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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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