Dollhouse Miniature Wood Blinds: A Tutorial

If you haven’t followed along, you should know that I have stopped all other projects to finish the dollhouse my Father built me many, many years ago.

I have worked on it periodically over the years including paint the exterior white and finishing the ceilings in all the rooms. I also did a touch of remodeling; my Dad built the house to be in the period of something like “Gone With The Wind” including ‘slave quarters’ above the kitchen and a large, unused attic. I did away with the segregated room on the second floor by adding a hallway and then a staircase to the attic, now turned into four separate rooms.

So recently, I had the dollhouse moved into the living room, front and center of the sofa and between it and the television. Well, the television is elevated, but you’d be hard pressed not to see the dollhouse with any glance.

So, for the last couple of weeks, I have been busy painting rooms, laying floors and ordering furniture. I had quite a bit of pieces that I had collected or been given over the years but it was collected without much thought as how I really wanted to finish the rooms. I had two living room suites – sofa, loveseat and char – in two different colors and finishes, both of which I have opted to not use and instead have settled on some very neat black leather pieces. They’ve not arrived yet, and I am waiting on having them in hand before I find the supporting accessories.

I’ve created a design plan for all of the rooms, all beginning with their floors. I had original written a post that I wanted to complete the house room by room, but found out early on that it was necessary to have the floors defined and installed before you can really move on to the room’s wall color and the type of furniture.

dollhouse-numbered-roomsAnd once you’ve done the floor in one room, it just makes more sense to complete all the floors and walls before moving onto any one room. I have most of the pieces in the sewing room (#1) and it was the fact that I kept having to move pieces out once they were in place that brought me to this plan.

Just tonight I have completed the last floor, save for the rooms with carpeting. Two rooms have tile, four rooms have laminate floors, two rooms have ‘to scale’ wood floors, two rooms will have “carpeting” and one is left with the original floor (the attic storage space) and the hallway has a Popsicle stick floor. I will talk more about these as I progress.

I’ve been steadily working on window treatments too. The first is the home office (room #2). I wanted to have mini-blinds but try as I may, I could not find any ready made. So, I ventured into making some.

I had these coffee stir sticks for some time and have been playing with making other things. This seemed the perfect start. I picked out some beads at Michael’s… some smaller and others a little taller. I also picked up some thick natural thread at at the same time. Here is what I started with:

IMG_3947I clipped the ends of the sticks and measured for the window size. Here is the window ion which it  will hang:IMG_3954The sticks weren’t long enough to place a single blind across them, so I had to make separate blinds. I used the hole punch – a single, tiny hold in each end.IMG_3951I threaded the jute through it, added a bead and repeated. Then completed the other side. Once done. I used a dowel and drilled holes to match the blinds, threaded it through and tied it off. I added a dot of super glue to each knot to ensure it would hold tight.

IMG_3953At this point, I realized that I made it too long! There is going to be a desk top that runs just below the windows. So I made another one, a bit shorter.IMG_3956I glued a 1/4″ square rod at the bottom, not only to hide the bottom knots but also to add some weight to hold the blind taut.IMG_3957Next, I cut two pieces of 1/8″ balsa and two 1″x 1″ pieces for a valance and glued the edges. Once dry, I laid the dowel into the valance and glued it in place.IMG_3955I also cut four short pieces of thread and glued a small bead to the ends to simulate the controls for the blinds. I simply added them into the glue.IMG_3970.JPGNow completed, I simply hung it in the window! I used simple white glue to hold it in place and once dry, it is done.IMG_3972Next up is to install the countertop for the computers! This room is nearing completion!

julie

 

 

 

On Second Thought, the First Thought is Usually Right!

In my last post I showed you a neat little way to store your bits and baubles. At the very end, I mentioned that I considered adding elastic bands across the front of each shelf.

2015-09-19 18.41.01

Well, in tidying up before heading to bed last night, I barely tapped the edge of the cabinet and… well, you can see the result! I guess that “might” has turned into a “definitely” be adding it! Once is quite enough of picking up those bottles!

Saturday, I started work on painting the six chairs for the dining table. I had spray painted them white as a primer and had initially wanted to continue with spray painting with the final red color. But after spending the better part of an afternoon working through five cans of paint, I am less than enthusiastic about how it is turning out. For whatever reason, the coverage is not as good and in the process of trying to get good coverage, I am getting drips and too heavy coats. Not to mention that the overspray coated me such that it looked like I was sunburned and took a bit of scrubbing to get it all off. I had to wipe down areas on at least four of the six chairs, which then required re-priming. Sigh.

This set me back a bit. Which is why I decided to take the day off from working on it today. Just wanted to clear my head and rethink my next steps. Instead, I’ve been working on something fun and relaxing and watching old movies.

Hope y’all have had a great weekend too!

julie

Beading: Trying to Learn By Doing!

I ran across some beautifully hand beaded works recently and of course, I want to try and do it too. I always seem to take the jump-in-with-both-feet-and-wallet approach. Most of the time it works pretty well.

And I think it did this time too. Maybe?

So, I went out and bought about a million dollars worth of beading supplies. Well, not quite, but I did buy a LOT for such a little project. And I say that because I am thinking that the bead work is way more of a hassle than it was worth!

I’ll just dive right into the final product:

DSCN3678photo 7It is actually a felt jacket for a notebook… I use them (the notebooks) ALL the time when I am working and also when I am playing! First, I cut the large deep blue felt that would serve as the cover. It was enough to provide for four inches of overlap on each end, used to be able to create pockets that the covers would go into. Next, found the paisley design online, printed it and the starting with the teal, just cut out the shapes and using embroidery thread, stitched each one in ascending order.

I actually cut out some of the overlapping layers as I went, so that the dark green center wouldn’t be 6 layers deep!

Next came the beading. Actually first came finding needles that would fit through seed beads with thread! On the plus size, I know have about 156 new sewing needles, but on the other hand only about 6 of them worked. And they are so tiny and fragile, I managed to break one trying to force too much thread through the needle threader!

Okay, now back to beading! In the supplies I bought were lots of sequins – of all colors, shapes and sizes. (Of course my OCD required me to sit and sort it all!!) This helped get an idea of what I wanted to use and where.

I started with the dark green. One of the boxes of beads I bought had tubular beads and matching beads. The dark green was completed with the tubular beads across the color (rather than along with it). I thought about going back and adding seed beads between, but I think that would have been too much.

I then went back to the turquoise, those cute little ‘snowflake-ish’ designs with a bed atop into each one of the ‘loops’. Next came the lime green (I know it looks yellowish in the photo) where I sewed a little flower space with three matching green beads.

photo 4Then I went onto the purple.. this was pretty straightforward also, as the only real purple sequins were these little round ones, so I topped them off with a little larger purple bead.

And then I went back to the dark blue! I started beading this like outlining the shape but I was having a hard time controlling my spacing and the beads didn’t want to line up. About half way up the side of this and I was ready to call it quits. But then, I thought I’ll just fill it in!

Yeah. These are the things you don’t read about when trying to get information about how to do this. As you can see, I think I sewed on about 600 of these little blue seed beads (and I know because I accidentally knocked the paper plate on the floor and had to pick them all up!). Those alone took me about the time it took to watch 8 movies to sew on! Once I got to a certain point and thought “oh hell, no” I was past the point of no return! I had already spent a considerable time beading, but I did like the way it looked. So, I soldiered on.

DSCN3676I am actually still looking for the perfect ‘thing’ do place in the middle of the smallest and also dark green center. I originally had a large oval shaped button with its own beading, but being oval it didn’t look right in the teardrop/paisley shape.

I ran up to my sewing machine, sewed the little sleeve/pockets and slid the book into the cover.

DSCN3678Violå! It was done. Like I said, I have about a million bucks tied up in all of these beads, sequins, plastic flowers and needles that I may have to do more just to help offset the costs! After all, I can just get the basic piece done and work on the beading whenever I don’t have anything else to do.

Yeah, right!?!?

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