Progress!

Progress – so far – has been very quick on my Undersized Urbanite build.  I’m starting to grow concerned that I’m about to hit a wall with how it’s going and have to start over, but it’s  not like I don’t have 7 months to finish, right?

IMAG0780On Monday afternoon, I painted the walls and laid & stained the floor.  The base of the floor is quarter inch thick balsa, very easy to size and cut, and the wood plank flooring is actually iron-on veneer strips meant for cabinet edging.  It’s been stained with Minwax water-based express  finish stain in Golden Oak.  With the actual veneer being Red Oak, staining with the Golden Oak gives it a nice strawberry-blonde finish, which will go extremely well with the decor scheme I have planned!

Monday night, I began to paint and install the windows, which I had already built.

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As you can see, the windows do open 🙂  I considered purchasing working windows, but not only was this method extraordinarily inexpensive (all of the windows came from one piece of three dollar 8×10″ plexiglass from Lowes, and trim was 29 cent stripwood from Michaels) but I didn’t have to wait for them to arrive in the mail AND I got to custom size them all.  I really like the hinged openings for this build, I think they fit the character of the home quite nicely and as it all comes together I hope you do too 🙂 I still have one more small window to build out, so I hope to utilize that one to make a tutorial on my DIY hinged windows.

Tonight, I finished installing the windows, tiled the viewable portion of the bathroom floor, and glued the three permanent walls.

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I LOVE the tile colors!  They’re stuck and grouted with plain old spackle.  I still have some clean-up to do with them, but they really need to dry overnight first.  I’ve also propped in the pocket door to see what it looks like; I love it, but it needs some revamping to actually function.

There is one more wall that needs to be installed, but for now it will have to wait.  Unlike most dollhouses which have either an open side, front, or back, or a hinged side (typically the front), I’ve decided this build needs a removable wall for the full effect.  Most full-size dollhouses can get away with the open wall, and all of the rooms are essentially set like a stage for a play; with this build of a tiny house, all four walls must be used.  This also means that when it comes to my final photos of my entry, I’m going to have to get creative with the photography.

My next steps will be building out the kitchen cabinets and/or doing a bit of external trim and fitting the fourth wall.  I haven’t quite decided yet 🙂  Lighting arrived today, so I’ll have to give that some consideration as well….but electricity will most certainly warrant its own post!

Older projects

I thought I’d take the time to showcase some of my previous made-from-scratch items, since I have not had anything new to post about this week.

1. The weathered coffee table

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Made from scratch and scrap wood, and weathered with a watered-down mixture of blue, brown, and cream paints, I wanted this to look very rustic and homemade.  While all of the pieces were ultimately glued together, I did create a nailed-board look on the top of the table with jewelry pins.  To do this, I snipped them very short, made pilot holes with a thumbtack, and hammered the “nails” in.

Additionally, I wanted the appearance of drawers (an extraordinarily useful feature in coffee tables, in my humble opinion).  I checked out the jewelry section at JoAnn Fabrics to see if I could find anything good for knobs, and ended up coming across those findings.  They are brads with flower backs to them – several different flower types and brad lengths were included in the package.  The leftovers are very likely to make an appearance in my Undersized Urbanite build!

2. The sofa

IMAG0752I can’t even tell you how extraordinarily proud I am of this thing!  I searched for ages for a sofa that fit my vision for the Christmas House, but just couldn’t find anything that worked with both my desires and my budget.  After putting together a House of Miniatures Chippendale Wingback Chair, I felt I’d gained enough knowledge to tackle building a couch from scratch.

The primary structure is composed of a combination of foam core and stripwood, with a layer of thin foam providing a little softness in the arms and back.  I then carefully cut and covered the couch with a lovely faux suede fabric I found on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics.  The seat cushions are also made from thin craft foam, with a layer of felt on top for a bit more softness.  The cushion trim was perhaps the trickiest part, but I realized that the nature of the faux suede was such that I could actually use a tape runner from my scrapbooking stash, and simply use that to adequately “hem” the strips before gluing them to the pre-covered cushions.

I did find that for this project, superglue was probably my best friend because of the multiple textiles I used to create it.  The back cushions were sewn by hand, and filled with seed beads for a more realistic appearance of weight and impressions.  The feet were shaped wood disks from Michaels.

Along with my up and coming “useful tools” post, I also hope to get some great shots of the Christmas House in the near future; I plan to work on the lighting tomorrow 🙂