Thursday, 24 April 2014

Faux Brick Tutorial

I have decided to give my 1:24 dollhouse a nice red brick base. I decided to do so because I like the brick bases on these little houses and I wanted to imitate them.

I decided not to use the plastic prick sheets you can buy in the shops because I don't think they look realistic (they are difficult to paint). Also, it is hard to wrap them around corners in a realistic way. As such, I decided to make the bricks one by one instead. 

Below is an example of what can go wrong with plastic brick sheets if the measurements aren't quite right (I found this picture on Pinterest, the owner has done a beautiful job on the house in general).

I used egg carton to cut out individual bricks. Egg carton has the right texture to be brick of that scale. 

I then glued them on to the base individually, being careful to wrap them around the corners.

I then mixed up some red/brown paint (you could make the brick any tint you want, and painted two coats onto the bricks.

Then, in order show the grout in the bricks, I used timber gap filler. I rubbed it in between each brick (this was a little bit time consuming).

I then took a wet cloth and dabbed away all the excess gap filler.

I then gave the bricks a more realistic colour by dusting them with black, brown and green  chalk pastels (the green was for moss in the corners). After this I sprayed the bricks with some gloss sealer which you can buy at art shops and is usually used to seal paintings. This gave the bricks a bit of a shine/glaze which looks a bit more realistic and also removed any suspicious a viewer might have that they were made of cardboard.  

Below you can see that the right corner has been coloured with pastel, while the left corner hasn't. Notice how much more realistic the right side looks.

I then decided it would be important to have grilles/lattice between the brick posts which support the porch (these posts were not included in the kit, I added them using offcuts). These grilles are quite common, and look very nice.

I made them with some basewood strips I had cut.

They sit nicely between the porch brick posts, although now I am feeling doubtful that I have done them the right scale...I have a sneaking suspicion I should re-do them using slightly finer slats. Thankfully this won't take too long, and it is the small details that make a house!

Finally I used some off cut wood flooring to do the porch. All in all, it has made a good effect.

You can find more info on how to do brick in this way at one of my favourite blogs, Otterine's Miniatures (some more tutorials are referenced here too). 


  1. I like the lattice grills. That's a really nice touch.

  2. Emily, you did a great job on the bricks and the lattice grills, you are right: they look very realistic! Thanks for sharing!

  3. The brick wall is perfect!

  4. Hello Emily,
    Good job with the bricks. It looks fantastic.
    Big hug,

  5. I would love to have the patience to make such lovely bricks!

  6. I just read your comment on my blog…we must be both brick obsessed at the moment. I didn't realise that you are also in Australia. Cool :)

  7. Thank you for your tutorial. I had already seen this technique, but your pictures make it really clear. I also like the grilles! :)

  8. Te ha quedado genial la casita con los ladrillos y las rejillas, le da una apariencia muy real, felicidades por tan estupendo trabajo.

  9. A good tutorial and the grilles set it all off.

  10. Hi Emily, It was nice to meet you briefly at the Sydney fair!
    Right now, I am looking for DIY articles for the Dolls Houses Past and Present online magazine. (I'm not sure if you're a member of DHP&P?
    When I saw your tutorial on making the hall lantern, I was going to ask if I could include that in the magazine, but looking back through your posts, I remembered this wonderful brick base, and how you produced a lovely aged effect on the bricks. Would you permit me to publish this as an article in the next (June) issue of the magazine? It would be under your name (however you prefer that - your blog name, Emily, Emily of Architecture of Tiny Distinction, your full name, whatever your preference is), and I am happy to give a link to your blog at the end. It would need only very minor tweaking at the beginning to work as a stand-alone article - eg I'm building a 1:24 dollhouse and I decided to give it a nice red brick base.
    My email is if you'd like to email me to discuss it. Of course, I won't republish it unless you give permission!
    cheers, Rebecca

  11. Great tutorial, thanks for sharing. I agree that the lattice might be a little out of scale but it still looks good.