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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

I had planned to have a Q&A video ready to go up tomorrow but I ran out of time to get it done. So sorry. But on the bright side this gives all of you a few more days to send me questions to answer.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and looking forward to a new year. I have some new things planned for my mini channel in the new year and I hope to announce at least some of them next week on the Q&A,

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Gifts for Under the Christmas Tree

This week we are going to create some gifts to under our Christmas trees. After all what's a Christmas tree without gifts under it?

I had planned to do a couple of different things for this project so I will talk about the others here. The reason they didn't get included was I forgot to pick up a couple of things when I went to town on Monday then we got snowed in. I still haven't gotten out.

Anyway another really simple way to make some cute gifts is to take pieces of craft wood and wrap them with some scrapbook paper that has tiny designs. Cut the wood in various sizes anywhere from ½” to an inch or two. And wrap like you would a real present. These are really nice, can be made quickly and fill out under the tree. Then use the gifts like we made today to act as accents.

To get the printables I used today just visit Paper Minis and sign up for Ann's newsletter. When you receive the newsletter the link to the free printables is toward the bottom of every issue. The newsletter comes once a week (on Fridays) and is free.

The projects I used today were:

Lidded Winter Holiday Gift Box

English Garden Gift Boxes

Christmas Holly Gift Bag

Here are a few close up pictures of the gifts under the tree.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Tree Top Star

This week we are adding a star to the top of our Christmas tree. This is a really simple and easy project but I think it turned out looking so pretty at the top of the tree.

I started with two stars that I cut out of a gold card stock. I glued these to the green pony bead and then just added glitter. Really in a nutshell that is the project, I mean really it is that easy.

I spent a lot of time waiting for glue to dry this week. I think the house is just too cold for my glues to dry a decent rate of speed.

Since I wanted even more sparkle than the gold paper gave and also since I had a small glue accident I added more glue and covered the outside of the star with some gold glitter. I think it really does make the star look fantastic.

I hope you enjoyed the project and remember I would love to see your projects.

And since the Q&A video was so much fun last year on Christmas weekend I am going to do it again this year. So be sure to get your questions to me so I can answer them. Feel free to either post them as comments to this blog, the video or over on the Facebook page. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Christmas Garlands

This week we are continuing our series of dollhouse holiday d├ęcor items with two simple garlands.

The first is a simple glitter garland for the tree (or anywhere you want to use it) made with just a few simple materials you probably already have on hand. The string you use can be anything of about the same weight as the one I used. I like the Cro-Sheen string/thread because it is easy to find, cheap, comes in a ton of colors and comes in a fairly large quantity. I have several colors, I just used the first one I grabbed since the color doesn't really matter since you are covering it up with the glitter.

Pick a fairly thin glue for this project since you need to cover the string thoroughly and you only have one shot at it. Also just like any other other glitter project you are going to have glitter everywhere.

After the glue dries the garland will be stiff just gently move it around to soften it just be careful you don't knock off too much glitter.

For the paper chain I like to use quilling paper, it is already cut to 1/8” wide so I only have to cut it into ¾” lengths. This part of the video took me all day to film because gluing all those little rings of paper takes a lot of time and you really need to let the glue at least set up a bit between steps. In the end the chain is shorter than I wanted but I ran out of time. I think it is still really cute and I am happy with it.

So these are just two options for garlands, what can you come up with??

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Christmas Ornament Decorating part 2

This week we are continuing to decorate some of the ornaments we made in an earlier tutorial. This time my medium of choice is some simple glitter glue, the stuff from the kid's crafts area of the store. I love this stuff for things like this. It adds some glitz and it a really inexpensive medium.

I am sorry there aren't any more photos this week I had a horrid problem getting the glitter glue to dry because of how cold my house is today. By the time it was dry enough to handle there simply wasn't enough light to get a decent photo. Since I didn't get around to filming this until Saturday afternoon I am just out of time if I want to get this tutorial posted on Sunday morning. I was going to film on Friday but my thumb was too sore to hold onto anything at that point. (it is much better today, don't worry)

I hope to get back to some more ornament ideas I have but I want to also do the tree topper and some garland so I am not sure. If we don't get to all the ornaments this year there is always next year too.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, I apologize for how short this blog post is but I need to get this posted.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Christmas Ornament Decorating part 1

Watch the video here.

This week we are going to start decorating some of the ornaments we made last week. I am trying to keep this simple an d still have some really cool looking ornaments. You really only need to do a few decorated ones to sprinkle around the tree. Then fill in with plain ones.

I am using the Art Deco polish from LA Colors, I think it is slightly thicker than regular polish and it works really well for this project. That long, thin brush is really handy too. I got all of mine at the Dollar Tree over a period of several years.

For the first ornament I decided to use a blue base and make flower/snowflake design on it. This is super simple to do with dotting tools.

The second ornament is a take on one my mom used to hang on our tree when I was growing up. I loved the bright red ornaments with their simple white line in the middle and a touch of silver glitter. I think the dolls will love this one too.

For our third ornament I simply used some pre-made gem flowers that are meant to go on nails. Again this was a Dollar Store purchase so it is a really economical way to decorate.

I hope you are having as much fun as I am with this series. Next week I will come up with a few more designs for you.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Christmas Tree Ornaments

This week we are going to make some ornaments for our trees. This is a slightly different method than I have shown before. Here is a link to the video I did previously that uses a head pin with the beads. This time we are using eye-pins with the beads. I like both methods and it depends on what your beads are like which will work best.

If you have beads that are decorative and/or have small holes (that the ends of the head pin won't slip through) then use the method in the other video. If on the other hand you have beads with larger openings this method will work better.

I am not sure if these are going to be as durable as the other ones.

The biggest advantage I see to these are that we don't have the head pin showing on the bottom of every ornament.

The fabric paint seems to hold the pin in well under normal use and these are especially pretty if you are going to display a box of ornaments in your scene.

Next week I plan to start showing you how to decorate some of these ornaments so if you want to jump in on that project right away do some prep this week.

One of the biggest advantages of this project is that we can use whatever beads are the correct size to make our ornaments. The color doesn't matter at all since it will be covered. I was even able to use pony beads to make some of the ornaments and they seem to work just fine. (I am not sure how sturdy they will be though)

On the disadvantage side I am not sure how well the paint will hold the eye-pin if they are handled roughly and they are much slower to make than the other style.

My suggestion would be do some of each.

Now onto some hints for getting your ornaments to turn out their best.

Work clean, keep a wet wipe handy and clean up any fabric paint that squirts out.

Make sure that your hooks are straight as they dry. I didn't come back and check on mine and some of the hooks leaned to the side as they were drying.

If your fabric paint sinks down as it dries fill in with a bit more and check it when dry.

As you paint the ornaments with the nail polish again work clean and clean up any drips. I found that the faceted bead did drip a lot more than the other ones.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Christmas Tree Skirt

The first step in making our tree skirts is to pick a suitable fabric. You need a fairly small design so that it won't look out of scale. You also want a design that doesn't have direction to it, in other words you don't want to pick something that would look odd from the side. I love this red background with the gold stars. It is very Christmassy without taking over the scene. The design is very subtle so it will blend into the scene but still leave the bottom of the tree looking dressed.

The next big decision is how large do you want to make the skirt for your tree? I like mine to just peek out from under the bottom branches. Just enough to show but not so much as to look like it is taking up too much floor space. The tape roll that I used was between 4 ¾” and 5” in diameter. I'm sure you will find something in your house to trace around for yours.

Speaking of tracing. I used a Sharpie pen so you could see the line in the video, I really recommend you use a pencil. In the end mine doesn't show anyway though.

To stop the fabric from fraying I like to use Fray Check but you have other options. Any thin white glue that dries clear would work so would clear nail polish. It just needs to be a fairly thin product so that it doesn't make the edge too stiff. I like to do this step before I cut out the tree skirt because I can make sure my line of Fray Check (or whatever) is very thin but still soaked through the fabric. When you cut the skirt out you are cutting off part of the line of Fray Check.

Be sure to cut the slit up the back and a spot in the center for the tree. Then treat these edges so they won't fray also.

Once this is dry we can decorate! I like to use the glitter fabric paint but feel free to do anything that you want. I have seen this same skirt with a layer of lace glued around it and it was beautiful.

So that's all there is to making the tree skirt. I told you at the beginning of the video it was an easy project.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Christmas Tree

A while back over on my Facebook group I asked for some ideas for future tutorials. One of the ideas that a lot of people were really passionate about was that they wanted me to show how to make a Christmas tree and then how to decorate it. So we are beginning that set of tutorial now. I know it isn't even Halloween yet but I wanted to give everyone plenty of time to get their trees completed before the holiday season.

I am showing you how to use simple easy to find materials to create a tree, all you need are some green chenille stems, a wooden wheel, a short piece of ¼” dowel, some glue and some green paint. Oh, and something to measure with.

The most time consuming part of this project really is the cutting of the pieces of chenille stem. You need a lot of them.

Here is the cutting list:

1 piece of ¼” dowel cut 5 ½” long

Chenille stems

for the branches:

15 cut 6”
20 cut 5”
10 cut 4”
5 cut 3”

Then for the tips:

90 cut 2 ½”
10 cut 1 ½”

I had planned to show the entire process of getting the tree base assembled but there was an issue with my bottle of paint. Well, it was more like an explosion of paint. By the time I had that cleaned up I had managed to cut my finger a bleed all over everything in addition to having paint all over. So I felt it was best to just skip that portion of the process and bring you on in at a point when things were more under control.

You could probably get by without painting the tree base but I find it is just so much easier to hide it if it is painted green. The shade of green doesn't matter just any green that is handy.

There is really no trick to doing this project other than to keep the branches going in in a random fashion. You don't want them lined up that makes for holes in the look of the tree.

So what if you want a different shape of tree? This project is really adaptable, you make it taller, you could make it shorter. You will just need to play around with the lengths of the branch pieces.

I have seen this same type of tree done in metallic chenille stems and they are gorgeous.

So put your thinking cap on and play around with the project. If you make one of these trees be sure to show me a picture I would love to see how yours turns out. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Stone Fireplace

This week has been interesting for sure. I am still getting used to a new schedule (youngest son needs a ride into town and back twice a week) and I seem to be running late on everything.

Then to top it off the weather guessers predicted a huge windstorm for the weekend. We got a storm but not nearly as bad as they predicted. Since this is early for big storms here I had to do a lot of prep work to make sure we were ready for the storm. So that took some of my time too.

We did get a lot of wind and a lot of rain but thankfully no damage to anything and the lights stayed on. They did flicker a lot on Saturday so I didn't get much done that day. When the wind did kick up I turned off my computer, shut off my lights in my craft room and curled up under an afghan with a warm drink, a stack of magazines and a cat. That was the perfect way to spend a really stormy afternoon.

The high moisture and the low temperatures did a toll on my project in that I couldn't finish as quickly as I would normally have. If you have crafted for very long you know how fast the thin coats of acrylic craft paint we use in minis dries on a normal day. My paint took about 3 hours to actually dry the last several days. And that coat of Mod Podge you saw me apply to the fireplace in the video, it was 6 hours before it totally dried. My glue was just as bad so it is no wonder that the project took a lot of extra time.

So lets talk about the project.

I used some foam insulation, commonly referred to by miniaturists as “builder's foam” here is a link to the Home Depot site so you will know what to look for/ ask for if you aren't familiar with the product.
I purchased a 4' by 8' sheet of this stuff years ago and I am just now getting to end of it. I was happy to see that Home Depot has smaller “project panels” available now. I plan to get a fresh sheet soon.

So measuring was not my strong suit this week, I had really planned to make my fireplace 3” tall by 4” wide. I somehow cut it 5” wide. I think in the end it was a better size for this fireplace style but feel free to make yours any size that fits in your dollhouse. For the opening for the firebox, cut out an area leaving about 1” on the three sides, or the size that works best for your project.

The next step was to map out and carve your “stones” this gets really messy but is fun and didn't take as long as I thought it would. In the end I did find it was easier to draw out my stones with a sharpie marker before cutting but it is optional.

I like to paint the entire piece with one of the gray paints I will be using at this point. I find it easier to see what needs to be adjusted and cut away once the pink is gone.

For the paint colors just use an assortment of colors that make you think “stone or rock” grays, browns, a few greens, what ever the stones where you live look like. If you need inspiration look online for pictures of real fireplaces.

After you are happy with the look of the stones you have carved add a piece of paperboard to the back. It is important to paint this before you add the “bricks” to it because you don't want the color of the cardboard to sneak through your paint. After this paint is dry I glued on some “bricks” made of paper egg carton. I cut strips that ¼ “ wide then cut them into ¾” lengths for my bricks. Glue them into the back of your fireplaces and allow the glue to dry.

Paint the area black again to cover the bricks.

Take some amounts of your chosen paints and start painting your individual stones. I like to use cotton swabs for this for several reasons. First and possibly my favorite- no clean up- just toss them when you are done. I also like the texture they give the paint, it looks more like stone.

While all this is drying get your hearth and mantle ready (if you haven't already)

For the hearth I used foam core cut the same width as my fireplaces (5”) by 1 ½” deep. This makes it ½” deeper than the fireplaces. I covered this with more egg carton on the top and the edges then painted with some of the same gray paints.

For the mantle I like to use balsa wood. Since this is a rustic fireplace style it is easy to rough up the surface of the balsa. I like ¼” balsa for this and it is cut 5” by 1 ¼” When you have it the way you want it wipe on a coat of dark brown paint.

Now you get to glue everything together, just line up the back side and the ends and all should be good.

Let the glue dry, hopefully you will have better luck with that whole drying thing than I did. LOL

Once the glue is dry give your fireplace a coat of matte mod podge to seal it and allow to dry.

Now we need to make the inside of our fireplace look like it has been used. Take some more of the black craft paint and paint the area that would be inside the firebox to give it a nice “sooty” look.

Once that is dry you are done, unless you want to add a flickering bulb set. I don't have one so I can't walk you through that part on this one. Maybe in a future fireplace.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Halloween Wreath

So this last week ended up being way more busy than normal and I was running behind on even figuring out what the tutorial for today was going to be. Then on one of my many trips to town I found myself at the local Joann's to pick up something for another project. I had a couple of minutes so I decided to walk around looking for inspiration.

All I knew going into the store was that I wanted to make something Halloween related since this is going up on October 2nd. I wandered the aisles of Halloween goodies. I wasn't sure if I was looking for something to use to make the tutorial or if I was looking for inspiration, something to replicate in 1/12th scale.

As I wandered I wasn't really coming up with any good ideas. Then I came around a corner and saw a display of Halloween themed wreathes on an end cap. One of them caught my eye. It was made of black feathers and was covered with ornaments in various shades of orange, gold and copper. It was beautiful!

So I stopped and took a good look at it, I even snapped a photo with my phone to remind me what it looked like.

When I got home I went through my supplies and dug out some things I wanted to try to use.

In the end I love the wreath I came up with.

Like I do for a lot of mini wreathes I started with a base of a key ring wrapped in a chenille stem. I of course used black this time. Then since I wanted to give the wreath a more airy and almost fluffy look (after all my inspiration was made of feathers) I added a fluffy chenille stem over the base. I didn't want to use just the fluffy kind because I didn't want the wreath to be too full and also sometimes you can see the key ring through those fluffy ones.

So I found the perfect mix was a solid base of two regular stems and one of the fluffy ones over that.

Now onto the beads. If you have beads that are the right color by all means use those. I didn't have any in the colors I wanted to use and I certainly didn't want to buy more beads. So I picked out some plain beads and used nail polish to color them. I love using nail polish for this job and I seem to collect that too.

This time I used all nail polishes from Avon but I am certain you can find similar colors in almost any brand. That is the brand I have the most of since is am an Avon representative.

The colors I used this time were:
Orange- Coral Beat
Copper- Lucky Penny
Gold - Metallic Fringe Topcoat in Fringed and Frayed (I think, but I also think this one is not currently available)

I wanted more small beads but I didn't want to try to color enough of them to cover the wreath so I dug out some of my tubes of Beads in a Bottle that is made by Tulip. I love this product because you can get the look of beads with a paint. It comes in several colors in sets of 3 tubes and is fairly inexpensive. Also the tubes last a long time. You just have to let it dry thoroughly before you touch whatever project you use it on. I let mine dry overnight.

Once you have your wreath finished you are going to want to hang it. How you hang will depend on several factors.

First is this going to be a temporary display or are you making a permanent Halloween display.

Second what is the surface you are hanging it on? How delicate is the surface?

If I was going to leave mine in place permanently I would use a good glue to attach it to the spot I wanted it to be. That is by far the easiest.

If I was going to just put my wreath up for the season and then want to change it I need to look closely at where I am hanging it.

If I was going to add this to a door I would probably use one of the temporary adhesives that are sold in the craft store.

My first choice and the one I usually try first is the stuff that is sold for putting up posters. I did try it for the my wreath for the photo and I couldn't get it to stick to the wreath.

My next choice and what I used was some of the foam dots sold with the card making supplies. Just be sure you are using the one that is is re-positionable and not the permanent one.

I am thinking that I want to figure out a way to add a small hook/ nail/ brad to the door of my dollhouse in the future for hanging wreathes. Then it would be easy to hang them and change them out. I have something similar on the front door of my real house and it makes decorating the door so much easier. I need to think about how I want to do this. Don't worry, if I do add something to the door I will film a tutorial as I do it.

So how did you like the wreath? Are you going to make one? If you do I would love to see what you come up with. 

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.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Chenille Stem Teddy Bears

First please ignore how horrid my nails look this week. I felt they needed some time not having any polish or acrylic on them.

So this week we are making some really cute little teddy bears out of chenille stems. I love this project and I feel like this is just the tip of what can be made. Just think- longer ears you have a bunny, maybe the ears could be larger and bent down for a dog, let your imagination take hold and create an entire toy store of stuffed animals. If you do be sure to share a photo with me!

I usually use the tiny little glass seed beads for the eyes and nose but decided to try my Scribbles 3-D paint and I like the result. It is a lot easier to get the eyes and nose where you want them but the trade off is it doesn't look as nice as the beads. It is up to you which route you take to finish off the face.

I am always amazed by the difference in these little guys when I get the eyes and nose on. They go from just looking like a lump of chenille stems to a stuffed animal.

I know there are several different ways to make these guys this is just the way that works the best for me.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature Toy Boats

I have still been working on trying to organize my craftroom/office and once again found myself distracted by looking at the magazines I was trying to put away. It is just so darn tempting to page through them as I sort them out. LOL (by the way the oldest one I have is from 1975, so the collection is huge)

As I was looking I happened upon a photo of a miniature bedroom for a little boy. One of the items that caught my eye was the collection of toy boats on a shelf. These were totally cute and although I didn't stop to read the article they looked pretty easy to re-create.

One again I pulled out the box that I put the small pieces of scrap wood into. It is just one of those plastic shoe boxes and it is pretty full. I have odds and ends of a lot of different types and shapes of wood. Some are off cuts from projects, some are leftover wooded pieces I have purchased and a few wooden beads have found their way in there as well as a few craft sticks.

I just grabbed an assortment of items and started playing with sticking them together.

I knew the boats needed to have pointed fronts so I got out my Eazy-Cutter since that is my favorite wood cutting tool for small bits. I also grabbed a couple of bottles of craft paint. It was really fun and after a little while I had a couple of little boats that looked pretty good I think.

Start with the base of your boat, I used some craft sticks (regular size and jumbo) and also some scraps of strip wood. Just keep scale in mind when you work on this.

I wanted my boats to be anywhere from a little over a ½” long to just under 1” long. I found I liked this part painted white the best but any color would work. I think a slightly larger one painted all in gray with black details might be really cool too.

I also painted an assortment of small beads, small dowels, and small strip wood at the same time. (I even got to use the drying rack I made for last week's tutorial)

When all the paint was dry I got out my glue and started to assemble my boats. I am not trying to replicate any real boats but I am sure it would be fun to do so. (If you do that be sure to send me a photo)

I was going to try to make some sail boats but totally forgot when I got started. To that all you would need to do is cut some triangles from cardstock and glue to the top of the base part. Maybe next time.

So this is certainly an open ended project. You can go so many directions with the basic idea and you could create an entire marina of boats.

Here are a couple more photos of the boats I have made so far.

Remember to share a picture with me if you do make some. I love to see what you are making too.

Also if you have something in particular you want to learn to make let me know maybe I can figure out a tutorial for it.