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Vegas Wedding Chapel: I was married in the Candlelight Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. The outside looked like a motel, very tacky with flickering neon candle flames. Just inside the door was a lobby where one could make selections -- like from a Chinese menu or at a fast food outlet. Did the Bridal Couple wish audio or video tape? Live music or taped? The small bouquet for $29.99 or the large for $49.99? Will the Couple need rings? Witnesses? There were a couple of nicely dressed folks sitting in the lobby, willing and able to be witnesses for a mere $25 each. The saleswoman prompted these decisions in a whispery rush, marking our choices on a form which she presented to the cashier. We paid in advance.
Oh, it was perfect! Anideal, romantic, little country church. The walls were paneled with dark, shining walnut. Lovely stained glass windows were recessed at intervals along the walls. The ceiling was vaulted with sturdy polished beams. Large bouquets of fresh flowers sprang from wicker baskets between the windows. On either side of the blue/grey carpeted aisle, were pews with gothic wood carvings. Behind the carved podium, instead of religious symbolism, the brass pipes of the organ were framed by a gothic arch. It was amazingly tasteful, really lovely...

Sally Cook-Thomas

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.


Martha Pullen's laces: This should take you to Martha's laces pages.  

MissMary in Alabama

Miniature "oil paintings". I use Clear Acrylic Gel Medium. Just take a very small brush, and a good quality print of a favorite oil painting - in scale- or better yet a photographic reduction - they really are the best - the closer you look - the better they get! -- and paint the little itsy brush strokes on the entire surface , following as best you can the way the real artists strokes were applied. Put the gel on heavier in some places and lighter in others if the real painting would have a lot of texture like a Van Gogh or Monet, and then frame it after it dries. It will make a very convincing oil painting! The McAlystors have such an array of truly rare and precious "paintings" - especially Monet! They love him!

Tracey A Meeker

Mini Oil Paintings: When reading Tracey's post about mini oil paintings, I remembered that most Photoshop, Photodeluxe type programs have a feature where you can make the photo look like a painting.


Realistic Pillows and Cushions: More on the 'realistic' posing for mini people.... and bolsters, pillows and cushions.

I use rolls of air dry clay (Model Magic from Crayola) to form the pillows and such. Make your forms, cover them with fabric - you have about an hour - then place them and put your 'person' in place. Push the person down until it indents where it should if it was heavy (like a real person). Tape it in place or use rubber bands and leave it until the next day. The inside material (air dry clay) will have dried in place and your person can now be removed for further refinement if necessary.

This is good for mattresses on beds too. If a 'person' lays ON TOP of the bed without sinking into the mattress a bit, it's DUMB looking. Another possibility is to weight your person to scale and make all the cushions extra puffy and squashable. I haven't tried this, but am tempted. I weight everything. Washers are good and so are fishing weights. You can pile a few inside the bottom dresser drawers, glue washers under couches and stands, slide a few washers over the stem of a lamp for a weighted base etc. Plus the mini stuff simply feels better with some weight. The legs of furniture will indent the carpet... it's the tiny details that add to the overall look and feel of miniatures. If something is out of whack, even a tiny thing, your brain notices it and remarks on the overall - a nearly subliminal thing sometimes. Think about weight, or 'heft' if you will.
A little thought about this will make you a better mini whiz.... Amaze your friends! Confound the judges! Increase your sales! etc.


Strawberry Basket Ideas:
- Take the fence idea further and use basket pieces as trellises.
- Use them as Arts & Crafts/Frank Lloyd Wright style porch trim.
- If you're making a display for yourself and not something that must be playable-sturdy, with a mat board floor, the long skinny ones make a balcony or fire escape.
- The small square ones make grille work for those infamous Michaels hutch doors.
- Another idea for the square ones: cut three rectangles the same size (about 1 x 3 inches) and two squares (about 1 inch per side). Cut the crossbars off the grid on two of the rectangles so they look like jail-cell bars. Glue these to the uncut 1 x 3 in a U-shape. Glue the squares on the open ends. Paint and glue over your sink for a spiffy English-style hanging plate rack.


Hanging baskets: Easiest way to make hanging baskets is saturating a square of needlepoint canvas or other open-weave fabric in fabric stiffener (or diluted white glue) and molding it over an egg-shaped vending-machine prize container (cover egg in plastic wrap or spray with cooking spray so the canvas won't stick). Let it dry in place, peel off, trim edges neatly, and add chain, wire, or cord hangers.


Bargello: The earliest known examples of Bargello aka Florentine/Hungarian point/Irish embroidery/Flamestitch work were found in Lower Saxony as altar frontals in the 14th and 15th Centuries. It became all the rage in Colonial America in the second half of the 18th Century. Therefore, you're all set for just about any period.

Bobbie Schoonmaker, IGMA Fellow

Plates: Instead of painting my plates, I went to the Dollar Tree and found some teeny fingernail tattoos. They had flowers, swirlies, all kinds of stuff. They fit so nicely in the center. Might I add that my 12 yr old daughter thought of this who is very much into minis and understands the delicacy of our art.

Jen in Athens Ga

Frosting and Wet look for food: You can use gloss made especially for Fimo, dimensional paint or nail polish. For frosting and other effects I've collected nail polishes and used them in various ways over the years. They are made out of wonderful fast drying acrylic and none of the items have yellowed or cracked. I have bought them in so many wonderful shades. You find terrific ones for Halloween, white for your frosting, black and orange. I have also used frosted and iridescent nail polishes in various shades on Light brite pegs and beads to look like shampoos and conditioners. I painted a Chrysnbon chair with frosted maroon nail polish years ago and used part of an old tapestry tie for the seat cushion and it still looks great. I also like the fact you don't have to worry about a brush to apply it. More recently I have found blue, purple and green.

Jean Day

Angel Project: I thought that we all needed some angels, whether for Christmas or just for happiness, so here are the directions for a project. These would be full size angels in 144th scale, 12 inch angels in 1/2 scale and 6 inch angles in 1/12 scale, measuring 1/2 inch from feet to halo. Here are the directions:

There are paper doilies available that have angels around the edge! I found them originally in a very expensive and finely cut version, but they are now available with Wilton cake making things. (Some stores carry different sizes - I like the smaller ones.) One doily makes 24 angels.

You can see the halo, wings and skirt in the design.
Using acrylic paint in skin tones, dot each halo with a head.
Let dry and then put face on with Zag Pigma markers .005.
With ultra fine glitter, do gold on halo edge and white on wings and skirt edge.
Use Bunka for hair.
Then cut angels from doily, curl around pencil tip and glue.

(I made kits once for a roundtable workshop that included doily with heads & faces done, 3 colors of Bunka, 2 glitters and exact instructions and diagrams for cutting and assembling, including angel choir project directions.)

2 new pictures in my album on Webshots show the final product.


Carved Toothpicks: I have the carved toothpicks on my web site, as well as a lot of other do-it-yourself type supplies. You wouldn't believe all the things my customers use the carved toothpicks for. They're very inexpensive and quite versatile. These are the wooden ones with a small bit of carving at the top. If you live near a Cracker Barrel restaurant, they have them there. I carry them on my site for those who don't have easy access to them. Here's a few ideas and hopefully someone will post more:

- They are used for bed posts for 1:48 scale 4-poster beds.
- People use them for handles for parasols.
- Some cut them off just under the carved part and use them for pepper mills or salt & pepper shakers in 1:12 scale.
- They can also be used for 1:12 scale old fashioned clothespins (the kind without the spring). That can be a bit tricky because you have to be very careful when splitting them lengthwise after you cut them off short.
- I've seen people make little Christmas nutcrackers or tiny people out of them for watch case scenes.
- hat stands for 1:144 scale hats?!

There are other fancy carved cocktail picks out there that miniaturists use, but they are more like a two-pronged fork. There's also toothpicks with cellophane frills, but I don't know what use they'd have in mini. The toothpicks are under Misc. Tools & DIY supplies/Other Neat Stuff at: (click on online catalog).

Debbie Jones

Hay Bale: Old straw brooms and whisks are a ready source of material for bales and many other items.


Stable: For your stable you will need water buckets, baled hay and feed sacks, though my neighbor keeps her feed in metal garbage cans to defeat mice. Two types of tack box. A large one that usually looks like a plain wooden trunk with a lid that lifts. These often are parked outside a stall. Some people keep all the tack inside them, but some will hang a saddle on a wooden rack on the wall of a separate room. Bridles will be hung on wall hooks. A saddle blanket lying on the tack box could add some nice color. There is also a small tack box like an open tool box with a handle across the top. This will contain a hoof pick, brushes, liniment, a pulling comb for tails and manes. You might want to set up cross ties, which are simply two lead ropes that attach opposite each other on the walls of the open 'hall' between stalls. This is used to restrain a horse for saddling or a visit from the blacksmith. No stable is complete without a barn cat or two. You could have barn boots, too, but be sure they're NOT clean :). You could include a long whip used for lunging- which is just holding a rope and using the whip to encourage the horse to trot in a circle around you for exercise. Well, hope this helps.

Linda in Leroy, OH

Contemporary furniture: The   Museum of Modern Art has a fabulous modern Lucite dh with moveable walls, furniture, accessories and people!   The dh and some furniture is in the $200 range (if I remember correctly).   New items are sold by the room in the $20-$40 range.

Museum of Modern Art Online Store


Magic-N-Miniature: Magic-N-Miniature address is  5 Barber Court, Maumelle, AR 72113. E-mail addy is They will send you a price list/order form. I have done over a dozen of their kits. Wonderful wood and so easy to make. Some of my pieces are stained and some painted. I did the same writing desk in black with gold trim.


Cloth Covered Wire: I've had a small business making wedding cakes and I make the hand molded gumpaste (sugarpaste) flowers for my cakes. I use the wire that you are talking about. I order it from a wonderful place in Virginia called:

Beryl's Cake Decorating & Pastry Supplies
Tel: 703-256-6951 Fax: 703-750-3779

Web page:

They carry the wire in the smaller gauges 28, 30, 32. Also they carry petal powder colors we use on the sugar flowers-not sure if they will last, but I have some flowers on display that have been colored for 8 years and they still are bright and fresh. Also, in their catalog they have all kinds of texture makers, such as cobblestone, brick, basket weave, to name a few. She specializes in European roll fondant supplies for making really unique cakes a lot of which are decorated with scenes of mini items. A wealth of possibilities!


Battery Lights: I used three in my Christmas house two outside trees and lights around the door I hid one under wood pile one as heating unit and one just inside door behind fire place as you look at Christmas room you don't see it....remember to place them where you can replace batteries... They really burn a long time.....I got my at hobby lobby in the Christmas village scene

Linda in Texas

Window glass: Am bemused by the folks buying various kinds of soft or semi-rigid plastic to use for windows; DIY is great because it frees up more money for the things you can't make. But why pay for this supply when you can get all you need by recycling? In my rehab houses, the home-made windows are Italian -- cut from Fazoli's salad bowl lids. The bowl's waffle-pattern bottom also makes nice "black rubber" foot-scraper welcome mats, particularly realistic if glued to a scrap of black fun foam for some bulk


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