Need to make more 1/2" scale accessories

I've been trying to get the furniture finished so I could clear away all the little bits and pieces of wood and accompanying woodworking tools and stains, etc.

The chair in front of the bed isn't finished, it needs embellishment, which I'll be getting to as I work on accessories.
I'll still need to make a stool for the cellar, and might want to make another little table, shelf or cabinet, but they can wait till I get an idea of the future full effect later on.

Here are 2 views of the living room as it looks so far..


Here's the cellar.


I had almost finished gluing the work table together, needed to attach the last piece, when I noticed that end was a little crooked. I sat there for a moment, ready to attach the last tiny piece of wood to the glued areas on the legs and supports, and said to myself, the heck with it, and glued it on. I've seen several 18th and 19th cottage paintings that included a slightly off kilter kitchen work table, so I decided to feel ok about the flaw.

On to accessories!
Cottagers need baskets, bug baskets, small baskets, medium sized baskets.
I've got the big basket problem solved.

Yes, the gigantic yellow basket won't do, but the little baskets next to it make fine, big, laundry basket sized ones. I cut the upper parts of the big ones down to size, plus, I found I was able to squeeze the oval ones into round ones if I wanted to. Stain or paint was used to change the color.
Accessory-wise, I found a packet of jewelry bezel blanks that I thought would make an appropriate plate. I just snipped the little eyelet piece off.  A 1" scale bun makes a dandy loaf of round country bread.



Half inch scale hutch and work table

A few days ago I made a little work table to go under the window, and today I finally finished making the little hutch.
Click on pictures to enlarge.

Working on 1:24 furniture drives me kind of crazy. I'll cut the pieces of wood, sure they're the same size, then I find that one's a hair longer or wider than its mate and I have to sand away  and watch that I don't sand the piece that was too big into a piece that's now too small.
 I did that, so I started over cutting a new piece. Fortunately, I only had to cut out a new piece once.
The back of the work table under the window went cattywumpus (off kilter - crooked - etc.) at the final gluing, but I decided it didn't matter as it was going to sit against a wall anyway, and it wasn't worth starting over with a new one.

Inside the base of the hutch is a small wooden block on which I've glued the various wood parts. I don't make drawers and cabinet doors that open, not even in my 1" scale pieces. I don't care if drawers and doors open, I'm after a look. Another reason is that I feel the doors and drawers on dollhouse furniture are just too chunky, even in Bespaq.

Here's a better view of the hutch and work table. The hutch is 2 & 7/8" high, the table is 1 & 1/4" high.


1:24 half timbered cottage continued

I haven't posted progress photos for quite a while. Work has been progressing slowly. The exterior is pretty much finished. The pavers are all formed from Paperclay. I used an assortment of moss sheets, reindeer moss, painted sponges, and bits of dried or plastic plants for the landscaping. I had a little 1" scale daffodil style potted clay plant that I placed next to the porch, just removed the pot and "planted" it. I'll be taking some pictures of the whole exterior later.
As always, just click on the pictures to make them bigger.

On the left you can see the pony wall around the well of the cellar steps.  On the right is the cooking hearth. I won't be gluing that into place until later. I'll be needing to soot it up a little and it'll be easier to do if I can take it out.
I think the table came out nicely. No, I didn't do the carving. I found some laser cut wooden medallions in a craft store and stocked up on them, figuring I would find great uses for them. The carving on the table and the bed and shelf are all trimmed with medallion cuttings.

Have you seen those TV ads for Lazer Bond, the resin glue that hardens with UV light? I've discovered a handy use for it in miniatures. When I glued the little table together, there just wasn't enough area for a strong glue contact, and although the tabletop was glued to the carved supports, it tended to wobble a little. I dropped a tiny, tiny drop of the glue in the 4 spots where the curved top of the support met the tabletop, then cured the glue with the UV light. It worked like a charm. The tiny table is now securely put together, no wobble, and the tiny bit of clear glue is almost invisible.
I ran into a wobble problem with one of my little shelves and dabbed a tiny bit of glue there too. Remember, if you use the Lazer Bond glue on a miniature, you need to use the tiniest drop you can or it'll show up like any other glue. And don't forget, you need to be able to shine the light on it to harden it. 
In case you're not used to half inch scale miniatures, the table is 1 & 3/8" high.

I wanted a box bed with shelves on one end. It took me forever to come up with a bed design that I thought would work satisfactorily in half inch scale. I'd get an idea and would have to discard it because I couldn't find the right sized bit of embellishment I needed. I've found working in 1" scale so much easier than 1/2" scale. All too often I'd fiddle with this and that and wind up saying, "Nah, that's no good, try something else."
I did come up with some good ideas for a 1" scale box bed if I ever decide to make a room that needs one.


Well, that's it for now. I've got the idea for a simple little work table that'll go under the window by the door. I think I can make that next without too much fuss. I also want to make the old lady a chair to relax in after a long day where she can do some sewing or tatting or whatever. That will require quite a bit of fuss, I'm sure.


1/2" scale cottage gets a fireplace and stove

The 3 walls still aren't all glued together, nor are they glued to any kind of floor, but the cellar walls have been stoned, and the cellar workshop has a smoky fireplace, with an ancient style masonry kitchen stove above it for the living space. The stove hood came out nicely, the actual stove needs a little work. I cut out the semicircle underneath where the stockpile of firewood will go, but it needs to be sanded and finished off.

click on photos to enlarge them
Oh yeah, the floor between the cellar and room above hasn't been installed either.
Here's a view of the kitchen stove.



I chose to do the cellar wall stonework in egg carton, then stained the stones in various shades of gray.

The next thing I have to do is cut some posts that will go along the steps in the cellar. They'll help support the low wall that will go around the staircase. Once I'm sure I've got everything figured out correctly I'll glue the final wall to the other 2 and then glue the walls to the cellar floor. I'm leaning towards a dirt floor. Originally I planned on stones, but then I thought a dirt floor would be more correct. I still might change my mind, though. I saw a great beat up old stone floor in an old painting and wanted to try it, but I can always save it for another project.




Half inch scale cottage

I've been working on my first half inch scale dollhouse. It's a small cottage, with a cellar. I imagine a witch living there, preparing her potions in her cellar.
The 3 walls haven't been glued together yet. They're set up in a jig with magnets holding them in place. I've been working on each wall in turn.

I placed a wooden panel into place where part of the floor goes, just to make the cellar portion a bit more "cellary" looking for the photo.
The front door does not open. After drilling two tiny pinholes in not quite the correct spots, I decided that since nobody was going to need to walk through the door, who cares if the door is glued shut? It was better than starting a whole new door. Obviously I still have to timber the other walls.

The little block of white painted wood on the right is going to become the European style hearth that the little old lady cooks her meals on. I decided to make a fireplace in the cellar, in case she needed to brew a big pot of potion, and I thought it made the space more interesting looking.
Here's a picture showing the wall with the fireplace. I painted the walls gray to get an idea of what the place would look like with stone walls. As you can see, I opted for the egg carton stones. When I'm all finished making the stonework I'll be painting them.

Here's a view of the side with the cellar steps - and below are the steps. I wanted the steps to take up as little room as possible, and miscalculated with my first set, They looked nice, but wrong, if you know what I mean. When I measured the treads I realized I had made them too small, so I made a whole new staircase.



Miniature & Dollhouse Tutorials

------------Moved from New England Miniatures


Some of these tutorials were written in languages other than English. You can use  Google to translate them. 

All links were checked on 9/10/15

Building Dollhouses 


How to etch bricks 


From a miniature railroading site: How to make a scale river, etc. 


A tiny pumpkin house, another tute about making stairs, and some fun with Paperclay


How to make paper mache out of dryer lint


How to make things look old, from Wanna's Blog 


Artisans in Miniature online magazine 


More spiral stairs from a Castle project, and more! 


Dr. Bob's Spiral Staircase Tutorial, from Small Stuff 


Pooh Beer's huge list of worldwide links


Let's Build a Dollhouse...& more 


How to build a dollhouse


Construction of a miniature Swiss farmhouse 


Framing a miniature Tudor house 


How to make a faux stone floor using drywall compound or stucco 


The Blue Willow kitchen .... Handy instructions for building fireplaces


Dollhouse wiring made easy 


Hirst Arts, for smaller scale castles & fantasy projects


Modeling realistic water


Creating Munchkinland in miniature 


Free dollhouse and furniture plans ...from The Woodworker's Workshop, many are old fretwork plans for scrollsaws 


How to create miniature dollhouse gardens, part 1 of 4 


A parquet floor 


How to make clay roof tiles 



Tutorials for Miniature Furnishings

How to pin hinge cupboard doors -- this blog is geared towards modern miniatures 

A twig Adirondack table

Wanna's tutorial index includes how to make a cardoard box full of 1950's tiles, working with Michael's hutches, making skirted tables & more. 

Make a miniature 3 drawer chest 

Making a miniature planter 

Turn a plastic "pizza table" into an office chair 

An imitation wicker shelf 

Make a miniature couch out of polymer clay

A folding screen 

How to make a simple bench 

How to make a miniature stove 

Tips for making twig furniture 

Tutorials for Miniature Accessories 

How to tie a nautical braided rug 

Another how to tie a nautical braided rug, in French, but the illustrations show how to do it using pins to keep the string in place. 

How to make house plants 

How to make a crystal chandelier based on plastic tubing - in Spanish * since this is an image of a page, translate or cut and paste to translator will not work, but the pictures are fairly self explanatory

An easy round dollhouse rug

How to bake polymer clay in a toaster oven

Make a mini book - part 1

Make a mini book - part 2

How to make a gizmo to help make miniature bows

How to make a desk set with blotter, pen & ink

Printable kitchen casseroles & serving dishes

Baking polymer clay 

Polyclay tutorials from NoraJean. 

Mary Eccher's miniature food projects 

How to tie a miniature bow 

Making plates....This technique uses soda cap liners and Mod Podge 

Making a miniature book 

Make a non-working miniature Venetian blind 

Make a baby bouncer 

A tip for a simple doormat 

Make a shopping bag 

Make a hanging rack for nursery or kitchen

How to make a miniature Christmas tree 

An easy rag rug 

How to make a boudoir bottle 

Make a colorful Tiffany style lamp, perfume bottles, sconces, and more 

A faux wicker basket 

A paper lobster trap 

A wooden tray 

How to crochet a quarter scale sofa 

Buttercup Miniatures offers some free mini crochet and knitting patterns 

How to make a polymer clay troll 

Mary Williams makes lovely dolls, and offers 3 nice doll dressing tutorials 

Cynthia Howe's tutorials ..dollmaking, dressing dolls, making hats,hairstyling, ribbon roses, bows, and more. 


Completed 19th century wash house

After sitting unfinished in various places in my studio and dining room for the past few years, my Victorian wash house is finally complete. Well, sort of complete. I have to track down where I put the acrylic panel that slides down over the front to keep out the dust.

My inspiration for this project was a British book of cottage interiors. Bake houses also served as wash houses. On the left you'll see an old fashioned oven with an iron door. The big piece of masonry below it holds a boiler, or as it was also known, a copper. A large copper or iron kettle would be set in the masonry for boiling water. They were also used in America and were sometimes called set kettles. Fires would be set under the big copper or iron kettle and water would be heated for washing clothes.  In some places they were used for making large amounts of soup for organizations that had to feed a lot of people.
Next to the stove and boiler is a stone sink. The sink and boiler would have to be filled by the bucketful. The sink usually had a drain to let the waste water outside. Sometimes the boiler had a drain, sometimes it had to be emptied by the bucket.

OK, enough historical fact. If you want to know more check out my Victorian site, Victorian Interiors and More.

Here's a picture that shows more of the left hand side with the oven. By the way, all my pictures will open larger if you click on them.

And here's one that shows more of the right side.

The floor is made of drywall compound, I just spread it out and drew out stones. I admit, I could have done a neater job, but I hadn't worked on this in so long I was just wanted to get going and get something accomplished. I was afraid I'd get sidetracked again and wind up putting the wash house back in its corner.
I tried several different color washes for the stones. I was unhappy with my colors, one color would look good, then in another light it would look a little off. In the end, after deciding I had a pretty good color floor, I felt it still needed something, so I wiped some wood stain over it. Ta-ta! Much better.

I used a few things from my New England Miniatures stock, but I still needed a few things I couldn't get for New England Miniatures, so I had to make them. I wanted an all wood washboard like the one in my inspiration photo, so I made myself this one.
I also wanted a wooden peel for taking bread out of the bake oven, and a washing bat or paddle for the laundry. Sanding the edge of the peel was tricky, but if I had a working mini oven  I could slide this peel right in there and pull out my loaf.

A nice old antique dust pan would be nice too, I thought. I sold a tan one and a blue one on New England Miniatures, but they looked too clean and new. I wondered if I could antique them up.
Yes, I could. I sprayed a tan dust pan with primer, and dipped the brushy part of the brush in primer spray. Then I painted the dustpan with black acrylic paint that was mixed with just a little water. I also dabbed some of the black paint on the brush to make it look sooty.

That's when I remembered I could use some brushes. The long handled one would be for cleaning the ashes out of the oven, the small one for just regular scrubbing chores.

The brushy parts are made from black stick on Velcro. I just cut snips of Velcro, stuck them onto the brushes, then I snipped a bit of the loops off so they'd look more like brushes instead of little bits of Velcro.

If you'd like to see the previous posts that describe how I went about this project from the beginning, click HERE. It'll take you to the first post.