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

 

 

 

I Took The Advice and This Time I Used Maps!

After I finished the last dresser – covered with vintage dress patterns – someone made the suggestion to try maps. And I just happened to have some old road atlases from those days before GPS (do you remember that far back! LOL), so I plunged in.

For the life of me I cannot recall where I picked up this desk, but it has been sitting in the third stall of the garage for a while. Its decent quality – inside one drawer is marked ‘Broyhill’ – so I figured it would be a good starting point.

As you can see, I almost forgot about taking ‘before’ photos… I had it already up on the table with the drawers removed!

DSCN4704Somehow these days, desks just aren’t in much demand. I guess with everyone having a laptop, sitting any where works and you’re no longer chained to a desk.

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So, with the help from The Kid, we removed the extra legs and shortened the desktop and turned it into a nice sized little chest. The bottom drawer is nice and deep, great for storing bulky stuff.

DSCN4712I sold the sewing pattern covered dresser to this great couple for their daughter. She is into fashion, so it really appealed to her. When they came by to pick it up, they mentioned that they were looking for something for their son’s quite extensive Lego collection. Dad was a bit annoyed from stepping on those little plastic bricks in the dark as he was trying to check in on the kids as they slept – I’ve been there myself and it turns a very quiet excursion into some mighty loud yelps! So the very deep drawer might be just the thing for the family!

The whole process of adding the maps was the easiest and funnest part. I just sit and watch television and cut and paste. I did some strategic placements, on one side is the state of Missouri and Kansas and on the top is a nice map of the states. Following two nights of drying/curing, I applied two coats of polyurethane to give the maps a little staying power. It could even take a little scrubbing if it gets colored on.

I had the antique hoop knob pulls, rescued from a previous project that with a little green spray paint turned out quite unique!

The drawer that was removed from the desk section turned out to be the perfect size for a replacement drawer in a sewing cabinet that I am transforming into a little entry way table. Don’t you just love it when things come together? If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know that I hate to waste anything… and when it can be reused and saved from the landfill, I am a happy recycler!

Tomorrow, The Kid and I are making the trek out to meet Rebecca “Becky” Collis of Collis Country Quilting! I am so excited to meet Becky and check out her setup. Most excited about finishing some of these quilts that I have been working on for the past three years!!I have another idea for a dresser makeover… would make the cutest storage piece for a little boy’s room. Have to keep my eyes open for the next perfect piece!julie

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Another Dresser Experiment: Pattern Tissue

Wow, I did it again! I have been so busy at work and all that it entails as well as trying to finish up some projects. Then, too, The Kid and I got hooked on watching “Games of Thrones” – I know, I know, way behind the rest of the world! It has seriously eaten into my online time!

But with The Kid’s help, have finished another dresser. I actually am able to work on some of these projects while watching streaming television, I’d have a little more room to work if I gave up and admitted – at least temporarily – quilting defeat! The rescued quilt from that falling down barn is going to have to wait. For now.

I picked up this little dresser at one of my two online auction sites. I love when people overlook these pieces because they seem so flimsy, but in reality, they are quality pieces. I got this one for five dollars, just because no one could see past the missing back, broken rungs and the massive spider egg and web colony being built in it!

A quick cleanup and help from The Kid to fix the rungs and put a solid back on it and it was ready for my magic. After making the Monopoly Dresser, I wanted to try my hand at another cover: sewing pattern tissue paper. I recently inherited some pretty old patterns – circa 1940’s/1950’s in which I placed a couple of the pattern covers in frames to hang in my sewing room.

As most of the patterns were used and cut, so I didn’t see any way to actually use them to make the clothing, so I thought of decorating a little drawer unit to store things in my craft room.

I used thinned Elmer’s white glue and a 1″ paint brush to layer the tissue. I simply kept an eye for more interesting elements in the patterns and layered until I was happy with the look. I like how there are some areas that are a little lighter than others and the old style patterns had heavy cut lines that showed nicely.

I created the handles after a lot of thought as to what to use for knobs. I thought about buttons (very BIG buttons) or other things common to sewing. I had painted some big round wood knobs black, but the paint job wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked, so I scrapped them and went back to the drawer board.

Then inspiration struck! I had The Kid pick up some wooden spools and cut them in half. He ended up with a groove running down the middle, so he cut thin wood to place on the back. Then he added some half inch thick cuts from a 3/4″ dowel, glued it all together and let it dry. Came back to do a little sanding and then a couple of coats of semi-gloss black spray paint and a little more time for the paint to dry.

Aren’t they too cute?!

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So, I’ll keep this short from here and just show you the photos!

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Whaddya think?

julie

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