Sunday, February 11, 2018

Add a Couch

I just had to make a couch to match my chair. I just extended the pattern and made 2 cushions with a split skirt on the front and a kick pleat. My lofty quilt batting does make it look overstuffed but I like a comfy couch anyways.

I've about got it narrowed down to a fine art now. Step-by-step makes it go quickly but the time consuming part is always the trim. It takes a long time to cut out and get the piping done. It's not that hard, just really, really messy and time consuming. You have to squeeze the fabric around a thin piece of string and all that glue smooshes out through the fabric. I can't think of an easier or less messy way to do it.

If you don't like working with sticky fingers, you won't like making piping. And it's O.K. if you want to leave it off. But it looks so stinkin' cute! These chairs and sofas can be altered any way you like. You are the designer.

Little pillows and maybe a tiny afghan would look cute! I'm thinking ahead again.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

My Overstuffed Chair

I have made a lot of miniature furniture from scratch in the french style but I've never made an upholstered chair - until now. I ran across instructions for this little chair on a Dollhouse Miniature Furniture site a few years ago and only just recently (who knows why) decided to make one.

The author Kris got the pattern and instructions from another miniaturist, Ray Whitledge and modified it to suit herself. She gives a very thorough tutorial on how to do it so I won't repeat her instructions here but maybe just a few bits and tips on how I did it so I can show off my little chair too.

I picked a modern pattern for the chair fabric. I modified the instructions for what I had to work with and it turned out good for me. Instead of using mat board (which I did not have - I know, I'm surprised too as I thought I had one of everything), I used cardboard from cereal boxes because it is heavier than card stock or poster board. It worked fine.

I also used glue sticks from the Dollar Tree. I got 8 of them in a package for $1. They also worked fine for me. I had medium loft polyester quilt batting so I used that. If I hadn't had that already on hand, I would have experimented with toilet paper or paper towel padding to get the look I wanted. So I used what I had. I didn't go buy anything new. Yeah, I have an awesome craft stash. 

I did not compromise on the Aleene's tacky glue. It's the only glue I use for my paper and fabric crafts. It dries clear and it's not shiny if you get a little on the fabric. You'll love it! I always keep a few bottles on hand so I don't run out. I found a 3 ox. bottle of it at the Dollar Tree.

I also used some wooden beads I already had for the chair legs. I like legs on my dollhouse furniture. They went on before I put the skirts on the bottoms so it looks right. 

Another tip is to use large rubber bands around the chair where you can while the glue sets or you will be holding it for several minutes until it grabs. I kept going around the other areas and pressing the pieces together until the glue grabbed it. You can also give the tacky glue a few minutes to stiffen before you press your pieces together and it will cut the time you need to hold it.

I loved making the piping although the chair looks overstuffed and finished without it, it adds so much detail. I used hemp cord instead of crochet string or waxed string because that's what I had. You can probably find many substitutes that will work. You can also edit or change the pattern to make a different shape or type of chair. Do what you want.

Don't skip the boxing in of the cushions and the piping. It really adds that realistic touch. I do the piping last and was surprised at how easy it was to make. Once the piping is dry it will be very stiff from the glue. I was also surprised at how heavy the chair was when it was done.

Making your own minis gives you much better quality than what you can buy ready made in the dollhouse furniture section of the crafts store. This is probably the best tailored, realistic-looking and darndest cutie-patootie chair I've ever made! Now I must make more.

Monday, January 22, 2018

I Made a Miniature Guitar

I know it's been a while since I posted on this blog but I'm still here. I've been wrapped up in my other interests (wish I could narrow it down a bit) but I'll be filling in this blog (I have a few) and updating it as needed. Once again I have the desire to make some miniatures.

I saw these being made on YouTube by several different people and thought I would give it a go. I think the best instructions were from The Square to Spare . I don't play any musical instruments and I'm not musically inclined, although I do like to hum. :) I do love the idea of making music and find musical instruments strangely beautiful.

So I knew when I saw these that I had to at least make one. So I already had some popsicle sticks (you might call them lolly sticks) and glue, thread, exacto knife and everything I needed EXCEPT the coffee stir sticks (for the sides) that bend so easily after being soaked in water overnight. Regular popsicle sticks will not do that I found. So I used heavy cardboard instead for the sides of the first one and it worked. I'll get some birch wood coffee sticks later.

I used paper clay as a wood patch to level out the sides and sanded all with an emery board. I followed the instructions as best I could and this is how mine turned out:

I used triple thick to glaze it with and no matter what I did, it still has tiny air bubbles. I probably should have used thinner coats and sanded in-between them but I have a life and didn't want to spend the rest of it on this one little guitar.

I like it and I'll probably make more after the blister heals and my wrist quits hurting. I didn't realize until later that I apparently had the death grip on it for precision.

P.S. I now have a box of 1000 coffee stirring sticks just for maybe one or two more guitars... this is how hoarding starts. I'm a craft supply hoarder. The irony is that I don't stir anything into my coffee. I drink it black. Better hang onto them. Who knows when I might need one again. Right?