Miscellaneous

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Installing Plexiglas on Back of Dollhouse:   I use self adhesive Velcro strips from the hardware store.

Tom Berkner


Installing Plexiglas on Back of Dollhouse:   I purchased the Northeastern guttering for dollhouses and glued it to each straight side of the back and if desired it could also be placed at the bottom edge.   The Plexiglas fits perfectly into the gutter openings.

Juanita in Missouri


Installing Plexiglas on Back of Dollhouse:   I use small earth magnets to attach a Plexiglas sheet over the front opening of my dollhouse. The small magnets (about half the size of a baby fingernail) are VERY powerful. I countersink them into the woodstripping of the house, hold the plexi in place, and pop another magnet on top of the plexi and countersunk magnet. Everything holds in place very well. To remove the sheet, the magnets must be slid off sideways instead of being pulled off. Hopes this makes sense. They are very inconspicuous. Earth Magnets are available from Lee Valley Tools, http://www.leevalley.com/   If you do a search for "earth magnets" from their site, you will have a number of results.   Select one of these results (I selected the first result), then select the currency you'd like to view the information in, then you'll get to a page with an image of the magnets along with an explanation as to how they work.

J. Strobel


How to lift the Plexiglas Front for Roombox: Mine came with a small Plexiglas Square glued on it at the bottom. It's handy and is still holding up after 10 years. I suppose you could glue on whatever you wanted for a handle.

JILL


Plexi Front for Roombox: The easiest way to apply Plexi to the front of a room box is to construct a channel to insert it into. This is simply a U shaped piece of wood applied to both sides and the base of the box. The plexi slides into the center of the U. This allows you to raise it up and down........ I often make my own with a piece of 1/4 inch x 1/8 inch basswood glued directly to all 4 sides of the front opening of the box. Use a good strong glue such as Tite Bond. I miter the corners just as if I were applying a frame to a picture........ Follow this with a 1/8" sq. strip of basswood firmly glued to the outer edges of the first board. Only apply this to the sides and base of the front opening of the box. This will be the channel and the size of the wood is determined by the thickness of your plexi.....Complete the channel by gluing either a pretty molding or another piece of 1/4 inch x 1/8 inch basswood to the sides and base. Glue the same molding to the top of your piece of plexi. This will create a handle that makes inserting the plexi easier for you.

Becky Holliday


Cleaning Plexiglass: There is a special cleaner for Plexiglass. Most Plexiglass places have it. I got mine from Iris Broyles at Buffalo Creek minis. Their web site is http://www.bcminiatures.com and email is bison7@bcminiatures.com I also got some great cleaning cloths from them.

Fannye in TX


Mini Hold Remover: I use a steel tool designed to remove ear wax. It has a small metal loop at one end and a tiny metal cup at the other. It is the best thing I've ever found for removing Mini Hold from the container. The loop will shave a small sliver and the cup will scoop a perfect ball.

Becky


Linseed Oil: Oil paints today are pigment ground in linseed oil which is actually the cause of your slow drying - linseed oil can stay semi-dry for years causing rotting canvases etc. when it seeps through to the canvas or linen of a painting. I would try dry pigment in the commercial stain , and if you still need it and can get it, a bit of Japan Drier. Stay clear of Linseed oil, boiled or otherwise.

Ana


Linseed Oil: Linseed oil is a polymerizing oil which means it cures without solvent evaporation. I use the urethane filled polymerizing oils which are easier and more durable. My favorite is Watco which I have used by the gallon on full scale furniture and I use occasionally on cherry miniatures if I want a rich reddish brown finish without staining.

Pete Boorum


Rust proof pins: You can get the pearl head pins or the smaller pins that have colorful plastic ball heads that are rust proof. They are in the notions section of Wal-Mart if you don't live close to a Jo-Ann's Fabric store or some such. They work excellent because their bright colors make them easy to find and they last forever. I've had some of the same pins in my glue bottles for years. I also find myself using the pins for other things too.

Some of them become miniatures themselves and other become useful tools for different media I work with. I have only purchased about three containers in over ten years, but I do use them, so that couple of dollars you spend would not be wasted.

Peggy


What to do with dollhouse: Our Barbie scale dollhouse that our daughter did not want is now at our local elementary school. It has been there for several years and many, many children have had a chance to enjoy it. This was worked out with one of the teachers who had room in her classroom for it.

Donna


Adding music to a scene. This is something I've been thinking about for a long time myself, as I want to do a scene of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" with all the characters in it. It seems there are only a few options, depending on how much music, and how high quality you want it to be. There are picture frames, and even greeting cards that come with a programmable microchip to tape messages, or yourself singing "Happy Birthday" or whatever. I do not know their quality, and I suspect that there is not much time on them. The other option is to buy a tiny tape recorder, and conceal it somewhere, perhaps in a base of the project. If you aren't particular about the music, there is a very large selections of music boxes you could use!

Alice Zinn- Pt. St. Lucie FL


Adding music to a scene. There are a LOT of different ways you can add music to your scene! The considerations are; how many different songs do you want it to play, what sound quality do you want, and where do you want the sound to come from. Depending on the answers to these questions, you can either use a small tape recorder hidden under the bandstand, or you can get speakers and build them in the bandstand and have the recorder somewhere else, or you can go wild and have everything run
"automagically".

You can get a digital recording device and hack it apart, and set it up to run at a certain time....or, you can get several of these devices (relatively cheaply on the internet or parts from electronics stores) and have a program to play them. We have an entire skit with music built in to our puppet theater. We used small computers and digital recording devices. The sound was recorded on a full-size computer, then dumped to the digital (then timed to fit the action, but if you don't need that it gets a whole lot easier!). The speaker is built into the top of the theater, and a fabric grille is behind what looks like carved wood (but is actually paperclay). Please feel free to write me for help with this, as I said, there are a lot of ways to do it!

Tori


Music in dollshouses: In one of the Dutch museums/art galleries (Harlem, Rotterdam?), there is a modern piece, which is in a darkened room. The piece itself is subtly lit. It represents American inner urban tenement housing. I am unclear of the scale - the buildings are about 18 inches tall.

It is night. Some of the apartments have lights on, curtains drawn. The buildings themselves are fairly well made, but it is the wonderful soundtrack that plays which leads the mind to make up all sorts of stories.. a dog barks, a police siren wails, a couple argue, a baby cries - someone plays jazz music, a car draws up to the curb, people talk, laugh, a shot rings out, more cars are heard, a woman calls her kids to the table for dinner....

One stands in the dark, or slowly walks around this piece, lost in a world of mystery and banality, and it is true magic. I have always wanted to wire my scenes for sound ever since seeing it. Maybe one day I will.

Helen from York, England


Hobby Lobby catalog link: http://catalog.craftsetc.com/browseGroup.cfm?item_group_id=28955  That goes directly to dollhouse-related stuff!

Kitty


Flocking: Don't know what the commercial stuff is, but I just made some that that did quite well.  I wanted a lavender plant for the garden and started   with cloth covered wire that I glued into a bunch for the stems.  It seemed  like the scale of the flowers was so tiny that flocking would be best, but I  didn't have any but black and gray.  Found a small scrap of   yarn in the right tone, "combed" it all fluffy with a needle and cut it up   super tiny.  Put glue on the wires, rolled them in the fluff.  After it  dried, I trimmed off the stick out parts.  

Chrissy


Gatorboard and Foam Core: Gatorboard and Foam Core are similar in that they are approximately 1/4" thick (or can come 1/2" and thicker from specialty display suppliers) - and they both have a smooth poster board type surface on each side. BUT - the difference ends there.

Gatorboard has a hard, dense, fine-grained core. You can stick a straight pin into it, with about as much effort as you would into balsa - but the pin will hold, even under pressure. It is a sturdier board than the Foam Core boards.

Foam Core has a more open, loose, softer core. You can easily press a fingernail into it - like the white foam packing material called 'peanuts'. It will not hold a straight pin well - nor will it hold it's shape when pressed very hard, especially at the edges. It is good for small projects - or 'mockups' of bigger projects, to see how they will look. It is definitely not as permanent a product as the Gatorboard - but has it's place for small vignettes, small boxes, the base for larger items as fireplaces, etc., which are then finished with other materials to look like a fireplace.... etc. Foam Core tends to warp - particularly if not sealed on BOTH sides for larger projects (i.e., gesso, paint, or something similar that will keep moisture from penetrating). You must seal BOTH sides, even if you intend to only wallpaper, for example, one side.

Gatorboard must also be sealed - because it will warp, also, but has less of a tendency to do so than Foam Core. There is also, as someone mentioned, a corrugated plastic-surfaced Foam Core type board from which real estate signs are made....not good for miniature work, to my thinking.

Gatorboard, being a denser, 'tougher' product than Foam Core, can also be easily cut with X-Acto knife, scroll or table saw, and then holds a good edge.


Worry Free Wiring: A question about hidden wiring problems. . My solution: Run solid, break free sections of wire beneath siding and where it's not available in the finished wall or floor. Solder all joints. Coat them with Silicon Sealer (aquarium sealer). This will take a long time because you have to let this sealer cure or dry overnight. The wait will be worth it. You can now go on and dress the rest of the house without worry about wiring. I often run wires out the side beneath a hollow chimney or wood box or some exterior feature. Then hinge the feature to allow access to this junction. Very like a fuse box for a real house. How else to access the wiring. Maybe you can make a real looking fuse box to contain your wire junctions if the period allows.

Judie - Daytona Beach, FL


McDonald’s cardboard: I have used the corrugated cardboard from McDonald's sandwiches for ruffling around a quarter scale bed.   Just perfect, and can be tinted or painted.

Betty in Ky.


One-room school: I am also doing a one-room school and I found my greatest help was just on the internet. I just typed in "one-room school" on the search and a whole list came up. There is one site there called "Iron Hill School" which would help you because it was an all black school. It showed what type of floors they had, what colors they painted their walls and everything. Also under "American Schools" you can find all black schools. From what I read the only light they had was from the windows. Students sat on long wooden benches with their work on their laps. Blackboards were just boards painted black. Erasers were rags glued to small blocks of wood. Hopefully this is of some help

Teresa in Calgary


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