3rd grade model house help, please! Stone cottage - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anybody here built, or know someone who built, a stone cottage for their 3rd grade model house project?  If so, we'd really appreciate some advice!


My daughter has decided that this is what she wants to build.  She's spent over a week experimenting with Daddy to work out an effective mortar, and is having no luck.  Mind you: my husband is an architect and a pretty advanced handyman (as in, has built real live buildings all by himself).  So he's not exactly a novice at this idea.  But the methods we've tried have not scaled down effectively: something that makes for a sturdy wall at 20" thick is brittle at 1" thick. 


They started with fairly traditional mortars, in keeping with the terms of the project, and went on to compromise with steel reinforced mortars which were still ineffective.  We really didn't want to compromise so far as using two-part epoxy to hold the stones in place, then packing with grout to disguise it.  So, has anybody successfully built a miniature stone structure with a traditional/natural mortar, or at least one that is not too vastly a compromise?


Thank you!

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#2 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 10:16 AM
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No, but it sounds like an incredible project. Subbing!

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#3 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 10:22 AM
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I would go to a library and bookstore (though you might have more luck at a library) and find a kids craft book that is entirely recipes for glue, playdough, etc.  Read through it and see if there's anything that sounds promising.


Two books that I know that exist that are like this are:

Make your Own Playdough, Paint, and other Craft Materials: Easy Recipes to Use With Young Children, by Patricia Caskey




Recipes for Art Supplies, by Helen Sattler


But I also know that I've seen even more at my library.

Good luck!  Sounds like a great project.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#4 of 7 Old 03-13-2011, 05:30 AM
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I would love to hear howit all turns out in the end if you're willing to share. My son has been askign to do a project like this for a while now. Best of luck!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#5 of 7 Old 03-13-2011, 07:39 AM
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I have a waldorf house building book in German that includes a model stone cottage. The author suggests using wheatpaste mixed with sawdust as the mortar. She uses mostly smallish flat stones (laying flat on each other with mortar in between) and says it takes a few days to construct, as you have to do a few layers and let those dry before adding more weight on top or else the whole thing will collapse. The roof is made out of thin slate.

She also added that real mortar from the building supply works even better...i suppose one could have guessed that. :-)

Hope this is helpful! We'll be venturing into third grade territory next year!

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#6 of 7 Old 03-13-2011, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips - but the real mortar from the building supply store didn't work, the walls cracked and crumbled.  I will play with the wheat paste and see what comes of it.  We had our parent-teacher conference yesterday afternoon, and the teacher told us not to feel we need to be too obsessive about process, she understands it can be hard working in that scale; so my husband and daughter are out there building a wall with two part epoxy right now.  shrug.gif  It looks really good, I will say that...

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#7 of 7 Old 03-13-2011, 05:02 PM
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Where did you get your stones? My son is building a castle and I'm trying to figure out where to get the stones without buying a huge bag from a hardware store.  We've not yet gotten to the point of attaching them, so I have no advice. He was going to glue them, but I have my doubts it will work.


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