Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Supplies and Tips I use to make miniatures

1. Wood glue - for strength and sturdiness. I have been using Aleen's Wood Glue and liking it just fine. Yes, even for gluing paper. It makes the paper items stiffer than using tacky glues.
2. Tacky glue - My favorite is Scotch Tacky Glue quick dry - to adhere quickly and dries clear
  a.Glues in General - Make sure that you bring your glue all the way to the edges and corners of tabs that you are adhering.  This way they won't look as though they are pulling apart.
3. White card stock - I buy mine at Wal-Mart, in the office supply section - Georgia Pacific Premium card stock.  110 weight 150 sheets.  Very reasonable.  8.5 x 11"
4. I like Lumiere metallic paints for items that need a metallic look.  They are a little thicker than some acrylics. They have a great pewter color and a bronze I use to give an old looking copper color.
5. I also will use chalks to give an aged,  antique look.
6. Gesso.  It now comes in black besides white.  A coat of this adds a thickness or dimension to items. I cut out my knife shape out of card stock. Then I dip my knife handles into the gesso and let them dry before I paint them.  Now my handles of the knives are thicker than the blades.
7. Any brand of an acrylic varnish.  Even Modge Podge will work to give a protective coat and a little sheen.   You can get this in a tinted version or tint your own with a little brown acrylic paint mixed.   I do not like a high gloss finish as it looks a little fake to me on miniatures.  Just my opinion.
8. Rubber stamps.  When I make my baskets, I cut them out of brown card stock.  To give them a little accent, I stamp with brown permanent ink before I assemble them. While they are still flat. I have a wood grain stamp that I use. Also a crackle stamp.  Both of these are wood mounted - 5 x 6" stamps.  I am not particular to the direction of the grain.  Don't forget to stamp both sides of the card stock if it might be seen.  Like a bushel basket.  
9. Vaseline.  I use this sparingly.  After painting a dark brown base coat, I will put a thin layer of Vaseline in places on the furniture where there might be a bit of wear.  Especially on corners or edges.  After applying the top coat of paint I let that dry.  I rub off the top paint coat in the areas I had put the Vaseline on.  This leaves those places looking old and worn.
10. Acrylic paint - This is great for painting the card stock.  Also dabbing some to look like rust or soot, etc.
11. Jewelry findings - so many different uses. Walk up and down the jewelry aisle in your hobby store. Use your imagination.
12. Buttonhole or carpet thread (both are thicker in dimension than regular sewing thread) add a "rolled edge" to miniatures made out of card stock.  After making the item in 3D, I glue the buttonhole thread to the front edge of the item that would be originally made of metal.  AKA a metal pail always has a rolled edge along the top.  Doing this with the buttonhole thread simulates the rolled edge.
13. Chalks to age and weather.  I use model railroad chalks as they have nice dark colors for aging.  You can use any chalks, such as crafters chalks which come in a rainbow of colors. Make sure you seal afterwards so the chalk doesn't rub off.  You can apply chalks to plastic also.  Again use a spray sealer instead of a brush on sealer.  You don't want to take off the chalk with the wet brush.
14. Silhouette Cameo uses for miniatures. In making my miniature General Store, I wanted a big sign for above the door.  I love the Design Studio software that comes with the Silhouette Cameo so I thought I would design something in there.  Any font that is on your computer comes up as a choice to use in Design Studio.  I knew I wanted letters that didn't have any skinny parts to them, so I scrolled down my list of fonts.and found an old one called PC Wooden.  The letters looks sort of wobbly and not perfect.  Like they might have been hand cut by a customer of the shop, in exchange for some dry goods. My story and I am sticking to it.  Anyway, back to my Silhouette Cameo which is an electric die cutting machine that you use your computer with.  You can check them out at www,SilhouetteAmerica.com  Yes, you can buy .files for your machine to cut out, but their software makes it very easy to design your own items.  In this case I am not designing so much as just typing out the words that I want my machine to cut out. I want some thickness to the letters so once I decided on the size of the letters, I selected the words, right clicked and chose Duplicate.  It made an identical copy.  I moved it under the first words and duplicated 2 more times for a total of 4 General Stores.  Once my machine cuts them out of card stock, I will glue each letter on top of each other to give more thickness to them.  Then I thought "how am I going to line them up nicely?"  Brainstorm here!!  I will just lay the stencil part of where the letters got cut out of on my building and put the glued and painted letters in their proper spots.  I hope you understand that.  Maybe when I get to that point I will take a picture.
     I am thinking I might have to devote a whole page to things to make with a Cameo or other die cut machine.  Any file that you have can be resized so the possibilities are endless.
15. Printie's  When cutting out your printie's, before gluing together, get rid of that ugly white edge.  Just take a minute to run a marker along that white edge.  It will  make your final project look sooo much better.  Try to match up a marker with the color of your item.  If not, I usually use a brown or grey marker to color my white edges.
16. Books from Printie's  If you are making a book from a printie book cover and need pages to fill it, I find it easiest to do an accordion fold for the pages. I measure the height of the book and the depth of the cover. Then I cut a strip of paper just a tiny bit smaller than the height of the book. The length isn't important at this time. Now using the measurement you made of the depth of the cover, mark your strip of paper that measurement. My book happened to work out at 1/2" for the depth. I have a scoring board so I put my paper up against the end and scored every 1/2" until the end. Using a bone folder or something to give a nice crease (butter knife?) crease every fold. Trial fit the pages into your book cover. Does it fit? Maybe needs pages cutout if too full. Or maybe you need to make an other strip of pages to add to this. I wanted my book to look old so I inked, with a marker, all the page edges on 3 sides. I used a gold marker. The fourth side will be up against the binding so it doesn't need inking. Now put a dab of glue in between each page and on the two end pages. Insert into your cover. You might want to hold onto it or put a weight on it. By the way, I use SCOTCH tacky glue. It does't take long for it to set up and dry.
17.Scoring Printie's Yes, I am still working on some printie's. An other thought to share with you about them. Do your score lines BEFORE cutting the item out. I use a bone folder but a not sharp knife will do also. Put your item that needs fold marks onto something with a little give to it. Like your computer mouse pad. Run your tool where you want your fold line and now you will see a slight indentation. Makes it so much easier to fold now. I had a sheet, from ages ago, with tiny Barbie doll boxes on it. I noticed that they were pre-scored. I still had to cut them out and glue them together.
18. Faux Painting My father taught me a trick a long, long time ago. To make a print of a picture look as though it has really been painted, put a coat of Mod Podge on it making sure your brush stokes are visible. You might have to wait until the coat of Mod Podge is a bit tacky, and then dab with your brush, any which way, to make it appear like tiny brush strokes the artist would have used.

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