Check back often

Have you checked out all my blogs?


Dollhouse Minis: http://joannesminis.blogspot.com


18” Dolls: http://joannes18dolls.blogspot.com/


General Crafts: http://joannes-place.blogspot.com/


Cooking: https://joanne-kitchen.blogspot.com/





Also if for some reason I can't post I will try to give a head's up on the Facebook page so check there too.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tools for Making Dollhouse Miniatures- Sanding Tools




This month I decided to feature sanding our projects with both this tools video and with the tips video later in the month. Since sanding is so important to the finished look of so many of our projects I thought it was worth the time.

So what are my favorite sanding tools? Hands down it would be emery boards. They are small so they fit into tight spaces. They are cheap and they are easy to find. I do get most of mine at the dollar store.

Other handy tools are of course sand paper (again cheap and really easy to find) and some of the other nail filing/buffing products like the ones I show in the video.




Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Stove pt 1






This week we are beginning work on the stove for our kitchen project. I am so excited to get this one finished so we can see the kitchen complete.

We are sticking with our same materials that we have been using all along on this series. The majority of our stove is made of foam core from the dollar store. I love working this foam core because it is inexpensive, easy to cut with just a craft knife and it creates a sturdy project in the end.

I did use some paperboard for the sides of the stove, I used a box from Bisquick because these boxes are much heavier weight material than the normal cracker/cereal box. Use whatever is the heaviest paperboard that you have.

This week we also need two colors of cardstock, white (or whatever color your appliances are going to be) and some gray (for the interior of the oven)

Here are the cutting dimensions for the pieces I use this week:

Foam core:
1 (back) 4” by 2 ¾”
1 (bottom) 1 ¾” by 2 ¾”
1 drawer front 1” by 2 ⅝”
1 (control panel) ⅜” by 2 ¾”
2 (oven sides) 1 ¼” by 1 ¾”
2 (oven top/bottom) 1 ¾” by 2 ⅝”



Paperboard:
2 (stove sides) 2” by 2 ¾”

the back piece of cardstock

White cardstock:
2 (sides) 3” by 4”
1 (drawer) 2” by 4”
1 (back) 4” by 2 ½” - cut corners like photo





Gray cardstock:
1 strip 2 ¼” by the width of the paper
1 (oven back) 2 ⅝” by 2 ⅝”


Be sure to dry fit the parts as you go. Especially the oven interior, it needs to be a tight fit so that light doesn't leak in. At the same time you do need to be able to get the pieces to fit. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Books






This week for the Trash to Treasure project I decided to do yet another method of making books. I love how worn and used these turn out looking. So play that fact up and make some of yours look really old and used.

I just painted the covers on mine. Partly because I wanted to keep the video short and the prep for the video short. And partly because I wanted to leave it open for you to use your imagination in making covers. Instead of just painting a solid color you could paint (or draw) designs, you could use pretty paper, you could find pictures of covers of real books and use those. The options are endless.

I have been playing with this technique for a week or two and I found any where from two to four layers of cardboard work just fine. By four layers I mean like in the video where I folded the two pieces of cardboard to make 4 layers. Just folding a single piece of cardboard (two layers) gives you a thinner book, the 4 layers a thicker book. I also made some that had the one piece folded plus a single layer in the middle. That makes a nice size too.

I love how these books look like the pages are all spread out and bent up. I hate it when real books look that way but in mini I love it.



Remember books come in a lot of sizes so make you mini books in different sizes, it makes you scene look more real and more interesting. 


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Cabinets Part 7






This week we are finally finishing up the kitchen cabinets. I know this has been a long project and thank you to those that have hung in through it all. I am really happy with how it is turning out and I am also very glad to call it done.

So this week we started by putting a coat of Matte Mod Podge onto the faux wood of our cabinets. I only put on one coat at the beginning.

Next I marked for the cabinet pulls and attached them. I was planning to use some jewelery head pins but I didn't have enough of any one size to do the complete kitchen. I think the pins are just as nice, just slightly smaller. You could use so many things for these. Pins, head pins, beads, and I am sure some of you will have some more suggestions too.

I was really excited to share my newest “glue trick” with you all this week. I came across this one a while back watching a model railroad scenery building tutorial on YouTube. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to do some experimenting so I could share it her. It is amazing how well something as simple as a dusting of baking soda makes the super glue set up immediately and I am fairly certain the bond is stronger too. I will probably do a full video on the technique in the future after I do some more experimenting. I think this will be very useful for dollhouse crafting.

The shelf in the corner was planned from the beginning although I almost decided to leave it out. I am so glad I did add it. I love how it looks in that little corner area. I can't wait to make/find something to put there.





Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tips for Dollhouse Miniature Crafting- Drying Paint & Glue





This week for our tips video I thought I would talk about something that is timely for me. You see I live in an area that is very damp and cool this time of year. So much so that I can definitely see a difference in the time it takes my glue and paint to dry. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that I thought I would share with you.

The first it to use a heat tool that is designed for card making, heat embossing to be exact. It is a very handy tool as it blows hot air like a hair dryer but hotter. It works very well on things that are not apt to melt. I would avoid using it on things that have plastic or foam in them (like our foam core cabinets)

If you don't have a heat tool a hair dryer would also work it will just take a bit longer.



My other tool that I use on a regular basis is a small desk lamp. It has a very small wattage bulb (25 watts) so it doesn't put off too much heat. I use it often when I need to dry things though. I find it has just enough heat to dry the project without being too hot. Just don't get it too close to your project.




Obviously you need to take care and be safe no matter how you are drying your projects. Keep an eye on them and use common sense.



Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Cabinets Part 6





This week we add the doors to the upper cabinets and then glue them to the walls of our little kitchen corner.

The first step is to put the doors onto the cabinets, simply because it is a lot easier to do this step before we attach them to the walls. It could be done after hanging them but it is my opinion that before is better.

I didn't spend a lot of time on how to make the doors because I did them exactly like I did for the bottom doors and drawer fronts. You can find that video here.

I suggest cutting out some doors from some scrap paper and trying different sizes until you are happy. I found I liked mine to be 1/8” shorter than the cabinets are so for the long ones 2 7/8”. Use whatever size you like best for your kitchen. Remember it is just paper so play around until you are happy.

This week I used the wallpaper border paste to attach the doors, it was the glue that was drying the best in my cold craft room. I think the outside temperature that day was right around 40° F and the humidity was at 97% so drying times were a lot longer than normal. My craft areas are on the far end of the house furthest from the heat source so those rooms tend to be a lot colder than the main part of the house.

Once you are happy with the doors it is time to glue the cabinets in place on the walls. I found that my normal tacky glue worked just fine for this step.



That is all we are doing this week. I hope we can finish the cabinets in one or two more weeks. Then we will move onto the stove. After all what good is a kitchen without a stove?


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Pan





This week's trash to treasure project is a fun one. We are going to start out with the lid from a tube of lip balm and end up with a cooking pot. I kind of loosely based the pot on one of my favorite real life cooking pots.

We really don't need a lot of materials or tools for this project.

The lid, mentioned earlier, a clear one is best.
Some black bugle beads, a small black round bead, some 12 ga aluminum wire (from the dollar store), some clear plastic packaging, silver paint, and some super glue. You will also need a 7/16” dowel (or something similar) to form the wire edge for the lid.




Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Cabinets Part 5



This week we are going to be starting to work on the top cabinets for our kitchen project. The main thing to remember about the top cabinets is that they are not as deep as the bottom ones are. In my case my top cabinets turned out to about 1 1/8” deep while the bottom cabinets are 1 7/8” with the counter top being 2” deep. This gives that nice set back that a real kitchen has. You can of course adjust the measurements to suite how you want to have your finished kitchen.

So that my kitchen all matches I am using more of the same paper to cover my top cabinets that I used for the bottom ones. You can use whatever you want to use on yours to make your kitchen really yours. The top run of cabinets can even be a different color than the bottom ones if you want. If you need inspiration just Google some pictures of kitchens and see what is out there.

The link for making the paper I am using is in the video for part 2 of our kitchen project.

The most important thing this week is to measure correctly! Just take you time and draw a diagram like I did if that will help you. I know it helps me to get every thing cut correctly.

I know that in the photos this week the paper doesn't look smooth, that is because the glue is still drying. I am confident that when the glue dries everything will be nice and smooth. This always happens when large pieces of paper are applied with a wet glue. I decided to go with the wallpaper border paste (a wet glue) because I wanted to be sure that the paper stayed glued down. I am not as confident in the staying power of a glue stick. I did use the glue stick on the fronts for two reasons. On the larger surfaces I didn't want take chances that the glue would take forever to dry. And secondly I knew that I would be gluing over the folded over edges with the long strips that cover the sides, bottom and top of the cabinets.
If the fronts are not as securely glued down it really won't matter so much.











Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tools for Making Dollhouse Miniatures- X-Acto Small Mitre Box





For this month's tool video I thought I would talk about another of my favorite (and useful) cutting tools, my X-Acto Small Mitre Box and Razor Saw. I have had these for far longer than I have had the Easy Cutter. I do like that this set will cut thicker pieces of wood and that the cut is always very straight. They are a bit more work to use than the Easy Cutter which is why they don't get used as much.

a better look at the lip on the bottom
I do recommend that if you are looking for these you look at a local hobby store that caters to the model railroad builders. I usually find the best price on these in such stores. (take a bit of time to look at the other items in the store while you are there. I usually find several things to purchase on the average visit)

One of the features of the Razor Saw that I love is how easy it is to change the blade, and you can get many different blades for them. I think the one I had in the video that is at least the 5th blade portion I have had on that particular handle. You can get the blade portion in very coarse to very fine tooth configurations depending on what you are going to use it for.

Here is a link the X-Acto website so you can get a better look at the tool.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Cabinets Part 4




So sorry about the missing footage at the beginning, I was having strange problems with the software I use to edit and I had already deleted those parts from my camera.

As for making the pattern, all you need to do is cut some paper to small/medium sized pieces. Be sure to have some straight edges and some tight corners. Layer the pieces of paper to line up with the edges and use some tape to hold them together.

I have done this same process several other times in different videos when I have installed floor and wall coverings.

Use whatever you want for the cover for your counter top. I decided to make my own from some plain cardstock to coordinate with my tile back splash.

I used the back to a writing tablet for my counter top base. You could also use wood or whatever you have on hand. I really wanted to keep this simple and use materials that everyone has access to.


Did you notice the appliances on the counter in the photos? Those the from the video tutorials that are available to my Patreon supporters. I thought you might like to see what you are missing...



Here are the links to the Trash to Treasure videos that were mentioned in the video, the sink can be found here and the faucet here.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Kitchen Sink






This week for the Trash to Treasure project we are creating a kitchen sink. I figured this might be handy for those of you that are making the kitchen along with me.

I love this project since it is truly a trash to treasure project, we are using some common plastic packaging. For the single basin sink I used part of a package from some hardware I had purchased to do some home repairs. For the double sink I had some packaging from some of those wax cubes that go on the electric warmers. I'm sure you can find some packaging to use too.

The size of the single sink is 1” by 2” by about ½” deep. The double sinks are each 1” by 1” and about ¾” deep.

You can use any color of paint on your sink that you want. I wanted a white sink so I used white craft paint. Spray paint would work just fine too. I added a coat of black paint to outside to make the sink look more substantial and solid. Without the black layer some light might leak through the finish and make the sink look more translucent.

I made the mistake of adding my white coat of paint before the white was dry between the two basins of the double sink and it made a mess. I decided to leave that part in the video to show you we all make mistakes. I also took the time to explain how to fix it if it happens to you too.

For the drain I just added some standard eyelets from the fabric store. I did add a drop of super glue to help them stay put and I also added a piece of black cardstock to the bottom of the hole in the drain. That way we won't be able to see into the lower cabinets when the sinks are installed.





Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tips for Dollhouse Miniature Crafting- Working with Foamcore




This week for our tips video I decided to talk a bit about foamcore. I use this product a lot in making projects and I do get more than a few questions about how to work with it. Today I am sharing just a few tips to address the most common questions.

I think the most important thing you can take away from this video is the proper angle of the knife blade when cutting the foamcore. A sharp blade held at a shallow angle to the surface of the foamcore will give you the best (smoothest) cut. 























Using a dull blade or holding the knife at a sharp angle to the surface will result in a rough, jagged cut.





























As for gluing I love the method of using pins to hold the foamcore in place while the glue dries. You can either do I do and leave the pins in place or remove them once the glue is dry. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Cabinets Part 3




First let me apologize for not being in frame for the first part of the video. I had put the camera in a slightly different place than normal and I didn't realize that I wasn't in frame.


This week I was hoping to get a lot further but the weather has been cold and really wet to the point that it affected my drying times.

So the first thing we did was to add the trim to the area of the cabinets at the bottom. Really simple just a ¼” wide strip of our faux wood-grain. I like to glue on, let dry, then cut to the exact size. So much easier than cutting to exact size and trying to get it place correctly.

The bulk of this week's progress was the tile back-splash. I used the faux tile made on the score board with photo paper. I love this technique so much. It is easy and looks so much like real tile when you get done. The colors of Distress Ink that I used were: Vintage Photo, Wild Honey, and Scattered Straw. (just a hint, we are using the same inks along with some other things when we make the counter-top)

You can use whatever colors you want to make your tile, I was going for a warm look to mine and based the color choices on some tile I saw in a photo of a kitchen. You could also just put up a wallpaper of some type, either one that looks like wallpaper or one that looks like a painted wall. Again it all depends on the style/look you are going for.


I did use a spray Acrylic Sealer on my tile because I knew I was going to be gluing it and handling it a bit. This will help those water based inks to not run later on.  


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Kitchen Faucet





This week for the Trash to Treasure project I decided to make some kitchen faucets. I figured it would go right along with the big project we are working on in the Sunday videos.

This is a super easy way to make a faucet and I had all the materials on hand.

For the base I am just using a skinny stick. I love the size of these sticks, they come in handy for so many projects. I did find that making the hole in the stick before cutting it to length worked the best. It had a tendency to split if I tried to make the hole after I cut it to length.

I just used a push pin to make the hole. I didn't have a drill bit small enough. We want the hole to be barely big enough to get the piece of paper clip into. It really needs to be a tight fit.

I used super glue for all assembly this week.

The paint I used was a metallic spray paint from Krylon in Nickel it has a satin finish.

For the handles I used some small beads.

This is a super easy and quick project and I love how it looks finished.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Cabinets Part 2




I was really hoping to get further in the project this week than I did but life got in the way. I did get the faux wood-grain onto the bottom cabinets and I do love how they look. Since I used card-stock for the wood-grain paper this is a project anyone can do. The cost is pretty minimal and the painting is just a simple dry brush streaking effect. I think it turns out nice especially considering how easy and inexpensive it was.

I did spray my pages of “wood” with a clear gloss sealer but that step is totally optional. We are going to also give the cabinets a coat of satin Mod Podge at the end anyway. I just wanted to seal the paint a little better so just in case I got a bit rough with the paper it would hold up better while I am working on it.



The front cover for the cabinet run is cut the same height was we cut the cabinets fronts, in my case 3” by wide enough to cover the front and fold over at the end(s) by another ½”. The side/end covers are cut 3 ¼” by 1 ¾” (assuming you cut your cabinets the same height and depth as I did)


The cutting sizes for the panels I cut to fit my drawers were:
1” by 1 ½” (this gives a finished drawer front that measures ½” by 1”.

Here is a better look at the drawer fronts as they were trimmed for placement. Remember that the doors are done the same way.




The cutting sizes for the panels for the door fronts were:
2 ” by 1 ½” (this gives a finished door that measures 2 ⅛” by 1”)

Here is the cabinet front with the placement lines drawn for the drawer fronts.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tools for Making Dollhouse Miniatures- Magnetic Gluing Jig





This week I am going to introduce you to yet another tool in my workshop, the Magnetic-Gluing-Jig. While I might not use this tool as often as some of the other tools I have when I do it is very helpful.

I looked Magnetic-Gluing-Jig up on the Micromark site and at the time I am writing this blog post it is one sale for $19.95 down from the normal price of $25.95. I am not sure how long this sale will be going on though.

The Gluing Jig is made of heavy steel (21 gauge) and comes with the magnets I showed (or ones very similar)

I used this a lot when I was assembling the kitchen cabinet kits for my Harrison and also when I was assembling some windows for another project. It really helps with holding the pieces of the project at the position you need them to be in.




Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Kitchen Cabinets




This week we are starting on a new adventure. We are going to create some kitchen cabinets. You might remember back when I made the corner roombox one of the reasons I wanted to make it was to use as a backdrop for photographing my miniature creations. Since so many of the minis I make are food/food related I want a kitchen “set” to use in photos. I think of this kind of like a set used for TV or movie filming. I do have nice kitchens in my dollhouses but they really don't work for photos because it would be practically impossible to get any good angles. By using the corner roombox I can get good angles to take photos from and I can light it better too.

Since my corner roombox might need to be a kitchen one week and a bedroom the next I can't glue in top cabinets or glue a tile back splash to the walls. I decided the easiest way to handle this was to make a freestanding kitchen “wall unit” that has the cabinets all glued to it along with that tile back splash that I can simply slide into place for photos. If you follow my 18” doll blog I have a similar kitchen wall that I use for photos over there.

This week we are creating the wall itself along with the basic structure of the bottom cabinets. Next week I hope we can finish the bottom cabinets and the tile back splash. Then it will be onto the top cabinets.

This is a project I am really looking forward to. I think it will be a lot of fun to create and it should make a wonderful backdrop for photos.

If you are making the cabinets for a dollhouse you might still want to construct them on a wall that you can slip in and out. Or you can make the cabinets and glue them right into the dollhouse. I am making a separate cabinet along with the ones attached to the wall unit so you can see how to do that too.

If you are adding this as a wall unit that can be removed from your dollhouse you might want to substitute mat board for the foamcore for the walls themselves. This would save you a bit of floorspace if your dollhouse kitchen is small.

The first step in making your cabinets is to decide how you are going to set up your kitchen. That will be determined by the room you are putting it into. Next you need to take very accurate measurements of you the space. Then you should draw out a scale drawing of the floor plan. Even if you decide not to completely follow the initial floor plan it will give you a good idea of what you are doing. For instance I was going to have a narrow cabinet next to the refrigerator (at the end of the wall) but when I put the fridge in the roombox I decided there wasn't going to be room. I was still able to use my floor plan I just made notes of my changes.

The first actual construction step is to make the wall unit (only if you are not gluing your cabinets to the actual walls in your dollhouse/roombox kitchen)

All of the construction this week is done with standard foamcore. I love how easy it is to work with and it is lightweight too.

My walls are 8” tall (that is how tall my upper cabinets will be) and they will allow some space for the actual roombox walls to show at the top.

Now for the cutting measurements that you need to know.

The backer piece for the lower cabinets is 3 ¼” tall by the length of your cabinet section. You will need this backer piece behind each cabinet.

The base piece is 1 ½” by the same length as the backer pieces.

Sides are 1 ½' by 3” (also use this measurement for any spacers you need for inside the cabinets see my photo for where I put these)
top view of the cabinet construction

Fronts of the cabinets are 3” tall by the width of the cabinet units.

Next week we will be putting the outside finish on our cabinets and adding doors and a back splash. We may get to the counter-top too I'm not sure it depends on how long the other steps take.

side view showing the profile of the cabinets


If you really want to have cabinets that have working doors and drawers here are the ones I used in my Harrison. They do take a while to put together but in the end they are gorgeous. I didn't use all of the kits, I drew out my kitchen plan and ordered just what I needed. On this page (providing the link works correctly) you can follow links to all the separate pieces available. It looks like at the time I am writing this the kits are out of stock but hopefully will be back if you do decide you want to get them


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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Sponge Cake




This week's Trash to Treasure project is one of those that I have been meaning to do but kept forgetting to film.

For this project you can use any fine textured sponge. I really like the makeup sponges the best for 1/12th scale because they have such a fine texture. You can also use a very fine textured cleaning sponge. If you are going to cut your cake be sure to pick a sponge that is a color that a cake might be. I feel that white and yellow are the best but it is up to you, maybe your dolls want a pink cake....

For the cake today I cut the sponge piece 1” by ¾” but you could cut yours any size you like. A ¾” by ¾' would be a nice square cake and a ¾” circle would also work really well.

I found that cutting with my scissors worked the best for me.

For the frosting I used my standard tube of caulking which you can find in any store that has paint/home improvement section. It is fairly cheap and if you store it with the lid on tightly or wrapped up it does keep for a while before it goes hard.




I hope you liked this Trash to Treasure project, thanks for watching. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Refrigerator Part 3


This week we are finishing up the refrigerator!



I promised the Facebook group that the door handles would be the first thing we did this wee and they are. I chose a super simple door handle design, you can of course put a different style on yours.



Here are some photos showing the details of the handles.

















I also had asked on the Facebook group if I should add shelves to the doors and the consensus was pretty much split. I did do those this week but of course as with pretty much any step you can add them or leave them off. I decided to only put the shelves on the refrigerator door and not on the freezer door. That way you could see the doors completed both ways.

I did find that the door with the shelves on it shut to the proper place the one without shelves would push in too far. So to remedy this I added a stop to the bottom of the fridge. I think it is a good way to stop the door and looks okay at the same time.

I also added a handle to the produce drawer and covered the back of the fridge with some black cardstock.

The cutting dimensions for the door shelves (for the refrigerator side) was as follows:

craft stick: 1 ¼”
skinny stick 1 ¼”
¼” x 3/8” 2 cut to 3/8”

The door stop was cut from craft stick the same width as the space between the inside walls.

I think that was all the cutting sizes this week. If I missed something let me know and I will add it. It has been a very long week around here.



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