Thursday, 4 April 2013

Hildred House - Copper Wire Advice Please?

You may remember a few weeks (months?) ago I did a post, asking for your ideas and opinions on two options - a governors mansion and the School for Girls from the film Madeline for my Hildred House.
Well forget those ideas, my inspiration didn't flow enough for me, so instead I decided to turn it into my dream home. I'm not sure how well it'll turn out, but hey, I'm trying to be optimistic here!

Anyways. I've got as far as this.
The windows are painted white and the walls are painted a colour called Warm Beige.
Today I started painting one of the rooms when something occurred to me. This house has a copper wire lighting system and this totally baffles me!
I have watched no end of video tutorials, read no end of tips and tricks but I am still so confused.

The house has all of these wires that lead to the centre of all the rooms. As you can see, there are a couple of little gold "holes", maybe screws pinning the tape to the ceiling. I'm not sure. If I get really close there is the tiniest little hole that has been drilled between the two wires and then comes up through the floor of the next room. But it is really tiny, not big enough for a lighting wire.

I hope it's okay to paint over them??

Is this teeny tiny hole for the lighting wire and once through, then what do I do with it? There's no grooves or hole in the back to thread it through?

The videos I have watched show that you have to trim the wiring right down and solder it to the copper tape, but how will that work for a ceiling light, wont it be at risk of falling down or coming unattached from the ceiling?

Also, I want to add a ton more lights in the form of table lamps, floor lamp, fireplaces etc. How do I go about doing this? Can I just go for the socket method that I'm used to or would it be best to *attempt to* continue with the copper wire?

Also... what is this about? What do I do with this? It's on the back of the house.

Any help that you guys can offer me on this will be very much appreciated. I feel that I can't continue with this project until I get my head around this lighting system, it's totally baffled me.

Feel free to copy my images and draw diagrams all over them if it helps to explain. I can post you my email address if needed.

Thank you!


  1. Sorry Shellby, I wish I could help you but I am writing to just say the whole electricity thing baffles me too! Wishing you the best of luck!! My mansion is not electrified for that very reason! hugs, ara

    1. Thanks Ara :)
      Ah, you see lighting for me is very important - must have it! Haha :)

  2. looking good hun?
    not sure about the copper wire stuff though, ive never got my head around it either..
    you could always take the copper wire out and use the traditional system lol

    1. I've thought about doing that, but I'm not great at the traditional method either! Haha!

      I'm going to research the copper wire method some more to see if I can use it, but I think the traditional method will work best for floor lamps etc.

  3. It looks to me like you are set up to install the ceiling fixtures with the little converters to plug into. The copper tape then goes out the back and attaches (maybe with solder) to the vertical piece. You can attach your power supply to the back and join it to the copper tape. You need to add baseboard copper tape for the rooms; that tape will have to go out the back and attach to the vertical tape.

    1. Thanks for your reply Sherrill!

      So the little gold pins are the converts, right?
      What do you mean by plug into?
      The copper tape seems to follow to the back of the house and that verticle piece has some kind of tape stuck to it under the masking tape.
      What's baseboard copper tape?

      Sorry for all the questions, I was never any good at electrical stuff and this has completely thrown me.

      Could you maybe describe step by step how I would go about fitting a ceiling light with whats already set up for me?

    2. Hi ShelbyFay,
      My experience with dollhouse electrical is in the US, I see you are in the UK, but hopefully it will be similar. There are some really good resources on the web that will answer your questions better than I can. The first two are from dollhouse manufacturers (maybe the manufacturer of your house can offer advice). The last one is the company in the US that sells all the components. You can browse around and learn the technology and then see if there is a UK equivalent. I hope this helps. If you still have questions contact me at
      Good luck!

    3. Thank you for all your help and the links Sherrill. I will have a good read of these.
      Unfortunately, I cannot ask the maker of the house because he was a retired man and this was his last house. It was bought at a fair and I don't know where he lives or where to get in touch with him. Such a shame.

      I'll work it all out eventually :)

  4. They make special little canopies for the ceiling lights that keep the weight of the chandelier from pulling out. Check out Cir-Kit Concepts site. I think tape wire is easier than traditional wire. Once wired paint over with gesso ( helps to conceal ridges) then paint or paper.

    1. Thank you for your comment Lisa, and the advice :)
      I'm setting a few hours aside today to read into this and will check out Cir-Kit Concepts.
      Thank you :)