Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dollhouse Curtains ~ Hangin' Hem Free!


If you want to make curtains for your dollhouse but don't want to pull out the sewing machine or switch out the bobbin and thread here is a small idea.
Here is what you will need

  • fabric
  • shish kabob sticks
  • beads
  • miter saw and/or utility knife
  • tacky glue
  • fabric stiffener spray
  • needle and thread
  • velcro with sticky back
  • paint and brush (optional)
  • scissors
  • iron
  • ruler
  • chip board (or something with similar thickness) cut into 1/4" wide strips
Fabric
Step 1: Measure out your length and width. For a standard single dollhouse window I created 2 panels at 2 1/2" wide x 6" long. This size will fall just a tiny bit below the bottom molding. For longer ones measure out a longer piece but don't forget to add the 1/4" fold for the top. Cut out your panels.
Step 2: Fold down top about 1/4" then iron. Spray with 2 bursts of fabric stiffener. I would recommend doing this over the sink for less of a mess.

Step 3: Using the boards will create a more realistic look to the fold in the curtains, instead of a sharp flat fold which real curtains just don't have. Lay fabric front down and iron over top fold again. Put first piece of board along right edge. Fold fabric over and run iron across it. Put another piece of board down, fold fabric back and run iron across. continue these steps.

I made 3 pleats that come away from the rod (show in front of the curtain) for mine but you can add as many as you like depending on how wide the boards are and how wide you cut your curtain. Just be sure your last fold has the good side of the fabric showing up. Let cool. Trim off any extra.

Step 4: Take all the boards out carefully. Give the top of the curtain one gentle touch with the iron to get the top a bit flatter.
Curtain Rod
Step 1: Measure rod to hang beyond window molding just a bit. I measured mine around 3 1/2". Mark and cut shish kabob stick using a miter saw then use the knife to be sure the ends are clean and smooth.



Step 2: Paint rod if you want. Let dry then dab both ends with a blob of glue. Let that dry just so it gets tacky. Dip the side of the bead that will touch the rod in a bit of glue and press on beads on both ends. Let dry. If you don't like the tiny holes showing on the other side of the beads you can put some spackle or wood filler on the tip of your finger and work it in and touch it up with paint.
Assemble
Next you will be attaching the curtain to the rod with thread so that it has the appearance of curtain hangers behind it. Take your thread, knot the end and push the needle in from the top back of the curtain on the first fold that touches the rod, (see photo) and pull it through then go back in very close to where you came out. You don't want the stitches to be seen to much from the front. Now do this again a few times but be sure to wrap it around the rod over and over as you go then move to the next fold and do the same. Knot and cut the thread. Do this to the other panel on the other end of the rod as well.

Once your curtains are on the rod you can snip away and threads that frayed.
If they are uneven then pinch the fold at the base of the curtain base flat between your fingers and trim with scissors. You can also do this anyway just to have a clean bottom.

Lay curtain with rod sewed on upside down on table. Cut small pieces of sticky back velcro. Put soft side(loop) on the back of curtain just under the rod. Then attach the hard side (hook) to that and peel off paper but put it back on while still holding it so your finger doesn't get stuck to the sticky back. Then peel it off.



Stick to your window by gently pinching the front of the pleats over top of where the velcro is. Try to get it right where you want it on the window molding the first time (it is a bit difficult to rip off and move but not impossible). Then press and let go.

There you have it, a nice window treatment with out a sewing machine! You can also add ribbons, lace or bows to the base or top for a fancier look.
Email me if you have any questions!

Dollhouse Miniature Magazine ~ My Mediterranean Villa!


Order Dollhouse Miniature Magazine Jan - Feb 2010 Issue to see my Mediterranean Villa!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Painting Your Dollhouse

Painting your Dollhouse is easy and quick! You can use paints from the craft store, they have a large selection to choose from. But remember it will look a little darker/brighter then the sample on the lid of the paint bottle. I bought a foam roller first but it ate up all my paint and was a little sloppy to work with. Then I went to the hardware store and got this roller...


This roller works great!
Tip: Use a tupperware dish for a paint tray, only squirt as much paint as the roller will pick up at a time. Once you have used up all the paint in the tray put the roller in the tray with a damp small rag or paper towel and cover with a plastic bag or plastic wrap. The damp rag will keep the air inside moist so the paint won't dry while you are waiting to put on your second coat!

Use Blue paint tape if you have to section off an area to paint.

These rollers can be rinsed out when you are done so you can use them over and over. If you hold the handle with the roller on it under the faucet just right it will spin and spin and you can move it back and forth to get the paint out.

Friday, April 24, 2009

NEW Twilight Pixies!

I have been busy busy busy! I am proud to present my new line of pixies.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Great Books

I wanted to share some books that I have learned a lot from about different craft skills...

The Polymer Clay Techniques Book by Sue Heaser

Family and Friends in Polymer Clay by Maureen Carlson



Making Miniature Gardens by Freida Gray



I have been busy creating lots of new flowers for my inventory for the upcoming shows. Finally I have finished and can get back to using my spare time (so hard to come by) to start my beach house! YEAH!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Frederick Show Reminder

Don't forget to go to the Frederick Show on March 8th!

It will be at a NEW LOCATION:
Independent Hose Company Fire Station,
310 Baughman's Lane (Exit 14 off of 15 North Rosemont Ave.
Hours: Preview 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Cost: $10.00
General Admission: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Adults $5.00 Children under 12 $3.00
Information: Barbara Morgan, 502 Valley Street, Frederick, MD 21701 (301) 662-8025
(No pets or Strollers, Please)

Nature's Soul won't be there this show but will be back in the Fall!

Have a great time!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Starting a New Dollhouse

Mariska said...
Hi Auralea,

Thank you soooo much for doing a blog. I just got my doll house from my mom, from when I was a child, and I am dying to refurbish it, to look beautiful. It is just a plain old house, that needs lots of TLC. It has spent ages in the garage, so it is dusty and a little damaged. I have never done anything like this, so all your tips and advise have come in really handy.

I would love to send you some before and after pics, (one day when I have finished it). Please keep posting some ideas.

Thanks
Mariska
February 19, 2009 3:49 AM


Thanks for your feedback! Wow that sounds like an exciting project. That is how I started. My mom bought me a 3 story house when I was 16. I didn't really work on it until I was in my late 20's. I fixed it up and sold it. Then I was able to get the Tudor House Kit. So I am 40 now and still buying them! The last one...The Villa, I built from my own design, this new one was a kit.
I plan on it to be a beach cottage! Here it is in it's raw format! Ohhh the possibilities!
Definitely take photos as you work. I would love to post them. I will be posting my progress on this one as well.


Here is a link that may help for anyone wanting to install electricity. I am forgoing it this time only because there always seems to be one or 2 lights that don't work and I want more freedom in decorating this time. With electricity you have to do some planning ahead. It is worth it if it is something you want to do. You can get a good priced electricity kit at www.miniatures.com. Get on the emailing list and wait for a 25% off sale. The have them frequently. Oh and ordering the free catalog is a must!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lost and Found

So how many times have you picked something up off the ground and thought "Hmmm I wonder where that came from?" Well put it in a jar and one day you will know just what to use it for. I found this strange tiny gold vessel shaped thing one day, held onto it then I needed something that looked like a shower head. Viola!! I glued it onto a soap hanger I bought!

Then 2 weeks ago I was walking in the parking lot and found a puppy dog charm! Once lost but now he is a little puppy that needs a good home! You can't tell in the photo but he has a little pink nose and belly. Let me know if anyone would like to adopt him.


There are some other items that work great for little details. A cake icing tool for a trash can.

Beads make great figurines. Here is a buda statue in the bathroom and a turtle in the living room.

This is the best time of year to find things in the garden because they are already dried out. I found these within old seed pods of some weeds years ago. I broke them up to look like pasta!
Have fun searching for unexpected treasures!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Floors and Walls

There are so many things you can use for walls and floors that are affordable and easy to find.
Let's start with floors.
There is a product call WonderFoam. It is used for kids to cut shapes and letters. It can be found in the child craft section of craft stores in 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of many colors. Above is a tile floor I created for my villa. I cut out a bunch of 1 inch by 1 inch squares and glued them down with a small space between to spread the mortar. Then you can faux paint them anyway you want and varnish for some shine. This is great for helping to keep your dollhouse light in weight.
If you want to make a stone patio or path you can spread wood filler with a spackle knife onto a 1/8th thick piece of wood (cut to your shape) then use a tooth pick to mark out the stone pattern. Let dry and sand to perfection. Faux paint it and add some darker paint in the cracks.
You can also pick out a linoleum tile at the hardware store. Score it into the size tile you want with a utility knife. Score long sections first then break those down to smaller pieces. Bend and snap off. Glue down leaving a small space for mortar or glue really close together.

Wood floor sheets can be bought in the miniature section of AC Moore or on internet miniature stores. You can stain them or paint them. If you paint them be sure to fold each scored plank and sand paper them a bit after the paint dries so when you lay it flat there is a definition of space between each plank. The paint will fill in the cracks if you don't.

To make grass you can use terrycloth and paint it for more texture or you can buy dried panels of moss and piece them together. Moss is shown on the right. You can get the Moss at craft stores.

For a gravel path I used sesame seeds. I used unseasoned ones. If your dollhouse will be in a place where mice might be looking for nibbles. I wouldn't recommend this technique, your path may be gone the next morning. : ) Spread white glue down and sprinkle seeds down. Flatten them out with something you can use like a stamp for pressing (not to hard). Go back and fill in areas after the 1st batch dries.
Carpets: Towels are great for shag carpet. Use No Fray on the edges. I have found a ribbon style called Jacquards is great for runners or stair carpet. Finish off the cut ends with matching thin trimmings.


If you have a tropical setting and want rattan or wicker for your rugs, place mats and thin coasters are great! And of course a doily for an area rug in any style house.
Walls....You can obviously buy dollhouse wallpaper but you can also use Scrapbook paper!
I love Martha Stewart's paper! I have just come up with the idea of using ribbon for border wallpaper. We'll see how it works. The smaller the print the better.
So if you want a stucco effect, I would recommend Pre-mixed Tile adhesive and Grout. Spread it on thin with a putty knife, you have to practice with it a bit to get the right texture. Then paint when its dry.
If you want a lot of that texture in your house but don't want the house to get to be too heavy in weight I would suggest sand paper sheets. I used a medium grit, #60-#80. It is a bit of a challenge to work with but worth it. I used wood glue and spread it all around on the back of the sheets but left some places without glue so it would pop out from the wall in places to look a bit more rustic. Where the sheet seams joined I filled it in with some of the grout I mentioned earlier. You have to add grout here and there all over the wall so it's not a straight line where the sand paper sheets join. Try and make the joints minimal above the windows and doors. Then paint. It can be hard on your hands so when you burnish the sandpaper to adhere to the wall, put notebook paper on top of the sandpaper so you don't tear up your hands.

Hopefully some of this will help you create your master piece!
~Auralea