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DoJo's: In my son's Dojo, there were belts of all of the level colors on the wall, above and around the almost full wall mirror. There were also certificates hanging showing the accomplishments and instruction of the Sensi. There was also a small office in the front and a small changing room in the rear. I believe in your original post, you mentioned needing mats, like in gymnastics. Well, one of my daughters was a gymnastics coach (she was one of those who could teach others to make their bodies do what hers wouldn't) The dojo mats and gymnastic mats are different. The craft foam used as is would be good for the dojo mat, where the gymnastic mats are covered with a heavy, usually gray canvas.

Mary Lou in Portage, IN

Tiny Dishes (Painting): a trick I use to paint many tiny items is to keep a large block of floral foam handy (large is better so it won't tip over), with many toothpicks, needles, etc. sticking out of it. For something like a little plate, I would attach it to the top of a toothpick with whatever is handiest - a tiny wad of Fimo/Sculpey, a bit of white glue, or (best) some of that wax-like adhesive you can buy for attaching minis in place non-permanently. Then stick the toothpick in the foam, and voila! Hands-free painting. (When it's done & dry you may need to use a sharp knife to scrape the glue from the bottom if you used glue). For tiny soft wood items, I just stick a needle in the bottom & stick it in the foam.


Tablecloths: I've long been frustrated at how to get a dh tablecloth to hang properly without having to virtually glue it in place. Looking through some old linens last week I came across one of those little old round net-crochet pieces w/glass beads sewn around the edge to hold them on the lemonade pitcher or whatever to keep flies out. I put it on a dh table lamp; it draped like a dream. I've been sewing glass beads onto dh linens all week! It works on both round lamp; rectangular things; the numberand size of beads depends on the weight of the fabric. Start w/one at each corner ( or a NSEW on round things) and add beads til it's right. You can let them show--they look adorable, like ball fringe--or hide them on the underside of the hem. It takes a while, but now they're removable, washable, and have a soft natural look and not a stiff, sculpted one.


Tablecloths: I tried to be the customer from hell at the IGMA show last weekend and insist that Bonni of Weevings give me the perfectly laying cloth that she had as a sample. She stood her ground and instead of giving me her sample she showed me how to do it (something about giving someone a fishing pole instead of a fish). Wet the cloth, drape it over the table, use hair clips to clip the ends the way you'd like them to look and leave the clips on until the cloth dries. I didn't have the clips and used the small black paper binding clips instead and the cloth looks great.


Tablecloths: It's true, Carol wanted the 'draped' tablecloth from the display, and I cruelly refused to let her get off so easy. I even had one clip on hand to demonstrate how to get the dampened cloth to conform to the table, and wouldn't you know, she wanted a set of those, too! (and you know she wanted them free, besides..<g>) It's a good thing she's a much, much nicer person when she's behind a table at a show than she is on the other side, as a customer! This reminded me of a tip that got posted some time ago, but could be helpful to mention again. One of the quilt makers was adding thin wire floral wire is good) to the quilt border, either inside the sashing, or just basted under the inside edge. This enables the quilt to be realistically draped on the bed, without gluing. Gluing down any woven item just to get it to drape just gives me the willies - that's why I started weaving miniatures in the first place, too many photos of textiles in dollhouses splayed out like canvas drop cloths! I thought the bead idea was great, (I just don't see Carol sewing beads on, either, frankly) that's the secret to how they get expensive,real drapes to hang nicely, there are lead weights sewn into the bottom hems.

Bonni in NH

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

Black birdcage: When I want to make something 'iron', or look like Wedgwood basalt ware, or indeed to just make a mess :O), I take the item outside and spray with matt black car enamel spray, from a car shop. Lovely instant iron. I wouldn't advise anyone to use this enamel spray indoors, as it does not come off. Now how would I know that..

Helen from York, England

Black birdcage: Krylon makes a Black Wrought Iron spray paint that would be perfect to spray either a brass or white birdcage.

Fannye in TX

Bird Cage: Head to your nearest Thrift Shop. Quite often they have birdcages for next to nothing. Take it home, give it a good scrub with a brush, let dry Thoroughly, spray with a metal prime coat, than spray with Krylon black matt. It will be fine and a lot less $$$$'s. Might even find an almost new one like I did. Turned it into an enclosed bird sanctuary. With "no Cats allowed" sign on the outside. Guess what! The cat family are all in attendance, with Mom & kids resting in the sun, which dad checks out Peter the Parrot. (who's cage door is open) naughty cat. My particular birdcage had an aqua tray that when turned upside down looked like castle roof. I sprayed it with 3 coats of Karolyn's Fabulous Finishes - Make it Stone. Looks like stucco and is a wonderful product. Have used it on several roomboxes both for stucco and foundations. I love the stuff. So fast, and durable. There is an acrylic top coat that gives it a good sealer, so is super easy to keep dust free, and clean. Have fun! Birdcages make great containers for our mini's.

Diane in SFBA

Deco statue: Wanted a nice "naked lady" Deco statue for the mantel. Well, Michaels had pewter pendants of a classical babe reclining on a crescent moon. Took one home, snipped off the hanging loop, sprayed it silver, then painted the face and limbs ivory, the drapery gold, and antiqued them to make her tiny features stand out. Smashed a grommet as a stabilizing backing, glued them together, then glued that to an old faceted button, and voila, a faux Chiparus statue for my Deco home.


Dryer sheets: If you are referring to the foam dryer sheets they work great under your upholstery for padding, also if you are dressing a bed gives softness to a box type mattress. Also works great for pillow stuffing, chair pad stuffing, how about using one to make a quilted photo album.

Diane in SFBA

Pillow Stuffing for the long round pillows: I use the foam hair rollers. Remove the plastic piece, and wrap the fabric around the foam, tucking the ends of the fabric into the hole that's at both ends of the roller (where the plastic piece used to be). Then cover that up with a circle of fabric, lace, or whatever.


Old Piano Keys: Could he build them up to look like marble steps? Perhaps use a feather to draw a few "marble" lines on them. Or perhaps make a stool or bench from it.


Bible Size: I don't think it's the size of the book because Bibles can be very large. To me, the scale problem would be whether the thickness of the pages and cover, etc. would be correct.


Windsocks. I have just one thing to add to the directions for making mini wind socks and that is to use silk ribbon if at all possible. I made them with both silk and narrow satin ribbon and the satin ones are straight as a stick and un-natural looking. The silk ribbon is worth the additional price. They almost flutter. The middle width of the three widths available is best too - can't recall the millimeter of it though.

Jeanette Zanio

Metal furniture: These are likely furniture made by Metal Miniatures. I have sold it for many years. Wash it and spray with any metal spray paint..I use white. Then paint with acrylic paints. Very little of the metal furniture is actually 144 scale. Much is close but you will find everything from 1/8" scale to N scale sold as 144 in the metal things. If you use them in appropriately scaled groupings they will look good and can even be covered with fabric once you prime them. There is a section in my book on 144 scale describing finishing these pieces.

Anita McNary IGMA Artisan

Butt Hinge Pottery: You need to check out I just ordered some Butt Hinge pottery from them. And They have a lot of other things you might like.

Cathy in Sugar Land

Miniature Quilts: In response to the request for info and patterns for quilts for 1/12 dollhouses, I have free patterns on my web site for pieced quilts in the 1/12 inch scale. I have just added miniature quilt kits to the site.


Boop Mini Printables at

I used a table from the dollar store and painted it the right colours, backed a clock face of Jim's with a button of the right shape and colour, made a flag from a fabric cutout and a fancy toothpick, mitred a window frame from balsa, made coloured pencils from 1/2" nails with the heads cut off and painted, and everything else was paper. We even found a printable stone floor that looked pretty realistic behind the window frame! Boop Mini's had the critical snack food containers and bookcases, somewhere else had the ubiquitous tissue box, to which we added a real bit of tissue, Jim's TV, computer and dictionary (exactly the right one!) were perfect. We also found manila files and envelopes, graph paper, tiny word puzzles, books (including a Dr Seuss with inside pages), 12" and 36" rulers, a file box, maps and posters. Paper sample books rescued a while back from the garbage provided construction paper and even a blue rug. Finally, my daughters painted and drew miniature artwork for the classroom walls.

Wendy in Clinton, NJ

The Glass People: They do have a catalogue (costs 2); they are not on the net yet. They sell 1/24th too. In 1/12th glass they make decanters, vases, glasses, epergnes, carafes, cranberry, Art Deco ware. Their address:
The Glass People
c/o P Selvey
Arlington Road West
East Sussex
BN27 3RD
Telephone: 07977 530950
Fax: 07970 470902

Helen from a cold and snowy York, England

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