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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Making Miniature Popcorn From Styrofoam and Free Popcorn Bag Template


I've been on a major popcorn kick lately; both in real-life and mini-life.  Since I made the box template before, and now I had to make the actual popcorn.



First, I made a template for the popcorn bags (available for free here: Free Popcorn Bag Template).  Now, to get that real popcorn bag look, I printed the bags onto tracing paper.  Tracing paper is usually bigger than 8.5'x11" (letter size) which most printers accept, so make sure to trim a half inch from the size so it fits into the printer feed.


After printing, I cut them out, folded the bottom gray strip and the two gray back strips, and glued the spots where everything overlapped.


Next, I found a piece of packing styrofoam (although a styrofoam cup would do the trick) and picked it apart into tiny balls.  These are the popcorn kernels.


To make them look buttery (mmm...buttery popcorn), I mixed acrylic paint and high gloss Mod Podge.  This will act as the glue that holds the kernels together and gives them coloring.
 

Using a pair of old tweezers, I dipped the balls of styrofoam into the Mod Podge mixture and stuffed each one into the popcorn bag.  The glossy Mod Podge gives it shiny, buttery look, and the styrofoam makes the kernels look fluffy just like real popcorn.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Free Printable: Miniature Popcorn Box


The box template is finally done!  Do download the .pdf version click here: Maria's Minis Popcorn Box Template.pdf.  Make sure your printing quality is set to high settings for optimal quality and you're printing on letter/8.5" x 11" paper.  Also, print on card stock or matte photo paper (I used matte photo paper in the finished photos below).

The boxes come in 3 scales: 1:12 (typical dollhouse scale), 1:24 (half scale), and 1:6 (play scale).  Hope you enjoy!





Friday, July 25, 2014

Finished Mini Popcorn Boxes


The mini popcorn boxes are finished, and I think they look pretty good.  I still need to tweak the template to improve the image quality before I upload them for sharing.  I also need to start thinking of the next food box template I'm going to make.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hobby Builders Supply Gift Certificate And Mini Popcorn


A few days ago, I was cleaning out my spam folder and noticed an email from Hobby Builders Supply (www.miniatures.com) about a $10 gift certificate.  It was a "thank you" gift for being a loyal customer, and I was VERY excited.  I've made a plan to learn how to make miniature food because I think miniature food is adorable, and the possibilities are endless.  So my $10 gift certificate was spent on miniature utensils, which I received yesterday.  Now all I need is a massive amount of polymer clay and a clue on how to make miniature food.



Speaking of miniature food, my current project is making templates for boxed foods with the first being popcorn.  I use a free illustrator program called Inkscape which I've blogged about before.  It's a great program for creating vectors and muchhhhh cheaper than Adobe Illustrator.  Well, I finished the template, sized it to scale, and got ready to print...until I noticed I ran out of printer paper.  So my project has to wait until after work.  The template will be available for free on my blog once I make sure it works.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

More Mini Candles


For some reason I've become obsessed making these mini candles.  The two stumpy ones didn't come out too well because the candles I used were old and flaky.  But they kind of have a very used look to them.  My next project will most likely be candle sticks.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ole Fashioned Miniature Candles


Confession time: I love candles.  My house is full of them.  While I've seen many beautiful miniature candles made from clay, my clay supply has runneth dry (literally because I failed to properly seal the container I was keeping it in).  So I had to get creative, which meant trying to make mini candles using actual wax and candle-making techniques.  The ole fashioned way.


First I found a thick drinking straw and cut about a 1/2" portion.  For the wick, I needed a somewhat thicker thread to hold it's shape upright, so I used beading thread that I cut the length of the piece of straw.  Then I wrapped the thread around a toothpick to hold it up while the candle dried.


This is when things got a little sticky, or, better yet, waxy.  There needed to be a base to the straw to both hold it upright and to stop the wax from flowing out when poured.  Clay would have probably been helpful for this purpose as well, but instead I poured a little wax from a candle (flame off) on the board and waited for it to dry and cool enough to be handled safely.  Before wax fully dries, it's maleable enough to form into the bottoms of straws.  I pressed the straw onto the dot of melted wax and waited for it to dry a little more.  


Pouring time.  The tweezers were to add extra stability when pouring the wax.  

This is the part when I'm obligated to say that working with hot wax and flames should always be done at your own risk and with this project, you risk burning yourself

I poured the wax from the life size candle (flame off) into the straw.  Some wax did end up spilling out from the life size candle, which explains the waxy mess next tot the straw.




After about 30 minutes of dry time (I wanted to be extra sure they were fully dried), I cut the thread from the toothpick and gently peeled the straw from the candle.  Then I cut the base to flatten the bottom and trimmed the "wick."  The result are very realistic candles that look like they have been lit a few times.  A bonus is that they smell and feel like real candles since they're actually made from real candles.  I can't wait to try this with other wax colors and straw sizes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Go Print Yourself: Twinkind and 3D Printed People


Anyone who reads my blog will know that one of my obsessions while making miniatures is realism.  Unfortunately, my doll making skills are abysmal at best so I have to rely on the marketplace offerings which are lovely, but not as realistic as I would like.  So when I recently read an article on 3D printed people and saw the photos, I was blown away.

Twinkind (twinkind.com) is a Germany-based company that will photograph you and print you out.  According to the photos on the website, the results look impressive.  There are a lot of caveats including you have to go to Berlin, and there are limitations on wardrobe choices and accessories.  But for around $340 (250 euros) you can get a 1:12 scale figurine that looks exactly like you.  They even have options for dogs.  Although I'm not frequenting Berlin any time soon, I love the idea that 3D printing might become so popular that they begin to make affordable, home printers.  Twinkind is currently doing a sweepstakes to win a figurine on their Facebook page (facebook.com/twinkind), and you better believe that I entered.

This is the Wired article that brought my attention to the company: http://www.wired.com/2013/08/this-company-will-transform-you-into-an-incredibly-detailed-3-d-printed-figurine/

Also, if anyone wants to sponsor me for a trip to Berlin; I'll gladly repay you with hugs.