How to Make Barrel Roof Shingles for Doll Houses

By F.R.R. Mallory

Barrel roof shingles are visually the same as Spanish-style terracotta roof tiles. The shingle or tile is curved and it is applied or attached in layers that partially overlap each other. Making barrel roof shingles for a dollhouse is a fairly simple process with the right tools. You can achieve a good approximation of the real roof tile both in thickness and appearance by cutting standard materials.

List of Items Needed

  • 1/2-inch plastic pipe
  • Tape measure
  • Straightedge
  • Fine marker
  • Power cutting tool
  • Rotary tool with sanding and cutting accessories
  • Sandpaper
  • Safety glasses
  1. Cut a couple 1/2-inch plastic pipes in half along their length, using a power cutting tool or the rotary tool with cutting accessories. Draw lines along each side to keep your cuts straight, if necessary.

  2. Sand along the cuts to round off the plastic, using a rotary tool with sanding accessories or sandpaper. The real tiles are ceramic and have a soft rounded edge.

  3. Line up your pipe halves with the flat side down and the ends aligned. Draw a straight line across the pipes every 1 1/2 inches. Cut each tile to length. Sand along the cuts on one end to soften the appearance. The other end will be hidden under other tiles.

  4. Separate your tiles on a large piece of cardboard and spray paint the underside a terracotta color, using a spray paint designed for plastic. Let the paint dry 4 hours, then turn the tiles over and spray paint the top side. Allow 24 hours before gluing your tiles on the dollhouse roof.

Tips and Warnings

  • You may want to add depth to your tiles by painting randomly with brown and other tonal colors. Walk around the tiles while you do this so that your paint is inconsistent and more like the natural appearance of the tiles.
  • Wear safety glasses when operating power tools.

© Demand Media 2011