Asphalt Shingles For Dollhouses

Posted by Cheryl Ufnowski on Feb 6th 2018

For a printer friendly version of these instructions, click here 

NOTE: The following text was originally written (February 6, 2009) when a product called "What's Next" shingles was available. At this time, this particular brand of dollhouse miniature shingles is not available. A product by Alessio Miniatures is currently available, but these shingles are not manufactured using the same method, so we have edited this text as it applies to Alessio Miniature paper shingles.  Please note, Alessio Miniatures asphalt shingles are NOT intended for outdoor use. The installation method described below is still very much applicable. Should you have any questions, please contact me. 

First, paint the edges of the roof the color of the shingles. You might also consider installing copper flashing.

Second, measure the first piece of shingle so that the slits in the material come out even on the left and right edges of the roof. Cut this piece off the roll. Now measure the second piece. This second piece is measured so the slit is centered between two slits on the first row. Cut this off. Use these pieces as patterns for cutting the rest. (NOTE: You have two kinds of rows, odds and evens.)

Third, make sure slits line up correctly from strip to strip. If the slits in one strip do not line up with the slits in the other strips, lay the shorter ones on the table and run your fingers along the strip to flatten and stretch it until it matches the other strips.

Fourth, glue the first strip along the edge of the roof, overhanging the roof by 1/16" or 1/8" (depending on scale). (Optional: Glue the first strip with slits facing the peak of the roof, then glue the second strip on top of the first strip with slits facing down and centered between the slits in the first row. This creates a watertight seal on the roof edge similar to a real roof.) From the bottom edge of the shingle, Mark of dots every 1¼" or 1½" (depending on scale) to the roof peak on the left and right sides of the roof. With pencil and ruler, join the dots to make parallel lines. Measure accurately. This keeps shingle rows even going up the roof.

Fifth, glue rows up the roof, lining up the back of the shingles with parallel lines. Apply glue to both the spine of the strip and the individual tabs. Cut uppermost row to fit peak. Cap the roof with separate shingles cut from the strip.

What kind of glue can I use? We recommend a petroleum based glue because this is a paper product. Construction adhesive like Liquid Nails®, lacquer based glue like Magnatac, or Multi-Grip work equally well. White or wood glues are not recommended because they tend to fail after prolonged contact with the tar paper.

Can they be used outside? No, the shingles should not be used for outdoor projects. 

Will the color fade?  The shingle colors are reasonably colorfast but ultraviolet light may fade the base color over time. Fluorescent lights do give off ultraviolet light and may cause fading.  We do recommend that you protect the shingles with a coating of satin finish polyurethane paint, (either spray or brush) especially on the textured shingles. Both ultraviolet light and harsh weather will damage the color or granules. 

How many shingles are in each package?  Each package will cover about one square foot (three square centimeters).

How many packages do I need?  Measure the square area you are covering (length X width = square inches or centimeters) then divide by 144 for inches or 9 for centimeters and this number is how many packages you will need. If you have valleys, dormers or complex roof shapes the angular cutting creates some waste that is unusable and will need more than a simple roof, so plan accordingly.

Asphalt shingles by Alessio Miniatures can be found here.

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