Monday, October 26, 2015

The Finished Gypsy Wagon

This one went really quick. I tried to use everything I learned from making the French Dollhouse (and a few new ideas) in this one. I cut everything to fit as I went but I drew patterns for the big pieces in case I want to make another one or just write out the instructions.

The lights really look neat all lit up... and it's not even dark yet. These lights are soft and not too bright. The final coats of paint and the satin/gloss finishes on everything really makes it shine!

I decided to re-paint the door medium brown and add lighting after the fact. It would have been much easier to wire it before making the built-ins but who knew? I used two Tim Holtz battery powered ideaology mini lanterns for the porch lights. I put one battery compartment in the storage under the wagon and one in the closet.

The finished wagon has 20 hand made aluminum hinges for the doors, cabinets and windows and I used two pre-fab long brass hinges on the tail gate. The two little oaken buckets are filled with foam and little flowers with moss glued in the spaces to fill the pots. I applied rubber cement liberally to everything I did not want to move but it can be changed out at any time without damaging the wood finishes. An alternative would be museum wax or tacky wax for miniatures.

I used plain screw eyes to hold the tools and wash tub to the back of the wagon and I used Tim Holtz fittings to hold the chains for the gate up and Tim Holtz ideaology hitch fasteners for the larger door knobs throughout the wagon. It's like I've been waiting for a project to come along where I can use all my Tim Holtz stuff!

I painted a colorful little metal set of table and chairs with Adirondack alcohol inks to carry around in the back of the wagon.

I'm really proud of the roof. I used a painting system from Tattered Angels and a heat gun to give it a metallic antiqued bronze sheeting look over three layers of foam core and plain brown cardboard cut from food boxes. It looks like real hickory parquet. I took the stove pipe straight up through the roof. Well, not really... I just made it look that way. It's just a half inch dowel with metal tape ends and a collar to help hold it in place. I couldn't be happier with the way the roof turned out.

I loved working on this project, I wish I had one life-size to play with. Wouldn't it be fun to just get in your 'real size' wagon and take off down the road for an adventure? I must have been a gypsy in a past life!

That decorative laser-cut trim really makes this wagon stand out! It just adds so much style to it.

Well, that's the end of this project. Who knows what the next project will be? I'm getting ready to go into Christmas mode before too much longer.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Finishing The Inside

I knew there would be a little sewing involved in finishing the bed because I needed pillows. The seat cushions and mattress are just fabric wrapped around foam core and glued to the back though - no sewing involved with them. The only real sewing I did was on the pillows.

I had some little dishes I bought a while back and only used two of the cups and saucers so I decided to use the rest of the set here. I made a little corner cupboard with a plexi front. The angles were a little tricky because of the slanted wall but with a little trial and error, I got it to fit together pretty well.

I made a little step stool so you can get in and out of the bed easily. It can be stored out of the way under the bed.

I made a little lamp for the dresser. It is made from two beads, a button and the cap of a little squeeze bottle that has been cut off and reamed out with an exacto.

It's lit from a tiny light kit with a button cell battery that's hid in the drawer. It has a little on/off switch in the drawer. The wire runs into the drawer from the top and the lamp is glued onto the dresser.

The hardest part of decorating this wagon was figuring out how to add railing to the shelves. I wanted to do them out of metal like I'd seen in some real wagons but I didn't want to use raw wire and try to get it to look right.

I remembered I had some hardware cloth coated in plastic so I cut two strips to size for both shelves then bent and glued them in place. It worked! It's just the look I wanted.

A few little books and pictures here and there to personalize the space. The look of frames on the pictures is done by dragging the edges along a Tim Holtz distress ink pad color Vintage Photo. Then I glued the pictures right onto the walls.

The bed area also gets a homey touch with its own photos on the walls.

Curtains, blinds or string beads? I had trouble deciding so I finally went with sheer tulle curtains on the windows.

I used my white gel pen to decorate the door glass, then I put a layer of tacky glue over that and rippled it by dabbing my finger over it while it was still wet. It looks frosted when it dries.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Built Ins

I like the way the furniture is built into the wagon. The seats are easy to make, they are just little cushions setting on a wood frame. I chose a fabric with some yellow, green and gold in it for the seat cushions and just glued the fabric over cutout pieces of foam core. I covered the (foam core) mattress with fabric and glued to the back, then made some little accent pillows.

The stove turned out really cute. Flat black paint made it look like cast iron. I made a little heat reflector over the stove out of aluminum tape and card, then scratched a design on it with a ball point tool. The stove pipe is a half inch dowel. I made the handles for the stove out of wire.

Most wagons have a dresser and some sort of bookcase or closet. I've not seen any two that are exactly alike. I made a little dresser on one wall. The top drawer opens but the rest is faux made to look like a built-in.

I also made a closet next to the stove for storage.

The mollicroft really was a forerunner to modern skylights. It was a neat area to make and decorate. It throws additional light into the rooms so I wanted to keep it bright and airy. Some of these wagons are really over-decorated with strips of trim and bright paint patterns everywhere but I didn't want to do that to this one. One thing I've noticed about gypsy wagons is that you never see anything painted all white. Everything is decorated and colorful. I used a scrapbook paper with a flower motif for the ceiling.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out!