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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Supply list for wiring part 5

This week we will be installing our ceiling light so you will need the following:

your roombox or dollhouse
wiring kit (or the tools/ materials that come in one)
your transformer
lead-in wire
ceiling fixture
tape or sticker paper (to cover/protect your connection)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Easy Corner Roombox pt 4

This week's video is fairly short because for the most part I have covered this information in past videos. Check the channel for my more in-depth wallpaper videos if you need more information on the basics. This week I mainly wanted to focus on the aspects of wallpapering that were specific to this project. Mainly taking that warp out of the front wall, preventing more warping on other areas and cutting around the tapewire on the edge of the wall where the wire comes into the house.

I was a little nervous about the paste I was going to use since I forgot to check it until I opened it on camera. That had sat in the container since we worked on the last building project. It kept just fine and the consistency was fine. I would still rather use Yes! Paste but I can't find it locally and I really don't want to pay shipping on it. Since this works almost as well I will just continue to use it.

The main “secret” to wallpapering a dollhouse is to have a lip of paper folding over onto the adjacent wall on the ceiling and back wall. This prevents the wall from showing if the paper shrinks from the seams.

On this project I used some plain colored card-stock because I wanted to keep this project very neural, it is going to be used for photos of future projects so I didn't really want to use any colors that would not go with just about everything. I think the white ceiling and beige walls will work out nicely.

I did have a piece of blue paper with really realistic clouds that I was so tempted to use for the ceiling but it just wasn't right for the neutral look I was going for. It would have been really cool for a kid's room roombox though.....

So next week we will be putting in the ceiling fixture.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Supply list for Corner Roombox part 4

This week the list of supplies is pretty short.

You will need:

The roombox (or other structure you are working on for the wiring series)
Ceiling paper
Straight edge, knife and cutting mat
scoring tools
Wallpaper border adhesive or Yes! Paste.

In the demo I also use my 12” by 12” ceramic tiles to support and weigh down the ceiling to prevent warping. I highly recommend this if you are papering the foamcore ceiling. That single layer of foamcore will warp pretty badly if you don't do this. Just find something that will support the ceiling (with the roombox sitting upside down and something to hold it flat) In my case I ended up using 6 of my tiles. Large books would also work nicely. 

Tips for Dollhouse Miniature Crafting- Cleaning the Clay Extruder

This week I show a little about how to clean your clay extruder. This is a really helpful tool and it needs to be cleaned after every use. It's not really difficult and will make the tool last a lot longer.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Dollhouse Wiring 101 pt 4 The Front Porch Light and Wallpaper Prep

This week we are starting out by installing the porch light. This is the only light fixture we will be putting in before the wallpaper. Thus it is also really not accessible after we are done. That is the down side of this. The rest of the lights we will be able to access the area where they are installed.

After the front porch light is in place we need to cover our tape wire to prep it for wallpaper. In a normal wood dollhouse I just put a coat of white primer over the tape wire and call it good. I sometimes add a piece of tape over anyplace I have used brads or grommets, depending on how secure I feel about their placement.

Since our roombox is made of foamcore and I am not feeling all that confident about the long-term life of these connections I decided I wanted a little more. So I cut strips of sticker paper 1” wide and used those to cover my tape runs. This does two things it covers tape wire and blends it into the wall and it also (hopefully) will add some reinforcement to those connections we made last week. Only time will tell if my idea is correct. I do feel 98% confident about it.

I had initially intended to add the wallpaper this week too but I also want to keep the videos in this series no more than 30 minutes long. I know there is a lot of information for you all to digest each week. Any longer than that and I fear it would just be too much at a time. So next week we will wallpaper our room.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Supplies for Wiring part 4 video

This week we are going to be wiring in the front porch light and prepping the walls for the wallpaper to come next week.

I had thought we would get to the wallpaper this week but that would have made for a much longer video. As it is we are right about 30 minutes this week. I am trying my best to keep this series of videos shorter so I don't overwhelm you guys.

So for this week we need the following:

The structure you are wiring
Your basic wiring kit (the one we have been using)
Something to punch a hole in the front wall of your structure. (if you are using foamcore the pilot punch from the wiring kit works just fine. If you are working on a wooden structure you will need a drill with a really small bit)
Front porch light
Craft knife
Glue (I used Beacons 3-in-1 but anything that will dry clear)
Brass brads and/or grommets
Paper tape (from the first aid aisle of the grocery store)
White primer paint (if you are working on a wooden structure)

Matte sticker paper sheet cut into 1” wide strips- I am using this to help hold the tape wire and the splice I made with the grommets more secure)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dollhouse Wiring 101 pt 3 Tape-wire Placement

This week on our wiring series we are going to install the tape-wire in our roombox but, first we are going to make a tool for marking some of our placement lines.

In a dollhouse build you would have already painted the interior with a white primer before starting this step.

The tool we are making is really simple and is made from scraps of either foam core or wood (or both) You simply need to build up a small block that is about ¾” tall. The exact measurement will vary depending on your pencil.

When it is complete just tape your pencil on the top and you can now draw a straight line 1” off the floor. Much easier than trying to juggle a ruler and a pencil in tight places.

And speaking of tight places this is the perfect place to use one of those short pencils that has been sharpened almost to nothing. It is much easier in a dollhouse room to use a short pencil on a block than to try to work with a nice new long pencil. Trust me on this one....

Once you have your pencil ready to go I recommend placing either a page flag or a dot sticker on the spots you want to place your lights. This will help you visualize where your tape-wire needs to run. For ceiling lights mark on the floor above.

Once you have figured out where you are going to place specific lights it is time to run the general tape-wire runs. By having this basic run of wiring in your house you can add more lights in the future, things like floor lamps and table lamps. You can even wire a fireplace to it if you want to (although if you use a flickering unit it could make all your lights flicker)

If you are working in a dollhouse with a stair well that is the best place to take the wire up to the next floor. If not then you can do as I did here and make a spot where the ceiling/floor meets the wall.

The most important part of wiring, in my opinion, is to test after every connection. That way you can trace problems much easier.

When you have your wiring in place take a lot of pictures. Then immediately print them. If you have a notebook for your building (something I highly recommend) put one copy of the photos in there. Then take another set, put them in an envelope and tape that to the bottom of the building. Someday when you need to find the wires you will be very glad you did this. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Supplies for the wiring part 3 tutorial

For part 3 of the wiring series we will be making a little tool to help get our placement line for the wire at the bottom of the wall marked correctly as well as wiring our roombox.

You will need the following items to follow along with me.

the wiring kit we talked about in part 1 (or the items that are in the kit if you purchased them separately)
source of electricity (outlet or extension cord that is plugged into your house electricity)
a small amount of scrap wood an/or scrap foamcore
masking tape (or painter's tape)
short pencil
ruler- a short one is much easier to use
some small post-it page flags or those bright colored dot stickers from the office store
small screwdriver (that will fit the screw in the junction splice) like the ones for eye-glases

camera/ phone with camera app

Tools for Making Dollhouse Miniatures- the Clay Extruder

This week I decided to talk about the clay extruder. If you work with clay very much this is probably a tool you will want to think about at some point.

The one I have is from Walnut Hollow but the same style is available from a couple of other companies. The thing to look for is the handle that works like a crank. There is also one on the market with a plunger type system that you are supposed to press down on the top and the clay is supposed to come out. I have actually had two of those kind and never once got them to work. I had two of them because the first one was so bad I thought I must have gotten a bad one and decided to try again. I was sure the second one would work. I even had my son and his friends try to get it to work. None of the boys could get it to work and they were all very strong guys.

The main thing to remember is the that the metal will discolor the clay if it is left in there for any length of time. The lighter the clay the more noticeable this will be. On the white clay I used in the demo you can really see it. On a clay that is a color it won't be as noticeable.

You will need to clean the extruder every time you use it and I have a video coming up on this channel in 2 weeks.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dollhouse Wiring 101 pt 2 The Practice Board

This week we will be digging into those wiring supplies and making a practice board. I am a strong believer in starting out this way especially if you have never successfully wired a miniature project. By working on the practice board we are taking a lot of the pressure out of the project. If we mess up it won't hurt your project. You have time and room to learn what you are doing and to get a real feel for how to do it.

So to create your practice board you will need the following:

a piece of foamcore about 8” by 10”
the wiring kit we talked about in part 1 (or the items that are in the kit if you purchased them separately)
source of electricity (outlet or extension cord that is plugged into your house electricity)
screwdriver that fits the screws in the transformer
needle nose pliers
sewing pin

Take plenty of time with your supplies and your practice board. This is your opportunity to get comfortable with wiring.

Be sure to contact me if you have any problems.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Button Picture Frames

This week for our trash to treasure project we are making a picture frame from a button. You can use any size button as long as the button has the recessed inset. Also any color will work as for this project. So this is really a fun and easy project.

I found that if I marked the circle to cut around about a 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch bigger than I want the piece to be it was about right. That way when I cut off the marked line it was the size I wanted.

You can find photos anywhere, in magazines, on photos you have taken, old calendar pictures, post cards or online. Really anywhere. You want to find either a small photo or just use the small areas in the background of the photo you choose.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Supplies for the wiring part 2 tutorial

I asked on the Facebook group if it would be helpful to have the list of what you will need ahead of the videos for the Wiring Series. Everyone that responded felt it would help them out so here is the list for this week. 

For part 2 of the wiring series we will be making a practice board for our wiring so we can learn to make connections and how to do the basics with the kit.

If you have any questions contact me and I will do my best to explain the items.

a piece of foamcore about 8” by 10”
the wiring kit we talked about in part 1 (or the items that are in the kit if you purchased them separately)
source of electricity (outlet or extension cord that is plugged into your house electricity)
screwdriver that fits the screws in the transformer
needle nose pliers
sewing pin