Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Mini Christmas!!

Do you see little Bat?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Miniature cottage windows

I finally finished making the little windows to go in my new cottage. :-)

Still trying to figure out my new camera though. :-/
Can't seem to get it to focus on everything in the frame and not just the center point.
Anyway, they turned out pretty cool!

Now I just have to put them in. I made the handles from paper, but glued them at the wrong height so I had to flip the windows upside down and now the handles are at the correct height, but on the left side instead of the right. Haha Oh well, perhaps the resident is left handed!

Next up will be shutters!

Make a miniature Christmas stocking

I decided to add some stockings to my little fireplace for Christmas. Note that these stockings are before Santa pays a visit! If I only had a mini glass of milk and some cookies.

Trace the stocking pattern onto the backside of the fabric. Be sure to flip the pattern piece when you trace the second one.

With a very sharp craft knife, cut the corners as shown on pattern (dotted lines on pattern).

Use a toothpick to spread Tacky Glue along the edge of the stocking and fold over the extra fabric. I use the other end of the toothpick to fold and press each piece. Press again as you go to be sure the fold stays down.

Cut some felt to fit inside the stocking.

Using your toothpick run glue all around the edges, but not the top opening of the stocking. Press the pieces together and keep pinching until they are adhered.

Once dry, use sharp scissors to trim away anything that is not even around the edges.
Use your choice of trimming around the top. Glue the trimming on.

Wrap embroidery thread around a 1/2" wide piece of mat board 3 times and cut.

Thread a needle and insert it at the top and pull through until you have enough thread to tie two knots. Trim thread off the needle so you have at least one piece of thread about 4” long.

Push the craft knife under the thread at the base of the wrapped thread and slice it off the board.

Pinch the top and push the threaded needle through the pinched area and then wrap in around about seven times. Then push the needle through wrap and push it through again. Snip the thread off close to the tassel.

Lay the tassel on your cutting board and run the tip of the needle through the embroidery thread to open up the strands. Press in between fingers to shape.

Put a dab of glue on your finger and twist it up the tassel string on the top. Let dry.

Put a blob of glue inside the back of the stocking. Position the tassels where you want them and pinch them against stocking. Snip the threads on the top of the tassels and push them inside the stocking into the glue with a toothpick. Pinch and hold until set.
If needed put a bit of glue behind the tassels to keep them against the stocking.

 There are so many styles you can make! Have fun!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

antiqued mirror in miniature

I was given this little mirror as a gift and I knew right away I wanted it to be an attic treasure. After researching online about how to age a mirror I found some really cool techniques for a life size mirror using a piece of glass, but had to come up with my own solution for a mini mirror.

It's a pretty basic technique, but I thought maybe someone out there would like to know...

First, I used a course brush to stipple on some grey paint and dabbed it immediately with a crumpled up napkin. Then stippled spots of black and dabbed it again.

I cut a piece of shiny acetate and put it in the mirror hole and then put the mirror in behind it.
Even though old mirrors are chipped and discolored the fronts are still shiny. Because the paint dulled the shine, the acetate helped to give it a shiny effect.

I painted the mirror cream and rubbed some brown charcoal on it with a course brush before I assembled it. Such a fun addition to the attic!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Miniature grandfather clock shelf

I finally found some time to make this piece I have been thinking about!

I managed to take some photos during the process. I hope this tutorial inspires you to make one of your own.
Cut out the patterns on mat board. I used a very sharp craft blade.
NOTE: When cutting out the clock face backing and cupboard door frame, use cereal box cardboard.

Gently sand the edges if necessary for the two side pieces. I used a foam-centered nail file.

Using yellow wood glue, run glue along the edges of the back piece and brace it between the two side pieces with a toothpick. I used two small square boxes with some weight to them to help brace everything while it dried.

Put glue on the back and side edges of the 5 shelf pieces and slide them into the appropriate slots.

Put glue on the top edges of the shelf and glue on the top piece. The back of the top should be flush to the back of the shelf. Brace the top against another box.

Glue the base front on and then both side bases. Gently stand it up to be sure its even when the glue just starts to set. When you are happy turn it over and coat some wood glue on the inside corners.

Score the corners on the cupboard door frame with the back of your blade and glue the thin cardboard molding onto the cupboard door.

Glue in cupboard insets.

Glue in clock face insets. The door will rest on these, one above and below.

Glue the clock face onto the thin-board clock face backing.
Glue the cap on top and once set, glue the two tops onto that.

Once glue is dry, paint entire piece and the clock face door frame (do not assemble this piece yet). Sand and apply paint until you are happy.

Drill holes for knobs on cupboard and clock face door.

Glue the clock face door on. Put glue on front edge of top shelf and the top edge of clock face door. Set in, careful the door does not fall into the clock at the top. Add acetate to back of door if you want glass there.

Put a dab of Tacky Glue on the curve of the cap, let it dry just a bit and then place bead on the glue. Glue seed bead on top of bead. Let dry and then paint.

Please keep in mind there may be piece you have to test fit first and trim a bit. It will depend on how you place your pieces together. Things may be off just a hair.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Francisco del Pozo Parés

I wanted to share this link. It was sent to me by Francisco del Pozo Parés. I am in the process of featuring his amazing miniature lighting in Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine - Jan/Feb. He is also a brilliant dollhouse designer/builder. He is from Spain and has a background in architecture and it shows!
I think you will love this!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Miniature Scarecrow

Fall is here! I couldn't stop envisioning a scarecrow surrounded by pumpkins so I had to figure out how to make one.
I made his outfit and then used Raffia that was bound in bundles with very thin wire and added thicker wire inside each bundle. I slipped a bundle straight through the shirt from one arm to the other arms and then two pieces in the pant legs up to the chest and bent the arms hips and legs to pose him. Then I trimmed the raffia and pulled apart the thicker pieces to make them thinner. I will do a step-by-step tutorial when I have time to make another one. This one was an experiment, so I needed to be sure it worked first. 
The Pumpkins
I used natural dried gourds as well as a few painted one on the left. You can buy these from the last of my inventory here. (scroll down to the bottom once you click the link).

The hat is super easy and quick.
I used cross-stitch fabric and made the top section by wetting it and pulling it over an object to shape it. I used a rubber band to hold it in place over a hammer tip. Sprayed it with hairspray and let it dry overnight.

Then trim it out and place it on more of that fabric and cut a circle around it at least 3/4" out from the top of the hat area.

I used a circle template to gauge the circumference of the top and centered that on my circle rim. Draw the circle and cut out the center. Snip all around the base of the top piece making 1/8" snips.

Slip it up inside the rim and put glue all around then flatted the snipped pieces down on the underside of the hat. Once dry, trim the rim all around even more if needed. Spin the hat in your hand as you scratch your nail along the edge to make it look tattered.

I painted mine with craft paint and pressed the top down to shape it. Once dry trim with ribbon or braided needlepoint thread and add a flower!

 So much fun! I hope you have a wonderful fall season. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Miniature hanger tutorial

Ever since I was a young teen, I have always had this one fancy clothes hanger in my closet. There is no memory of where it came from, but I loved how pretty and feminine it was. Which is funny because I was a tomboy growing up. I still have it to this day. It is just there, looking pretty, mixed in with all the ordinary wooden hangers.
After I made Ophelia’s wardrobe, I decided her dresses should hang from something “pretty”. After a few attempts I came up with an easy way to make pretty mini hangers!

 Cut a piece of foam board to about 3” x 6”.

Cut a piece of 1/8” wide ribbon. This piece will tie around the center of the bow. This piece can be any length you wish, mine is about 3 ½” long.

Use a toothpick and spread Tacky Glue on the center of the ribbon in a 1” long section.

Center the piece with the glue on it on the board. Take the end of your ribbon spool and pin it into the foam board.

Take the ribbon and create a figure 8” pattern on the two pins then pin the end into the foam and snip with scissors.Tie a tight knot at the center point of the bow with the piece that has the glue on it. Pinch, once knotted, to train the ribbon to lay flat and pointed up. Remove the pins and let your bow dry.

 I found these cool vintage pipe cleaners in with some old tools, but you can use newer ones as well. Start with a 6” long pipe cleaner, fold it in half and then twist tightly to 2” long. Snip with wire cutters.

If your hanger is going in a specific wardrobe, be sure to measure the depth of the wardrobe to get the width of your hanger first.

Use your choice of 1/4” wide ribbon and begin wrapping it around the twisted pipe cleaner in the center of the folded pipe cleaner. Work the wrapping tightly in a diagonal direction down the right side.
When you get to the end let it overhang a bit, then fold the ribbon over the end. Hold that fold as you continue to wrap in the other direction so that it tucks in and slowly continue wrapping the ribbon. Go to the other end and repeat. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t fold properly the first time, keep practicing and you will get it.

Bring your ribbon back to the center. Cut it diagonally.
Put glue on the end all the way to the tip and press onto hanger base. Pinch it until it is dry.

I used earring wire with an antique brass finish. Put the wire at the base of the needle nose pliers and wrap to make a hook.

Pinch the wire with the tip of the pliers and bend it with other hand.

 Do this again about 1/8” from that point. Then wrap wire around the center of the pliers.

Now pinch the base of the wire and twist the top hook with your fingers 90 degrees.

Insert your hanger base and wrap wire once around it. Then snip closely with wire cutters. If needed, press the snipped end flat with flat pliers.

Keep those fingers clean so your hangers stay pretty!

Put a dab of glue around the wire with a toothpick, and then wrap 1/8” ribbon around in a criss-cross fashion. Glue the end down under the base of hanger. Pinch until dry.

Be sure all of your hanger hooks are facing the same way for this next step.

Play with your bow to get the effect you want. Be careful not to pull the two parts that will affect your ribbon size. Put some glue on the front of the hanger and glue on the back of the bow then press and pinch until secure.

Decide which two ribbon strands to snip off and which two you want to keep and cut at a diagonal. I found this was different with each ribbon. Use very sharp scissors. Then put a dot of glue over the snipped ends with a toothpick and spread down.

Bend the hanger down on both sides to give it a curved shape.

You did it! You can hang your favorite mini dresses from them, put them in a wardrobe or lay them around in your dollhouse for decoration.