01 of 06
Make a "Glass" Showcase for a Dollhouse Shop
This "glass" topped showcase or pastry case can be constructed in a range of sizes for different shop displays for dollhouse and model scales. The case is made here in a 1:12 scale from 1/16-inch acrylic sheet and can be set onto commercial shop counters or fitted to a custom countertop as is shown here. The case is easy to build and can be adapted for several showcase type displays.
To build the case as shown here, you will need 1/16-inch thick acrylic sheet (plexiglass). To make a roughly 3-inch tall, 4-inch wide, and 1 3/4-inch deep display, I used the technique for bending sheet acrylic to make a roughly right angle bend 2 inches down from the top edge of a 5-inch by 4-inch section of 1/16-inch thick acrylic sheet. You will need to take care to make an even, straight bend, which may require a bit of practice. It is best to build the acrylic top before you build your display base to house it, as the bends in the acrylic will determine how large a base you need.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Mark and Cut Sides for the Dollhouse Scale "Glass" Display Case
With the front and top of the display case bent to shape, it is time to cut and fit sides into the bend of the case. To do this, lay your bent front section over sheet acrylic and mark a rectangle that will fit inside the curved front edge. Use a sharp craft knife and or a razor saw to cut the sides for your case from the acrylic sheet.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Mark the Curve of the Front Onto the Side Sections of the Acrylic Display Case
Lay the rectangle for the side section of the acrylic display case underneath the curved top section, matching the upper and inner edges so they fit inside the curved front section as shown in the photo. Use a sharp-pointed awl or a nail or darning needle to mark the curve on the top of the front section of the case, onto the rectangular side section. Repeat to mark the other side section of the case.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Shape the Curve on the Sides of the Acrylic Dollhouse Display Case
Once you have marked the curve on the top corner of each of the display case sides, trim the corner away roughly with a sharp craft knife, then use a file and a sanding block and sandpaper to shape the acrylic to the curve you marked in the previous step with an awl. If possible, leave the protective paper coating on your acrylic sheet while you carefully sand the corner to shape. Dust and sand from the sandpaper can cause scratches, and the protective sheet helps prevent accidental scratches from forming.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Test Fit the Sides Into the Display Case Front
When you have carefully shaped the curve on the top front corner of each of your acrylic case side pieces, test fit them inside the curved front. If necessary, sand them so they fit as tightly as possible. Plastic Solvent Glues work best where the parts fit very snugly together with no gaps.
Do not apply glue and assemble the case until you have fitted the shelf supports in the next step.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Cut and Fit the Shelf Supports Into the Acrylic Display Case
The last step before the final assembly is to cut small strips of the acrylic to serve as shelf supports. The shelf supports will need to be glued to the inside of the sides, in the same position on each side. Before you glue the supports in place, polish all the acrylic pieces with fine sandpaper (automotive detailing paper) to eliminate all scratches.
Glue the supports to the sides as shown in the photo, wicking the plastic weld glue into the join by brushing it on using a small paintbrush. You can also use a tube of plastic glue, but the seams will show more than if you use plastic weld glue (available at model and hobby shops, as well as sheet acrylic suppliers).
When the shelf supports have set in place on the sides, apply a small amount of glue to the top and front edges of one side and set it in place so it lines up with the outer edges of the curved front. Repeat to glue the final side into place.
With the sides glued to the front, measure and cut shelves to fit into the case. To make it easier to arrange your future displays, do not glue these shelves in place. Make a base to fit your display case if you wish, or set it directly on a shop counter or table.