Roof of the house; making miniature roofslates

 The roof of the house is covered with pieces of cardboard and  painted  afterwards
 to make it resemble a grey slated one.

First of all, I made use of a book written by Jean Nisbett and called :  "A beginners Guide tot the Doll's House Hobby".  In this book the writer sets out several options of house exteriors. One of them is the "economy option" for supplying your house with  a slated roof using cardboard. I did some experiments with it to make it look as realistic as possible.  In this post I'll show you how I made the roof of my house.

I took a few large pieces of cardboard ( in dutch: "grijsboard") of 1 mm thickness. I made two "rulers"; one for dividing the cardboard in strips of 19 cm en one for dividing it in strips of 13 cm. Usings self-made rulers saves time,  for you don't have to measure every 19 or 13 cm apart. Besides; it helps working more precise so you won't end up with unequal parts.

Next, I cut the cardboard in horizontal strips of 19 cm, using the lines I set out with a pencil. This is done easily with  a metal ruler and a craft-knife.   Every 13 cm I made a cut halfway through the strip, following the pencil-line. I like to use a pair of scissors for this job.

The idea is to paste the strips of cardboard on the wooden roof of the house, making sure evere strip partly covers the one underneath.  Also mark that the vertical cuts in the strips of cardboard alternate.  Every cut is positioned in the middle of the slate direct below.

The wooden roof is horizontally marked with a pencil-line, again using the "13- cm- ruler". However there is one exeption:  always start at the bottom of the roof with a strip of 19 cm heigth.
Apply the first strip of cardboard at the edge of the roof and every next one on top of the one beneath.

I like tot use Wood Glue or White Glue ( my favorite glue comes  from the dutch shop of Peter van Ginkel; it's sold as PVG Mowilith  DM-2, een waterige kunstharsdispersie op basis van een vinylacetaat)
I applied  every layer upon layer, making sure the one underneath was stuck firmly before putting the next one above.
It's no problem when you cut a lare strip of cardboard in smaller pieces, al long as the slated pattern continues.  You can even cut one slate loose from the strip of cardboard and paste it like it's starting to fall from the roof; in need of repair!

After making sure the roof has dried thouroughly, I appplied an undercoat of a quick drying primer.

You can make your rooftiles even more realistic by damaging them on purpose
with very rough sanding paper.

Next, I needed acrylic paints in the colours white, ultramarine blue and burnt umbre.

First of all I mixed a real dark shade of grey, using the umbre and ultramine with just a little bit of white.
I covered the entire roof with this dark colour, making sure to fill all gaps with paint. This dark layer will later shine trough the upper layers of paint. In this way one achieves a feel of depth when looking at the roof slates.

Next, I apllied 2 or 3 layers of grey, each layer having a lighter shade. This was achieved  by using ever more white paint in the mixture of the three colours. I Made sure not to entirely cover the layer of paint underneath when I put on the next one.
Using a reasonably dry brush helps in this. You can also use the "dry brushing" technique to highlighten the damaged parts of the cardboard; giving it a real natural stone impression.

I finish with a layer of transparant, matt varnish, to protect the material.

So this is how I made my slated roof.
I thought grey slates would colour nicely with the warm red/brownish brickwall.


  1. Hallo Liduina,
    Wat leuk om te lezen hoe je te werk bent gegaan en welke materialen je gebruikt hebt. Ook vind ik het leuk om te lezen welke kleuren je gebruikt hebt om de warme kleur grijs te mengen! Inspirerend om ook zelf aan de slag te gaan.
    Liefs Debora

  2. Fantastic work! I did the roofing of my big town house a few years ago quite similar to your work and it drove me nuts... but I finished the roof :-)


    1. Hi Lina, you make me really curious about the roof on your own house. I'll visit your blog soon for I hope to find a picture of it there...It's always inspiring to see how other doll's house-fans create their own things. There are so many ways to use the same technique and have such different outcomes!
      Wishing you well, Liduina

    2. Hallo Liduina!

      I used strong paper instead of cardboard for the roof. Now, I would use cardboard but at the time I did the roof it was the most suitable method. I will take a closer picture of the roof for you... but it will take a few days since my dollhouses are in my parents place!


  3. This is a beautiful and cost effective roof! Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial!

  4. muchas gracias por compartir su tutorial , necesitaba algo como esto para poder realizar mi tejado y poder terminar mi casa.
    Gracias por sus explicaciones , MARAVILLOSAS.
    Saludos Loly

    1. Thank you, Loly! By the way, I've seen your blog and I am folllowing.

  5. Hi Liduina,

    This is such a great technique too. Thanks for sharing it, I want to try it in future!


    1. Hello Emily, thanks for commenting on my blog. I have seen your blog too and I think your house is very special. Well done!

  6. Hi Liduina,amazing tuto!! Love the beautiful dollhouse,miniregards from Spain.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I am happy to hear you like my house!

  7. Replies
    1. hello Hannah,thank you for your compliment!

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