When you finish assembling your gnome home, you must give consideration to how the gnomes will get from one level to another. They aren’t fairies, after all, so they can’t fly! Whenever we build a gnome home, we always include at least 1 set of stairs. Here is our tutorial on how to make a set of stairs for your gnome home.
GNOME HOME TUTORIAL LINKS:
Part 1: Getting Started can be found HERE.
Part 2: Cutting Out Pieces can be found HERE.
Part 3: Assembly can be found HERE.
Building Stairs can be found HERE.
Build A Ladder can be found HERE.
To cut the individual steps you will need a table saw or miter saw. If you don’t have either of those you can cut the steps using a hand saw.
WARNING: If using power tools, this is probably the most dangerous step in making the gnome home. Make sure to keep your hands well away from the saw blade and you should always wear protective gear, especially a face mask.
Begin by choosing a relatively straight branch. It should have approximately a 2″ diameter and be free of any major branches or knots. Cut off the bottom of the branch to make a smooth surface. Make sure the cut is perpendicular to the branch. Your branch should be about 12″ longer than the distance between the two floors you are connecting. This is an important safety factor. You will need this length to hold on to so your hands stay far away from the blade.
Cut each step 1/2″. We like to stack our steps as we go along. When you are 2 or 3 steps from the top of the platform, measure the distance that remains. You may need to increase or decrease the depth of the last few steps so the last step is even with the top of the platform. Slight adjustments will not be noticeable, however, you do not want drastic differences in the steps or a gnome may trip! Cut one more step that will be used to join the stairs to the floor.
Sand each step.
NOTE: We are going to demonstrate how we joined the steps. We used wood glue AND a nail gun with 3/4″ pins. You can also use glue and 3/4″ small brads. If you do use brads and hammer the steps together, drill a pilot hole in the step you are nailing through. This will stop the step from splitting. You can also join the steps with only glue. It will be strong enough to support your gnomes but it takes longer to assemble since you must wait for the glue to dry as you go along. We will talk more about this at the end of the tutorial.*
Position a step on top of it. Notice that you only need to overlap about 1/3 of the step.
Turn the stairs over and nail the 2 steps together.
Continue gluing a step on the top of the stairs, then turn over and nail from the back.
As you go along we found it easiest to nail them together on the edge of a table. The steps that have already been nailed on are out of the way and you can use the edge of the table to support the step you are nailing in to.
You will want your stairs to curve outward. Every couple of steps hold the stairs up to your home to make sure it is curving correctly. The steps will curve out then come back in.
When you are done, decide how you will position the stairs on your gnome home.
Place glue on the underside of the bottom step and…
…on the partially exposed underside of the top step.
If you have them, clamp the steps to the floors until dry. If you do not have clamps, weight the steps down or hold in place until glue begins to set.
Finally, after the glue has dried, from the underside, nail the stairs in place on the first and last step.
*NOTE: If you are not using nails on your stairs, to speed up the process, begin by gluing pairs of steps together. When they have dried, glue two pairs together, making 4 step sections. Continue in this manner until all the steps are glued in place and the stairs are complete. Remember to shape your stairs as you go.