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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dollhouse Miniature Mashed Potatoes

This week I am teaching you how to make a container of mashed potatoes to go with that roast beef that we made last week. Since mashed potatoes are such a staple on our dinner table I am sure your dolls will find many dinners these will go with.

I know there are many ways to make miniature mashed potatoes, some easier than others. This is my very favorite method and I rarely see it anywhere. I found this technique about 8 or 10 years ago in one of the British miniature magazines. It was in an article featuring the work of Philippa Todd, one of my very favorite miniature food artists. I remember reading the article and going home and trying the method and I was so happy with the results that it is the only method I have used since.

Let me wander here a bit and tell you about my favorite mini magazine (which is where I found this article way back then) First off, my daughter has been an ice skater since she was 7 (she's 20 now) and for way too many years I spent many hours every week at the ice rink. One of the things I loved about her rink was that there is a huge book store next door. So every time we went to the rink (multiple times every week) I would head over to the bookstore to do some looking and sometimes purchase something to read while I waited for her to have lessons, practice or take classes. I soon discovered that this particular bookstore did not carry any of the U.S. mini magazines but they did have one from England (Dolls House and Miniature Scene) I remember looking at it in the store a few times. I held off buying a copy since they run about $8 or $10 a copy but it wasn't long before I was buying them every month. I fell in love with that magazine and spent many hours at the ice rink reading the issues I purchased. Now that my daughter is living on her own I don't get to the bookstore on a regular basis so I miss the magazine but I have many years of back issues that I still read from time to time. Anyway, in my reading of this magazine over the years I also fell in love with the miniature foods that Philippa Todd makes. She was written up on a fairly regular basis and those issues are my very favorites. So I want you all to know I give her article complete credit for where I found this way of making mashed potatoes.

Now onto how we do this. I start by mixing up my cream color clay, it can be a bit darker in color than what you want for your finished mashed potatoes. Form it into a shape that will be easy to hold to grate up. The other bit you need to mix is the TLS (Transparent Liquid Sculpey) it also needs to be a cream color, as close to what you want you finished mashed potatoes as possible. I use oil paint to color my TLS for this project because it is easy to control the texture of the TLS. One thing I forgot to mention in the video that makes this easier to bake off a tiny sample of the colored TLS to check the color, because the un-cured TLS is white it is a bit hard to judge what the baking process will do to it.

On the topic of coloring the TLS, I know there are a lot of videos and articles out there that use acrylic paint to color it. I really caution you to not do this. First off the makers of TLS say not to, most of the clay artists that really know about the product and have researched it say it is a big no-no. One of the issues is that acrylic paint contains water that evaporates as it dries, if there is still water in the TLS mixture when you bake it that water can bubble and boil and that will ruin your project. Is it really worth it to take the chance? I have a feeling there is also a slight chance the project could explode too if there were enough moisture left in it when it was baked. This is one of those cases where it is really best to not take the chance, oil paint is not that expensive, it lasts a long, long time and it stores easily. You really will only need a few colors so that keeps the cost down too.

To grate the cooked clay you will need a small grater of some kind. I usually use one of those things that comes in the pedicure sets from the dollar store that is designed to take the rough skin off your feet. Any small grater would work a nutmeg grater would also be ideal.

As far as the process of making the potatoes if you have ever made instant mashed potatoes in real life you will have no problems with this miniature project. It really is the same idea, we take the grated clay (it needs to be almost a dust consistency) and mix it with the TLS. Just like in real life adjust the liquid (TLS) to get the correct texture.

If you want to add some color to the top of your mashed potatoes use either some chalk (use a cotton swab before baking to apply it) or rub on some acrylic paint after it is baked. I have a real life mashed potato dish that I make that I cook off in the oven and one of these days I am going to make the dolls in my dollhouse a batch of it in mini to serve.

Now before we go I do need to give credit for the photo of this week's project to my youngest son. He is an excellent photographer and even he had trouble getting a decent shot of these potatoes. They do look much better in person than we could capture with the camera.

A huge thank you to my son, Erik, for taking the photo!!


  1. Hi Joanne! I too, am a big fan of the British mini magazines! Likewise I wish I had more time to sit and re-read them as they were loaded with valuable information. I Love your version of mashed potatoes and I will definitely be giving this a try!


  2. I cannot get the video link to work.
    Is any one else having a problem?

    Cindy in San Diego