“I was kind of unprepared for the physical realities of this project,” he wrote in his Imgur post. “I used Disney set-design as my inspiration. Even though it was difficult, I learned a huge amount along the way. It turned out pretty well, and she’s so happy in her new room!”
It took about 350 hours over an 18-month period and $4,250 in material cost to make the magic happen, but the results were well worth it.
Here is the room before work began.
And here is the finished project.
Rob began with a sketch, followed by a 1:12 scale model.
“I used Sculpey modeling clay and some plywood cut in the dimensions of her room, including the window and beams in the ceiling. I drew grid lines 1″ apart. I put the whole thing in the oven for 25 minutes at 275 degrees to bake it to hardness.”
He then drew the silhouettes of the model on the bedroom wall so that he could attach the steel rebar straight to the lines.
Using 3/8″ rebar and 1/8″ steel rod from the Home Depot and scraps he already had, he began welding the tree, making sure as he went along that it was strong enough to fit three adults (even though it was only being built for kids).
He applied expanded metal lathe to the branches and pre-wired the lights for the fairy windows and door using small fiberglass waterproof 12v landscape lights, taping over the glass covers with blue painter’s tape to protect them from the concrete phase.
When things got hard, Rob kept this picture of his daughter in the room to help push him.
After applying concrete to the trunk and using papier-mâché for the outer branches, he began to paint the finished product, making sure to blend in some color variety. He also painted the walls and installed hardwood floors—except for in the curved space where he planned to install squishy green carpet.
He cut out fairy windows, and used watercolor paper for its “glass.”
Then he bought silk branches, plastic ferns, birds and butterflies, hand-blown glass decorations, and fancy foliage to decorate the top of the tree.
The finishing touch was a few strands of Christmas bulbs, controlled by a dimmer.
The tree comes with its own reading light inside, a 12v fixture on its own dimer switch on the inside wall.
There’s also a sitting area in the middle. Here, the happy customer enjoys her new kingdom.
Originally posted 2016-04-10 12:24:45.