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.