Outside View

Outside View
The Exterior View of New Orleans Townhouse

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hat Shop Lights and Creating Realistic Bricks from Plastic Sheets

The lights are on and we are almost ready for business. I added the two chandeliers later because the rooms were so dark. They were not my favorite but I could buy them locally and they give off a lot of light. I also covered the area underneath the stairs with brick. I spray painted plastic brick sheets with Fiesta stone effect spray paint and used the latex sandstone paint that I used on the house as mortar. UPDATE: You can use the mortar mix sold by miniatures.com and Hobby Lobby, you just need to seal it. I am missing the signs over the windows and I need to add interior trim and attach the upstairs to the downstairs. Few blogs, with the exception of Otterine's blog, rarely show how they wire a house and you can really learn a lot from seeing how it is done. I decided to include mine in this post because this is only my second time putting lights in a house. I use a combination of cooper tape and solder. I installed the lights on the ceiling of each floor and drilled a hole in the floors and ran a wire between the two to provide power to both. I used a junction splice on the side of the building to the first floor ceiling. I cover the ceiling wires with tape to for protection and to hold them in place. I don't know if this was the best way to do a wiring scheme for this house but this is the way I did it.
I used embossed scrapbook papers on the ceilings

I painted a faux finish on the walls

You can see the single wire in the corner that delivers power to the second floor

Outside view of the shop with coach lights

I still need to install the shop signs over the windows

This is how the coach lights look with the room lights on
I sprayed the plastic sheet with stone effect spray paint

This color is called Fiesta

I painted in the grout lines with the sandstone paint I used on the exterior of the house

I added a single row of bricks to the sides to add dimension 

I need to paint the support beam
The wire hole from the second floor ceiling to the first floor ceiling
This picture is the first floor ceiling minus the connecting wire to the second floor



  1. thank you so much for sharing your lighting system, I have someone who has offered to teach me how to do it but it does help to see how it's done.

    Marisa :)

  2. Hello Jocelyne,
    The shop looks fantastic. It must be a lot of work but the brick is beautiful. great job on the lighting.
    Big hug,

  3. The shop looks great. Thanks for sharing the light pictures. Indypoppy

  4. Hello Jocelyn! I am really impressed with the spray paint on the plastic brick sheet. It reads just like brick! How do you keep it out of the grout lines after it has been sprayed? Do you scrape it out and then touch it up with paint or just leave it and go over the lines on top of the brick paint?
    It is very informative how you have done the wiring but I think that it is a great idea to use both the tape and the solder for good measure. I use to struggle with those stinky little brads that never went in easily and then seem to come loose after everything was installed and then of course, the lights wouldn't work! You must have had similar experiences inn the past too. With electrical, I think you live and learn.


    1. Hi Elizabeth, I over sprayed the bricks to make it go onto the grout lines because I didn't want the white grout of the plastic to show. Then I went back and painted them back in. Next time I think I will use a sponge roller or spray the brick the grout color first since the spray paint initially only sits on top of the bricks themselves. My dad, who has a background in electronics taught me to solder when he first showed me how to install lights because he didn't trust the brads, LOL!

  5. Beautifully done, Jocelyn! I would never have believed you used plastic brick sheets if you hadn't shown the before-and-after. That is incredibly realistic stone effect paint.

  6. The row of bricks is fantastic!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Greetings, Faby

  7. Your bricks look great! I really like the effect of the lights! Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Sam here.
    The bricks really do look great. Thanks also for the wiring pictures, it does help to see how it is done. I have never wired a house, but I intend to try it one day. Seeing your pictures makes me think I could do it.

  9. I linked over from Pinterest. I just love your work. I'm retiring soon and want to help my grand daughter with her dolls. Seems they all need houses. I like miniatures. I am so pleased to have found your site and I signed up for emails. I can see I have lots to learn before I can build my own doll house! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  10. beautiful idea on the bricks. I am building a dollhouse for my granddaughters and using the plastic sheets for the foundation. I'm going out for stone spray right away. Thank you! You are a talented, creative hobbyist.

  11. How did you attach the brick. I am putting them on the exterior side of my dollhouse so I want them to be attached firmly. Any suggestions?

    1. I think I used wood glue but I would try a glue made specially for plastic too.

    2. Thank you for your response. I did miniatures when I was 14 years old and haven't done anything for a very long time. I'm about to retire and started up again so I appreciate all your great techniques. Back when I started they didn't have all the cool tools and products they do now. So fun!