Hello! Thank you for visiting. If you like creative DIY projects for your home, children and even for yourself then you have come to the right place. I am so excited to share my ongoing projects with you all. With a little imagination and things you may already have around the house, you’ll be amazed at what you can create. Grab a coffee and get inspired!
It has been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve been super busy with projects that are ready to share! Spring is here and I took the opportunity over the school break to purge the apartment and organize my pantry. This wall has had a complete overhaul due to our lack of floor space. My little one kept banging his head on a Murphy hutch that was against the wall and I knew that I had to part ways with it. I’d say that’s the toughest part of purging…letting go. It’s liberating once you do it, but the process can be tough when there are memories attached. What helped was to think of the life I would like to have with more space and once I got started it was really easy to just look at something and say “It’s gotta go”.
I’ve always liked Native American art and patterns which is where my inspiration came from. The pillows are from our first couch that we kept because we liked them so much. I decided to mirror the motif from them onto the accent wall. It’s paneled over so hanging any pictures is tough. Thank goodness for 3M picture hangers! I’ve also seen others use Washi Tape to make similar designs on their walls, but I knew that I’d be able to do it for free. After rummaging around the toolbox I found two rolls of electrical tape. Works Just fine and has the added flexibility to sink into the grooves of the faux wood paneling. I highly recommend using a level when applying the tape. (I had the added bonus of the panels to use as guide lines).
The painting was really easy to do as well. I only buy these canvases from Michaels when they have their bi annual art supply sale. You can purchase a pack of two 16 x 20 under $5. I used a really inexpensive acrylic paint and Pearl Ex pigment for the painting. All of which can also be found at Michaels Craft store.
I masked out the triangles with blue painters tape after I sketched the layout with a white chalk pencil. If you make a mistake you can easily wipe it off with a sponge lightly dampened with water. I then mixed the metallic paint with the Pearl Ex to brighten the effect. Once dry I was going to spray the whole canvas with a semi gloss but I liked the juxtaposition of the matte black and metallic paint.
To complete the look on the adjacent wall I made a macrame wall art piece. I happened to have an old dowel rod laying around and lots of cotton yarn from another crochet project that was just begging to be used for something. I really like how it turned out. It was like making a gigantic friendship bracelet with tassels.
Now onto the kitchen. I came across a great find when my daughter started coloring on the walls when she was little. She had two huge panel doors opening to her closet and I thought they would make great chalkboards. The only problem? As renters it’s a bit tough at times to paint anything and I certainly don’t like the process of repainting once I’m moving out. The solution? Chalkboard contact paper! It’s inexpensive, easy to apply and looks great. I’ve now used it for everything around the house. Like most families the kitchen is the command center. I’ve used every available wall and cabinet space in my tiny kitchen to help keep me and my family organized and on track. I found my Contact paper on Amazon for less that $5 a roll.
Here’s a before and after comparison of the cabinet door. I love these chalk markers that I found at Target. From the research I did, these seemed to be the best quality for the price. I’ve been really pleased with them so far. To streamline the process of making the grocery list I used the cabinet beside the refrigerator. Once it’s ready I just take a picture of it with my phone and I’m all set. The little green decals are also made with electrical tape. I got inspired by a really cool wall on Pinterest by but changed the color to compliment the many plants in my kitchen. I really like Swiss crosses but totally forgot that a green cross means something around here in Portland. Oh well, I still like the color.
Here I utilized the end of the upper cabinet and the corner of my kitchen. The clip boards are great for organizing important papers which are tossed into the recycling right below. The small closet door is used as my to do list and weekly calendar to keep me on track. The best thing is that it simply peels off when you want and doesn’t leave a trace behind so you don’t chance your deposit.
Next time I’ll share with you my new organized pantry that I redid for under $40! Plus how to hide the kiddie clutter, and finding a dining space when you don’t have a dining room, that servers more than just dinner. Hope my ideas have helped to spark some of your own. Cheers!
Finally! I reached a mid-point in the living room remodel. I’ve been dying to post sooner, but living in Portland in the spring does not provide many sunny days. I have been waiting for the right amount of sunlight to take photographs. So as soon as the sun peeked out from behind the gray clouds I scrambled to get everything set up. I totally geeked out over my newest mini that I made this week. As usual I was browsing on Pinterest and came across a really sweet record player that I wanted in real life, so of course the house had to have one to! Here’s the player from ION that I love!
Here’s my mini version…
This was so much fun to make and by far my favorite mini to date. I took full advantage of a rainy afternoon drafting the design and working out the mechanics of the arm. I mean, what’s a mini record player without a needle that swivels right? Talk about tedious…the needle itself was a challenge. I’m still working out some of the finer details so my OCD can take a rest. I have to figure out how to design the feet on the player and perhaps paint the logo on the front. I decided against the volume control so it wouldn’t interfere with the arm.
My hubs joking said that I had issues when I pointed out the tiny needle in the arm. It’s all about the details. A mid century console goes hand in hand with a record player like PB and J. As for the console, it got a bit of finishing touches on it as well. The legs were a bit too pointy and I it got washed out against the floor, so I decided to stain every thing except for the doors and legs. I tried coffee first, but it wasn’t quite dark enough so I used a watered down acrylic for the stain and then finished it off with bees wax. I’m really pleased with the result. It goes really well with the couch and wallpaper. Plus it makes the player stand out even more.
As far as the wall, I had a long narrow mirror that ran the length of it, but it just didn’t feel quite right. I was really proud of it at first because I had salvaged it from an eye shadow compact with a bit of hot water and Goo Off. I tried to pry it off and broke it, so I used the opportunity to try another approach. I’ve seen a lot of circular mirrors lately in other dollhouses like this one from Whimsy Woods Designs that I’ve been admiring.
To make it a bit more dramatic I decided to frame the mirror. My first attempt at framing it was using brass wire that was twisted by hand and then hammered flat, but it wouldn’t adhere to the edge of the mirror without a ton of adhesive being exposed. On such a small scale it just stuck out like a sore thumb. Then I decided to try it with polymer clay. Talk about a DUH moment. So..much…easier. All I had to do was design the frame and then just bake it onto the mirror itself. I carved the surface of the frame to enhance the brass finish which matches the other design elements of the first floor.
I’ve also been digging the brass plant holders and decorations that I’ve seen around the internet lately so I tried my hand at making one myself. I think it’s super cute next to the little aloe plant that I made from polymer clay. As you can see, there aren’t any base boards yet, but that’s on the list. I also tried to salvage the wallpaper where it ripped from the previous mirror, so I’ll probably end up just going over it again with another sheet. ( So glad I bought 2 just in case. They were on clearance for 19¢ at Michaels!)
The macrame chair got a bit of an upgrade as well. I really liked the green beads that I used but then stumbled upon a pair of wooded ones in a jar. I think those made a big difference. Plus the tassels got a bit of a trim to make it more to scale. Right now it’s suspended from a command hook, but later it will hang from a ceiling beam that I’m installing. They too were stained with a highly pigmented watercolor, but left raw. I know that most Mid Century furniture is rarely left raw or unstained, but this design is a merger of Mid Century modern, Scandinavian and Boho elements, so this representation is peppered through out the room. Hence the Mid Century, natural and raw side table I made.
I also painted the little poster on the wall. The sound of jazz on vinyl is music to my ears. I listen to it every morning during my commute with the family. At first I was going to mount a TV on the wall, but ended up wanting the main room to be where the family interacts with one another without media or computers. I love technology as much as the next person, but all too often at work I see families all sitting together over a nice meal,…staring at their phones. This image came into play when I designed the main floor with an open floor plan.
I hope you enjoyed my mini reveal as much as I did. This is only the mid point, so I still have a lot to make. I’ve been drooling over this Joybird chair even more than the IKEA Poang, so I’ll be working on that design next.
I’ve also got some pottery, books and plants with macrame hangers to create over the next few weeks. ( So much to do, so “little” time). Please join me again for part two of the living room remodel, I’ll post a few sneak peeks along the way on Instagram and the Facebook Fan Page. Till then, happy miniaturing!
What a crazy week this has been! I was temporarily blinded. No joke. My little one blunted me in the eye with the end of a marker. I was out of commission for the week, eye patch and all. Now I’m almost back to normal and ready to tackle this next part of the tutorial. Without further ado, here’s the list!
- Silver seed beads X2
- Silver spacer tube
- Silver decorative beads
- 20 gague silver craft wire
- Spring from an ink pen
- Wire cutter
- Wire smoothing pliers
- Jewelry hammer (or small hammer)
- Steel bench block (or hard flat surface)
- Polymer clay (Sculpey white)
- Polymer clay sculpting tools
- Spray paint in chrome or Looking Glass Mirror Like
- Baking soda
- Aluminum Foil
Main materials used.
The first thing that I did was to bend the silver spacer tube to the desired angle for the faucet itself. Next you will slide the spring over the tube all the way towards the front. I wanted it to look like the fancy faucets with the detachable faucet rinser. Now take the silver wire and make two jump rings for the base of the levers. Close the rings and set aside. Now you want to make the handles for the levers. Using the smoothing pliers, straighten out the wire. Then string the larger bead first and the the smaller seed bead next. It should look like this..
Now mark where you want the handle to bend with a felt tip pen. It’s important to bend both handles at the same time so that they are identical. I bent mine this way but for demonstrative purposes this is what it would look like if you just made one.
- Leave a good length of wire underneath for the base of the handle.
Next you’ll want to cut a small amount of clay for the base of faucet. Condition the clay by warming it with your hands. Then mold it into the shape of the base. I used a photo for reference and accuracy. Once you have your desired shape, make a depression on either side where the levers will go. Place the jump rings over the indentations and mark where the handle will go. Then add your larger decorative bead for placement. I should point out that this is a good time to make sure that your handle bases are level before you bake. At this point you should have something like this.
You can now bend the bottom of the handle. This will enable you to turn your faucet on and off. Once you are finished it’s time to hammer the handle flat using the jewelry hammer and steel bench block.
Above is a before and after of the handles being flattened. The handles should be filed or sanded to round out the edges and smooth away any sharp points. You can now insert the faucet into the center of the polymer base. Press down firmly to ensure it will stand alone. Carefully insert the handles into the holes that you marked on the base with the small seed beads pushed towards the top. Your’re almost home! Add another small lump of clay to the bottom of the base, covering the bottom of the handles. Smooth the entire base with the clay tools to blend the two pieces together. Turn each handle to carve a path on the inside of the base so they can turn back and forth. This is what you should have at this point.
Don’t worry about any lumps that you may have in your clay. You can always sand them out later after the clay has been cured in the oven. I recommend using a light grit paper (150 or 200) to smooth the surface. Place the completed faucet in a bed of baking soda on a piece of aluminum foil. Seal the edges of the foil to protect all your hard work and bake for the appropriate amount of time. Let it cool for at least an hour. Then sand until smooth and paint with your desired spray paint color. You’re all done! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and as always, should you have any questions please leave me a message in the comment section or E-mail me! Happy miniaturing!
This week I’m going to focus on how I made this sink and faucet for the kitchen island. I had a general idea of how to draw out the design of the island, but I needed help for this one. I knew that I wanted the farmhouse sink with cabinets underneath that would open. For the bulk of this installation I will refer you to a fantastic tutorial by Lesley Shepherd. You can find it here how to make a sink cabinet. This is the best and most informative tutorial that I have been able to find. The great thing is that with this basic construction you can design your island to suit your taste. I also followed her instructions on how to make opening cabinet drawers. You can find that here as well, how to make cabinet drawers that open. I was so impressed with her work that I was truly saddened to learn of her passing back in August of 2015. So I’m dedicating this post in her honor of being such an influential miniaturist.
Here’s a list of materials that I used to make this island.
- 1/4″ plywood
- 1/8″ basswood
- Craft sticks/ Popsicle sticks
- 20 gauge brass wire
- Sequin pins
- Craft Smart white acrylic paint
- Craft Smart gloss acrylic paint in Navy
- Mod Podge gloss finish
- Craft glue
I didn’t take any photos of the cabinet in progress unfortunately, but I will provide an explanation with the finished ones. I had a lot of measure once, cut twice moments. Also the plywood that I used for the counter top had a slight warp in it that didn’t make itself known until the very end of construction.
First I had to make the sink so I knew what dimensions to use for the height of the cabinet itself. Here’s a list of materials that you will need for the sink:
- Polymer clay ( I used white Sculpey )
- Xacto knife
- Graph paper
- Wax paper
- Polymer clay sculpting tools
- Old tooth brush
- Americana Triple Thick gloss glaze
- 20 gauge silver craft wire
- Jewelry or small hammer
- Craft glue
- Pasta machine for use with polymer clay
- Polymer clay hand rolling pin
- Aluminum foil
- Baking powder
- Jewelry making pliers
- Clay cutter
Draw out the dimensions that you want for your sink on your graph paper. You’ll need the base and 4 sides. Now with clay we won’t be gluing the pieces together, but blending the edges with our tools. Make sure that you leave a small seam allowance for blending.
Now it’s time to condition your clay. I used to work part time at Jerry’s Artarama in Nashville for the art supplies alone before the kiddos came along. I would apply my whole paycheck to the supplies that I had put aside for the week. That was a sweet hookup! It was an artists version of supply heaven. One of my purchases was a polymer clay machine. I’m so glad that I bought it! If you have one it’s great, if not a good ole rolling pin works just fine. Slice off a small amount of clay to be conditioned. I also have a clay cutter and hand roller which is what I used here. You can also use your Xacto knife if you don’t have a cutter.
Roll out your clay to begin conditioning it before you put it into the machine. Once it no longer crumbles and starts to soften it’s ready for the machine. Start on the largest setting and then work your way down to the desired thickness.
Once your clay is warm and pliable you’re ready to cut. Place your clay on top of your graph paper with your measurements. Then use your clay cutter or Xacto knife and ruler to cut a straight line.
Once you have all of your pieces cut it’s now time to give the surface some texture. I wanted mine to look like concrete so I used a toothbrush to stipple the exposed front.
Now it’s time for the assembly. ( I should mention that I also wear latex gloves while I assemble so that my fingerprints won’t be transferred). I started with blending one corner at a time until I was satisfied with the construction. Then I used the eraser cap from my mechanical pencil to cut a hole in the base of the sink for the drain. Once assembled I placed the sink in a bed of baking powder on aluminum foil to reduce the chance of the clay turning color from the process. Bake for the appropriate time according to the manufacturing instructions and let cool before removing.
Using your wire tool, wrap your 20 gauge wire to the diameter of the hole you cut for the drain. Cut and shimmy it together until the circle closes. Then hammer flat very gently. Apply two coats of the gloss on the sink and let dry for a few hours. Then glue the ring over the drain opening. When completed it should look something like this:
Now you are ready to start construction of the cabinet. (Following the instructions from the link). I got stumped when trying to figure out what to use for the hinges. I wished that there were tiny nails that I could use. Then on my usual run to the craft store I stumbled upon the most awesome find in the sewing isle…sequin pins! Problem solved.
To make the hinge process a little easier, I used the balsa wood for the cabinet doors since it is much softer than the basswood or plywood. I have a jewelry hammer that I used for the “nails”. You can find a jewelry hammer in the beading section at Michaels, Joann Fabrics or support your local bead store for one. I love going to Village Beads in my neighborhood, they have such fun supplies there.
Instead of making just the sink cabinet as a single piece, I extended the base by the width of the drawers that I wanted to install next to it. On the other side of the sink cabinet I measured out the height of the cabinet sides and marked it starting from the bottom. I treated this side as the interior of the next cabinet when following Lesley’s tutorial. This is where I glued the craft stick to act as a drawer slide. It helps to keep the drawer from wiggling about just like in real life. This made a huge difference in their performance when open and shutting them.
From here you can follow the tutorial for cabinet drawers. Here’s how mine turned out…
Once your are ready for assembly, paint all exposed surfaces of each piece prior to gluing. I went back and forth on the counter top. At first I wanted a marble counter, but then opted for plain white in the end. This real life kitchen is what inspired me.
Apply two coats of Mod Podge to the counter and allow to dry overnight. I know that was a lot to cover in one post so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me or leave it in the comments. Join me for part two which will cover making the faucet! Hope this tutorial was helpful. Happy miniaturing!
Now that the house has been totally demolished it’s time to start on the foundation. I absolutely love wood floors so of course the dollhouse had to have one! Here’s a list of materials that you will need for this project…
- Craft sticks or Popsicle sticks
- Safety goggles
- Dust mask
- X-Acto knife or garden pruners
- 60-200 grit sandpaper
- sanding block
- Craft glue ( I used Beacon 3 in 1 )
- wood glue
- foam board or 1/8″ plywood for the base
- Minwax wood filler
- Paper towels
- pallet knife
- Bees Wax ( I used Three Beautiful Bees Beeswax Polish)
This was probably the most tedious and time consuming part of the project, but I embraced the details! If you are trying to go for a more realistic effect, then don’t skip out on this part. When selecting each “plank” make sure that they are level and flat. I found out the hard way when I glued a few down and then had to spend an eternity sanding them down. Ugh!
Measure out the space of your room and cut your foam board or plywood to fit.
Inlay your base and then the real fun begins. Cut the rounded edges of each stick using your blade or pruners and lay them out. (Be sure to wear your safety goggles. The last thing you want is a piece of wood flung in your eye)! Since each “plank” is different, I used a number/letter system on each row just in case one of my kiddos, hubby or I (most likely the latter) should bump into it.
The small pieces on the end were the tips that I cut off each stick. I like to use every piece available. Once you have your floor in place the way you want, it’s time to glue. This is where the labeling system came in handy. I lifted one row and accidentally bumped the rows above and was able to put them back without the headache of wondering where each one went. I used Beacon 3 in 1 craft glue. It has a quick grip which was great because I didn’t have to use a weight to clamp them down to the foam board. I did experience a slight warp in the board from the moisture. I got some advice from an awesome miniature group on Facebook, which was to spray a light coat of sealant on both sides prior to gluing to prevent the warp. I let the floor set overnight before filling in the cracks.
Using the pallet knife, spread the wood filler over the surface and let set for the recommended amount of time. Using the roughest grit sandpaper (60) wrap it around the sanding block and sand the floor in the direction of the grain. Work your way up to the smoothest grit (200). After sanding you are now ready to add the nail head details. Using the small nail, gently hammer two small indents on each end of every board. ( This was the fun part for me, because it meant that I was almost finished)! Once you are satisfied with the smoothness of your floor remove any debris and prep for waxing. Using your fingers, smooth on small amounts of wax section by section and let set overnight. Buff using a circular motion and a soft cloth. Repeat the waxing process, then sit back and enjoy all of your hard work!
I’m super excited about the next phase of the ground floor. I’m building my dream kitchen all by hand. I guess I watched too many episodes of Fixer Upper on Netflix because somehow a farmhouse sink ended up in my kitchen island, and I’m even not super crazy about country decor. This will be a mid century/ bohemian/ Scandinavian design. That’s a mouthful I know, but I think that each element will compliment each other nicely. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please feel free to leave a comment or add pictures of your own project. Cheers!
I needed a great gift for my daughters’ teachers that wouldn’t break the bank but still packed a punch. I don’t shop at the Dollar Tree very often, but I couldn’t pass up the plain white coffee mugs they had during the holiday season. So I decided to personalize each one and stuff them with hot cocoa packets. This is a super easy and inexpensive project that only requires your imagination and an oil based Sharpie. Here’s the list of materials that I used.
- Oil Based Sharpie in Gold
- Ceramic coffee mug
- Paper and Pencil
- Cotton Balls and Q Tips
- Rubbing Alcohol
Step one: Use the cotton balls and alcohol to clean your mugs. The alcohol will remove any oils from your hands that my be on the surface. Plus it rids the surface of any dirt. Now you’re all set.
Step two: I chose a woodland themed font for my monograms. Each one was drawn by hand, but for accuracy I used a stencil for the circle. I also drew the circle on a piece of paper and cut it out with an X-Acto blade. This was extremely helpful when it came to layout placement on the mugs. I’m also a big fan of hand lettering and calligraphy. Search the internet or your local library for lettering that suits your style. Then practice, practice, practice! I drew mine freehand except for the circle, which was stenciled directly onto the cup. You can also transfer your drawing if you aren’t comfortable drawing freehand. Just flip the design over and shade over the area with your pencil. You’ll want to shade very heavy and dark. When you are finished you can then transfer the image onto your cup by tracing over your design.
Step three: Break out the Sharpie. Be sure to shake the ink well and follow the instructions on the package. This was probably the most difficult part for me. You can’t rest your hand on a flat or stable surface so that’s where the Q tips come in handy. Dip them in the alcohol and simply erase away any mistakes. I found it best to start in the center and work your way towards the outside. You’ll have less chances of your hand resting on all your hard work and smudging your design. Once you’re satisfied with your design it’s time to preheat your oven.
Step four: Heat your oven to 250°. Place your mug on a baking sheet lined with either parchment or wax paper. I found that the best way to bake the mugs, is to bake longer at a lower temperature. They were baked for 2 hours and allowed to cool for 1 hour afterwords.
Step five: Stuff your mugs with anything you like! I was going to use coffee but opted for hot cocoa instead.
There you have it. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. If you should have any more questions please feel free to leave it in the comment section, I’m happy to help. I also look forward to any comments or suggestions that you may have.
Did you try it? Please share. I’d love to see what wonderful ideas that you came up with!
I rediscovered my love of dollhouses when my husband brought home a beautiful find off Craigslist. The furniture and house were in great shape, but I had visions of a more modern design. My daughter loved it and I was excited to make her a dollhouse of her dreams. (okay, my dreams). It began with a miniature of an IKEA couch and Billy Bookcase, because everything starts there, right?
We found the perfect little family to live in the house. She really loved to play with them and it was fun watching her little family come to life through her imagination. Then the dinosaur phase kicked in. The sweet little family was kicked out and forced to live in the toy box. Now the toy dinosaurs ruled the roost. Thus began the end of her love affair with her dollhouse as dinosaurs and Lego took over. I too put it aside but longed for her to play with it so I could as well. Eventually she outgrew the dollhouse all together and the decision came to sell it.
I came across the furniture that I had made while cleaning up the house. Something had been sparked. I had a dollhouse when I was a little girl given to me by my mother’s friend for my birthday. It was supposed to be a project that we did together. I was so excited that I couldn’t wait and it was fully assembled by the time he came by to visit. I had even made little curtains and bedding. I didn’t even have any dolls to live in the house, but it was the decorating and construction that I loved the most.
I’ve always been crafting of some sort. Either sewing, crochet, painting, sculpting, building or anything else that inspires me. So far this has been a great outlet for all my crafts and keeps me busy. Here’s a look at the house before I dismantled it.
Demo day was a bit of a challenge. The dowels were glued in place as well as screwed so I had to drill out some parts. The house had suffered some minor damage over the years so I was happy with my decision to completely remodel the house. After much searching on the internet I finally found the manufacturer of the dollhouse. It’s a Cheerwing Happy Family house. I thought for years that it was a version of the Plan Toys Terrace dollhouse. I found that the biggest problem with the house was that it was really deep. My daughter had to really stick her arm in to play. I took this into consideration when designing the new layout.
Starting from scratch posed many possibilities and challenges. The best way to tackle such a task was to use Sketch Up. It’s an awesome program and very easy to use. I was able to draw a side by side, before and after illustration. I guess I’d describe myself as somewhat of an OCD (all of my friends know this part to be so true) creative type. I like to plan everything out and then let the more imaginative side take over from there. What I found was a happy medium between what I had envisioned and what was functional in reality.
After the house was completely taken apart, it was time for clean up. There was a lot of glue and a few scratchs and dents that needed to be sanded down.
Now onto the next step which is the flooring. It was a no-brainer when it came to the flooring, all hard wood floors! The best way to make a hardwood floor was to use Popsicle sticks. I’ll be sharing with you how I was able to create beautiful flooring in my next post. Thank you so much for visiting. I hope that you were able to find some inspiration of your own. Are you working on your own remodel? I’d love for you to share your work! I look forward to you comments and feedback. Cheers!