AT Commander's

"Joe House"

We recently picked up a new TV, I thought the box was more fun than its contents (sorta like being 4 years old again). Here's a Joe House we made for diorama or for play. It's a single-story building that we wanted to look like an abandoned structure for use as a French farmhouse or as a blockhouse. It couldn't have any fragile external parts, or they'd probably get damaged during storage, transit, or use. Thus, we ended up with a simple grey building with no eaves.

Here's a view of the back with the rear wall and roof section raised. You can see the wood beams we added around the ceiling on the 1st floor and the beam holding up the loft. The walls are covered with dollhouse wallpaper, and the floor is covered with plank stationery we picked up at an office suply store. The lower part of the walls (below the chair rails) is ordinary brown construction paper. You can also see the window sills we added that are also made of wood. The picture on the wall was for a dollhouse from a Hobby Lobby store. You can see the ugly masking tape and bare cardboard underneath the roof that are covered by the paint and trim visible elsewhere.

Here's another view of the house, clearly depicting the window sills and the trim as well as the interior detailing. The windows weren't measured very conscientiously. I stood a Joe up in a shooting position with an SMG and cut the first window at that height. Then I made the others match. At right you can see more of the interior detailing (and catch a glimpse of Jane outside leaning on the window sill).

Here's the front door. I was working on a Cub Scout project and had some leftover slats of wood. I had an epiphany and decided they looked like planks in 1/6 scale, so I used them to make a door. I just glued the planks to a piece of cardboard backing and added a wooden door handle I fabricated out of a piece of scrap wood. I added some more of the wooden trim around the door (same size I used for the window sills), just for fun. In each of the windows, you can see the edges of the wooden window sills.

Here's a table I made from the same "planks" that I picked up from the floor around my table saw. You can see the ugly carpenter's glue where I cobbled it all together. I added some reinforcement underneath to make it a little stronger. It's the right height for Joes to use for maps and charts. These pics also show the cool y plank-looking stationery I used for flooring.

The legs on the table are removable, for easy storage or transport. I built long channels for the leg braces to slip into. They are not glued in, so they can be easily removed. Tip for the future: use Elmer's white glue, not the super-strong carpentry glue. I was pretty disappointed with the yellowish tinted glue visible everywhere. I'm not concerned enough to do it over again, but still it was a bummer.

This wasn't really a project that took a lot of time. None of our projects are very time-consuming (with very little free time, they've got to be "quick builds" or they don't get done!). This house with its flip-up rear wall gives the kids a lot of play value indoors or out and inside the house or out. Yes, we still watch the TV that came in this box, but I still think the box is more fun! ;-)

LMK what you think of this project or anything else you stumble across on my humble little site!

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