1:24 Miniature Tile Roof from Corrugated Cardboard

The dollhouse this roof goes onto is a half inch, or 1:24 scale.

I cut up a corrugated cardboard box, then peeled off the top layer of paper. On the right you can see how it looked after I peeled the paper layer, on the left you see it cleaned up.

I used a skewer to pop the thin stuck on pieces,
and used a piece of fine sandpaper wrapped around a thin dowel to remove more bits of paper.

Once the furrows were cleaned up, I sanded the whole surface lightly, then removed the paper dust, bits and pieces with a brush.

After making a small sample roof piece, the next day I discovered it had warped a little bit. I'd glued the strips of peeled, corrugated carboard onto a piece of posterboard. In an effort to avoid warpage, I decided to try spraying both sides of my base cardboard layer with sealer. I used Krylon Matte Finish spray, I always have a can on hand.

Next I prepared strips to glue over the base layer, to form the rows of tiles.
I measured and cut 1 & 1/4" wide strips, then peeled off the paper backing. I found using a putty knife helpful to get the 2 layers apart. 

Once I prepared the 4 roof panels I needed to glue them to the roof. The cardboard panels did tend to warp a little as they dried, so I did give them more sprays of sealer as I worked, and left each panel I was working on dry out overnight under a book. Some slight warping is adjustable by just gently bending the roof panels.
First I tried gluing a panel with spray adhesive. I was pretty sure it wouldn't work very well, but one can only hope for the best. It was not the best.
I pulled off the panel then started applying contact cement to the roof and the backside of the cardboard panel. I don't know why Weldbond can't make their applicator brush remain stuck to the lid so you can use it as you're meant to.
You can't adjust things when you use contact cement, once the pieces are glued together they're stuck, so you can't be making any mistakes.
The next day I found that the cardboard had popped up slightly at a corner and along one edge, so I slid a little strong glue in with a thin knife blade and clamped those spots down.

To make the tile roof cap I cut a strip from a brown paper supermarket bag and drew lines to represent the individual rounded tiles. Next I brushed white glue on the inner side of the strip, placed it glue side down onto a strip of plastic wrap, then shaped the paper around a thin dowel with the aid of a putty knife to define the crease. After sliding out the dowel I let the paper strip dry.
Once the strip had stiffened up I spread glue over the top strip of roof tiles on one side of the roof and placed the roof cap on top, pressing one edge to the glue coated tiles, then let dry. Once the strip was firmly glued on one side, I repeated with the other side.

The next step was coating the entire roof with a layer of white glue, giving the roof cap a couple of extra coats to make sure it was quite stiff and sturdy.
I used acrylic craft paints on the roof, a mixture of a clay color, raw sienna and burnt sienna.
I brushed on a section of the clay color, then while the paint was wet, I dipped the brush in a little raw sienna, brushed it on in random strokes, then dipped the brush in some burnt sienna and did the same thing. The trick is to let your wrist go free, sort of a whoosh whoosh stroke. The colors just blend together so you don't notice any strips of varying colors, but it doesn't look like you painted the roof all one color. Kind of hard to explain, but it's the best I can do.

After I saw this picture I noticed a missed a spot. I'll have to go back and give it a dab of paint. 
By the way, I also put a dab of joint compound in the gap between the front and back sheets of tile under the roof cap, then painted it too.


  1. What a fun and fabulous method! I love how the roof came out!

  2. Your tile roof turned out GREAT, Grazhina! - Pat yourself on the Back for a job VERY WELL DONE! :D

  3. You make beautiful things, I love your nice little old rooms, great!