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In between making Christmas candy and wrapping presents this weekend, I found some time to put my empty egg cartons to work – as masonry for the outside of a dollhouse!
Today I’m going to show you three possible ways to create miniature masonry, with just an egg carton, some acrylic paint, glue, and creativity!
- acrylic paints I used different colors for each style
- an empty egg carton
- brushes of various sizes. I like using foam spouncers
- glue (white, tacky, or otherwise)
- Mod Podge or another decoupaging medium
I decided to test my masonry on a thin length of plywood. I gave it a base coat of acrylic paint in Oatmeal. This color will come through as the mortar. You could easily use an antique white, or even a dark gray, for the mortar.
I wanted to first try creating a style of masonry that belongs on an English cottage.
I started by ripping up the egg carton. I aimed for semi-rectangular pieces or ‘stones’ that are vaguely similar in size. I used only my fingers to rip the paper but tried to avoid having jagged edges. I aimed for stones that were roughly hewn from a quarry. When I had a large pile of these stones, I was ready to begin!
I placed stones by picking pieces of the egg carton, applying a thin layer of tacky glue, and then manually putting them on to the board. The positioning was very flexible. I sometimes ripped pieces further to get them to fit with the rest of the layout. I tried to maintain roughly the same distance between stones, to provide balance.
Once I had placed all the stones and the glue had dried, I was ready to paint! I decided to go with a brownish gray shade to the stones.
To start, I filled a little paint palette with drops of acrylic paint in these colors:
- mushroom brown (a light brown with undertones of gray)
- antique white
- moss green
I grabbed a paper towel and a small foam brush and got to work!
I dipped my brush into the oatmeal color, then dabbed most of it off on the paper towel. The key to painting the stones is a light hand. Remember, you can always come back later and put more color in, but it’s much harder to take color out! I lightly brushed color onto the stones until I had a good base coat. If I found that too much pigment had been applied to one area, I used another, large foam brush to blend out the color.
When I had laid down a good coat of oatmeal paint, I used the same brush to pick up a dot of mushroom brown paint. Again, I brushed most of the color off onto the paper towel. I lightly dabbed brown onto the stones, applying color just to the edges and to the very tops of the stones. This color just added some dimension to the stones.
I then applied a layer of antique white paint in the same manner.
Lastly, I used the same small foam brush to pick up some moss green paint. I applied a thin layer of this paint to just the very bottom stones. This is the perfect look for the bottom of a house that is sitting in the grass.
After that, all my ‘masonry’ needed was a good clear coat. I gave it 3 thin coats of Mod Podge, waiting about 20 minutes between each coat.
2. Red Brick
I next wanted to try my hand at bricks. There are many different shades of brick, but I aimed for a classic weathered red.
I created bricks by cutting up ripped pieces of the egg carton. There is a certain amount of precision required here because the bricks need to be similar in shape and size. I cut my bricks approximately 1/4″ wide, and 1/2″ – 3/4″ long.
Placing the bricks is much trickier than placing bigger stones because brick needs to follow a pattern. I applied a layer of glue to the plywood, then used tweezers to position my bricks. Sometimes I cut bricks to smaller sizes so that they would match up. Keeping straight lines and uniform positioning is important.
When I had placed enough bricks, I pulled together my colors for painting. I used:
- bright red
- antique white
I started off by mixing red and brown paints on my paper towel. I laid in this color heavily with a small foam brush.
Using a regular paintbrush, I added in light accents of black, focusing on the edges of the brick. This makes the bricks pop and creates a ‘sooty’ look that would be perfect for a fireplace flue.
I applied accents of white in the same way. Lastly, I applied a thicker layer of oatmeal paint all over the top. This mellowed the bright colors and made the bricks look more uniform.
3. Gray Brick
I had some bricks leftover, so decided to test out another color scheme for my bricks.
I laid out another brick pattern, left them to dry, and then started on another paint palette.
- Amish gray
I applied a layer of Amish gray using a small foam brush and then used a fresh paintbrush to apply accents of black and white.
What do you think?
Which style was your favorite?
Have you ever used egg cartons to create masonry for your dollhouse or miniatures display? Let me know in the comments!
Til’ next time,
Nice. My painting technique leaves a lot to be desired, but I like what you did
Like these ideas….making a supply of “bricks” for my first book nook, cant wait!
Ohhh My Goodness!!!! 🙂 really Beautiful!! I hope read this! You are talented … 🙂 I Choose number 2…
Sorry! I mean number 1 …. the first opcion ….
I love it. You explained you techniques with simplicity. Gonna try this onmybird houses…thanks for sharing!
I love this idea. I’ve been using my old egg cartons for hamster cage filler but I definitely need to try this. My husband made a dollhouse for our daughter two years ago and this would be a nice addition
Great idea – definitely less messy than the brick finish I applied many years ago to my Dutch dollshouse. The process can be seen here: https://czechdollshouses.blogspot.com/2012/06/going-dutch-or-anyone-for-coffee-part-1.html
I intend to try your method as soon as I am back with my dollshouses in the summer 🙂
This looks very realistic as I have laid stone and brick. Finish would take some playing with for desired effect but this could also be used for larger pieces to make flagstone walkway or veneer on walls or even flooring like in an old adobe building. Much more realistic looking than printed sheets.
I can’t wait to try this. One question what kind of board? How thick should it be?
Hi Joyce! You can put egg cartons on any thickness of wood or MDF. We used quarter inch plywood because we had some lying around in small boards 🙂
I appreciated a lot the technic ( sorry ,I am from Quebec So my english is so so!!!) But at least you understand me .I also appreciat that women like you take the time to make those site ,I believed it takes a lot of time to do so and it is so generous .I do oil paint for 30 years and since I and an accident that leaved me at home since then ,I learned so many technics that i am now building a miniature house for me…i do everything from brick tiling built beds, chairs tissus and wood ..I surprising my self and It is because of women like you If I Did not commited …..something bad….thanks you and all the others like you generous english women lol.lol
thank you so much for this tutorial, I want to do as much from scratch as I can and this is just perfect. thanks again. looks so real.
Thanks for posting this! I’m just beginning to dabble in miniatures, so I really appreciate the detailed techniques you’ve shared!
Your techniques are ingenious! I’m started a new hobby this summer making fairy and gnome houses for my gardens. I’m also constructing miniature rock castles for my yard (missing Game of Thrones). I had no idea how to make bricks or rocks. I was just about to purchase them. So thanks for sharing. You safe me in more ways than one!!!
I like your tecnique and will be using in the assembling of my Christmas Cribs which gives a beautfull
effect to walls
Looks great! Do you have suggestions for making this durable for outside? Ty
I really enjoyed seeing your initiative. You are very thoughtful and inventive. I have more success camps for you. I don’t speak English and I use Google translator. Thank you
What did you do for grout? I think that’s the real challenge with these egg carton walls. thanks!
Hi Michelle! In this tutorial we didn’t do any true grouting. Instead, we painted the wall a light color that would show up between the egg carton ‘stones’. Then we glued on each of the stones with a little gap between them and then sealed it over with Mod Podge. But thats a great idea for a future expansion on this tutorial!
I love these ideas. Thanks for sharing. Since my fairy houses are for outdoor gardens, does anyone know what kind of finish can be added to make them waterproof? This would make an amazing addition to my collections. Thank you.
outdoor Mod Poge. But in reality nothing can hold back Mother Nature for long. Fix Or Repair Yearly. I make fairy houses and such and put them out in the spring. If they are still there come fall I have to repair them inside and outside. 🤗
Love it! I have been putting off adding brick to my dollhouse fireplace interior, thinking I would use pieces of cork. But this is so cute and I can do it today!
Wonderful idea! Will try it on a village I’m working on
What a brilliant idea and a way to get rid of egg cartons I haven’t got a dolls house to put them on but will do on a canvas
Tusind tak for, at vise hvordan det kan gøres.
Jeg er virkelig fan af din måde, at gøre og vise tingene på.
I have been using egg cartons to make bricks since 2014. I am making a haunted dollhouse that has a brick tower in the front of the dollhouse. I used egg carton bricks to cover the whole thing. I also use grout once I paint the bricks and then do an antique wash over the whole thing.
I’m assuming there was supposed to be photos accompanying the tutorial. Unfortunately I had none.