Monday, February 10, 2014

Wall Hanging Tutorial

Tutorial: How to make Easy Wall Hangings for your Dollhouse

The living room in my Keystone of Boston is modern and African themed, so finding artwork for the room was challenging. I realized that I had the tools to make my own, and so I began...

Things you'll need:
Internet Access
Photo Paper/Cardstock Paper

The longest part of this project is waiting for the glue and paint to dry.

Google what you're looking for, then save it on your device. Scale it down to 1x1 inch or 2x2, whatever size you need.
Print out the photo. I used a color printer with photo paper.

Please note: I do not sell anything I make. I use everything strictly for my own personal amusement. I'm pretty sure there would be some copyright issues if you googled the wrong photo and attempted to sell it :-)

Take 3 toothpicks and glue them together evenly

Let the glue dry

Make 4 sets of the three toothpicks glued together, one for each side of the frame (there are 8 pictured because I made two)
Paint or stain the toothpicks to desired color or shade and let dry completely
Glue the painted toothpicks to the edges of the photo

Repeat for all 4 sides, then let the glue dry

All done!!

Finished project on the walls

This is really quick and easy to do. I also made frames out of wooden coffee stir sticks, single toothpicks and some leftover chair rail pieces. Any kind of tiny pieces of leftover wood, metal, plastic or wire would work. You can also glue fabric around a piece of cardboard if you're looking for color, patterns or geometric shapes. The possibilities are endless!

Painted toothpicks as frames

Coffee stir sticks and leftover chair rail pieces as frames

You can print out your own photos of family members, friends or pets if you want to personalize your dollhouse.

There's many printable templates out there to make a lot of things for your dollhouse, they're pretty easy to find on the internet (or Pinterest). But there's a few other things you can do yourself too:

  • You can take a photo of your flat screen TV (while it's off), print it out, then glue it to a thin piece of wood, or black painted styrofoam and ta-da! you have a flat screen TV.
  • Take photos of favorite places, like vacation spots or monuments, or favorite restaurants or buildings and print them out to put in frames.  
  • Take close up photos of flowers in your yard, or anywhere you see them, and print them out to put in frames.
  • Take photos of your own magazines, newpapers and books and print them out real small and make mini's out of those as well.

 Like I said, the possibilities are endless!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Paper Towel Holder Tutorial

Paper Towel Holder Tutorial

If you're like me, you don't want to spend big money on small things. So as I "window shop" on the internet, I look at things and try to figure out if there's a way I can make it myself with items I already have in my craft room. This is how the Paper Towel Holder came about:


And this is super easy! You don't need much, in fact some of the items are already in your kitchen.

Things you'll need:
1 Napkin or Paper Towel
2 Toothpicks
1 Small Piece of Wood
1 Small Bead or Jewel

This project doesn't take long at all, the longest part is waiting for the glue and paint to dry.

Cut a strip off a napkin
Get a toothpick ready to wrap it onto

Put a small amount of glue on the toothpick in the center

Wrap the strip of napkin around the toothpick

Glue the edge down

Use a small square of basswood or something similar and sand the edges

Tap on a nail slightly to make the hole for the toothpick

Use another toothpick for the side of the holder, paint the color of your choice

Paint the base the color of your choice

Put the toothpick with the paper wrapped around it into the hole in the base. Trim the excess toothpick off the top, leave enough for a bead on top.

I used a wooden bead as the top piece, anything similar would work. Then trim and glue the side stick to the base.

Finished paper towel holder.

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my new blog!
I've been working on restoring and redecorating an original 1949 Keystone of Boston dollhouse that belonged to my mother when she was a child. She played with it when she was little, my sister and I played with it when we were little, and our daughters played with it when they were little. It's been through three generations now, so my Mom didn't have the heart to get rid of it. I volunteered to take it off her hands, and the obsession began....

Soon I'll post the documented project, step by step. The dollhouse was brought into modern times with complete redecorating so most of the recognizable Keystone of Boston traits are now gone, but I did leave something original in every room. As soon as I finish the exterior, the Keystone will be done. I've also documented some easy tutorials along the way.

Here's a photo of the original house when I brought it home from Mom's attic:

1949 Keystone of Boston Dollhouse
Exterior - Before Renovations

The roof is removable, and the house sits on a lazy susan so you can rotate it in a circle. In it's original state as shown below, the kitchen folded into the dining room for storage.

1949 Keystone of Boston Dollhouse
Interior with the roof off - before renovations

Shown with the kitchen folded into the dining area - before renovations

The house originally came with electric too! Keystone of Boston sold three versions of this house. One as pictured above, one without the extra kitchen that folds in for storage, and one just like this one but with a garage added to the other side of the house. The garage also folded into the living room for storage. My mother received this as a Christmas gift in 1949 and when I did a little research I found them in a Sears catalog from 1949 for about $8.50.

While I'm finishing the exterior of the Keystone I'm starting an "Arthur" dollhouse by Greenleaf that I currently have sitting in a box brand new. I'll document the progress from step 1 and post the updates here.

Thank you for visiting my page and subscribe or check back for updates!