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.


  1. I love the way you've changed this. The little boy in your house is going to love it!! Judith x

  2. Yes I agree - very clever. Every little boy loves to live in a castle.


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