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How to Make a Doll Display Case

Use a picture frame for the bottom of your display case.

Dolls were originally designed as samples for dressmakers to follow to re-create the latest styles from the courts of England and France. Today, dolls of many types exist, from toddlers to full-figured fashion sizes, all of which are much loved by their young "mamas." Many of these beautiful dolls do not survive daily play. A display case can help preserve dolls with elaborate coiffures and extravagant wardrobes.

Things You'll Need:

  • One 8 by 10 picture frame with back
  • Four 15-inch pieces of 3/4 round rope molding
  • Two 8-inch pieces of 3/4 round rope molding
  • Two 10-inch pieces of 3/4 round rope molding
  • Two panels of clear acrylic sheet 7 7/8 inches wide by 15 inches tall by 1/8 inch thick
  • Two panels of clear acrylic sheet 9 7/8 inches wide by 15 inches tall by 1/8 inch thick
  • One panel of clear acrylic sheet 8 inches wide by 10 inches long by 1/8 inch thick
  • Clear instant adhesive
  • Clear silicone adhesive
  • Plastic "lunch lady" gloves
  • Acetone or nail polish remover (just in case)

Turn the picture frame upside down on your work surface. This will be the bottom of your display case. Have a helper hold the clear acrylic sheets in place on the frame while you use instant adhesive as a temporary bond. Wear plastic "lunch lady" gloves and keep some acetone or nail polish remover handy just in case you get the adhesive on your skin. Bond all four pieces: front, back, left and right sides.The 7 7/8-inch-wide pieces will be the shortest sides of the case. By making them 1/8 inch shorter than the inner dimension of the photo frame, the acrylic sheets will fit together better and be more likely to stay in place after the adhesive sets.Be sure to use adequate ventilation when using acetone, nail polish remover or silicone adhesive. If you can smell fumes, you do not have adequate ventilation.

Lay a bead of silicone adhesive up the inside of each of the back corners of the display case and smooth with a finger. Repeat for the front corners and the two long inner edges along the length of the display case. This will give your corners extra strength later. Allow adhesive to cure overnight.Lay a bead of silicone adhesive along the inner V edge of the 15-inch 3/4 round rope molding pieces. Press each piece into place on the two back corners and front two corners of the display case.

Glue doll stand in place inside the case. Allow adhesive to cure overnight. Arrange the doll and any other objects to be displayed along with the doll, securing with a bead of silicone adhesive. Top case with the 8-by-10 inch acrylic sheet.

Miter the edges of the 8-inch and 10-inch 3/4 round pieces of rope molding so that they will fit tightly at the corners. Glue into place along the front, back and sides of the top edge of the display case, between the pieces of side molding.

Use this case as a display of mementos from a trip, a diorama of favorite photos or to display a collection of treasured items, if you like. It can also be used for seasonal displays, such as nativities or Dickens villages.

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