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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dollhouse Miniature Shelf Kit

This week I thought it would be fun to make up the shelf kit that I purchased at the recent Seattle Miniature Show. This kit is from Modern Miniature Magic (who you can contact with this link)

I looked at the paper that came with the kit and it just gives the email address and not any kind of website. I don't remember exactly what other items were on the table I got this kit from but I do remember she had a rather full table of items. I am sure if you email her you can get a complete list of items currently available. I do ask that you mention you heard about the kits from my video and blog though.

Okay, so let's take the kit a step at a time. There really aren't many pieces to the kit: two sides, a back and 3 shelves. All the pieces are laser cut from Maple according to the paper that comes with the kit. The wood on my kit was of excellent quality. The instruction sheet is brief- it contains a color photo of the completed project, a short description of how to assemble the kit and contact information.

The kit is really easy to assemble and all the parts are cut to fit perfectly.

I will admit I do tend to push the limits of the kits when I assemble them. I don't do anything other than read the directions and hold the parts together so I am sure what goes where. I don't really even do a true dry fit. On this kit I also pushed the limits with the finish, I chose a rather wet water based finish and did not do any sealing first. I did want to see how much the rather thin wood would warp. It did warp a bit but not nearly as much as I was afraid it might.

I chose the finish I did for a couple of reasons. First off I had asked on the Facebook page what finish people wanted to see me use. The comments were split right down the middle between a stain and a paint finish. Everyone did want to see it aged however. I decided to go with the stain because I have another project with an aged painted finish on my channel. I did decide to use a craft paint as a stain mostly because I felt most of us probably have a basic brown paint on hand and we might not have a true wood stain in our supplies. You could do this same technique with any color of paint or you could use a regular wood stain. If you are going to stain your project I do recommend doing so before you glue to avoid spotting. If I had sealed the wood with a clear shellac I might have avoided some of the warping but I am not sure. It does work most of the time but this is really thin wood.

Next we glue our pieces together, this is really easy and since everything is so well cut it fit together really nicely. Because of the slight warping my back piece did not fit as well as it could have but it still turned out fine. Also because of the angle I was looking at the project I didn't notice that I had the middle shelf a bit crooked. I know it showed up in the camera view but I was looking from behind it. For where I am planning to use the shelf it won't matter at all so I am still happy.

Now we went on to the aging portion of the project. It is really easy to get totally carried away with this step and I did my best to use a light hand. Go as far as you want on your kit. A final seal with a matte spray sealer is all that was needed to finish up the project. I used a matte because I want it to look old and worn. Any shine would have taken away from this.

So what are my thoughts on this kit? I think it is a fun kit and I would definitely go buy another one. It would fit into many scenes and styles.

I hope you enjoyed this project, come back for many more projects in the future.

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