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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dollhouse Miniature Paint Cans & Drop Cloth

This is another part of the set that I used to offer for sale along with the paint roller I showed you how to make last week.

I had to come up with a new way to make the paint cans because quite frankly I can not remember how I used to make them. I did a quick search through my old minis and didn't see any of the old ones hanging around anymore either. So I just went with what seemed like the easiest way to show you.

I did leave off the wire handle this time but that would be easy enough to add if you wish to do so. I would recommend using some of the wire sold to make jewelry with.

For the drop cloth I just use a piece of inexpensive muslin, unbleached is best for this. It will look a lot like a piece of canvas in scale.

I cut mine to 9” by 12” to translate to a 9' by 12' drop cloth in scale since a quick online search confirmed my feeling that this is a really common size. Of course you can make yours any size you wish.

Once you seal the edge to stop the fabric from fraying the fun part begins. Just splatter on as much acrylic paint in as many colors as you desire. This is a case where more is better! Just have fun. Be warned however that there will be paint all over everything in the area that you do this so be sure to clear a large area or even better if the weather permits do this outside.

For display of the cloth if you want to make it drape there are a few tricks to get a realistic drape. One way is cover whatever you want the cloth to cover with plastic (for protection) and get the cloth wet and mold it to the shape you desire. Some well placed weights will help to convince the fabric to do what you want. It should stay in place once dry. 

If you are sure you won't change your mind later you can even dip the fabric in a stiffening solution before draping it.

Now the paint cans. These are really simple cylinders of paper with an end glued in the bottom and then painted to look like a can with paint inside. Make a label if you wish either on the computer like I did or by hand and glue in place.

If you want a paint tray what I used to include in my sets that I sold were the tins that the Altoids breath strips come in. I looked online and they appear to still come in the same tin that they did back then. I looked for them but didn't find them this week. The tin is slightly large for scale as I recall but still worked out really cute.

Now for the scene that a former customer purchased one of my sets created. I really wish I still had the photos she sent me because they were darling and really showed my set off at its best. Unfortunately I lost those photos in a computer/hard drive crash a couple of computers ago.

The back story first. She had been gifted an older dollhouse that needed a lot of work. She loved the house but because her home was very small the dollhouse was on display throughout this renovation.

When she made her purchase from me she was part way through striping out all the old wallpaper so she could wire the house and put in wall paper that was more to her taste. Unfortunately for her, it was her turn to host a holiday get together. She really felt the dollhouse was at the stage where it was more of an eyesore than an art piece and wanted to do something to make the situation make sense.

She found my listing for the paint cans, drop cloth, paint, roller and paint tray and wrote to me to see if I could do a custom set with colors she wanted. I was more than happy to do this and as we talked she asked if it would be possible for her to send a few other pieces to have me splatter paint to match. I was thrilled to help her out.

In the end she sent two different mini ladders she had purchased and had me age and splatter them. She also purchased several paint cans from me and had me add paint to some of the rollers and paint trays also. She also sent a doll dressed as a painter to have me add a few splashes of paint to match everything else.

In the photos she sent she staged the house with paint cans in various rooms. The ladders were set up the drop cloths were laid out and the painter was busy at work getting his work done.

It was a marvelous scene and from what I heard from her the guests at her holiday party were fascinated with it.

So you see, there are many ways to set up a dollhouse scene if you put your mind to it. 


  1. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I Wish you still had the pix too!

  2. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!

    Spray Gun