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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Candles

This week's project just kind of happened. I was cleaning up a bit in my office/craftroom and while picking up some bits of leftover clay I noticed something. Now I have looked at the ends of clay canes probably a million times over the last 20 plus years I have been playing with polymer clay. But for whatever reason I saw something this week that I hadn't noticed in the past. I noticed that the shape that pretty much ever clay cane takes on at the end looks a bit like a partially melted candle.

So instead of finishing up with cleaning my workspace I started playing with clay. Trying to get the look of the top of a used candle and I think for the most part I got what I was looking for.

This is a great project to use up tiny bits of colored clay, and also a great place to use some of those beautiful colors of clay that we buy and then don't have a use for. For instance, you all know I mostly make doll food with my clay. But, I can't pass up the beautiful purple, blue and metallic colors of clay when they go on sale. There really aren't a lot of foods that use any of those colors. I have made some really pretty dishes out of them but they really can't go into the foods I primarily make.

So pull out those beautiful colors and make some candles.

In my experiments I found that the softer the clay the better this works. Also not all of the candles will remain standing straight when they get baked. Some of them just decided to bend. So make extras knowing some are just not going to work.

The only prep work you need to do is make a long very thin snake of black clay for the burnt wick in your candles. Mine was probably too fat but it still got the idea across.

I did use some simple clay tools to help coax the clay to do what I wanted but for the most part it really does form itself to look like a candle.

So make a bunch of candles for your dollhouse and send me a picture. What color candles does your dollhouse need this winter??

After I had this blog post all written and scheduled and I thought I was all done with this project I decided to play with a couple of the candles I had made. I made some more leaves the same way I did in last week's tutorial and I cut a round shape from some metallic cardstock. I glued 3 of my candles in the center(ish) then glued some leaves around the candles. I think it turned out rather cute.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Fall Leaves

This week I got into a fall mood and decided it would be fun to make some fall leaves. I know you can sometimes find fall leaves small enough for the dollhouse in the craftstore but this is just a fun project and those aren't always available when we want to use them.

You will need a paper punch that is small enough to be in scale. I got mine at my local Joann's. It was on a 40% off sale the day I got mine so it only cost me $2.99. This one is made by Fiskars and is the .62” size. The name seems to just be “Leaf” so hopefully you can find something similar at you store or in your stash of paper punches.

I know I have seen similar projects both online and in the mini magazines but the ones I found all used water based markers. That is fine but I am hesitant to use those on things I might scatter around the dollhouse. You see most of the water based marker's ink will re-activate if it gets damp. This means you could end up with ink leaching onto whatever surface the leaves were laying on.

I like to use my alcohol markers because they shouldn't run if they get damp. In theory you would have to drip rubbing alcohol (or something similar) on them to make the ink run. I still wouldn't leave them scattered on precious surfaces long term but I am more comfortable with this ink.

You can use any brand of alcohol based markers (Sharpies, Bic Mark-Its, Copic, Spectrum Noir, etc) for this project. And you can mix the brands, they all play nicely together. Just scribble the colors on the leaves and then dip into a bowl of 99% isopropyl alcohol. I do recommend letting them dry on a non-stick surface like a sheet of parchment paper and remember the ink will stain the surface when it is wet.

If you are making a lot of leaves you might want to scribble the color onto the paper before you punch the leaves but for just a few I like to be able to place the colors where I want them.

After the leaves dry simply give them a little shape with a large ball stylus (use a pad of craft foam) and you are ready to use your leaves in and around your dollhouse.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature More Folded Clothing

I asked on the Facebook group a while back if people had a favorite video and several people responded that they really had enjoyed the folded clothing. I was browsing through some mini books the other day and was reminded of this folded ladies shirt. I love the look of this one and it is definitely fit for a lady.

So if the lady of your dollhouse is looking for something new to wear we have her covered.

Just like the other folded clothing this would look good in a drawer, on the bed, in a store or in an open suitcase, just to name a few places you could display these.

This one is really simple if you follow the steps in the video and there really aren't any tricks. Like most of my projects just be patient and take your time.

The fabric does need to be fairly lightweight to work well and I found I got the best results from a plain pattern on this one.

Cut the fabric 3” by 3' and seal the edges then proceed a I show in the video. It really is easy to do.  

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dollhouse Miniatures- Jars of Jam

This is not the project I was planning to do this week but life got in the way and I ran out of time (again) Since I had just got done filming a similar project for my 18” doll channel I took advantage of the supplies I already had out and used them with some other stuff to make jar of jam for the dollhouse.

I know you can buy pony beads in all kinds of colors but I can never seem to find the clear colored ones in the colors I want when I want them. I came up with this simple way to make them any color I want at the moment. I am using colors that mimic fruit jam but you could use any color you desire and just label them for whatever you want.

I am using nail polish today to color the clear beads for several reasons. The first being it was already on my table from another project. (got to be real here) But also I love how the translucency of the bead combined with the translucency of the nail polish allows light to pass through just like a real jar of jam. You just don't get that effect with paint. Another advantage with the nail polish is that it bonds to the plastic beads much better than paint does so the finish is more durable.

For the Orange color I did find I needed to use 2 colors of polish. First I put on a layer of a yellow followed by a layer of orange. (both of these were from L.A. Colors but they don't have any kind of name or number on the bottles- I get these at Dollar Tree)

For the Strawberry color I used a really old bottle of Avon Speed Dry in the color Red Red. I don't think this one is available any more but any bright red will do.

For the Raspberry Jam I used Avon Nailware Pro in Berry Smooth. It is a nice purplish pink, berry color.

For the Grape Jelly I used Avon Nailware Pro in Decadence. This one is a “shimmer” color but it still works for this project.

You can use any polish that you want to just stay away from ones that have glitter or a lot of pearl essence to them. I happen to have a lot of Avon polish because I sell Avon but use any brand you have on hand.

You do need to allow the polish to dry well then we can add the labels. The finished size of the label is ¼” wide by 1/8” tall. This is really tiny I know but with a very fine tip pen you can write that small. The pen I like for writing tiny is the Pilot Precise V5 RT, just be really careful and don't press too hard (the tip is really fragile and will bend if you do)

I tried several ideas for the lids of my jars today and I was most happy with the fun foam. It gave me a lid that looked the most like a lid because it was the proper height for my jar. The fact that it will punch with a standard hole punch is a definite plus too.

So that is the project for this week. I hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Nightgown

This week's video is a bit shorter than normal because it is just too hot here to sit under the filming lights for very long. My craftroom is around 90 today already.

So the project this week is a nightgown that can be displayed draped over a piece of furniture or in a shop. I love pieces like this because they set the stage in our mini scenes to make it appear that someone was just in the room and/or will be right back in the room. It just adds life to the mini scene.

This one is really simple because all you need is a piece of wide trim- either lace or eyelet from the fabric store. Look for a piece that is about 2 ½” to 3” wide. You want a piece that is flat as opposed to gathered. Try also to find a small design. I really like the one I found, it is just so pretty and looks like it would be very comfortable. (can you tell it has been too hot to sleep here)

If you don't want to use glue on your project feel free to sew it. I just feel that for this project the glue was a lot easier and faster. Glue the back seam, then glue on the shoulder straps and a top trim.

The shoulder straps are cut 1 ½” long and try to glue them on spaced evenly. I tried to get mine about halfway between the center and side on both the front and the back.

Then glue on the top trim to cover the top edge and hide the ends of the straps.

Now wasn't that easy? Just the perfect project for a really hot day.

Be sure to send me photos of your projects. And if you have ideas for future projects let me know!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Flyswatter

The end of summer and beginning of fall always means a lot more flies trying to get into the house. No matter how hard you try they seem to get in anyway. Especially if you have kids that go in and out all day long. At least that's how it is here where I live, on a farm.

I was browsing some photos of dollhouse scenes the other day and got to thinking that is really is the little things that make the scene more realistic. Things like a flyswatter off in a corner somewhere.

And think of the mini scenes you could stage with a flyswatter, how about a kid that has knocked something down in his eagerness to get that fly. Just let your imagination go wild and come up with something wonderful. Or for some realism just stick that flyswatter in logical place in the dollhouse that someone might notice while looking around (my real one reside on the top of my fridge at the back corner)

So for this project we really only need a couple of things some cardsock, some tulle, some fine wire and some glue. Along with cutting tools and a jumbo craftstick.

I picked a bright pink today mostly because I have 2 colors of tulle (white and bright pink) and I figured the pink would be easier for you to see. According to the Joann's website the tulle in the 6” wide rolls comes in around 30 colors and it is priced at under $5.

Once you have everything together fold the paper so you can work on a fold. Draw a line 3/16” from the fold then again at 1/8” from the fold. Next mark off ½” areas. Then mark the end cuts about 1/16” form one end and 1/8” from the other.

I find it much easier to cut out this little square area before I cut the shape away from the cardstock piece. Just be as neat and careful as you can be.

Be sure to cut the little corners off to give your flyswatter the iconic shape.

Now glue one of those shapes to the tulle and set aside.

Create the handle and then assemble the flyswatter.

It really is an easy project, it is just a bit fiddly trying to cut that inner shape out to create the frame of the flyswatter.

If you make a scene with your flyswatter I want to see it. Be sure to send me a picture or post one of the Facebook page.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Shelf

I was trying to do some organizing of some stuff in my office/craftroom and came across a box that held some of the extras I had made back when I was active in a lot of dollhouse miniature swap groups. For most swaps I would make at least one or two extras of the items I made just in case.

I had forgotten all about this little shelf but it was just so darn cute I decided to make one for you today. Originally I had made the shelf all from wood and I was sure I had a piece of the wood for the back. I looked all over and couldn't locate the wood so I subbed some heavy paperboard. This time from the back of a tablet. If you do use paperboard I suggest using a similar piece since this stuff is usually really thick. I still used a double layer just to be sure it was sturdy.

Cut the back piece 1 ½” by 1”

You will also need the shelf piece I used a regular size craft stick also cut to 1 ½”. For shelf supports use a piece of dollhouse miniature moulding, here is a link to a similar product. Look through your stash and see what you have on hand that might work.

For little coat/towel hooks I used the decorative end of some decorative toothpicks.

Just glue everything together and paint or finish as desired.

One the one from the swap box I had glued some little bottles made of beads to the shelf and I love how that looks. A mini box of Kleenex or a small vanity mirror would be really adorable too.

So that is how easy this one is.