Friday, September 1, 2017

Dollhouse curtain on a curtain rod

I’ve made curtains in lots of different ways. But this time I wanted to add a wire at the base. I have used wire in bed ruffling (shown below in my vintage house). So why not in curtains? The top of a pushed open curtain is usually more scrunched and the bottom has loser pleats when pushed on a curtain rod. This is what I tried to emulate.

First, I cut some cotton fabric to a smaller width then the window. I imagined the width the curtain would be when open then made it less then that so when I made it permanently open it it wouldn’t take up too much space. Fabric in miniature can be bulky unless you can shrink down some fine cotton fabric with a shrinking machine. Still hoping for one of those someday.

Fold and glue the side hems with Tacky Glue.

Put glue at the top of the fabric and fold the top hem over your curtain rod. Be sure not to glue it to the curtain rod. Move it slightly to be sure it doesn’t stick.

Cut the wire and try and get it straight, glue your bottom hem over it. Immediately use your thumbnail to be sure the wire stays at the base.

Let it all dry.

Squish the top as tight as you can on the curtain rod.

Pin it to foam board at the top.
Then pull and pin at the base. Work your pleats until you are happy.

You can buy a Pretty Pleater if you want perfect pleats. But I personally wanted these curtains have a different look. If you were making curtains that you imagined would have hooks on the back a Pretty Pleater would be an ideal method.

I ran a shish kabob stick up inside to shape my wire folds at the base and to help guide where I would pin. Don’t force your pleats too much, let the fabric guide you. If it isn’t feeling right work the scrunched up pleats at the top a little. That can change the rest of the pleats.

Once you are happy, spray with your choice of fabric stiffer. I had some old Stiffen Stuff. The nozzle was clogged so I poured out an expired Benadryl spray bottle and used that.
You can also use aerosol hairspray but I have not tried that one yet because I always use this old stuff. :)

Once the fabric stiffener was dry I removed the pins. Use the tip of one of the pins to scrap out the holes left behind in the fabric.

I drilled a hole in my window frame (made from mat board) and put wires hooks through to hold the curtain rods for this treatment. Then I glued the window frames on the house. I am just starting this build so I was able turn the house on its side to weigh down the frames while they dried. 

At first I was bothered that there were creases here and there that wouldn't be there if it was in real life, but then I remembered two things. Some of my favorite dollhouses are ones that aren't perfect. It's a fantasy not reality. 
The other thing to always remember when working on something is that it will only be a small moment in a completed project. Yes, there maybe a few creases that bother me but once all the furniture, accessories, and lighting are in place they will disappear and a beautiful little world will emerge. 
It's up to the individual artist to chose which imperfections need to be reworked and which will only add to the fantasy. Always listen to your gut so you will be happy with the end result, but don't be too hard on yourself either. This is suppose to be FUN!

Looks like dad is leaning on his shovel talking with Pop-pop. Little do they know the kids are spying while the cat is taking in some sunshine. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pier One Imports dresser in miniature!

I just added a tutorial to my other blog! Click here to see.

mini hugs!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Dollhouse barn wood weathered effect

My first plan was to have my Cracker style 1930s house with white siding but then I decided to switch things up a bit and have it more weathered. I was online a few months ago looking at weathering wood videos for a different reason and thought this technique was so cool I decided to incorporate it into this project.

If you wan to learn more, then just research weathered wood with vinegar online. Lots of videos will pop up. Basically you soak steel wool in vinegar for 24 hours, steep a bunch of tea bags and then brush the tea onto your wood. After it is fairly dry you brush the vinegar on and wait.
I emphasize "wait". Some wood was quick to change and others took hours. I added another layer to the stubborn ones too soon and it was too dark in the end.

The house is on it's back. There will be a long porch roof attached to the seam of siding. Door and windows have not been trimmed out here just yet.

You can sand and score the "weathered" wood with the side of a knife blade  to add more wear too.
I used a jigsaw blade on its side and at an angle to have close-together scratches.
Below is a close up. I will be adding trim to cover each vertical seam.

Here are some more photos showing the start of my build.

Making the stair hole. The same way I made window holes.

Here is a photo so far. Note that this was taken with the house on it's side while the top side was drying with books on it. Just incase you get vertigo.

Aging the windows
I think I have figured out why this effect never worked for me before now. Paint choice!
I used The FolkArt after I used the Ceramcoat paint to have a lighter area and it barely did anything.
Ceramcoat worked beautifully. So if you have trouble with the crackle medium try a different brand of paint.

 I have noticed the thiner the coats of crackling medium the finer the cracks.

I will be posting more about this build as I go on this blog site.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Building a faux primitive dollhouse

After seeing so many wonderful little primitive/folk dollhouses on eBay that I couldn’t afford I decided to make my own.
Then I came across two wonderfully handmade little creatures. Cookie the giraffe and Dee the dragon. A wonderful artist in Australia made them, Di Paulovich. You should take a look at her art its just amazing. Woollybuttbears on Etsy.

Cookie was perfect because she also has a vintage look. So she has been cheering me on along the way.

I was amped to finally start working in my newly organized wood-workshop in my basement. For the past three years I have been working hard at selling things I inherited out of my childhood home to make room. Thank you eBay!!

My goal for this build was to only use scrap wood I had in my basement. My father left me with some sheets of scrap wood from projects he worked on and always told me never to throw them out. I used my table saw, jigsaw, and drill to cut everything out. (The drill was used to drill holes in 2 of the corners of the window to fit the jigsaw into to cut out the squares.)

I also had some cans of paint left over from painting my human size house and mixed a few colors together.

After it was painted and dry I sanded it with coarse sandpaper, then used pastels rubbed on with my fingers and a damp coarse paint brush to dirty things up. The molding was left over stained wood from my Santa cottage that was damaged because of a white paint accident. I painted and sanded it so the dark stain came through.

I used finishing nails (which keep the wood from splitting) to piece everything together .

The beautiful floor was the only part I kept nice. I was just about to cave in and go to Home Depot to get nice wood for the floors when I found a thin sheet of this behind some boxes. So I stained, varnished, cut, and glued it onto a thicker piece of plywood.
I was so nervous because I only had a small bit of it and one wrong cut would ruin everything. Somehow I did mis-measure, but I trimmed out the mishap with molding on the bottom floor. It only added charm and mystery to the “old” house.

Above show my mis-measure before I trimmed it out.

I love looking at old primitive/folk dollhouses because they have a mysterious story. Imagining who made them so long ago and who they made them for is fun for me. And the fact that some have made it though the years of being handed down, getting thrown into moving vans or withstanding summer heat and winter chill in attics just add to the respect they deserve.

The fun in making this one was the freedom. Definitely more physically challenging because of the use of power tools and heavier wood, but lots of fun. I have always loved the sound of power tools and the smell of fresh cut wood since I was little. I would help my dad with small projects and my neighbor is a contractor so I grew up hearing his tools in his work shed.
Unfortunately my poor fingers get splinters and scraps throughout the process because gloves drive me nuts. But it’s nothing that a Hello Kitty band-aid can’t fix! This is also a great warm-up for building my next scratch build (1920s farm cottage). That will be much more precise.

Still have to finish the outside, but I was so excited I wanted to share my progress. 
I am still debating adding a skylight just incase Cookie the giraffe's neck decides to grow. ;)


I may add some shutters and window boxes.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Making miniature waffles and a waffle iron

I am by no means great at polymer food, but I decided to go for it and see what happens. I needed a waffle breakfast for my Easter morning scene.

First I mixed a very light tan, yellow and some white Sculpey.
Used my knife to cut it square.

I had a skinny balsa wood piece so I shaved it to a small square tip with my knife. I pressed all the squares. This took a few tries to get things straight.

Then I baked it and I made a mold of it. Love this EasyMold. It cures quickly and is great to work with.

Dusted them with reddish brown pastels. I  used the brush and my fingers to get all the edges.

To make the batter I used some of the clay and mixed it with liquid polymer. I used my little painting spatula to work it until it was smooth.
Then I baked it and painted with a water soluble gloss varnish. Love how it's dripping over the edge!

For raspberries, I mixed red and transparent and rolled it out.

I balled up each one and pushed it on my toothpick and put it on the baking tile. (Or in this case a small porcelain plate.)

I have seen some amazing mini raspberries with all the details, but these will do for me. :)

The syrup gave me lots of trouble. I was trying to only use what I had on hand so my first two ideas failed. My second to last attempt was to mix a touch of brown paint with gloss varnish but because the varnish is white until it cures it was hard to see how much paint to add so I added too little.
After it dried I painted a little bit of slightly watered down brown paint in the the "syrup" areas, let it dry, and went back with the gloss varnish over it.

I like it!
I'm still debating putting coffee and orange juice in the cups, but I might want them for something else later. We shall see.

Black polymer clay for the waffle iron.
Matt board cut to size. I pressed in as shown. Pulled the piece up off the wax paper and trimmed it. The I smoothed out the edges.

I had this thin tape handy so after I painted the edges and top/bottom silver I wrapped the top and bottom with the tape to give a clean line on the edges. Then glued it all together.

Pretty good for $0!

So this is my new kitchen in my Kinfeld. To see more and how I did it visit my other blog.