Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bathroom Finishing

Bathroom-before flooring added
Not much to show in this small bathroom.   This room was papered with real-life wallpaper that I just happened to have a large enough sized sample.  Very, very little was left over! It was close!  LOL   The scale of the pink & blue print was just right for the dollhouse and also goes nicely with the pink bedroom!

Bathroom with printable flooring
The bathroom floor is a printable tile design that I made to match pink in wallpaper.   I covered the ink-jet printout with clear vinyl shelf paper ("Contact" paper) to give it a tile-look sheen.     Before cutting out the flooring from printout, I made a paper pattern using brown craft paper. 
Use your graphics program to alter color of this
pattern to suit your own room and then fill a full sheet of paper to print.
To make the pattern:  Cut a piece of craft paper a little larger than the estimated size of room and place it on floor.   Then take a stylus (or a not-too-sharp pencil) and emboss or rub a mark all around the edges where floor meets wall.   Before removing paper from room, mark the paper with an arrow to indicate back wall, so you'll know which end is which when you remove paper.  Believe me, top-bottom-front-back CAN get mixed up!!  Next, cut out the pattern based on that mark and fit it into the room.   Any places that don't fit exactly can be patched with a scrap of paper taped onto pattern and re-cut.    Make sure you have a well-fitting pattern before cutting your flooring.    This is especially important if you've purchased a $10 pack of dollhouse flooring and don't want any mistakes!  *G*

Also, remember to place pattern on flooring with the correct side UP.   Turn your flooring material over and trace your pattern onto the back side of your flooring .....making sure the pattern is also upside down.   I'll be glad to answer any questions about making your own tile pattern...just ask!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Decorating the Playroom

The top floor of the $5 dollhouse has height limitations due to the gable roof.  I decided to decorate this as a generic playroom so granddaughter could use it in many different ways, not just as bedroom.    This room was decorated at practically no cost.   I also made some furnishings for it at little cost, which I'll show later.

The floor in this room of the original $5 dollhouse was in very bad shape with old glue and other things stuck to it. I could have covered it in carpet, I guess, but I wanted a wood floor here. 

Instead of trying to sand and fix the original floor, I used a piece of thin plywood to cover up the original floor. Before giving it an acrylic finish, I used a pencil to draw lines to represent the gap between floorboards.   Photo here shows vertical lines added.   Randomly spaced horizontal lines would be drawn to represent the length of each board.  You could also make the width of each board more random than I did.   Additionally, if you like, you could add a couple of dots at end of each board to represent the nail heads in a more rustic floor.

Once the wood is coated with an acrylic finish, the pencil lines & indentations make it look like real flooring.   Be sure to use a ruler and measure for accurate straight lines!  ;-)

Tip:  I made a paper pattern first before cutting plywood for floor.   This gives exact dimensions, especially when room isn't perfectly square.   You could use a brown paper grocery bag to make pattern.

I didn't glue this floor down.  It fit well enough where glue wasn't needed.   Also, by not being glued down the wood floor could expand and contract with the humidity and hopefully,  avoid any problems.

Because the floor wasn't glued down, I removed it to paint and wallpaper.

I found a 'Dora the Explorer' wallpaper border printable that was the exact same height as the short wall in the room.  I think I found it at Jennifer's Printables ...I'll have to check and get back to you on that!
 All kids love Dora, so I settled on that.   The walls were painted a corresponding blue using Americana Craft Paint. It required a couple of coats!

Photo shows close-up of wallpaper border
(and also some of  the bumps and gunk on the original floor!)
I stumbled upon a printable of a small hexagon window and thought it would fit well on the back wall.   After I printed out the window, it was sprayed with a fixative so ink wouldn't bleed when I glued it.   Also, it was glued to a piece of cardboard first, just to give it a little dimension.  Finished room is below.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another Michaels Hutch-Bash

This time one of those great $1 hutches has been turned into a laundry room wall cabinet by Doreen at Doreen's Miniature Projects.  Finished cabinet is shown above and the original hutch shown below.

This is how it looks in the finished laundry room.   Well done Doreen!   Visit her blog to read more about this Sewing and Laundry Room Project.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Travel Trailer Project

Today I came across this 'work in progress' at Jenn's Mini World that I just had to share!   She has step-by-step photos showing how she created this mini travel trailer following instructions from Miniature Collector magazine.   I love those 'romantic' old trailers and always wanted one myself, but maybe I can make one in miniature! ;-)     This is a half-inch scale project.

Go here for Part One for lots of pics, plus some tips for making the project
Part Two  includes Helpful Hints (Or, what I learned the hard way)
Part 2.5   Note about error in design
Part 3 and Finish   Showing finished interior & accessories

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Dollhouse Kits Are Made

Video tour of factory at "Real Good Toys", makers of some very fine dollhouse kits.  Video shows assembly of a deluxe dollhouse and the process and machinery that makes all those detailed parts!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Decorating the Pink Bedroom

For the pink bedroom I will be using a variety of materials.   The pink-striped paper shown in the photo above is 12"x12" scrapbooking paper purchased on sale.    The purple and pink pattern is a printable butterfly wallpaper border.    The pink fabric shown above is a felt square I originally planned to use for carpeting.   It was the right color but I also thought it was a little thin for carpeting.   When I saw some plush fleece on sale,  I thought it would work much better as it was thicker, with more pile.   You can see it in finished room below.

The first step was painting the room bubblegum pink.  I just used craft paint for this.   One coat was enough because the walls had been primed first.

Next I used thinned Elmer's Glue as wallpaper paste to attach the striped scrapbook paper as wainscoting.   By only covering half the wall, one sheet was enough for the whole room.

After wallpaper dried, I added the border.   Multiple copies of the border were printed out as a full page (using good quality paper) and sprayed with a matte sealer before using (otherwise the ink may bleed).    Then borders were carefully cut out and glued to top of wainscoting, which, as planned, lined up with bottom of window.   No cutting around window was needed.

For the carpet, I made a paper pattern first, to make sure I got the size correct the first time.    Because this is a recycled dollhouse, I suspected all walls weren't perfectly square....and they weren't!  The center wall was a bit off-square, but not too noticeable to be concerned with.    Below is the finished pink bedroom.

The carpet was glued down, but only a few spots of glue in corners and along front edge.   I used fabric glue for this because other glues might bleed through the carpet and leave a dark spot!

I didn't make any curtains for the windows.    I may do that later....or just wait until the kids get older before adding those kind of details.    So far, so good!  ;-)    Next we'll tackle the bathroom.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How to Shingle a Dollhouse

I painted faux shingles on the $5 dollhouse, but if you want to put real shingles on your dollhouse you must see the Shingling Guide at More Minis.   Great ideas for getting it right on the first try!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Painted Landscaping

Onlay attached to right side

The painted Masonite cutout (onlay) to represent landscaping is done and attached to house!   Not the world's greatest paint job... (I'm running short on time to finish!! ....*G* time to fuss!)....but it's suppose to be cute and cartoon-y anyway, not realistic.    The idea was to add some bright colors and things that the kids would enjoy looking at....but still keep it simple.    (See previous post to see steps taken to cutout before painting.)

Onlay glued to left side

The birdhouses are added on as an additional layer of wood for a little dimension.   I also added some window shutters.   Another excuse for adding spots of color.  Nothing complicated about the shutters, just an easy-to-make rectangle of thin wood with a painted heart to dress it up.

That pretty well finishes up what I plan to do with exterior!

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