Sunday, December 30, 2012

Free Printable: Amazon Shipping Boxes

Since I received such positive feedback about my pencil tutorial, I was anxious to post another project.  I made this shipping box template (.pdf) using Inkscape, a graphic design program.  To make the boxes:

1.  Print out on thick brown paper (I use card stock).
2.  Cut on the orange lines, and fold on the black lines.
3.  Glue the tab to inside the box.
4.  Fold both ends just like a regular box.

Even if I seal the box completely, I still stuff it with tissue paper to give it some body.  I also print out (on regular paper) some little shipping labels and a bar code to stick on the boxes.  To make the packaging tape, I cut tiny strips of plain masking tape.  Hope you all enjoy and have a wonderful end of 2012!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Something To Hold Onto

Here's the time I make a confession: I don't measure.  Okay, I sometimes measure, but mostly I "eyeball" everything.  Making miniatures has much to do with patience.  Unfortunately, I have none.  I work with pieces before the glue has dried; my final fit is my dry fit; and if it looks to scale, it's to scale.  So there you go: confessions of a manic miniaturist (good blog title for someone).

I made and installed a railing for the loft portion of my loft.  Of course, I eyeballed the entire thing versus measuring anything, so it might look a little odd.  But it's nothing a ton of accessories can't fix, or hide.  I also continued working on the windows.  Similarly, I've been asking my dad to bring me some spare plexiglass for about 2 weeks now because I'm too cheap to buy my own.  Needless to say, my windows are glass-free.  Apparently my family doesn't care about the overall health of my dollhouse dolls.

Speaking of, my ferret Patrick, whom I frequently write about, decided to steal and hide my look-a-like doll pictured here in her former glory:

So Patrick, if you're reading this (which I'm sure you are because you probably stole someone's laptop) please give her back.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

UPDATE: Pencil Tutorial

I FINALLY made my first tutorial!  It's very basic, but I wanted to get my feet wet and start with something simple.  To download the pdf click here.  (I'm new at posting downloads directly to the blog, so I hope that works).

UPDATE: I also attached the following screen shots of the tutorial b/c it's easier to download:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Patrick's Quick Project

I was digging around through my attic space (or as I know it: the room I dumped the last moving boxes that I was too lazy to unpack), and I found these bracelets my dad brought from Ecuador last year.  My first thought was, "Wow, these look like little tissue boxes."


So I stuffed and glued some toilet paper into a bead and voila:

A fun little project and another excuse for not having time to clean out the attic.

And here's my ferret, Patrick, thinking that the loft is his new bachelor pad:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Even More Door

I am happy with the way the exterior is coming along.  The trim for the door was initially laid over the brick, but it looked terrible so I carved space out of the brick and inlaid the trim.  The trim for the windows is going to look almost the same. 
Here is a close-up of the doorknob I made out of wire.  I hammered holes into it using a needle tool to add a little character.

This is the interior of the loft.  The door has no trim because I like the look without it for the inside.

Also, a HUGE thank you to Monique from for the mention!  Her work is phenomenal, and she really went out of her way to showcase my blog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Finished Door

Here is the front door after aging.  The sealer is still drying so it won't be as shiny as in the pictures.  I painted it a base coat of Cardinal Red (Americana brand acrylic paint), then sanded it and highlighted some of the age marks with watered-down white stain.  The handle is made out of 20-gauge jewelry wire that I hammered flat, bent to form a handle, and hammered the two ends to make them wider and rounder.  I'll try to get a close-up.  The "lock" is just a crimp bead that I hammered flat.  The back of the door looks the same only without the hinges.  Don't mind the gap around the door; I'm going to frame it around the brick so you don't see the ugly parts.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Front Door

I'm very anxious to finish some of the basic elements of the house including the windows and door.  I don't know what I'm going to do about the glass for the windows, but I started making the door.  I used balsa because it's soft enough to make indents to simulate wooden planks.  It's also soft enough to "nail" the pin heads.  Below is my inspiration photo:

 I also like this mailbox and want to replicate it too.

The door is in the first stage of drying (and SO rough), but I like posting progress pictures.  The finished door is going to be red and aged.  The back looks the same as the front.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Finished Cabinets

The built-in cabinets are pretty much finished and overall I think they came out okay.  I really need to make another craft run to get more paints and stains after realizing that everything is turning out the same brown/beige hue because I pretty much use the same paints over and over.  The shine to the cabinets needs to be dulled a little, but I think it will look much better when I add all the nick-knacks to the top.   

Also, now I feel the green desk sticks out too much.  Argh...I am too critical of myself.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cabinets and Brick Sign

I was finally able to get to the craft store to buy balsa and bass wood so I could continue building my artist's studio.  Ironically, my shopping spree only cost $16 so I could have gone a long time ago after all.  Anyway, I was able to start building the built-in cabinet.  It's VERY rough still and hasn't even dried, but the picture below is where it's going to be placed:

Like I said, it's very rough and still needs primer, paint, knobs, sanding/shaping, etc.  But I like the way it fills the space.  It's made out of bass and balsa wood, and cardboard for the cabinet doors. 

Since this is supposed to be an old warehouse building, I free-hand painted a company sign on the outside brick and then aged it.  I don't love the way the word "coal" came out, but I'm putting in on the back burner for now and hope it gets more aged as I work on the project.  The sign reads: "Peabody & Sons Coal Company," named for my dog Peabody.