It really is a small world!

Casting Bricks

This project was submitted by Kevin Crider, a fellow dollhouse enthusiast.  It takes a little bit of work at first, but after that, it’s worth its weight in gold.

  • Materials needed:
  • One 7-pound box of PolyBlend Sanded Tile Grout
  • Quikcrete acrylic concrete bonder/fortifier
  • Concrete color (optional); the bricks can be sponge painted after they dry.

You will have to experiment with the mixture to get the right proportion — but start with a spoonful of the bonder and add a little at a time to get to a good consistency.

Without the “fortifier” jobs as small as mini-bricks will crumble.  Total cost is less than $20.

1. Cut or buy 1/8″ wood strips.  Construct a grid about 5″ by 5″ (makes approximately 70 bricks at a time) with the wood strips so that each square is the same size as your bricks (notch each intersection of the grid so they fit together and lay flat.)

2. Lay the grid on a small piece of scrap wood and coat the entire mold and scrap wood with non-stick cooking spray (like Wesson) so the bricks won’t stick.After mixing the mortar, fortifier and color, pour it into the mold and make sure every brick section is filled.

3. Lay a scrap piece of wood across the mold and scrape off any excess mortar.  Let dry overnight.

4. Tilt the mold up on one side, supporting it with your fingers.  Gently push each brick out of the mold.  Use a push stick the same size as one of the bricks so it will go through each little square.

5. Glue or hot-glue them to your project and spray seal with a clear matte coat.  Add the mortar (sanded tile grout works fine.)  It can be applied easily and cleans up quickly with water.

6. Spray the grid each time with non-stick before making more bricks.  My total cost so far has been less than $20.00 and I have made almost 700 bricks (with less than half a bag of mortar.)

A stronger mold can be made from Plexiglas.  Buy a sheet approx. 1/8″ thick and use 5 minute epoxy to glue it together.  It takes a little more work but lasts a lot longer than a wooden mold.  Your mold can be made from wider material to give you a larger gluing surface when putting it together.  It’s the thickness of the mold that determines how thick your bricks will be.

You can also build a mold and use the same grout/acrylic mix for quoins, window headers, walkway stones or other decorative elements.

These bricks are more delicate than store bought ones but look incredibly real and add dimension to your project.  After the bricks are installed and grouted, give them an even more realistic touch by cutting a sponge and dabbing several colors over each brick to give the color patterns of real brick.  I also made a grouting tool to smooth out the mortar joints.