Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 1: Shrink your Favorite Books


We will be featuring tiny holiday projects every day until Christmas! This is the December 1 project, we just jumped the gun and released it early. Please check back December 2 for our mini walnut knitting ornament!

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With the holidays approaching I am once again struggling to come up with some inexpensive, original gifts for my family. How about you?
 First order of business for me: a present for my mom. She has a home filled with festive dishes, Matryoshka dolls, quilts, tea sets and books. I try to make her a gift every year. My mom is rather obsessed with the Bloomsbury Group. She collects their various first editions, gives a dramatic slide show detailing their capers and love affairs and for many years even had a big picture of Virginia Woolf hanging in her sewing room. (If you would like to see the Virginia Woolf quilt she made it is on Tumblr) So it did not take much imagination to determine that I should make her something featuring her favorite tortured author. I decided that at the same time I could make my daughter something for her dollhouse.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tiny, Festive Christmas Books

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American Miniaturist Magazine features our cute mini books project this month. You can cut the books out directly from the magazine and assemble them. One is an accordion book featuring Corinne's hand drawn "12 Days of Christmas" and the other is a tiny "The Night Before Christmas" using 19th Century illustrations. There are other adorable projects in there as well.
you can purchase individual issues of the magazine at their website.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Walnut Shell Mayflower - place-card holders

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Walnut boats are a classic craft to make with kids. We even posted about these on our blog here.
I thought about using these boats as place card holders for Thanksgiving, but making them Mayflower boats for the occasion.  This is perfect for the kids table, and they can keep the boat to take home too! Plus they float, so they can even be displayed in a water glass.
In our other post, we used clay, this time I thought wax would look nice.
1. I used white card stock for the sails. Either cut into a rectangle, or
 trim a curve in the sides like I did.
2. I used my tiniest hole-punch, to make the holes at the top and bottom 
of the sails.

3. Decorate your sails. I added the names for a place-card.
4. You will need 2 toothpicks for each boat. I trimmed about 1/4"
off one, so the front sail sits lower.

5. Stick the toothpick through one of the holes on the sail.
6. Then through the other hole.  Set these sails aside.

7. I heated up the wax with a candle wax warmer.
8. Once melted, I used a plastic spoon and fill the walnuts carefully to 
the top.  Then let them cool. 
Once they are almost dry, stick the sails in, and allow the wax to finish hardening.

When you are done, the boats are ready for the water! 
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Friday, November 2, 2012

A Tiny Cage for Spot

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Our dollhouse has a resident dog, little Spot. I decided today to make him some tiny accessories, starting with a doghouse. I began by deciding how big a house I would need. Based on Spot being on the small size I got the measurements for a doghouse and adjusted it for the 1/12 ratio. I came up with a house that would be 2.2 inches square.

  • go to Ideogram and use their box template maker to generate a pattern 2.5 inches square (or the size of your choice.)
  • print out the pattern and cut it out.  
  • trace the pattern onto thin cardboard. (I used a Triscuit box, but a Milk Bone box would have been even more appropriate.) Save the paper template for the roof.

  • Cut a half circle out of the cardboard for a door. You can do this freehand.
  • Cut out the rest of the cardboard pieces and score on the fold lines.
  • To assemble, glue one or two edges at a time and use making tape to hold the piece in place while it dries.

  • make a roof by using two of the squares from the template and adding a triangle. (See photo.)

  • the roof goes on last. it should fit over the bottom part. I glued it and used tape to hold it on while it dried..

  • I painted my doghouse with multiple layer of acrylic paint. I went with the old standby red and brown but you could match the doghouse to the dollhouse for more cuteness.
  • After I painted the doghouse I thought it looked sort of flimsy so i wound up gluing over the side and roof with felt and fabric. I think it looks much better. you can see both finishes in the pictures.

Add a sign and your tiny dog has a tiny house!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Doctor Watson's Desk

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I have spent my entire life reading and rereading mysteries.  Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Wilkie Collins, etc. For some odd reason I managed to reach the ripe age of 42 without ever reading a single Sherlock Holmes mystery.

This summer I made up for lost time by reading the complete Sherlock Holmes Volume 1 and 2.  As I read these wonderful stories and short novels I  observed that Arthur Conan Doyle provides really specific details about the furnishings of  221 B. Baker Street. I started to think that some day it would be fun to make my own miniature sitting room.