Friday, November 11, 2016

Chrysnbon Kits side table, chair and stereoscope

This is a Chrysnbon kit. I painted the chair and table legs a light gray. The top of table I painted with an acrylic paint. I painted the stereoscope brown where it is supposed to be wood. I darker gray for the metal parts. Instead of using the black fabric that came with the kit, I used a grayish-blue vintage hankie. I first sprayed an area of the hankie with Terra-Magic. it made it stiff enough that I could then manage to cover the seat. That was after 3 attempts to cover the seat without the Terra-Magic. I wanted to use the hankie fabric because of the scale of the weave but it was just so flimsy. Chrysnbon kits are plastic if you aren't familiar with them. i like them because I think they are more to scale than some of the cheaper wood kits. They have great detail. Yes, you do have to scrape and sand some of the plastic flanges off but wow that makes all the difference in the world as to the
final look. I used an ultra fine Painters Pen to apply the gold trim on the table and chair. Worked great and dried very quickly. I applied a water based sealer (gloss) to the table and chair.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Flooring - Wood if you haven't put your doll house together yet.

I like to draw lines, with a ruler and pencil, on the floor to simulate hardwood planking.  Then I stain it and put a finish on it.  I find this more to scale than putting hardwood flooring made for dollhouses down.

Wall papering a dollhouse or room box

     I always measure the height of the wall.  If the wallpaper is too tall, cut it off at the bottom edge.  It will be less noticeable. You are probably going to put up baseboard molding or carpet that will help to cover an uneven edge.
     If the room has odd shaped walls and you haven't put the dollhouse together yet, make a template or pattern of the wall.  This is great for attic rooms that slant, especially.  When I built REAL GOOD TOYS light house kit, I made templates of each wall and each floor.  The top of the walls are smaller in width than the bottom of the same wall.  This was a life saver, for sure.
      I make the pattern or template the exact size of the wall.  When I trace the pattern for the BACK wall onto the backside of the wall paper, I extend each side about 1/2".  I wall paper the BACK wall first, wrapping the extra wall paper onto the side walls.  Then I wallpaper the side walls.  I push the wallpaper back so it butts up against the back wall, covering the extra wall paper that was wrapped around.  This make a nice finish so there are not any gaps in those back corners. I like to use Grandmother Stover's glue.  But I take it out of the jar, and put it into a glass jar a bit bigger with a teaspoon of water.  Then I put it into the microwave and heat it until I can stir it with a craft stick. I might have to add more water.  I want it the consistency of a thick maple syrup.  I use a stencil brush to them apply the glue to the back of the wall paper.  This is a little trick I learned from taking a Brooke Tucker room box class, back in the day.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Installing a door into a dollhouse

This is especially if the door is to be opened and shut - repeatedly. As in a child playing with the dollhouse.  Before any gluing, test your door to see if it will easily open.  If not sand the edge so it will be able to swing open and shut.  Use a piece of seam binding, fabric or ribbon that is at least twice the width of the edge of the door.  Glue this to the inside edge of the door lining up the edges. Which ever way the fold is, that is the way the door will swing.   The side that would have the hinges on.  Let it dry completely.  Trim the top and bottom off of any excess seam binding.  Fold the seam binding back on itself.  Put glue on the outside length of this half.  With the door open, press the glued side of the seam binding onto the door jam.  While the door is drying, prop something under the door itself to hold it up in the position even with the door sill (bottom).  You don't want the door pulling the seam binding away from the jam as it is drying.  Once the glue has dried, shut and open the door a few times to make sure it is working.  Now you can glue on your door handles if you have not already done this step.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cameo Silhouette and Cutting out Printie's or Printable's for Dollhouse Miniatures.

     I am taking it for granted that if you are reading this, you know how to use your Silhouette, or other electronic die cut machine.  I have the Cameo so bare with me and my instructions.  If you need help with using your Cameo in general, I recommend    
     Lets try to make a printable that you have downloaded off the internet.  I made a folder on my computer and named it "mini printable's".  I save all my printable's that are dollhouse size in it.  
1. Open Silhouette Studio.  This tutorial is long but easy and you will use it over and over. 
2. On the top right of your tool bar, you will see a blue grid.  Hover your mouse over it and will say GRID SETTINGS WINDOW.  Click on that.
3. Leave the SPACING alone - the 1 that is there means 1".  Where it says DIVISIONS is where you are going to make a change.  Type in 12 where the 4 is.  That means your grid will still be an inch but it will be divided into 12 spaces.  Our dollhouse scale is 1" = 1' remember? or 1/12th.  So now each square will be 12/12's.  You should have 12 spaces in between each 1 inch on your mat. The easiest measurement of course is if in real life something measures 1 foot.  In dollhouse life the same item would be 1 inch.  Measure something you have laying around that is less than 1 foot.  I have my cell phone sitting here that is 6" tall and 3" wide.  On my Silhouette mat I can count six tiny squares that will equal those 6".  So if I want to make a shape like my cell phone i will go to the rectangle with the curvy corners (on the left side of your mat).  Now with that selected I will draw a rectangle 6 squares tall and 3 squares wide.  If you are finding it difficult to get it exact, go back to your GRID settings and select SNAP TO GRID.  Now when you draw something it will automatically go right to the next square.
4. Click on the folder to open an new image, top left.  Go to where you have your printable saved.  Click on the one that you want and it will open up on your virtual mat.  Sometimes they show up totally the wrong size.  
5. Hopefully you will be able to get approximately the correct size of your printable by dragging the corners of the image when you click on it.  I opened one that was so big I could only see one corner of it.  WOW.  Then again they are more the appropriate size.
6. Most of the printable's I have are on a white or colored background.  We need to get rid of that.  Open up the TRACE WINDOW on the top right.  It is a blue square surrounded by a yellow square.  
First thing to do is CLICK ON TRACE AREA.  Then drag a box around your printable.  It does not have to be exact, as long as it covers it.  UNCHECK HIGH PASS FILTER. One the THRESHOLD, slide the bar over to the right until just your image, that you want to cut, is yellow or at least the outline is yellow.  Go back up and click on TRACE AND DETACH.  Once it is done doing its thing, click on the background and drag it off to one side and delete it.  
7.  Now your image or images are on your mat and the background is deleted.  YEAH!  we are almost there.  Go back to CLICK ON TRACE AREA.  Drag an other box around your image that is on your mat.  UNCHECK HIGH PASS FILTER (you always do this but I don't know why????) and move your THRESHOLD slide to the right, again until your image is yellow. This time we are going to click on TRACE OUTER EDGE.  This will just trace the outline of your image.  You will now have a RED cut line surrounding your image.  Highlight both your image and the red line by dragging a box around both.  Right click and chose GROUP.  **
8. REGISTRATION MARKS (top right toolbar - rectangle with angles in each corner)
This is what we will need in order for your printer to know where to print. Most likely your mat is showing a 12 x 21 paper on it.  We need to change this to a letter size paper unless you have a printer that will print 12" paper.  Click on the DESIGN PAGE SETTING WINDOW - top right. Underneath the WIDTH & HEIGHT, click on the drop down arrow and choose LETTER.  Your virtual paper will shrink down to 8 1/2 x 11.  We now need to put the registration marks on this.  Click on REGISTRATION MARKS WINDOW - top right.  Under STYLE choose from the drop down list which Silhouette you have.  There will now be registration marks in the two top corners and one in the bottom left corner of your virtual mat.  These will be printed on your paper/card stock along with your image or images.  
9. Position your image inside these marks.  
10.  Click on SEND TO PRINTER.  Choose your printer,  Put in the printer whatever paper or card stock, etc. that you wish to print this one.  Click print.  DO NOT MOVE ANYTHING on your virtual mat after this point.
11 When you printer is done, place your paper on your mat as closely to what it looks like on the screen.  This is so you Silhouette will know where to look for the registration marks.  
12 SEND TO SILHOUETTE.  Your machine will search for the registration marks and then automatically start cutting.
13 You have successfully done a print and cut.  You should save the file SAVE AS.  I usually save in a file called Mini Print n Cut or PnC for short.  You can also save this to your library.  

** In step 7 we did a TRACE OUTER EDGE.  There is also an option to TRACE.  The easiest way to explain this is if you drew an "O, B, D, P, " and did trace outer edge, it would only trace the outside edge.  If you chose TRACE, it will cut both the outside edge and the inside sections.  Try it and see what I mean.