Interior Decorating

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Dutch Interiors: I found a new book on Dutch interiors at Cosco yesterday. It is called Country Houses of Holland" by Barbara Rene Stoeltie. Taschen publishers. A very good book for those of you wanting to do a Dutch house. I also found it on Amazon, for those of you without a Cosco.

Kaye in LA


Textured walls: I am no expert on any of this but I have an idea for your outside walls maybe this would work if you take tissue paper crumble it up and then dip in watered down glue and paste to your walls, or decoupage it to the wall and then paint over it. Also if you get the tissue with the color you want all ready on it would be even better. I did a box like this and it came out pretty good

Leilani


Textured Walls and Ceilings: I wanted a textured wall in my mini living room. I cut a template of the wall which included cutouts for the wall plugs. I took all my textured paint kit out to the garage and opened the door for ventilation. Once everything was set, I glued the entire piece to my wall. It didn't require doing any mammoth movements of my huge dollhouse. I was good to go and it has stood up to the task.

Cora/Rhode Island


Mini potpourri: Courdee sent me a tip about making mini potpourri. So today when I was cleaning out the cupboard where I keep all my spices and herbs I thought this was the right time to try it. I had great fun, crushing up some dried flowers and a way past its selling date heather plant. I ended up with a blue-ish and a pinkish mix to which I added some crushed up bayleaves, heads of cloves, crushed cinnamon sticks etc. To round it off I added a drop of lavender oil to both mixes and put them in airtight boxes to mature a little as for full scale potpourri. I will add some thyme leaves and things from the garden that are drying in the microwave right now. I think it will be very nice. The only thing is.........you can make 12th scale potpourri but it you can't make 12th scale quantities. I think I will end up with lots of mini Christmas gifts

Marianne


Floor Boards http://adamovminiatures.comhas the best selection I've seen.
Steve and Kara build a lot and are great about giving advice. My current project is the Buttercup Cottage kit. We decided to use first floor and roof provided with the kit, but covered the upper side of the floor and the under side of the roof with boards cut from 1/32" x 3/8" strip wood. We're also using this size, which can be cut with scissors BTW, for the shingles.

Chrissy


Flooring as Wainscoting: Wainscoting usually has beveled edges, while flooring does not. I would take an icepick/awl, and run it over the joints between floorboards to make the edges slightly less sharp. Do this by sticking the point in the joint, and pulling the handle to drag the point while exerting some pressure in the joint. Don't push in the direction of the point, or you can gouge the wood. I hope this is clear... Since the wood floor is probably oak or cherry, and the baseboard and chair rail moldings are probably basswood, you should stain them separately. The basswood will take the stain differently than the flooring, so you should experiment with the staining. Maybe the moldings will need an extra coat or one less coat of stain, or you might have to try a mixing the stain with a different color to match the flooring/wainscoting. Of course, if you will be painting, color matching isn't a problem.

Jonathan in Israel


Wainscoting: I wonder if those sticks for stirring coffee would work for wainscoting. They are flat, thin and with the pens for staining could be stained easily before applying. If you are working in 1 inch scale they'd be about 3-4 inches wide, about 6 inches in half scale. Here in the states you can get a box of about 1000 for very little money - sometimes even in the dollar store.

Callie


Wainscoting: I have done wainscoting from mat board. I was very pleased with the results. I cut long strips the length of the wall and added smaller pieces to look like panels. I used off-white and stained it with an oil based stain to match the floor. Topped with wooden molding.

Martha Simpson


Efficiency Kitchen: Apartment stove/sink/reefer....I lived with such a device 45 years ago in my very first 'apartment'! Not a bad thing. Compact and useful for a single person. . . The only bothersome thing was that the two burner electric stovetop was within 6 inches of the dishpan sized sink. . . and no oven. . . many years later, my mom bought a similar unit from Sears for an efficiency apart she was building over the garage. It had an oven. About the size of a small bread box. . . Fascinating units to find in mini, I doubt there is one.

Also, anyone remember the small 'Hoover' Spin Washer/Dryer that was about the size of a dustbin and plugged the water into the kitchen faucet? Dumped into kitchen sink drain and tended to march around the room after one while spinning. The spin was just a glorified wringer. . . I think the washer part would only do one sheet at a time.

Judie - Daytona Beach, FL


Efficiency Kitchen:

The Hoover Sping Washer/Dryer was just a rectangle box on wheels (ours was Harvest Gold in color). First you put your clothes in one side, filled it up with water from a hose connected to the kitchen sink, added soap and let it agitate. Then you drained it, and put the wet clothes over into the little spin basket section to spin out. Then you refilled the washer side and put your clothes back into it, to agitate for the rinsing. Then that side had to be drained again, and everything put back into the basket to be spun again.

Paulette in IN


Right now, my local True Value hardware store is selling Stanley Cup keychains. The Red Wings have a sales catalog, so I got on the mailing list. The catalog provided me with team photos and other photos I could use. Here are items I was able to make or buy: The catalog had pictures of post cards. I scanned the post cards and resized them. Then I saved the scan and cut and pasted it several times into my word program. This gave me a page full of postcards to use. I made a makeshift post card holder out of plastic, but you could probably do something better.

I traced a large Red Wing logo onto shrink plastic and baked it. I then set it inside a plastic report cover end piece and had an art object.
A smaller logo was shrink plastisized into a doorknob. Stanley Cup champion t-shirts were sold all over the place with a shiny round holographic sticker on them. I used that on the front door for a sign.

I had bought a roll of Red Wings gift wrap. I took a photo of it, scanned it, and then printed a bunch to roll into mini gift wrap. I rolled the paper over a toothpick and when done, pulled the toothpick out.

A picture of the original Red Wings arena was cut out of the catalog and glued onto a Formica sample from Home Depot. It made an impressive poster.

A large honey container became my TV. I painted it glossy black and then inserted a photo (I had taken pictures of my tv when the Championship parade was on.) I inserted the photo into the hollow of the container. There was enough edge to glue on 4 black beads for knobs.
- A shoe lace became my Red Wings border around the top of the shop.
- Two hockey player keychains became figures on the top of a shelf. I just removed the keychain part.
- A lapel pin became a sign.
- A championship ring that was sold at Little Caesar's became a shelf ornament.
- Another key chain became another sign.
- A picture in the sales catalog of a puck and player photo became a display. I cut out the tiny photo and the picture of the tiny puck and glued them onto a piece of clear plastic and bent back the bottom a bit for the stand.
- I took photos of the various magazines I could find with the Red Wings on them. When developed, I carefully cut them out and glued them around a piece of matboard. Gave me lots of mini hockey magazines to place around.
- Hockey sticks: I was able to cut out small hockey sticks from the catalog and glue them to posterboard. Colored the posterboard as needed and I had the little souvenir hockey sticks.
- Newspaper: I took photos of the newspapers that had the Championship all over them. These I printed on an off-white paper and then bundled them together with extra paper to make a "full" newspaper.
- Dustpan: (for the sweep!) bought a mini red dustpan and just glued a tiny logo on it.
- Waste Cans: Used small ovals of some sort and glued logos on the sides.
- T-shirts: Cut squares of red fabric and glued them to look like folded t-shirts for the shelf. The top one has a logo glued on.
- Hangers: took mini wooden hangers, painted them white, and added a tiny logo
- Found a hockey goalie mask charm to hang on the shelf.
- Used red pots and pans from the mini store and glued tiny logos on.
- I had window decals that I took pictures of the full sheet and then cut them out and blue tacked them one on top of the other on the wall to look like a bunch on a rack. I couldn't get anything to work at the time as a "hook" so I had to improvise.
- Also took pictures I could get of notepads, stickers, keychains, bumper stickers, etc and then reproduced them in scale to give the feeling of fullness and lots of souvenirs.
- I had pictures of posters to make glossy posters.
- I used red buttons to make clocks with the logos and clock faces cut from the sales catalog.
- I found a calendar on the net that showed the current months Red Wings schedule. I just saved and reproduced it.
- I also took pictures of tiny cupcake picks. These I was able to glue to a small piece of tin (from a lid of some sort) and I had a bunch of mini magnets.
- I painted a wooden train red and white and added a logo for the Red Wings train.
- I took white flocked bears (in abundance at craft stores) and added a logo to their stomach.
- I also found a kid-sized plush hockey puck to make into a "chair" in the shop.
- I painted the floor to look like a hockey rink.

Carolyn in MI


Transfer decals: Making a Decal from a magazine picture: this is something I have done and yes.. using Liquitex acrylic gel stuff. (can't find tube at the moment to be more precise) I gave it about 4 coats.. maybe 5 or 6 even. It gets cloudy after a few B4 the latest layer dries. since I was making an "oil-painting" each coat was brushed on in an opposite direction to end up looking like canvas. When all dry, soaked it in water.. (it will cloud again but will dry clear.) When fully soaked, CAREFULLY turn over to wrong side and GENTLY rub off the paper back leaving only the picture itself.. then block w/ a book to dry flat. Glue onto chip board and frame. I tried decals for putting on dishes too. hope this helps. I don't think you need to go off trying to find the "official" stuff for transferring, but I think they sell it in hobby shops.. i.e.: train and track car shops) I'm also searching beauty supply shops for appropriate nail decals to decorate plates with.

Julie


Fingernail polish decals: I did this process making the potting shed in DM that Joanne Swanson did last year. I printed out words on regular paper. Then put about 6 or 7 coats of clear fingernail polish, drying well between each. Actually, I did a coat and the next time I passed by, did another! Then wet the paper -soak it good. The paper will roll off the back leaving the design and the polish. Just glue the design on using tacky glue. I just don't have access to a lot of things suggested for use, so alternate ways of doing things become important. I like to be able to use items I have on hand.

Martha Simpson


Wallpaper Woes: Wendy in Clinton, NJ......."primed the wood surface with latex house paint and used Yes glue, undiluted, applied to the paper, and painted the ceiling paper with latex paint to coordinate with the walls.

The paper bubbled and buckled...." Everything was okay and on track until you applied the paint. Should have painted the paper prior to wallpapering theceiling.

[1] Cut to size of wall or ceiling.
[2] Pin down to a wax papered covered pinning board.
[3] Paint with acrylic paint as desired.
[4] Cover with wax paper and weight down with heavy books overnight. 
[5] When thoroughly dry apply to wall or ceiling.

atricia / Redwood City,CA


1920s Spanish style houses: For the interiors of these houses, look at magazines of the period. You can find Better Homes and Gardens, House and Garden, House Beautiful, etc., on Ebay by going to books, magazines, household, vintage. Good luck. I'm betting that you won't really be taken with those twenties interiors...everything was very leggy and VERY different from our own aesthetic.

Margaret in Texas


1920s Interiors: I am also researching the 1920s, but not for the Spanish style. I want to do a 1920s style house and interior, but probably a colonial or Tudor. Anyway, I have come across some things that can be helpful to you.

There is a book called "Classic Houses of the Twenties" (by Loizeaux), which you can find at Barnes & Noble in the Home/Design section. It does have several examples of the Spanish style. Also, there are some interior shots. I don't remember if there are any Spanish style interiors, but there are definitely kitchen and bathroom ideas - sink, stove and refrigerator styles, tiling, etc.

I would say that my best resource has been buying House Beautiful and Better Homes and Gardens from the 1920s on ebay. You can expect to pay between $5-15 per issue, and even less if it's missing the cover. The articles and ads are incredible, and exceptionally helpful. Even the recipes are amazing. I was amazed to see ads for Sherwin Williams paint, with the "Cover the Earth" logo - I had no idea it went back that far! There was even an ad for Plastic Wood, looking exactly like it does today. But, I digress. You will see exactly the furniture styles, window treatments, light fixtures and appliances that were used at the time. Fortunately, some of these furnishings and appliances are available in miniature. Also, I don't think that just because a house had Spanish architectural style, that the interior was necessarily Spanish, too.

Also, do a search in ebay's book's home section for Twenties, 1920s, 1920, and every year through 1929. Sometimes decorating books are listed with the year published. I have gotten some great finds this way.

Someone else said that you probably won't be taken with those interiors. I disagree. I find them totally charming - colorful, traditional, but not stuffy. It was also the beginning of "modern" times, and the eclectic mix is refreshing... Electricity was just becoming commonplace, and the electrical appliances of the time were exciting. To me, they still are...

Perhaps I love the 20s style because my grandparents married in 1929, and lived in a 1920s house in Newton, Massachusetts. It had so much charm, without being the least bit pretentious. And my grandmother saved all of her kitchen tools, depression glass, jadite and small appliances, etc. in the basement. Guess who has it all now? :))) I'm probably the only guy in Israel with a vintage mixer, toaster, waffle iron, kitchen tools, Hoosier cabinet, and a Jadite collection to make Martha Stewart envious. Someday, I will make that Hoosier in miniature.... Hope this helps.

Jonathan in Israel


Catching problems: Don't you just hate how sometimes we miss crooked or lopsided bits in our mini scenes until we get the pictures back and there it is glaring at you? It can be hard to "proof read" scenes when you've been caught up in all the details. One simple way of catching those things is to look at your scene/piece indirectly, using a mirror to view it from a different angles. It really does work!

Debi in Quesnel


For Art Deco Interiors: if you're interested in the glitziest, high-end version, go to the library and check the catalog for back issues of Architectural Digest. It ran a profusely illustrated feature on the restoration of Mar-a-Lago when Trump bought it several years ago (sorry, don't recall specific issue/date). Practically a life-scale version of Moore's fairy castle! Also, Dover Publishing has a couple of books of water colors of some more modest interiors; check the library again.

Loretta.Sniarowski


Wallpapering: This might be a solution to not wanting to have to paper all the rooms in a mini house with many rooms.   You could paper some rooms and paint others.  If you feel that paint alone would not look authentic for the period, how about papering only the top of the room and painting below a chair rail line.   Chair rail lumber is expensive, so perhaps you could use some less expensive wood strips horizontally around the room, placed  on the line where the paper ends.  Chair rails are usually the height of chair backs (intended to protect the walls).   Just use your mini chairs to determine the height to place the rail.

Another possibility is to use panels around the walls,   You could frame wallpaper panels with wood strips or card stock if expense is a factor. Make sure to miter the corners for a nicer appearance..   That way you could use small patterned wallpaper from a discontinued wallpaper book.

You can also use fabric with a small design either for above the chair rail or for those panels I suggested.

Jeanette in Wisconsin


Installing Floor over wire: I recommend that you glue your floor down with quick grab or gloop. Before you do that though, I would cover the tape wiring with masking tape & MOST IMPORTANT do not put glue on the tape. Spread the glue on the floor in the house, not on your flooring or on the masking tape, & lay your floor. I like to glue because it gives it a nicer look.

Sari, The Doll House, Scottsdale, AZ


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