Doll houses are no longer just child's play. These intricately crafted creations are labours of love for thousands of enthusiasts. One of the most amazing innovations in doll house technology in the last several decades is the introduction of electricity and working lights. This is made possible by the invention of copper tape to take the place of wiring underneath the doll house's wallpaper and ceilings.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Adhesive copper tape
- Doll house wallpaper
- Craft knife
- Power adaptor with dual insulated wires
- Electrical tape
- Doll house lighting fixture
- Fast-drying craft glue
Buy the right kind of tape. There are many different kinds of copper tape, and not all are made for craft purposes. Some people like to save a little money and buy a copper tape that is too large for a doll house, then cut it down to size once they get it home. This is time-consuming, and if done incorrectly, can ruin the tape. Make sure you by a tape small enough to work with the scale you are building on. Also, make sure the tape is self-adhesive. There's nothing more frustrating than having to tape down copper taping and hope that you haven't interfered with the electrical current.
Wire the walls and ceilings before you do anything else. Before you put down the flooring, ceiling tile or wallpaper, make sure you know exactly where the lighting fixtures are going to be, and wire them first. Mark them with pencil and lay copper tape connecting them all. Trace the tape back to the corner of the house where you have a hole drilled. Through this hole, connect the copper tape to insulated wires of a power adaptor that have been stripped at the ends. Tape down the positive wire to one side of the copper tape, and the negative to the other. Run this wire out of the back of the house through the hole. Once connected, this will provide the power for your doll house lights.
Put down the wallpaper, ceiling tile and flooring. Once the wiring is complete, you can cover it with whatever decorative covering you wish. Cut small holes with your craft knife wherever you will be connecting a lighting fixture. Make sure the holes are large enough to expose both sides of the copper tape, but small enough so the lighting fixture will cover them once glued down.
Connect the lighting fixtures. Using tiny pieces of electrical tape that you have cut with your craft knife, tape down the two wires of each lighting fixture to the two sides of the copper tape. Make sure the tape is secure and that there is nothing coming between the lighting fixture's wires and the copper tape, otherwise the lights won't work.
Glue down the lighting fixtures. Using a small amount of craft glue, secure each of the lighting fixtures just above each of the holes. Hold down for a minute apiece or until the glue has taken hold. Wait for an hour or so before testing the lights. Once plugged in, the lights should go on automatically.
Tips and warnings
- Do not leave doll house electrics on for too long. The copper tape can heat up and, in extreme circumstances, can cause a fire. Use with caution and adult supervision.