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.