1:24 finished half timbered cottage

Deep within the forest lies a little cottage. An elderly woman dwells within. Some think she's a witch, some a healer. Some think she's just a pleasant old woman who likes the peace and beauty of the forest.
Maybe she does have magical powers? Where did the forest go?
Here's a better look at her porch.
The living room and a work room in the cellar.
I had cut up pieces of laser cut filagree medallions I found at Michael's to add carved elements to the furniture, but couldn't find a piece that had bits to adapt as carvings for the easy chair. I tried to cut some, but they'd keep splintering and breaking about halfway through. They were just too tiny and I found it so frustrating. I thought about the chair's decoration a lot and finally decided to try some leaves from an artificial plant. Yay! Once I added a few painted leaves it began to look much better. The seat cushion is made of Paperclay.

The bedding is big and bulky, just like in the olden days. They're plumped up with dryer lint.
You can't see it well in this picture, but the old lady's cloak is hanging by the door.
In this picture the items on the shelves attached to the bed can be seen.
I needed 1/2" scale candles and candleholders. I had a couple of silver Clare Bell candlesticks, so I painted one black, because I felt 2 silver candlesticks or even 2 polished pewter candlesticks wouldn't be quite correct for this house. I managed to get a little wooden sliver into one candlestick to be a candle, but the second time I tried, I couldn't get it the right size to stay in place. I decided to try a piece of stiff string for the black candle. I added some glue to the snippet of string to firm it up, then added a few more layers of glue to thicken it. Then I got the idea to make wax drips. I used Aleene's Tacky Glue, it's stiff enough to form drips that will stay. I applied each drip with the tip of a darning needle, adding bits of glue as I needed them to get the look I wanted. I'll have to try it in 1" scale and see how it works out. The glue dried white, but the 2nd day I found out that when it's completely dry it turns clear, so I had to paint over the added "wax" layers and the drips.
Here's a peek down the cellar stairs. There's a barrel of potatoes, a hank of rope, I don't know what's in the bag in the crate. Onions maybe?
We've reached the cellar workroom. This is where the old woman does things that are no one else's business, just her own. There's a good sized cauldron in the fireplace. Maybe she makes soup for gnomes and elves? Or maybe not.

Accessories for 1:24 scale can be difficult. In the hutch on the right you can see a jar full of some golden liquid. That's actually a 1" scale jam jar with the label removed. In 1:24 it looks huge. Other items on the shelves are assorted beads,  1" scale sugars and creamers, the tiniest 1" scale bowls I could find, and bits of wood and dowels I turned into boxes and big pottery jars. The trunk in the left foreground is made from a little block of wood and a piece of molding I found years ago.
This view shows the things tucked into the area by the bottom of the stairs better. I filled the wooden basket with bead "apples". I wanted a tall candleholder, but couldn't get my ideas to work out quite right. They kept turning out funky looking, so I decided to paint a funky looking candlestick black and added one of my drippy candles.
Finally here's the work table. The potion book turned out to be easier to make than I thought it would be. I painted a flat piece of cardboard with a splotchy layer of Payne's Grey acrylic paint. The pages are made of facial tissue. I cut some pieces to size, stitched them together down the center and snipped off the edges of the sheets to size. Next I gave the pages a light spray of Krylon Matte Finish. It stiffened the pages a little and puckered them slightly giving them that old parchment look. next I just glued the pages to the backing, glued the book to the table, and dabbed on some writing using Payne's Grey paint with a very fine brush. I decided to add a couple of rolled parchments. To make them I just wound the tissue paper around a thin dowel before spraying with the matte finish. I used red thread to tie them closed. The other parchment is tucked into the hutch by the fireplace.
The little red box is one of several I made from a piece of wooden molding I found at Michael's. Here's a picture showing the molding and how I cut part of it off to form an interesting box shape.

I thought the tarnished brass "jar" was an interesting looking finial that had been laying in a box in my basement for years, so I used it.  The large gold candleholder with the drippy stump of wax in the corner of the table was the bottom of a 1" scale candle I had been experimenting on. I told myself I had wasted a perfectly good candlestick and then got an idea of how to use it.

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.