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Halloween: One of the candies that comes out at Halloween and Christmas are the clear plastic tubes full of candy with a decorative figure on top to serve as a cork or stopper plug. Take the clear plastic tube from a hairspray bottle, glass cleaner bottle, etc. Make sure it's one of the smaller pump spray tubes so it will be in scale. Cut about a 1/2" section of it off to make your candy tube. Make a tiny glue drop stopper for the bottom and let that glue dry clear before filling the tube with candy. Sometimes you can find candy beads or balls that the ones in the miniature gumball machines you can buy at miniature shops. Look around in the candy section of stores you go in and look for some candy container that has the littlest candy balls you can find. It takes some looking to find them..but they're out there. You can also make tiny candy corn which looks adorable in these tubes also. You can always make the teeny tiny balls out of fimo..but, whew, that's tedious! For the decorative stopper on the top of the tube you can either use a cake sprinkle design (they come in dozens of little designs...I even use these as cookies when I'm too lazy to make fimo cookies) or make a design from fimo to place on top of your tube. The advantage to making your own stopper top is that you can press part of the fimo down into the tube..just like the real thing....size it first before baking. Once the top's made....I would glue it in place.

Donna Baird

Cool witch cauldron: the candle section of Michaels has a very nice witches cauldron (candle holder) that works for 1" scale, made of resin or ceramic,-- sells for $2.

Cyndi in Chicago

Knitting Socks: Linda: You requested information on a pair of knit socks for Santa and I took a workshop a long time ago on socks to hang on a fireplace at Christmas, but I have used it for socks for a long time. You will have to determine the size you will need as feet, of course, come in many sizes. Using a knit fabric and I find tee shirt type knits to be especially good as they have a good deal of stretch and memory, cut an oval. Just to get the handle on size, I would cut an oval about 2 inches top to bottom and about 1 1/4 in diameter.

Fold it in half horizontally and cut on the center line. Now you have a pair of socks. With the flat side to the top, fold the fabric vertically, with right sides together. Now you have a quarter oval with the flat side on the top and the fold on the left. Using a complimentary color of thread, start at the bottom point and make a small running stitch from the tip up the curve. The smaller the sock, the finer the running stitch (about a 1/8 inch seam). Tack securely at the top.

Turn the sock right side out and finger press it. When you slip it on the foot the sock will conform to the foot and look like a regular sock. The seam will be from the toe to the heel and up the center back of the sock. If this size is too small, try again with a larger oval or smaller if necessary. Warning: having a seam in the center sole of this tiny sock may cause tiny blisters, but my dolls don't seem to complain.

This same technique can be used for the Christmas stockings I mentioned earlier. Just make the sock as explained above, but cut from card stock a stocking shape. After you turn the sock right side out, you can insert the card stocking into the fabric sock and it will become shaped like a real sock and you have an open top to insert candy canes, etc.

Joanne Trainor

Crèche Scene: I think this is a lovely crèche ....

Theresa Thomas

Kids Project: I used to run a 4H group of the same age range, and one of the projects we did that was very successful was to decorate eggs for Christmas tree ornaments. I realize that this is a little seasonal right now, but you might do the same thing for fancy Easter eggs (or any other motif that suits your group).

Anyway, we coated the outside of an uncooked egg with Elmers glue, and when it was dry, we poked holes in the eggs and drained out the liquid egg (I'm sure there must be a more ecologically sound way to save the egg, but this is how we did it...

We then cut the openings out to accommodate a mini scene, and coated the inside and the outside with another layer of Elmers'. I can't remember exactly what our Elmer/water ratio was, but my best recollection is that we did dilute the glue to a small extent. The girls then chose pictures from Christmas cards or magazines, and 'decoupage' them to the eggs (more glue), both inside and out.

Then they made little vignettes inside the eggs that matched their individual decoration (Tiny Christmas trees, wrapped packages, teddy bears, etc)and put the little things inside the eggs.

More glue on the outside, to hold the glitter that everyone sprinkled over the outside of their eggs, and finally, some pretty narrow trim glued around the opening of the egg and around the fattest part. A loop of trim was made to attach the ornament holder.

Did they last? I can only attest that, almost 20 years later, the three ornaments made by my daughters and myself are still part of our ornament collection. It was a lot of fun for us, and perhaps your group will enjoy this project, as well.

DeeDee in Carmel Valley

Snow Globe: I'm nearly there on my snow globe, found some glycerin in a sugar craft store, made a little clay figure, painted it and sprayed with loads of coats of varnish. I've made a collar around the bulb with Milliput and made a base for the  figure that fits this quite tightly. Now over the weekend I'm gonna get my ultra fine glitter, a few teeny, clear no hole beads, some distilled water and the   glycerin and put that in the globe. Then I'll place some putty around the figure on it's base, lower it into the globe, smear the putty around the edges to seal, keep the globe still for a couple of hours, then sand the base, paint it and hope it doesn't leak.



Easter Printables: Someone was asking about Easter printables - I have found this site, which has two pages of them:

Jan, Rethymnon, Crete

Passover: For anyone interested in Passover miniatures you can visit my site.


Do you all remember those fuzzy Easter chicks that were around when we were kids? The ones that still had real bendable feet so you could make them sit on your finger? (not like the plastic feel we have today) Today, I thought I'd tell you how to make them in mini!

Fuzzy Easter Chicks:

You need the two smallest sizes of yellow pom poms. Glue together, slightly off center.

Paint about a 3 inch piece of beading wire with orange acrylic paint and let dry thoroughly.

Punch or cut a 1/4 inch 'base' out of is nice if you have it. Using double stick tape or sticky wax, anchor base so you can work on it without having to hold it.

Cut 4 pcs. of orange wire, 1/4" long. Form 2 of them into "V"s. These are the part of the feet that get glued to the base. Glue to base with a small glob of tacky glue.

Bend the remaining two pieces of wire into "L" shape. This forms the leg and the middle 'toe'. Press into the glue (or add more) between the "V" toes, with the bend at the point of the "V".

Now you should have two legs on a base.

Cut a tiny beak, also a 'v' shape, out of orange cardstock (if you don't have orange, use white, painted or made orange with marker)

Using tacky glue, attach beak to smaller pom pom pushing into the fuzz. Use two dots of black paint on the tip of a toothpick to make eyes. (if you haven't painted with toothpicks before, practice on paper! a little goes a long way). Let dry!

Put a dab of tacky on the top of each leg. Push the chicks body gently onto legs...and enjoy your work!

Alice Zinn

Fuzzy Chicks: Another way to make itty Fuzzy Easter Chicks is to take a yellow 1/2" piece of pipe cleaner. With your needle nose pliers take the top 3rd and twist up tightly to form the head. Now twist up the other end in the opposite direction to form the body. You can use the painted wire leg method or use green cardstock to cut legs. Attach to body and glue to a little piece of square cardstock for the stand. I just glue the chickie to perch on the stand. Make 2 black dots for eyes using puff paint (or acrylic) and on glue on the tiny beak with orange cardstock. POOF! A fuzzy chickie for your mini Easter basket!


Easter Basket DIY: In the spirit of spreading some Easter/springtime joy, started by Alice Zinn with her chicks, I offer, for your DIY enjoyment, colorful Easter Baskets. This is from my April '93 NN article:

The inspiration for these baskets comes from an early 1920's Dennison instruction book.

Cut approx. 1/4" wide strips of crepe paper, across the grain. This strip may be cut from an unrolled pack, cutting thru the entire thickness. Twist strip between thumb and fingers, slanting the "rope" that is being made downward and stretching the paper, as you twist. Pull rope gently to avoid kinks. Fastening one end down or catching it in a drawer while you twist will help in the job. Twist a second strip in the same manner. Attach the two ropes together on one end. Twist the two ropes together. These double ropes may be of the same color or two different ones. You may even choose to do a triple rope, with three colors.

Cover one end of a 1/2" diam. dowel with plastic wrap and hold in place with a rubber band placed about 3/4" from end of dowel. Your basket will be formed on this.

Pick up prepared crepe paper rope and apply tacky glue on the first two inches. Hold glued end of rope between thumb and index finger of left hand and form a coil of rope on index finger tip. Put a tiny dab of glue on center of bottom of plastic covered dowel and press the coil on...making sure it is centered. Glue rope around and around coil, covering bottom and them up sides of dowel form to desired height of basket, continuing to add glue as you go. Cut off excess rope at an angle, and meld it smoothly into basket.

Make a thin glue/water solution and paint basket with not go back over the wet solution as crepe paper color may bleed. Set aside to dry.... hair dryer will speed up the drying time. When basket is completely dry remove rubber band and pull basket/plastic wrap off of form. Make sure glue is dry and then gently pull plastic wrap from basket.

Cut a rope handle of desired size and attach ends to inside of basket with glue, melding the ends to the basket walls.

This technique is simple but very effective. Experiment with various color combination. For variations make basket all one color with a multi-colored stripe in the middle (start and stop coils by cutting ends at angles).

Fill with Easter grass, add candy and a chick or two. Enjoy!

Joann Swanson

Q-tip snowmen: Someone wrote in and described a little snowman to make out of safety-tipped ear swabs - said she got the idea from a NAME member but didn't know the person's name. You take the funny shaped little swab, dot on black eyes and buttons and a red dot mouth with markers, stick on (she said) little twigs for arms (I ended up using little bits cut off those miniature brooms that all the craft stores sell), and tie a little piece of embroidery floss around the "neck" for a scarf. Oh, and glue it to a punched paper base.

Well, I wanted to make these and I couldn't get a piece of string tied around that looked anything like a scarf and I wanted to figure out a way to have a hat (which wasn't mentioned) so I went searching for something to use and came up with grommets. I found a pack of them at Joanne's Fabrics that came in shiny black, shiny red and shiny blue. They were just the right size only thing is they're a hollow tube on a little rim. So I filled up the hollow part with glossy black fabric paint and, as the miniaturists say, Voila! - a very tiny stovepipe hat! :) I was quite tickled with myself and with my little snowman. So, there you have a very long story for a very small tip.

Mary Lynne in Huntington, WV

Outdoor Xmas Shop: I looked at a freezer basket one day, taking up more than its share of valuable attic space, and thought--outdoor Xmas shop! There was a shop--pre-Michael's-in Augusta, GA. called Fatman's Forrest--some outdoor, some indoor--where we college students broke the pre-finals' stress with a holiday decorating trip for the dorm doldrums. That was my inspiration. The "roombox" turned out really well--I used lycopodium for the garland, and a string of lights from a tree angel; decorated mini-wreaths and hung them with paper clips on the basket framing, used up a lot of parts and pieces of holiday "magic". I used wooden laminated placemats taped together for the "walls" outside the basket, so I would have a "box" and interior framework to hang things on. I made a sign from a section of yardstick, added a few painted wooden ornaments (the imported snowmen, angels, bears, etc) sprinkled among the mini poinsettia (plastic) plants. I had accomplished a milestone--using up leftovers--and making a new holiday box!


Christmas trees: here's the link to the Lemax website. You can order online if your local store is not in stock:

Kathy in TX

Christmas trees in August - You probably have tons of suggestions by now but here's 2 more:

for some decorating ideas,

Miniature Christmas Ornament Kit - Hand Craft your own Ornaments: These are neat, check them out. Just slice off as many angels or gingerbread men or whatever that you want. "CHOP-m-STIX" tm are SHAPED (angel, gingerbread men etc) POLYMER Sticks (sometimes called canes - although most CANES are USUALLY ROUND) which can be sliced with a single edge razor blade, or if you're really brave - a "tissue blade" - INTO EXACT DUPLICATE SHAPED SLICES!!!!! Then the slices (between 40-120 per stick - depending on the shape) can be rebaked, painted, placed on, added to, built-in, etc. to whatever your Polymer Clay, Miniature, Egg Decorating, Bead, or misc Hobby, etc., Project might be...

They can be found at:

Jean in Maine

Halloween scene ideas: My almost-five year old granddaughter and I are making a little witch's party scene, using the wire furniture from MacFrugal's. So far, we've put a

tablecloth (tiny square of Halloween fabric) on the little round table and made and/or glued these items on top:

Snake eggs with spider sauce (marble-like contents of little dessicant bag to keep moisture out of things, with a drop of amber Gallery Glass on top),

Pigs' tails (white cloth-covered florist wire painted pink; wind around toothpick, slip coil off and cut into tiny snips)

Frogs' legs (tiny green plastic stems and stamens for Queen-Anne's lace-type flower bloom)

Dragon's eyeballs (tiny polished rocks with pupils painted on)

Halloween candy made from canes (I cut these)

Cookie made from painted lentil

Witches medley (tiny seed pod painted like pumpkin; dried pods and bean, tiny foam balls in fall colors

Roasted spider (look at dried heather; see the stamens and little leaflets; paint those black and snip off

Boo cakes (string together alphabet beads spelling boo)

Flies (half a clear plastic pill capsule coated with glue and poppy seed sprinkled in; glued like a dome to paper punchout)

Candle (half a toothpick painted orange, stuck in a slightly flattened black bead)

Containers were a round platter made from a slightly cupped white plastic disc with a hole in the center (no idea what it was originally intended for), the center of which was covered by a tiny Halloween ornament; snake eggs bowl made from a plastic pill container painted orange inside; a small heart charm; and a fruit bowl cut from a candy mold.

The cost for this party table was the cost of the table (99 cents); everything else came out of my stash of stuff.

We're also planning to make a new black dress and hat for the little kitchen magnet witch (which I got for 90% off after Halloween last year). She needs new hands because I had to cut one wire arm apart to get the magnet off, and feet, too, because they're just felt blobs.

My youngest grandsons, aged 8 and 6, are going to make a scene, too. So far, they've made witches' hats. I think they want to do something other than a party table. Maybe a boiling cauldron with something gross in it.

Wanna in El Paso

Halloween Spiders: You can make spiders with 4 pieces of wire wrapped with thread in the middle in a spider shape. We used to make them with old fashioned hairpins when I was a kid (seems not so long ago!) Glue the thread with white glue and hang from a thin fishing line or black thread. Hot glue makes great spiderwebs (only when I don't want webs!)

Rhoda Conley

The Glencroft. We love that kit. It is a pain to assemble but we think it is worth the effort. We completed our first one shortly after our grandson was born. He is now over 20 years old! It became our family project. We added a "basement" under it several years later and it became Santa's house. The basement became his workshop, elf's quarters, and the entrance to his gold mine. While many shops display those big, expensive houses in their front windows, we proudly show our Glencroft. BTW: We tried many techniques to make realistic looking snow on the roof. We wanted a heavy snow since it would be the North Pole. Finally, we hit upon styrofoam cut to fit the roof with a slight overhang. The complex angles of the roof presented some problems but we finally did it. We used 1" thick sheets. We sculpted the finished roof to round it off and each year we remove just a tiny bit of the surface to keep it white. We like the sparkle that is natural with the styrofoam. We also made icicles from clear sealer on waxed paper and glued them on. It has been great fun and we are very pleased with the result. From Mrs. Santa baking up a storm in the kitchen, to the elf making use of the bathtub, Mr. and Mrs. Santa's bathroom upstairs, we believe the Glencroft would suit Santa just fine. Now I want to complete a Glencroft just to provide the backdrop for a wonderful exercise in landscaping. That house just pleads for a bountiful garden.

Sandra Olsen

OrnaMagic: I wonder if anyone on the digest has seen this year's newest Christmas line of ornaments called "OrnaMagic." You can see them on this website:

In particular, there is one that has a "working" fireplace with a fire going inside. I have only seen these on the website, but have been pondering if the ornament could be adapted to mini use some how. Apparently the "fire" is a series of 24 photo frames run by a single light from a string of Christmas lights.

Anita Myers, Arnold, MD

Egg Nog:


Polymer Compound Resin (2-part kit such as Envirotex-lite)

White Opaque Color

Yellow Transparent Dye

Ground Cinnamon (I know it should be nutmeg, but this is more to scale)

Paper Cup, Toothpicks, Stirring Sticks

Miniature Pitcher & Mugs or Glasses

OR Chrysnbon Punch Bowl Set (for Egg Nog Punch)

Pour appropriate amount of polymer compound - 1 part resin to 1 part catalyst into a paper cup. Add a touch of white opaque color and a touch of yellow transparent dye. Stir thoroughly. Carefully pour mixture into pitcher, glasses or mugs, OR ..into Punch Bowl and cups. Sprinkle with ground "nutmeg". Allow to harden undisturbed at least 12 hours.

Mary Eccher

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