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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dollhouse Miniature Doll Carriage

This week I am using something that I found at the dollar store. These cute little baby carriages are just the right size for the little girls in your dollhouse to push their favorite baby dolls in. You can leave them just the way they are if you want or you can go all out and decorate them to your heart's desire.

These would be so fun to dress up with ribbons and pretty fabrics. I think for a swap they would be wonderful especially if you could include a simple little doll inside.

I painted one of mine and the other I just left plain for now. If I do decide to decorate it I will post a picture on the Facebook page so be sure to keep your eyes open for that.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dollhouse Miniature Grand Piano- part 1

First off I want to apologize for totally forgetting to take any photos along the way. I even went ahead and painted my piano before it even occurred to me that I should have been taking pictures. I think I just got so wrapped up in the project as I went that pictures were the last thing on my mind.

This project came about because one of you asked for it. I got a message on Facebook from Patricia asking me if it would be possible to do a tutorial on the creation of a Grand Piano. Her daughter really wants one for her Barbie but they had no idea where to begin. As soon as I read the message the ideas started to flow, I knew pretty much exactly what I wanted to do and how to do it. The biggest problem was getting it to look correct because I am not a music person and I think sitting in a piano bar in Las Vegas several years ago was the closest I have ever been to one of these beautiful musical instruments. I don't play piano either so I have no idea what the various parts are called.

My first job was then was to track down various photos and diagrams online of Grand Pianos, there are a lot out there so you should have no problems. I knew I needed some good shots of the piano from a couple of angles and most importantly from above (of the insides- more on this next week). This photo from above became my pattern to get the shape correct. I found some diagrams that listed the size of the pianos that different manufacturers have on the market and went from there for size. If you are creating a specific model then you will need to find a source for specific for that particular piano.

I found that for the most part full size pianos seem to be about 5 ½ to 6 feet in length (front to back) and about 4 ½ to 5 feet across the front. I chose to make mine 5 ¾” by 4 ¾” wide for 1/12th scale. For Barbie to make it the same proportions it would be 11 ½” by 9 ½”. I also found that most of the pianos online seemed to be around 40” tall so I made mine 3 3/8” (for Barbie make that 6 ¾”)

After I found that picture of the piano from the top down I re-sized it to print out at the size I wanted the piano to be. I was able to get a dollhouse size one on a regular sheet of paper, for Barbie you might need to use two sheets dividing your photo in parts.

I used my new favorite building material for stuff like this, a cereal box. (well a couple of cereal boxes by the time I got done) For legs I decided on some golf tees simply because they look nice and sleek. You could use dowels or whatever else catches your eye.

To make the piano sturdy all areas should b at least 2 layers of the cardboard thick, the bottom being 3 layers. This also allowed me to glue the layers with the printed sides together so I have a nice neutral gray cardboard to paint. Since the sides of the piano body need to be pieced be sure to stagger the ends so that the seams are not at the same place. This not only looks better but will be stronger. I cut the sides 1” wide by however long I could get from the side of the cereal box. You will need to piece it but you want to have as few seams as possible. For Barbie you will need to cut the sides 2” wide and you will probably need at least 3 maybe 4 strips.

I used Yes! Glue for all areas where I was gluing the thicknesses of cardboard together. If you don't have any Yes! Glue you could use Tacky glue spread out evenly with a brush. Be sure to use something to hold the glued areas flat as they dry to prevent distortion from the moisture of the glue. For gluing the sides on I used Tacky glue with a few drops of super glue. I also used a bit of regular tape to help hold the sides on. I want this to last a long time so I am trying to make it as sturdy as possible even though it is being made of cardboard. I am hoping when this is finished no one will be able to tell it is just made of cardboard.

I did use some of the nasty smelling Goop glue for attaching the legs to the bottom. I did this because of the shape of the top of the golf tee and also because of the shiny somewhat oily finish they always seem to have on them.

So that is pretty much what got done of this project this week. I think we will finish up next week. I am really happy and excited about how it is turning out so far.

Now the big question: do I make a bench to go with it? I guess that would make sense and could be the project the following week. Let me know in the comments either here, on Youtube or on Facebook.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dollhouse Miniature Bathroom Towels

This week we are going to use some inexpensive baby washcloths from the dollar store to make some lush looking towels for the dollhouse. These little washcloths are great because they are a very thin terry cloth (or terry cloth like) fabric that looks like very expensive towels when scaled down to the dollhouse. It will look like your dolls are shopping at the expensive bath store.

I left mine really plain for the video but use you imagination and decorate yours to go in the bathroom of your dollhouse. You could add thin lace, narrow ribbons, embroidery thread anything you desire to decorate with.

I made my folded towels roughly 1” by 1 ¼” when folded since that was how big my real towels are when folded. You can make yours whatever size you want to look right in your scene.

I am pretty sure these would work really well for Barbie and her friends too. Just cut the towels bigger. 


Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Favorite Glues 2014

If you follow me on Facebook you probably know that I haven't been getting a lot done the last couple of weeks due to some sinus headaches that I have been experiencing.
During that time I did a few other small projects and made plans for some upcoming projects both for this channel and my 18” doll one.

Then a couple of days ago I happened to be digging through my box of glues and ran across an empty bottle of my old favorite Super Glue (Zap A Gap) and that got me to thinking it is probably time for an updated glue video. I looked and the one I did previously was in January of 2011, a lot has changed since then. I have found some new favorite glues to add to the ones I already had and sadly one of my favorites seems to have disappeared.

I tried to not duplicate the info from the first video (which you can find here) but I did want to cover some of the same glues since I am still using them. Then onto the new ones that I have found and fallen in love with lately.

So I started out with Tacky Glue, I use the Aleene's brand (made by Duncan Crafts) because I know I can trust this brand to be consistent and it is easy to find. I currently use 3 of the variations of Tacky Glue from this company: Quick Dry, Fast Grab and Original. I find that these three can be used for most of my gluing needs. I like the Fast Grab when I want something to really hold right away (especially when combined with a dab of Super Glue) this glue is the thickest of the three and does a wonderful job just about anywhere. Next in line would be the Original, a bit thinner in consistency but still thick enough to really grab with little trouble. The Quick Dry is handy for smaller projects and until recently was my go-to glue for most paper crafting. It is much thinner and does dry much faster. If I had to pick one I would have a hard time deciding between the Original and the Fast Grab both are used about equally in my craft room.

Next I talked about Yes! Paste, I love this stuff. It is the perfect glue with you need to adhere a larger piece of paper. It is very low moisture so it plays nice with paper. I use it to apply wallpaper in my dollhouse as well as in many other projects. The Jar says it is manufactured by a company called “Gane Brothers and Lane, Inc”. It is a bit pricey, around $10 for the tub but it does go a long way.

Beacon Adhesives makes the 527 Multi-Use Glue and I have been using it since I first started making mini foods. It is sometimes hard to find but most craft stores seem to be carrying it currently. I love it for gluing cooked polymer clay foods to the plates. It does state on the tube that it is extremely flammable so do use it carefully. It also does have a bit of an odor so be sure to ventilate properly when using it.

For super glues I am currently using both Loctite's Professional Liquid Super Glue and the Gorilla Brand Super Glue. I probably will be just buying the Gorilla Glue product in the near future though. I really do like it a lot.

The newest glue I have found is by the Tombow company and it is their Aqua Mono Liquid Glue. I just discovered it recently and have already used over half the bottle. It is my new go-to glue for anything that is small and made of paper. Perfect for printies and those type of projects.

What did I leave out? Well if you were looking to find information on Hot Glue this is the wrong post. I simply rarely use hot glue on my minis. I actually wrote a blog post on the subject and you can find that one here.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dollhouse Miniature Burgers

This week for some reason I had a lot of trouble staying on task and getting a video ready for you. I finally decided on a topic, although I was certain I had already done burgers in the past, I did a quick look at my channel and didn't find them so I went forward. Then this was one of those projects that just didn't come along the way I wanted it to. I actually had to re-do several steps and was still not 100% happy but decided to go ahead and post it anyway. So that being said this is (or should be) a relatively easy project. Normally when I make burgers they go together quickly with no problems and look great. This week, not so much. Oh well, this shows we all have off weeks. I am going to blame the Oregon weather that can't decide if it is winter or summer here. We went from freezing cold to record breaking temperatures for this time of year and now it seems to be shifting again. I think this constant switching of temperature and humidity is messing with my body because I just can't seem to get in the swing of things.

Well, now time to quit making excuses and tell you how to do this week's project.

The first clay mixture seems complicated but isn't once you get used to making it up. It is a mix that is used in a lot of polymer clay meats and is based on a color that the people at Fimo discontinued about 20 or more years ago. It would be so much easier if they would just bring the color back. In the meantime here are the colors I use:

2 parts Fimo Ochre
1 part Fimo Sahara
1 part any white
1 part Premo Pomegranate
a tiny bit of black.

For the dark red mix equal parts
Premo Pomegranate
Premo Alizarin Crimson
For the fat in the raw meat equal parts
Any white
Any transparent (translucent)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Trash to Treasure Dollhouse Chair

This week I decided to make a couple of chairs with the box my new tube of toothpaste came in instead of tossing it into the recycling bin. Any box about the same size will do you need the end of the box to measure about 2” by 1 ¾” and you will need a piece about 1 3/8” tall to cut off the box end. If the flaps of the box have been opened you will need to glue them in place too.

The first step after finding the perfect box is to cut the ends off the rest of the box, like I said you will need to cut off 1 3/8” of the box. I got 2 chairs from the one box making for a nice cozy corner to a roombox for Grandma and Grandpa Doll. I find the best way to cut the box is to use a permanent marker and a ruler to mark off my cutting line and then to cut it off with my craft knife. (just be really careful to not cut yourself)

You will also need a small amount of another cardboard box, I used part of a cracker box. You will need a piece 2” by 4” and two small pieces ¼” by about 1” from this box. I do keep a few boxes of this type around for making crafts with, I use a lot of this type of cardboard to make up stuff. The other materials you will need are glue (I used Fast Grab Tacky, super glue and a glue stick), some paper to cover the chairs (or you could use fabric if you wanted to) and 4 plastic pony beads.

Carefully cut the one long (2”) side of the end of the box free along the sides and then glue it to the end of the box on the inside. This makes the chair a lot stronger when you get done.

The 2” by 4” piece of cardboard needs to be scored to make folding it neater and easier. Make your score lines as noted in the following photo:

Cut your paper into a 2” strip and a strip that is a bit wider than 2” (about 2 ¼”) Glue the 2” strip to your 2”by 4” strip of cardboard lining up the long sides but leaving a bit of paper on each end past the cardboard.

Cover the back and sides of the box end as shown in the video. Also be sure to cover the ends of the small pieces of cardboard.

Hopefully you can get the idea of how to form the chair out of the pieces from the video, if you have questions be sure to ask.

The little filler pieces on the upper sides of the chair fit perfectly in the video but in the one I had made earlier I had to trim them to fit.

This chair should be easy to adapt to other doll sizes. For Barbie I would start with a box about 4” by 3 ½” and just double all the other measurements. For an 18” doll start out with a box about 8” by 7” and triple the measurements I used in the video. For the larger sizes you might want to add a layer of fleece or batting to make the chair a bit softer looking to go with the larger scale. I will do a similar chair over on my 18” doll blog sometime this summer so if you are interested in that scale be sure to follow that blog too. I will also be launching an 18” doll Youtube channel soon so watch for that too.

Now back to our project of the day. I used some of the plastic pony beads for the feet of the chair but any plastic or wood bead of the similar size would work also. I don't think I would use a glass bead on this project because of the added weight and they tend to be a bit pricy to use in such a way.

Now I have a question for all of you, would you like to see a series of projects on the Trash to Treasure videos that will build up to making an entire room box all from items that would normally be thrown away? If so let me know either here, on the video comments or via Facebook. I think I have enough ideas to build a cute little living room scene.