Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dollhouse Pier One Imports dresser tutorial

As I was browsing through my Pier One Imports catalog I came across a nice piece of furniture. Since I couldn’t afford to buy it at my scale, I thought I would try to make it in miniature.
After I took a screen shot of it on their website, I distorted it to be straight and the size I needed using Adobe Photoshop. This will be for personal use only, otherwise I would have used a royalty free image.

Cut 2 pieces of mat board at 1 1/4” x 2 1/4”  for the sides.

Cut 2 pieces of mat board at 3” x 2 1/4”  for the back and front.

Cut 2 pieces of mat board at 3 3/8” x 1 3/8”  for the top and bottom.
Sand the top and bottom so the top edges are rounded.

Glue the sides and the front/back together. 

Glue those to the bottom (make sure the rounded edge is facing up) and glue the top piece on (make sure the rounded edge is facing up). Be sure they are flush at the back. There should be a lip hanging over on the front and sides.

Wipe away any extra glue with a scrap piece of board. Mark the bottom as “bottom” for the sake of confusion.

Cut 6 strips at about 1/8” x 11” long from cover stock and glue pairs together. 

Measure and cut the side lengths. Then, using your cutting board squares, cut the 45 degree angle so the pieces will fit in neatly.

Glue the front trim on. No need for 45 degree angles here.

For the legs, I glued two beads and a wood dowel piece together. I used white glue because I will have everything on my work table stuck to my fingers if I use Super Glue. But if you have a better relationship with Super Glue that would be ideal.

Then I used my pencil sharpener to shave a wood dowel and cut the tip off with my mini miter box and saw.
You can use the first one you cut to hold to the tip of the newly shaved dowel to be sure each are the same. You will need four of these.

Glue the beads together, let dry, then glue the dowel tip on. Let dry.

I stuck all of my legs to a piece of board with wax and then spray painted them white. (Actually it was cream because I had no white in stock.)

Super Glue them to the base of the dresser. Yay, I used Super Glue this time with no issues! 
I swear I am usually like a cat with tape stuck to its paws with that glue!

Paint your dresser and legs with white acrylic paint. I used Ceramcoat white. Don’t paint the inset on the front where the drawers will go (not necessary).

Drawer fronts
I cut a piece of cover stock paper to the size of the front (inside the trim). 

Then I painted a section of a sheet of cover stock with the same white paint. Once dry, I sanded it very lightly and wiped it with a cloth.

Print out your image on this section. If you can, using Photoshop or another program, divide your image to 3 sections for the three drawers. Add some cut marks off to the side of the image in your program.
This was the first time I ever printed on painted paper. I was amazed. The quality was better then plain paper.

Cut your printed section out as shown above. Put glue on the other piece of cover stock you cut to size. I used Yes paste. Glue it to the back of the printed section and use those holes to be sure it is centered. I did it this way because a have about a 1/16" wiggle room on the left and right just in case.

Leave it to dry with weight on it. Here is the back. Disregard the dark smears. Before I had the idea to use the wooden dowel that was sitting a few feet away I was cutting lead pencil tips and it left a mess.

Cut out your drawer fronts and sand the front bottoms lightly with fine sandpaper.

Glue them in with wood glue. Be sure to get the edges so it wont curl up, but not so much that it will seep through.

Mark with a pencil where the knobs will go. I used tiny pearl beads I had in my stash and painted them the same white.

When dry, glue them on and touch them up with Tacky Glue to fill in the holes. Let dry and paint the tips white.

Once that paint is dry then spray the entire piece with a Satin varnish spray.

I had some fun and went to visit Pier One Imports after I made this. The girls working the floor were full of questions and excitement. They insisted on moving some furniture around to get photos. 
I love this piece and it looks great in my Kinfeld. So the next time you are swooning over a catalog item try making it in miniature.

I share a lot of tutorials and ask nothing in return. I would like to only ask if you use them please share something from yourself with another in our miniature world. I honestly think generosity is what makes our art form extra special.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dollhouse dust door

My latest challenge was to come up with a way to keep the dust out of the Kinfeld. I didn’t want to make doors with hinges because I was having a hard time finding the right make and size hinge.
Plus I have done this before and the door would sometimes move while I was trying to work on the house.
After a back-and-forth with my good friend Hubert Lengdorfer we came up with a solution. I can’t stress enough how important some brain tennis with a friend is when you are both stumped.
We were pretty proud of ourselves!

So here is what I did. I cut thin strips of basswood and glued thicker strips (a bit thicker than my plexiglass) inside of them to make tracks for the plexiglass.

When I glued the tracks to the house I laid a thick piece of wood (the height I wanted the track to come up over the floor) and held the track flush to it. I used a hot glue gun to get a quick hold.

Then I measured the height for each floor inside the tracks and cut my plexiglass glass. I cut my plexiglass with an X-acto knife a few times and then snapped it apart.

I was going to drill a small hole and put in a knob to help slide the glass but it wasn’t necessary. 

The top floor took some more thinking. I was going to use magnets but I could’t find metal strips so I used small strips of velcro. So the glass sits in the track and the tops have velcro tabs.

I have to say I really like this method. I can still see into the house with no obstacles, the dust stays out and I can get inside easily. If I really need to get in there I can remove the glass completely and set it to the side. Otherwise I can slide it enough to do what I need to do and then close it.

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Porch trim details for dollhouse

I am sharing this just incase someone out there needs lots of circles with some depth to them. I came up with a fairly easy way to make custom ones from paper.

After I determined the width I needed my circles to be as well as the inside circumference I wrapped/glued paper around a wooden dowel. This paper is called quilling paper and you can get it at craft stores in many colors.

I cut a square piece of mat board and then cut a hole in the center of a piece of wax paper. Then put the wax paper on top of the mat board and super glued the dowel to the mat board through the hole.
Then I used tape to secure the mat board to the cutting board, plus any parts of the wax paper that had curled up.

I did a few tests to determine how many pieces of quilling paper I needed to get the thickness I desired. Then glued them together as needed with wood glue.

Shown above is the start of making my first circle. Run the paper over your nail between your fingers to get a slight curl. Lay the end flat on the table and put a tiny bit of glue at the end on that one side.

To start, use a toothpick to help keep the paper flat to the wrapping template (The dowel glued to mat board) and then wrap the paper around it so it sticks to itself. DO NOT glue the strip to the wrapping template. The glue you put at the end of the paper will be on the outside when wrapped.

As you are wrapping, put tiny dots of glue along the inside of the strip of paper and wrap and push all around to be sure it is staying flat to the wax paper. This will go faster once you get the hang of it.
I put my wood glue into an empty Elmer's glue bottle to get the better nozzle, Keep your glue nozzle barely open to get small dots.

Keep wrapping and pressing then add more dots and wrap and press. Once you get to the end put glue at the end of the strip and wrap and press all around the sides of the circle to secure. Immediately slip your nails under the circle and wiggle it off the wrapping template.

Lay flat and press under a piece of mat board. If it looks like it lost the circle shape then slip your knife or needle tool handle inside and press while rolling it.
Whip of the wax paper and wrapping template to be sure no wet glue is there and make another. I found it best to only make 3 at a time and give any stray glue on the template time to dry. Otherwise your circle will get stuck and be ripped apart when you try to remove it.

Once dry, sand it on both sides with fine sandpaper.

I built my rails upside down. Not shown, but I braced the bottom rail (shown as the top in the above photo) against a long flat surface (sharpening stone shown above) and glued each circle to it with a strip of mat board in between. Then added the corner posts and the top rail which is wider than the bottom.

I made the smaller one shown above first and hand-painted it. Very difficult to get in all the crevasses. So for the longer one I used white spray pant and only hand-painted the top rail.

This is a great way to make circles for anything you need around the dollhouse!