miniatures

Coffee Table

Recycling a Goodwill find, I made a coffee table with storage for the dollhouse.

I found this little wooden box with a beautiful carved top at a recent trip to thrift stores. I decided to use the base as a coffee table for the dollhouse. I removed the cork from the back of the box top to attached to my new table top. The medallion will be saved for another application.

For the top, I cut a 1/2″ section from a large cardboard tube and fit a piece of foamcore into it. I then glued coffee stir sticks across the top. They were easy to trim with an exacto knife once the glue had dried. After soaking some of the stir sticks in warm water, I used the same cardboard tube to bend them around for the edges of the table. I let them dry overnight clamped to the tube, then they were the perfect shape to glue around the table top. A coat of thin paint as a stain and several coats of poly finish and it was done.

New Project(s)

I am getting ready to start another miniature project. For play, of course. In fact it think I am starting several simultaneously. A gnome type house as a neighbor for the doll tree house. My granddaughters have Calico Critters that they enjoy playing with, that would make good neighbors for the Waldorf dolls.

The critter home will be in a large tree trunk. I want it to be a moveable house that can be set on a table, or moved to the floor next to the treehouse. I am thinking two floors. A great room downstairs, with a living room and kitchen. Bedrooms upstairs. The interior and the furniture will be very rustic. In this home, I will forego the bathroom. After watching my granddaughters play with the large treehouse, I have found the bathroom gets very little attention. The majority of play is about cooking dinners and putting dolls to bed. The tree will be free form paper mache something like the sketch below…..

My second project is going to be a street of shops. I recently purchased 4 miniature American girl dolls – one for each granddaughter. They stand 6.5” tall and have removable clothes and shoes. They will sit, although with their legs sticking straight out. I will have to work around that, but it is doable. The scale will be determined using them as a measuring stick, as it seems to be a larger scale than 1/12.

This street will find a permanent home in the studio. The girls love being out there and it has more room available than my house. Unlike the doll tree house, I will start recording my process from the start.

The first shop planned for the street is a bakery/cafe. I have already started making baked goods from polymer clay after watching YouTube videos. It is really quite easy to turn out realistic breads and pastries with this stuff. Also, it’s a project I can work on for short spurts of time. With spring here, my garden is calling me and spending full days in the studio is a challenge.

Other shops I am considering – a clothing store, a book store, and/or salon. I want to put a small apartment above one of the shops. This is definitely a long term project. Although, I do need to get it done while the girls are still young enough to enjoy it!

My process can sometimes be rather random, but I do have a rough plan. These buildings will be constructed by recycling cardboard and foamcore as I did with the tree house.

I started the bakery with a floor plan and constructed a base. When I did the tree house, I didn’t do this properly and my floor was a nightmare to get flat. I wound up gluing the living room and kitchen to a plywood board to keep them from warping.

So…right now I have a floor, with a floor plan and some food. It is a start!

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Finished Dollhouse

The doll house is done and decorated….for the most part. It’s in it’s final resting place and ready for play anyway. There are, and probably always will be, things to add or make better….or repair😂. I also need to start on Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

I want this post to be mostly about the pictures. But as a reminder, this house is completely constructed (except for the refurbished base), completely of cardboard and paper mache. Everything in this doll house was made or repurposed by me with a few exceptions. I purchased wooden stir sticks for the floors, lights, and a set of dishes and pots and pans, for a total cost of around $30. The food and animals were made from polymer clay that I bought as a beginner set for $15. All of the cardboard, glue, paint, dyes, fabric etc., were already in my studio from many other projects. I also pulled from a stash of items I had saved for one reason or another (like napkin rings for lights, jewelry findings, the old book cover I used as paneling, etc) It truly is a recycle project. I think it may take up only a little less room as a whole than the pile of stuff that went into it, but it is much more pleasant to look at!

So, here it is before Helen and Margo show up for their play date today and totally redecorate….