Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Little Beaded Lamps

You can make a really fancy little lamp using beads and beading wire.  Basically you take a straight stick and add whatever beads you want.  The bottom bead should be wide and flat so that the lamp will stand up. Near the top is one that is shaped like a flower or lampshade. Above the lamp shade bead put one or two beads to top things off, then see if you like the arrangement. Once you have the lamp you want, you can take the beads off and put them back on the wire. This time put a dot of super glue between each bead. Snip off any extra wire at the top when it is all dry and you have made a pretty lamp in just minutes! Once we figure out what to do with the big bamboo piece that my son insisted was perfect for his farmhouse lamp I will add more photos!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thank you!

We are thrilled with all of the new visitors to our very, very young blog. We welcome you, and thank you!

We are learning as we go,  but we are having lots of fun and it makes us so happy that there are people out there enjoying what we have to share already. We are also eager to learn from the dollhouse and miniature's community already out there.

If you like what you see on our page, please subscribe to our blog! We also have a facebook page, to keep track of our updates, and other inspirational miniature things.
Then there is our Pinterest page, chock full of visual inspiration. We also appreciate your comments, and try to respond to you in a timely manner. Of course, thanks to those of you who already have been following us.

Like many of you, we have been longtime fans of dollhouses and small worlds, we hope to continue, we have lots of plans for the future and we hope that you viewers enjoy what we have to share!

thanks! -Corinne  (with dollhouse, age 5, at the Taft Museum)

 Sarah (with dollhouse, age 5, at home)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Miniature Greenhouse

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I have always wanted a greenhouse of my own. Until that day comes,
this miniature greenhouse is keeping me pretty happy.
I finally found a good use for all these old thimbles. They make
perfect planters for tiny succulent plants.

For the greenhouse,  I used a glass terrarium that was no longer, housing any plants.
Look around for terrariums terrariums and glass domes). there are lots of options out there
for creating a small greenhouse.
Besides thimbles, I used plastic bottle lids, for planters. They also sell very tiny little terracotta
pots, you can use. Be creative, any small waterproof container, that can hold dirt
should work.

A view from the top.
I just took snippets from plants already in our garden.

I used some old wooden bobbins, and wood block for tables.
                                            The kids helped to build the rock table in the back. 
They loved stacking the rocks so much, they came up with
their own little project,.
Throw in some tiny tools, (we had from other toys), and your greenhouse is ready!

Set it outside, and if you're lucky, you may have some little visitors!

If you like what you see subscribe to our blog, over on the right sidebar, or by email. 
We are posting new ideas all the time!

***If you enjoyed this post and like tiny things, check our latest post
And you can make a cute and tiny scout sash. like this one.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Pinterest, and we love comments, suggestions and
 ideas from you guys!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Miniature Checkers

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This game board was inspired by a very cute backgammon board I found among my old dollhouse furniture from the seventies. It looks like it took a lot more time than it actually did and you can't tell that most of it is made from cardboard so it is a very rewarding project.

I used white cardboard. I stenciled a 2 inch square onto it but did not cut it out right away.
I drew 7 equal lines down each side to make the checker pattern, and colored in alternate squares using a black permanent marker. I tried to use regular marker pen and colored pencil but the cardboard has a bit of a shine to it and only the permanent marker worked. After I filled in the squares I cut out the board using a razor blade.

To make the game pieces I took black and red fimo (or sculpey) clay and rolled out two tiny tubes. The tubes should be smaller in diameter than your finished game piece will be. I used a razor blade to cut 12 pieces in each color. I cut pieces that were thicker than the ideal game piece, then flattened each one with my finger on a piece of tinfoil. I have had some bad experiences laboring long and hard on a Fimo project and then burning it to a crisp in the oven. These pieces are so incredibly tiny I just put them in the toaster oven, tinfoil on top of a tray, at 225 degrees for 8 minutes.

Next I took a strip of balsa trim that I bought at a craft store. It is 1/4 inch wide. Balsa wood is excellent because you can cut it fairly easily with a razor blade or exacto knife. I cut 2 pieces 2 inches long and glued them to opposite sides of the board. Then I lay the trim across the 3rd and 4th sides and marked with a a pencil where the cut should go. I used the razor blade to cut an angle where the two sides meet.
To finish up I glued a square of green felt to the bottom to hide the bottom.

Finally, I glued the pieces to the board. A more realistic checker board would have some loose pieces on the side that have been captured. I don't think my children will be able to keep track of tiny loose microscopic checkers so I glued everything down.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Miniature Stone Fireplace

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This is a cute way to transform a cardboard box into an old-fashioned stone fireplace. I am not very good at taking pictures while I go but I think you will be able to figure out how I did this if you look at the back of the fireplace. I took one half of a small gift box and drew a square where the hearth would go. Using scissors and an exacto knife I removed it. Then I used brown paint to paint the outside of the box and enough of the inside so that the white would not show. I used two coats of brown acrylic paint.

Next I located tiny pebbles. An aquarium store would be good if you don't have a natural source. In our case, my children stole a bunch from the neighbor's driveway. (It was slated for repavement soon after.)  They are varigated in color and size so look very realistic, I believe.  We glued them onto the box using Tacky Glue. Initially I used Gorilla Glue but this was a mistake. It foams up when it dries. Tacky Glue holds the pebbles on perfectly well and does not show. I covered the entire front of the fireplace and the sides. On top I just lay a thin line of pebbles so that there would be a flat surface to hold knick knacks.

I made a candlestick out of half of a birthday candle glued onto a washer. I burned a bit of the candle down so that it would look more realistic. The vase is an old dollhouse vase I had when I was young with some sprigs of dried lavender.


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Monday, July 23, 2012

Crafts for the Dollhouse Family- part 2

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This is a continuation of Dollhouse Family Craft ideas, a follow up from
our previous post; Crafts For the Dollhouse Family

This time we offer some needlework for the dollhouse people
to work on.
Embroidered flower
Cotton embroidery thread on muslin.

Cross stitch clover
Cotton embroidery thread on linen.

I made these images on a 1 1/4" circle, then pressed the
form on my 1" Button Maker, model 100 (which I bought
years ago off of ebay).  If you do not have
a button maker, you can also make these by buying an aluminum button cover kit
 at the craft/fabric store, and pressing the fabric by hand.
I then glued the "button" onto a small circle of felt to
display on your dollhouse wall.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gumball Dome Tiffany Lamp

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If you've ever thought you might want to construct a ship out of toothpicks or engage in some other seriously tiny work this is a good starter project for you. It involves very tiny pieces and is a little tough but it is a lot smaller than a toothpick vessel and does not take very long to complete. You take a gumball dome and turn it into a stained-glass lampshade. There seem to be two sizes of gumball domes floating around out there. I got one that is tiny (1 inch diameter) and that seems to be just right for a dollhouse lamp. I would not recommend using one of the jumbo ones that hold giant gumballs as that would be way too big for your tiny house.
I cut tissue paper into very small pieces and glued it to the shade, leaving tiny spaces between pieces. I used regular tacky glue for this. I put the glue on a small section of lampshade and covered it with tissue scraps (a wet finger works well for picking them up.) After each small section I would take a break and do something else before continuing so that section could dry.

 When the shade was covered with tissue and dry, I filled in the spaces with a thick black Sharpie (permanent pen). For the base I glued a nail through a small button and then glued the whole thing onto a washer. There are lots of other bases you could make. You could use other found hardware items,or rig something up with pipe cleaner and bottle cap or whatever you can find laying around the house that looks elegant enough to sport a Tifffany lampshade. I used modeling clay to wedge the shade onto the nail head, dug out one of the adorable staff members from my childhood dollhouse for a formal touch, and the lamp is complete!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friends With You - Cloudy

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No, this post has nothing to do with dollhouses, but I think these
artists created an amazing "small world land" of their own.
Plus this is really cute, you will be glad you watched it.

"Cloudy" is a short by artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III of FriendsWithYou.
Click on the page to learn more about Cloudy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Proper Bed for a Princess

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Making a "proper" bed for a true princess, can only mean one thing.
You will need one pea and lots and lots of mattresses.

We made our Princess and the Pea bed from popsicle sticks and fabric scraps.
(coffee stirrers, toothpicks and tongue depressors too.)

1. Build a simple base for the bed. Cut one popsicle stick in half,
so you have 2 equal pieces. Glue across the sticks.

2.Then add the full size sticks. We used 5 for ours.

3.Next, make your 4 bed posts by simply gluing 2 sticks together
for each post.

4. If you like, you can decorate them. We wanted them a little
"fancier" so we drew on the sticks once they dried, and colored
with marker.

5. Then get ready to attach the base to the posts. This is the trickiest part,
and requires the most patience.

6. We definitely suggest, using any props, or tricks to help hold the pieces
in place while the glue dries.  Tape, clothespins, old cell phones, empty tins.
Be creative, use what works!

7. Now you have a great start but it's a bit wobbly. So add braces in
the weak spots. We used cut up pieces of tongue depressor around the
base. Then coffee stirrers on the sides.

8. Dont' forget the pea! You must have one. (we used a shiny
pea-green bead.)

9. Next, pick through your fabric scraps, and find around 15 or so scraps.
Cut them roughly, 6 x 5", fold them horizontally, wrong sides out. Sew along 2
sides, creating a sort of mini pillowcase. 1/2" seem.

10. Turn them all inside out, and then use a very small amount of fluff
to stuff, you want them more flat than puffy. Little hands are a great help at this!
When finished, turn the inside edges in, and sew across the edge (roughly 1/4" seem) to close up the mattress.
You can handsew the closing for a more finished look.

11. Stack those mattresses up.
The kids noticed we needed a ladder too.
Made from coffee stirrers and toothpicks.

12.Find a potential princess, and test it out!

Goodnight, sleep tight!

***If you enjoyed this post and like tiny things, check our latest post
And you can make a cute and tiny scout sash. like this one.
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