Sunday, 24 July 2011


This week I sewed some bed linen and cushions, and worked more on the castle bed.

For the settle bench, I cut a rectangle of craft foam and wrapped it in burgundy quilting cotton fabric, gluing it underneath with Thick Designer Glue.  I made the cushions the same way that I made the cushions for the Day Bed in the living room, and used the same measurements (roughly 1/2" square).

For the bed mattress, I cut a rectangle of card to be the base, and glued foam (c 1/4" thick) onto the card to be the mattress.  Then I covered it also with burgundy fabric.  The pillow is a three sided bag, about 1/2" wide, which I stuffed with a little polyester stuffing.  I made sure to use the selvedge edges of the fabric for the open end of the pillow, so there is a finished edge.

The duvet is also quilting cotton fabric, and I sewed it like a giant cushion, then fed in a rectangle of thin cotton quilters batting to be the padding.  I hand-stitched the gap at the bottom closed.  I took the measurements from the mattress, but made it shorter and slightly wider.

To make the bed look realistic, I used hidden stitches to catch down the pillow and the duvet, so they would lie flat.  Then I glued the bedding/mattress into the bed structure (which was still open-backed at this point).

To finish the bed (apart from the ladder, which I haven't made yet), I touched up the paint around the artwork edges.  I glued in three cut out shields on the inside wall above the pillow.  Then I cut a piece of thin card to fit the back, and covered it with masonry paper.  I glued this on with tacky glue to completely box in the bed.

Now I need to add lots of accessories, sigh... It all looks far too tidy to be a boy's room.  I think the boy must be older than the little girl, as the room furniture is more adult sized and looks older.  Perhaps he is about 8 or 9, and she is about 4 or 5?

Of course, if I was going to be really realistic, i should drip stains all over the boy's carpet, cover the walls with posters and leave empty plates and glasses stacked here and there   :)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

An Englishman's home is his castle

I was thinking about the box bed pattern in the August 2011 issue of Dollshouse and Miniature Scene magazine, and I suddenly had this vision pop into my head of turning it into a turreted castle.  Castle-themed furniture ideas immediately followed, so this week I have been working on the boy's room.

I started with some cheap kits that I picked up at Miniatura:  a cupboard, a medieval-type settle bench, a simple chair, a tall bookcase, and some ready-made shelves (I only used the shorter shelf in the end).  I made these up according to the directions, but I also used the same techniques that I learned doing the Flutterby bedroom:  paint the exposed edges and surfaces with a toning paint (Citadel Foundation Paint 'Tallarn Flesh'), and apply printed artwork to give it a special touch.

On the internet I found some simple images of heraldic shields, and I put together some stonework and ivy artwork using Adobe Photoshop.  If you don't have Photoshop, skip to the next paragraph now.  At Jennifer's Printables, I found this free download of a 1/12th scale masonry paper.  I shrunk it down in Photoshop to roughly 1/24th scale, and tiled it to make a bigger section of masonry.  I also changed the colour balance to make it a bit pinker, like sandstone.  Then I downloaded some free 'ivy' brushes called 'Little lambs eat ivy' from Chez Plumeau, and 'painted' ivy onto the masonry in three different colours of green. 

I sealed the printed sheets with Decoart multi-purpose sealer, then cut pieces to fit onto the kits.  I added little cut-out heraldic shields as an accent.  Once a piece was finished, I touched up the white cut edges of the artwork with more of the brown paint.  I need to make a cushion for the settle.

In the second picture above you can see where I have made a start on the bed.  I am not really following the instructions in the article apart from looking at the pictures, but I did cut my wood sides to 1.5" wide and my mattress support to 3" long as per their measurements.  I made my sides a bit taller and added castellations.  I left a gap in the castellations on one piece so that I can run a ladder up to the top of the bed so the boy can play up there or use it for storage.  I covered both sides of the end pieces with 'masonry' paper.

I rested the mattress support and 'ceiling' onto lengths of stripwood, and glued the basic structure together as per the article.  I use Aileen's Tacky Glue to glue virtually everything, and I tend to use my fingers to apply it and then wipe my fingers clean on the apron I wear for that purpose.  Very low tech, but it works for me and you don't have to clean up a glue syringe afterwards (or throw out the syringe because it has gone hard...).

I cut another piece of wood to fill in the bottom section and some shorter pieces to be false drawers.  You can see in this picture how I have painted the edges that will remain exposed, with the toning paint.

Then I covered the front piece and drawers with masonry paper.  I have used gold-coloured jump rings as the handles for the opening cupboard and for the false drawers on the bed. 

I've run out of wood so I have cut a piece of cardboard to shape for the top part of the bed front.  I need to neaten up the edges, then paint them brown, then apply masonry paper to both sides.  It would probably be sensible to make up the mattress and glue it in first before closing in the front of the bed.  Something to do this coming week.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Back from holiday

We spent the past week camping down near Southampton, so I haven't done any work on the house this week.

I took along my copy of the August 2011 issue of Dollshouse and Miniature Scene magazine.  It has instructions for making a 1/24th scale box bed (where the bed is fully enclosed in a wooden shell, like a little room).  I am toying with the idea of making this for the boy's bedroom, although I still like the original Miss LP boat-themed boy's bedroom that is only available in 1/48th scale. Perhaps I could scratch-build a 1/24th version of the boat furniture.

We stopped into the Dolls House, a shop in Whitchurch, Hampshire, which stocks a lot of the cheap imports and Dollshouse Emporium stuff.  She had one lonely 1/24th wine bottle, which I bought to put in the wine rack of my Fairfield kitchen.  I would have bought more if she had them, but that was the only one.  Perhaps my occupants are very occasional drinkers.

As part of a belated spring clean, I have today dismantled my construction station in my bedroom and put away almost everything.  I think the time is coming when this house will move downstairs to join my other houses and I will get that corner of my bedroom back.  I have some paper printables that I want to make up, and I saw a neat idea for bunting that I may try out.  But basically I am coming to the end of the plans and kits that I had for this house.  I will still be looking out for 1/24th scale accessories at future dollshouse shows and keeping an eye out for the perfect boy's room furniture.  I need to do a bit of a tidy up inside the house - and do some dusting! - before it is ready to move.

I'm thinking that it is long past time to go back to my Willowcrest house, which never did get finished as I bogged down on the vast amount of interior accessorising needed for a knitting and quilt shop.  My DH came up with a great name for the shop:  "The Quilted Sheep", which I rather like.  I did a quick Google and of course others have already thought of it, but as my Willowcrest won't actually be a commercial business, I don't think they will mind  :)  The house has been waiting very patiently for some more attention.  The knitting shop is basically done, but the quilting shop is still a mess and needs lots of mini quilts made for it.  The workshop area on the top floor also needs some attention and accessorising.  Although I have to say that the scale looks so big after working in 1/24th for so long!

Sunday, 3 July 2011


This week I made a home for the teeny-tiny furniture so it doesn't get lost, and made a towel for the bathroom so that the occupants can finally dry their hands after washing them.

Play Trunk

I had this bare wood trunk which I picked up cheaply at a dollshouse show.  I was thinking it would go in the little boy's room.  But I wanted a home for the teeny-tiny furniture to reduce the chance of it falling out and going missing.

I painted it in colours to match the other furniture pieces in the girl's room.

I had some 'extra art' that came with the Flutterby bed, so I used it to trim the trunk.

Then I experimented with arranging the teeny-tiny furniture on top of the trunk.  The viewing angle will be from the front of the room, so I angled the furniture to be most visible from the side.  I used Tacky Wax to stick the furniture down, so it isn't permanent.  The rug is a little scrap of art.

And here it is in the girl's room.

Hand Towel for bathroom

I bought some tissues from Cath Kidston last year, which were very pretty but not very good for their intended purpose as they are very coarse, more like serviettes.  But I thought they might make a nice hand towel for the bathroom.

I cut a small piece to be the towel.

I looked around for a ring of the right size, and found this key ring which I could re-purpose. I used the medium ring that is connecting the key ring to the chain. I also found a little metal floret that I cut off of a brooch finding.

I folded the paper in thirds, threaded it through the ring and glued it into shape.  Then I glued the ring to the floret, and glued the whole thing to the wall.