinet in the craft room.

attic space in Victoria's Farmhouse
Dry run on the fit of the craft room slat/ceiling. Now that I’m happy with fit, I can hot glue the lights into place.

Maybe this will give you some ideas if you do not want to do either round wire or tape installments. It is a fast, easy way to do dollhouse lighting and may be the way that I go on my next house. On the other hand…hmmmmm…I’ll have to think about it.

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