How to Make Realistic Clay Roof Tiles for Dollhouse Miniatures

by Cristel Wood
Customize your dollhouse by adding a clay tile roof.

Customize your dollhouse by adding a clay tile roof.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Historians have traced the use of clay tiles for roofs, in China and the Middle East, back to nearly 10,000 B.C. Since then, the use of clay tiles for roofs has spread throughout the world. Using clay tiles to decorate a dollhouse roof can add a historical or regional element to your dollhouse. Clay tiles for dollhouse roofs are created in a similar manner to clay tiles for full-size roofs, only on a much smaller scale.

Items you will need

  • Oven-bake craft clay
  • Waxed paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Wooden dowels
  • Baking sheet
  • Craft paint
  • Sealant
  • Green paint wash
  • Craft glue
Step 1

Place a sheet of waxed paper on your counter or table top.

Step 2

Use a rolling pin to roll out a sheet of oven-bake craft clay on top of the waxed paper until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. You can purchase oven-bake craft clay at most well-stocked craft stores. Choose a color of clay that matches the color of clay tile you are aiming for.

Step 3

Use a sharp knife to cut the sheet of clay into 1-inch wide strips. Try not to tear the clay as you cut it.

Step 4

Cut the 1-inch wide strips into 1-by-1 inch squares.

Step 5

Lay out a second sheet of waxed paper and place several 1/2-inch wide dowels on the sheet parallel to each other and several inches apart.

Step 6

Carefully lift the squares, one at a time, from the waxed paper and drape them over the dowels. Position the squares as symmetrically as possible over the dowels.

Step 7

Allow the squares to dry for several hours. The clay won't be fully hard but you want the clay to be able to retain its shape.

Step 8

Pre-heat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 9

Transfer the arced squares (your tiles) to a baking sheet. Bake the tiles for about 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the tiles to cool.

Step 10

Paint and seal the tiles if desired. Terracotta-colored paint and sealant can be purchased at craft stores.

Step 11

Use craft glue to attach a row of tiles to the bottom edge of the dollhouse's roof. The tiles should be placed so the arc is horizontal. Allow the glue of the first row of tiles to dry.

Step 12

Attach a second row of tiles above the first row, allowing the bottom edge of the second row to just slightly overlap the top edge of the first row. Allow the glue of the second row of tiles to dry.

Step 13

Continue adding rows of tiles until you reach the peak of the roof. For the peak of the roof, add a final row of tiles with the arc vertical, so the top row of tiles rounds out where the two last rows of tiles meet. Allow the glue to dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply a green wash to tiles to mimic moss, which is commonly found on tile roofs. Paint washes can be purchased at craft stores.
  • Create smaller or larger tiles depending on your needs. Create "S" shaped tiles by using two dowels instead of one for each set of tiles.
  • Use oven mitts when removing tiles from the oven. The tiles and the baking sheet will be extremely hot.
  • Glue and paint tiles in a well-ventilated area. Glue and paint can produce harmful vapors.

About the Author

Cristel Wood is a writer specializing in food, photography, gardening and video games. She holds an Associate of Arts from South Puget Sound Community College and has worked for her local Parks & Recreation department, Mt. Baker ski area, Vista Village Retirement Community and has taught ESL in Peru.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images