Friday, March 1, 2019

Miniature dollhouse snow shovel (2)

I made a 1:12 scale snow shovel for Santa’s cottage and here is how I did it!

Cut 2 pieces of red card stock to 1 1/4” x 1”
Preferably a smooth textured paper. I just used the smoother side of what I had.

Cut 3 pieces of thin wire to 5/8”.

Tape one wire in the center. Then tape the other two. Run your nail along the edge to get the tape snug.

Cover one side with wood glue. Press together with your fingers, wait a minute, and then use a ball stylus to press the paper down against the wire. I used a smaller stylus then a larger one to smooth out the paper.

Cut a toothpick to 3/8” for the handle. Sand the cut edges with fine sandpaper.

Cut down a shish kabob stick or a wood dowel to 2 5/8” long for the shovel neck.

Cut red card stock to 3/8” tall to the circumference of your shovel neck (pole). It will wrap around the pole.

Put wood glue on, wait a minute, and wrap it onto the wood pole. You want the edges to butt together.

For the handle end, cut 2 pieces of red card stock to 1” long. The width will depend on what you use for the shovel neck. Mine was about 1/16-1/8”. See photo.

Glue them on both sides of the pole keeping in mind where the join is on the bottom part of the pole. The butted seam you made earlier would be at the back of the pole.

Wrap another piece of paper around the handle pieces. Keep the butted seam at the back.

Bend the long card stock handle pieces out and then make light creases where they would bend.

Place the toothpick handle inside with glue. 

Score the bottom of the shovel with a ball stylus.

Wrap the shovel base around something curved. This is where the wire will help. Be gentle you don’t want to crease the paper.

Glue the pole base onto the back of the shovel base. Let dry.

Once dry, snip away the excess paper on the handle.

Give it a coat or two of gloss varnish.

You can age it if you like. I kept this one nice because it is Santa’s snow shovel. I think he would like it shiny red like his sleigh. :)

Have a happy holiday season!!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Dollhouse aged paint

While building my Cracker style 1930s farm house I thought it would be nice to have the windows weathered since I was going to have a weathered look to the siding. I have tried using this crackle medium a few times over the years but it never worked for me before. This time was magic! 
So just in case there are others that never got wonderful results I wanted to share how I made it happen and it is really easy.

Paint your wood the background color that you want to come trough the cracks. Keep in mind the color you paint on top won’t be perfect. I would recommend doing a few tests first. Try a very dark back ground and a medium and a light.

Here is where I went wrong years ago. The right paint makes a world of difference. When I started this project I used Ceramcoat paint and had wonderful results. Then I wanted a lighter grey and had some Folk Art paint on hand. But it did next to nothing when it came time to crackle.
Folk Art has great colors but the paint is very thick and oily so perhaps not the best choice for this effect. Test a few of your paints to see what works best.

When the background paint is dry then apply the crackle medium. The thicker it goes on the bigger the cracks. Think about where water would sit and where the sun would bake the window the most while you are applying. You have to let this dry before you move on. I did notice when I waited an hour or so I got better results then waiting over night.

Now is the fun part! I used Ceramcoat white and brush on a section at a time. You have a limited time to brush on so if you want to sneak in two coats you have to be fast. This is why I mentioned earlier that it doesn’t have to be perfect. When paint gets old and crakes it also fades so a thiner brushed look is great along with the crackling.

Once that dries you can lightly sand it and even try a dry wash of white over it if  you want to quiet sections down a bit.

For my windows that will be under a long front porch I made the base more weathered then the tops. Once they are in place I will add some 'dirt/dust' to the sills for more realism.

Have fun with this! Do some tests with different colors, try sanding more or less, add some washes over the finished product until you are happy. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Dollhouse Halloween cake

I have been wanting to make a fun Halloween cake for some time and finally was able to do it. I have slowly been collecting the materials from the craft store with my 50% off coupons! On my last trip I found a pack of clay cutters in squares and circles. After thinking about my Frankenstein cake and looking though my tools I thought he would be more fun with a square head! I am a beginner with polymer and am still learning each time I make something so if you are a beginner too I encourage you to have fun with this!

First line up two pieces of wood the thickness that you want each cake piece to be and the width of your cutter.

Then roll out some brown polymer clay inside of them and cut out your cakes. I cut three of them.

I mixed in some yellow with my green clay to get it a little brighter.

Next, roll out the green clay to a log with your hand and then with a roller to about 1/16” thick and cut two of those with the same cutter you cut the brown with. Be sure to clean any brown clay off of it first!

Stack them all up making sure they are even and straight.

Now roll out the green clay to a longer log again with your hand and then with a roller to about 1/16” thick. Lay your cake on it and cut the height from top to bottom.

Lay your cake above it and roll it to determine how long of a piece you will need to wrap the cake. Trim the piece of green clay. 
Start wrapping in on one side and then all the way around. I pressed it from two sides at a time with flat pieces of hard plastic to get it firm.

Cut a slice out of it with your craft knife.

Make some texture with a needle tool and an old toothbrush. I made the mistake of not zooming in on my photo to check my texture before baking it. So do that or use a magnifier to be sure it is textured enough.
Give the middle icing some texture as well.

I save my yoga cups for just this sort of thing. Roll some black polymer very thin and break off pieces and put it in the cup. Then squeeze some liquid polymer on it.
Work it with a small spatula. I used a manicure tool.
I added some black pastel shavings to make sure it was very black.
When it gets to the consistency of icing put it on the top and down the sides like his hair would be. Don’t forget to add some to your cake slice too.

Back both the cake and slice according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let it cool. 

Find something to cut out the white clay for the eyes. I used a mini glass of orange juice. I their pen caps but they were a tad too big. If the clay gets stuck in the glass use your blade tip to get it out. Don’t worry about denting in a small section.

Now cut the tops off the circles, a little less than half the circle. If you did leave a dent in them cut of that section.

Roll up a tiny piece of black and press it flat into a circle for the pupil. Cut the tips off of those as well.
Use a toothpick to put a tiny spot of bake and bond where the eyes will go and press them down gently. do the same with the pupils.

Roll out some black for his eyebrow. Trim it to the correct length put a tiny bit of bake and bond down and press it on over his eyes.

Roll out a very thin piece of black and shape it for his mouth. For this I just held it and used y toothpick to dab on some bake and bond then pressed it on the head.

Put a spot of bake and bond on his cheek and place tiny rolled pieces there for the stitches.

Roll a green ball, press down with your finger, and cut in half with your knife.
Put a spot of bake and bond on both sides of his head where is ears will go and put them on.

For the bolts I mixed black with a tiny amount of white, made a small ball and put a spot of bake and bond where i wanted the bolt and placed the ball there on both sides. 
Then I cut two tiny squares and put a spot of bake and bond on the grey balls and adhere the square to them.

Bake again according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let cool.

I painted the icing with satin varnish but it was too shiny so I painted the entire outside with matt varnish. Don’t paint the actual cake inside. Let dry.
 Isn’t he handsome? Perfect for a Halloween party!

You can make a knife from card stock. Cut the blade out then glue two small pieces of black together. Cut each of those to be the handles and glue them on either side of the back of the blade. Color the edges black with a marker and add two silver dots on the handle.

Serve up some Halloween fun!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dollhouse fall garland

I wanted to add some autumn garland to my Kinfeld mantle and here is how I did it. As always, I try to use what I have on hand. You may want to substitute some of the materials for your own project.

Gather these supplies:
Plastic wrap
Wire in two thicknesses (your choice)
Wire cutters
Brown floral tape
Tacky Glue
Leaf punches
Colored papers
Oil pastels
Brown paint/tiny paint brush
Orange and brown polymer clay
Small soft brush
Micro beads

First I covered my mantle with plastic wrap to protect it while creating.

I calculated the length of wire I would need and cut two pieces. Then I covered them with brown floral tape by wrapping one end–stretching the tape and spinning the wire while holding it tightly and twisting the tape around with my finger tips. I am using the tape to help hold the thinner wire I will be wrapping around it later.

Twist the two strands as shown and lay along your mantle so some of it hangs over the ends and trim to the desired length.

Cut lots of 2-3” pieces of thinner wire. Bend in half and feed through one strand of the wrapped wire, preferably near a twist. Twist tight 2xs then wrap around from both sides to the other side and twist 2xs again. Keep going until you have the desired amount. Trim so they are about 1/4” or longer then fold over slightly.

Now cut more 2-3” long thin wires pieces. Dip the tips in Tacky Glue and then dip into a few colors of micro beads. Let dry.

For the leaves I am using the punches I already have, but if you have any grape leaf punches they would be nice! I colored some paper with inexpensive oil pastels and punched out a selection of leaves. You could also use water colors as I have in this past tutorial CLICK HERE
(If you have regular colored papers verses card stock I think it may look more realistic.)

Use a stylus tool to make the veins and roll the tips slightly. Bend in half and then pull open to arch them. This will give them a little more shape. I sort of drew in some veins for the pale yellow leaves.

 I used foam board to help with the curling.

Start glueing them onto the bent wires and also on the base wire. Finish just the first layer and let everything dry. 
Paint all the stems brown. I went in and changed my yellow with paint. 

Next, to create more depth for the second layer I rolled up some brown floral tape into tiny balls and glued on the base wire here and there. Then applied more leaves over them.

I used polymer clay to make some pods and tiny pumpkins. After they cooled from baking I painted them a little and then glued them in.

Tiny pumpkins: Roll a little ball and very gently hold in place on a tile with your stylus tool then use a knitting needle to make the indentations. Remove the stylus and blend the indentations into the center top. Clean/smooth the clay with a small soft brush.
Mix brown and light brown to make the stems. Just blend slightly so there is still marbeling when you roll them.

Add any additional leaves as you see fit.

Trim the micro bead wires and glue them in. Let dry!

Carefully lift the garland from the plastic wrap with tweezers, remove the wrap and place on the mantle.

I haven’t finished collecting treasures for my mantle display, but will in time. For now I just placed a few items behind the garland. When I started I wasn’t so sure this would be to my liking but I have to say I am digging it!

This project is intense so I recommend doing a little over the course of a few days. Good to take breaks too because you see things more clearly after stepping away for a bit. :)

Have fun!