DIY · Dollhouse miniatures

A Miniature Ombre Chest

Shopping for resale miniatures on E-Bay can be a great deal. However, more often than not, it is turning out to be disappointing in my experience. The photographs are not usually clear enough to see all of the imperfections on a piece and the descriptions are minimal at best.

Being the optimistic buyer, I go with the, “It’s OK. I can fix anything.” stance. This last order looked great by the photos and the descriptions listing what was in the lot were fine. It was a huge lot of unfinished 1/12 scale furniture. Imagine my surprise when I opened the order to find that all of the pieces were made of balsa wood. If you’ve ever worked with balsa, then you know how lightweight and easily marred it is. You can barely sand balsa without chipping or breaking it. Continue reading “A Miniature Ombre Chest”

DIY · Dollhouse miniatures · tutorials

A Nifty Miniature Rocking Horse Made With Ordinary Things

Miniature rocking horse

This little rocking horse took his time being born. I started making him last fall. Stuff happened and stuff happened, as it does, to hinder my mini makes. Now, seven months later, he is finally ready to show you how he was assembled. Continue reading “A Nifty Miniature Rocking Horse Made With Ordinary Things”

DIY · Dollhouse miniatures

Dollhouse build: second floor

The second floor of my dollhouse is coming along. I did get a little distracted from it and it’s all Les’ fault. He found a completed dollhouse in Hobby Lobby for an amazing price in the clearance section. The store was shipped two of the same display models so they wanted to dump one of them. Les excitedly brought it home for me. THEN, a couple days later, he was at the thrift store when he spotted another house. So he brought it home. YIKES! We have little room for all these houses, but what fun.

I’ve already stripped the thrift store house right down to the studs and will rebuild it into an old English Tudor cottage. The other house is a three story Victorian that I’m going to rebuild into a French Creole type house that you would find in New Orleans. Ah yes, big plans  – but I need to focus on this first house for now.

Soooo, the second floor bedrooms have already gone through several coats of paint in several different colors. I have finally made a decision as to which direction that I want to go with these rooms. The girl’s room will be this kind of pink-peachy blush color. The “wallpaper” is scrapbook paper. I made that patterned area a little high because I am envisioning some really cool artwork above the rail on the solid part of the room.

girl's-roomI won these two little unfinished chests in an E-BAY auction. Yes, I know that I said that I would build all of my own furniture, but I just cannot pass up a deal. Anyway, I think that I’ll paint them in the ombre style with the darkest color on the bottom drawer. I’ll leave the body of the chest natural with only a light, clear gloss coat on them. The bed will go between the chests. (As of right now, that is.  LOL  It’s all subject to change.)

On a side note of thriftiness: I found two brand new, in box,  4 foot wide x 2″, wood blinds for only $15.00 total at my local Restore. I cut them apart and now I have all kinds of strips of building material for my minis. Yay!recycled-blinds

For the master, I’ve decided to use the blinds, cut into little pieces, to make raised panel wainscoting. The wainscoting will be painted gloss white and the top part of the room will be painted a very pale grey. I also cut up the blinds to make a little window seat in what will be the reading nook.recycled-blinds-panels

You will probably remember that I was in the process of partitioning off the master bedroom to add a closet. For a while there I could not decide between a closet or a bathroom, but the closet won because I wanted a fairly large area to display tiny shoes, luggage, jewelry, toiletries, clothes and so on. I’m happy with the final shelving and think that it will work out well. A wall mirror will go into that open, middle space in the shelving.closet

Today, I will continue the work on the bedroom and get it painted and ready to install lighting.

Here’s to you and my wish that you have a happy, imaginative day as well.

sandy-signature

 

art · DIY

Journey into 1/12 Scale Miniatures

When Les asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I already knew months ahead of time. A 1/12 scale dollhouse! The miniatures hobby has always been a favorite of mine since I can use all kinds of art and craft skills to make tiny little treasures. To have a dollhouse of my own has been on my  mind for years. It had to wait though, until I was closer to retirement and not working such long hours. That day has finally come! Les and I recently went together to pick out my Christmas present.  Poor Les had to stand and stare at miniatures for hours. He’s such a good sport.Image result for real good toys victoria's farmhouseAfter lots of deliberation, I chose the Victoria’s Farmhouse kit from Real Good Toys. 

As soon as the ground floor build began, I started thinking of alterations to the floor plan. Yep, that’s me, not content to do anything as prescribed. My first thought was that I want to make a contemporary dollhouse. I love modern-farmhouse decor, so that will be my route.

dollhouse-living-room-1

The photo above shows the originally intended plan with a wall and door dividing the living room from the kitchen. I want a more modern, open floor plan, so I will put a short divider jut so that there will be an entryway to decorate. There MUST be a place to deposit tiny little letters and keys after all. Furthermore, I don’t want stairs to interrupt the decorating- so no stairs even as cute as they are.

lv-modifiedHere is a mock-up of the shortened wall that will form an  entryway into the house. Before putting that wall in, I will need to set a floor.altering-dollhouse-flooring.jpgIn my mind, a store bought wooden floor sheet would be easiest (and fastest since I am anxious to decorate). But once I got the sheet home, it looked too “regular” and flat. I may as well have printed out a picture of a floor, it looked that unreal. The fix-step was to cut the strips apart and into irregular lengths. Then, the edges were sanded to give a more separate look to each board. Gluing the boards down individually brought up a whole new set of problems. Can you see, in the photo below, that the strips are of variable thickness? Who knew that a store bought sheet of flooring would have such high-low spots! After I glue all of the floor boards into place, I will sand them down again to have a more uniform thickness. I don’t want my mini people tripping over floorboards!

laying-LV-flooring

After a week or so of deciding, this is as far as I’ve come. I plan on documenting my little journey on every step of the way so, if you are into minis, stay tuned for future progress.

S McCall