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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Mugs

This week I decided to make some mugs for the dollhouse. It seems like a lot of us have seem to collect mugs in real life, either on purpose or it just happens. So I figured it was time for the dolls to join in the fun.

I do have a polymer clay mug tutorial on this channel but I wanted to do something different today. I have a huge amount of cardstock that I use in card making both plain colors and patterns and I decided to see how that would work for making some mugs. I have to say this project is kid of addictive. Once I got the technique down I keep making more, every time I think I am done I see another sheet of paper that I think would be perfect and....

So to start you just need a few things. The cardstock is the obvious one, I am using a medium weight cardstock. The package that one of the sheets came from is labeled as being 65# cardstock. The plain colors that I used today were from those packages at the craftstore that are sold for cardmaking. The patterned paper and the green one were both from those books of cardstock that are sold at the craftstore for card making or scrapbooking.

You will also need a way to cut your cardstock, I do recommend a straight edge, craft knife and self healing mat. For me it is the most accurate way to cut strips of paper.

You will also need some glues, both a glue stick and a liquid glue. I used Tacky glue today but I think a super glue would have been better for the handles but mine was dried up (all 3 bottles)

To form your mugs you will need a #10 knitting needle, I found this to be the perfect size.

A standard hole punch (I think they are about ¼”)

Clear nail polish.

First cut a piece of your cardstock 2” wide, then cut a 3/8” wide strip and a really narrow strip (about 1/16”) for your mug and your handle.

Then just follow the steps in the video.

If you have any questions be sure to ask. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tips for Dollhouse Miniature Crafting- Clay Test

So you might be wondering why you would want/need to do a clay test. I know not everyone will need to do this but it is a useful thing to know how to do.

With most products that you might want to use with your polymer clay you can probably find compatibility information online. But sometimes what you want to use either hasn't been tried by enough people to know for sure or you come up with conflicting results. So knowing how to test for yourself is a really good idea. Especially if you are going to sell the items you make. You don't want to sell something to someone and have it disintegrate a couple of months later.

Before I give a product a green light for using it I test it for at least 6 months, sometimes longer. It can take a while for some of these reactions to happen so be patient. In the long run you will be glad especially if you find that your clay is starting to get soft or sticky.

To begin roll out some scrap clay and use some TLS to adhere it to index cards. This will give you a place to record the information you will need later. Bake this at 235° to 250° for about 10 minutes.

Be sure to record all the information you might want later, at the minimum the date you did the test and the product you are testing. It is much better to record too much information than not enough.

Now just set the cards to side (where you will remember them) make yourself a note of when to check them and let them do their thing. I like to check about once a month for 6 or so months. If I see no changes at all in that time I feel it is safe to use. If I see even small changes starting I give it more time.

I will do my best to report back on the 2 tests I set up in the video over on the Facebook group. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Basketball Hoop

So this week we are making the kids in the dollhouse a basketball hoop. I was sitting down watching the news the other night when a commercial came on. I have no idea what it was even for but the focus of the video footage was a group of kids shooting hoops in a driveway. Immediately I thought a basketball hoop would be a great project for this channel. So many houses have these in real life, why not in the mini world too?

I vaguely remember reading an article in one of my old Nutshell News magazines where there was a project that was similar. Rather than spend hours digging through my collection of magazines I just went with my instincts on how to do this.

First stop was our friend Google to get the dimensions of the real thing. Apparently in real life a basketball hoop is about 18” in diameter. That would translate to 1 ½” in mini. I didn't have anything exactly that size but I do have a bunch of these key rings that are 1 ¼” in diameter. I decided to go with one of those. You can fudge a bit down like this on this project because in real life the hoop is so far up on a wall that it appears to be smaller. Have you ever noticed that when you see a basketball hoop in a sporting goods store how they seem huge compared to what you think they should look like. That's because you are used to seeing them from several feet away. I wouldn't go any smaller in size but at the same time I wouldn't go any bigger than 1 ½” either or the hoop runs the risk of looking way too big.

If you want your hoop to be the traditional reddish-orange color paint it before you start the rest of the project. I would suggest either a spray paint, an enamel paint or nail polish for this. Be sure that whatever you use is completely dry before you proceed.

The other component is some string, I like to use crochet thread for these type of projects because it is fairly cheap and seems to be a good size for a lot of projects. We are basically going to be creating a net by doing some simple macrame knotting.

Cut 12 pieces of the string each 12” long and follow what I did in the video. Be sure to apply the glue to the rim to both hold the strings in place around the rim but also to hold the knots tight at the top. Allow this to dry completely.

Now mark ½” away from the rim on each string and tie knots using strings from the pairs of the stings that are next to each other. I hope it made sense in the video. I can't think of a good way to explain it. But you are creating a net just like we used to do to make plant hangers from macrame back in the day.

Keep knotting until the net portion is about 1 ½” long. At this point I sprayed my net with 99% isopropyl alcohol to allow the ink from the Sharpie marker to bleed and make the net look old and really dirty. If you want a new net on yours use an ink that is water based and wash it out.

After your net is dry add a dot of glue to each of the knots in the last row. This will prevent them from coming undone. When the glue is dry give the net a “hair cut” and you are basically done.

For a backboard you need to decide how old you want your hoop to be. I wanted to create the look that maybe dad or grandpa had hung this up so I kept it really basic with a backboard made of a jumbo craft stick. I used the little piece of 1/8” square wood to give me a small “shelf” to glue to.

If you want something more elaborate find a picture of what you want online and create that.

I hope you enjoyed our fun little project today.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dollhouse Miniature Trash to Treasure Books

This week for Trash to Treasure I thought it would be fun to make some books to fill the bookshelves. These books are intended to be filler either to fill the space until you get enough books to fill your shelves or to fill in bookshelves in projects that require a lot of books. I know I love to have real books in my projects but in reality it just isn't practical to try fill all the shelves that way.

I think these would be really good in either a book store scene or a library, especially if you some shelves that are more in the back of the room.

I wanted to show the books in my bookshelf but I have no idea what scene I have it placed in or if it is in a box between scenes. I didn't have time look for it today either. I am sure you get the idea of how these will look.

To find the pictures of books just go to Google Images and search for bookshelves you should get a bunch of pictures to choose from. Remember if you do this that you can't sell the books or any project with them in it because the photo belongs to someone else. This is only for your own use.

Once you find the picture you want to use save it to your computer and re size it to just a tiny bit shorter than the space between the shelves of your bookshelves. I then opened up a document in my word processor and added multiple copies of my photos and printed on good quality paper.

For the backing of your books you need some paperboard- you know a box from crackers or cereal of something like that.

Cut strips of the paperboard to the size of you finished books, cut out your printed pictures of the books, glue them onto the paperboard (leave room at the end for an area to fold back) then when the glue dries do the scoring and you have books!

I told you it was easy. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tools for Making Dollhouse Miniatures- Scoring Board

Okay, would I go out and buy this tool just for making miniatures? Truthfully, no but since I do a lot of different crafts it I do feel I it was a good purchase. For minis it is a tool I use occasionally though and since so many of you asked what it was when I used it for a couple of tutorials a while back I thought a quick look was in order.

If you want to score a lot of straight lines very precisely this is your tool. For minis those lines might be a bit wide for really small projects. But if you put together a lot of printable crafts you might want to think about it. It is a lot quicker, easier and more accurate than using a straight edge to score. Also if you make boxes in miniature this is a a great tool. I think for making miniature books it would be handy too because you need to get those scored lines perfectly straight with each other to make them go together really nicely.

I'm really not trying to talk you out of buying this tool I just want to be sure you know that the uses for miniatures is limited. At least that is my opinion.

This is a tool I would say you want to wait for a sale or coupon to pick it up. I got mine for under/around $20 before coupon so not bad at all.