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Monday, December 31, 2012

The best glue for your dollhouse wallpapering needs

Grandmother Stover's Glue

These two glues have been around forever (I consider anything around before I started miniatures 5 yrs ago "forever").

Yes glue can be found at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.
Grandmother Stover's is at Hobby Builders Supply.
Same glue, different names.

I came across this glue when I took a class with Sally Manwell in Chicago 2010. Sally provided us with a tiny paint pot of Yes glue. I had seen Yes at Michaels, but always shied away from the glue because it costs $12 a pot, and I couldn't see what the glue contents were like.

In case you are curious, Yes and Grandma Stover both look like a pot of petroleum jelly or wax.

It is a PASTE rather than a liquid form of glue most of us are familiar with.

The reason it works so well for wallpapering dollhouses is because both glues have very low to non-existent water content. That's why they do not create the bubbles that can occur if you try to use regular tacky glue on wallpaper---it may look fine at first, but when completely dry, you can see the glue lines or bubbles .

Another advantage of YES and Grandma Stover glue is when you apply the paste, you can reposition the paper as needed. Some people like to print their wallpaper pattern on self-adhesive paper, which will also not create glue line or air bubbles, but you have to be very precise. I've noticed that if I did not position self-adhesive paper just right, and try to reposition, I end up tearing the paper or creating a crease in the paper that is  hard to get rid of without tearing the paper or smearing the print in some way. YES is more forgiving in this regard.

If you use YES or Grandma Stover, make sure you apply the paste to cover the ENTIRE area to be covered by wallpaper. Easier said than done, because the paste is almost translucent and it can be difficult to see when you are spreading it. If you miss a spot, the paper will not adhere and seem to come off the wall, but usually easily remedied by adding a dot of regular tacky glue.

For quarter scale projects, one pot of YES will last you a very, very long time. It goes a lot faster if you have mostly 1" scale projects, but well worth the cost.

The GLUE STICKS works in a similar fashion, because it is essentially a paste rather than wet glue. I've had similar results to YES when using glue sticks on small scale wallpaper projects. I do think that YES is a stronger adhesive than the glue sticks. If you decide to use glue sticks, pick the ones designated as PERMANENT. I find the glue sticks that aren't designated "permanent" over time loses its adhesiveness, which is a pain to remedy after all the trouble you've gone through.

To use YES, just scoop out some paste with a credit card or plastic knife and spread the paste like you would for cake frosting. Apply an even layer to the entire area to be covered by wallpaper and make sure the EDGES get good coverage.

You will find that YES is extremely sticky if you happen to get some on your fingers, but you can wash off easily with warm water immediately or you can scrape off the unwanted glue when dry.

A final advantage of YES, you can easily transport when traveling to long distance workshops. You can transfer a small amount in a disposable paint pot and not have to worry about glue leakage.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Whimsical Paper Toy Buildings

This is a sampling of little houses that you can make from this website (click here). All content of the website by Marilyn-Scott Walters.

In addition to little houses, there are printies for making fairy furniture, books written & illustrated by Marilyn Scott-Walters, gift boxes, pinwheels, carousels, pop-up theaters and boxes.

Be sure to click on the HOLIDAYS tab, for more printies and projects.

The printies are either JPEG or PDF files and very convenient to save, re-size, and print, to suit your needs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Canon Creative Park Printies

Canon, the world famous maker of digital cameras, camcorders, printers, etc, also provide FREE PRINTIES  ( click here) as a way of promoting their products and using their products (printers, ink cartridges, photo papers) to make the various projects they provide on their website.

Miniaturists are known for being clever and re-using everyday products to suit their needs, so this should be no different.

Under PAPERCRAFT, you can find various paper BUILDINGS and TOYS to make. Most projects take reams of paper, but there are relative miniature buildings to make that use less than 10 sheets of paper. Be sure you print preview before you print out, or you'll likely run out of ink. If you are computer savvy, you could figure out a way to reduce the size of the printie to meet miniature size standards and reduce the number of paper you need to make the project.

Under SCRAPBOOK are many scrapbook paper backgrounds that can be used for real life scrapbook paper, an assortment of wallpaper or scrapbook paper for your miniature scrapbook shop, scrapbook pages complete with real life photos to make a miniature scrapbook.

Under ART tab, and CHIYOGAMI, you can find paper backgrounds suitable for Asian or Japanese theme wallpaper, for making paper kimono, etc. There are brick herringbone pattern suitable for some flooring projects.

There's also CALENDAR formats for real life or miniature sized calendars.

Under PHOTO GALLERY there are photographs (dogs, cats, beaches etc) that could be re-sized to suit your miniature needs.

Higaki-mon (red)Kakitsubata-mon (ochre)Seigaiha-mon (red)
Kikkou-mon (green)Fuji-mon (light blue)Ichimatsu-mon (green)

A sampling of CHIYOGAMI papers found on the Canon Creative Park website.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Gingerbread printies

Merry Christmas to all!

Gingerbread House

A nice Gingerbread house printie for you to use and build-- click here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Antique seed bead sources

It seems small can never be small enough in miniatures.

The smallest seed beads that you can find at most bead and craft retail stores are 15/0 Delica seed beads.

Anything 16/0 and higher (the larger the number, the smaller the bead) are considered "antique" or "vintage" as they are not commercially made anymore.

Here are two online sources if you need really, really, need tiny seed beads for your miniature projects.

Empyrean Beads (antique Italian seed beads 16/0 to 22/0)

Bead Cats (seed beads 16/0 to 24/0)

Note that the color selection is greatest for 16/0 and minimal for 22/0 to 24/0.

I've been told that sometimes you can find antique seed beads at estate sales, but you have to know what you are looking at.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bindels Ornaments

This is a great site for do it yourself chandeliers, candlesticks and items made from jewelry findings a la JAR-JAF style. They are the European counterpart to JAR-JAF and items are listed in Euro currency. Their TUTORIALS are listed under WORKSHOPS and EXAMPLES.

Under the TECHNIQUES section, they explain
- how to open and close jump rings
- how to make loops and pendants
- how to insert bi-pins into candle sockets

Pictures are large.
Instructions are in ENGLISH (despite being based in the Netherlands) and easy to understand.

It is worthwhile to sign up for their newsletter. Periodically they offer discounts, such as not charging the VAT  (amounting to about a 15% discount).

Their stock of items is not nearly as extensive as offered by JAR-JAF, but this makes navigating the site and narrowing your choices easier.

You can check out their website here.

Mirrors from filigree findings
Perfume Tray & Picture frame
Candy dish
Rotating Condiment Set
Cake Stands
Fruit Bowl and various Cake Stands
Hanging Ceiling Light
Ceiling Lights 2
Ceiling Lights 3
Glass Bugles Hanging Light
Swavroski swag Chandelier
Swavroski pendant Chandelier
Silver candlesticks
Candlesticks with Swavroski swags
Swavroski pendant Candlesticks
3-arm Swavroski Candlestick
Lighted Table Candlesticks
Christmas pyramid
Christmas wreath
2-tier cake plate/etagere
Wall sconces
Lace evening purses
Filigree table, vase, candlestick, napkin holder, doll belt buckle, drawer pull

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Using Scenic Cement

Scenic Cement
I picked up this tip from Harva Basinger of Harva's Little Things (OKC).

You can find Scenic Cement in the model train/airplane section of Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Hobby Town USA.

This is a WATERY form of GLUE. That's why they also sell a SPRAYER for the glue.

Here's how you use it.

For quarter scale or 144 scale projects when you are laying out grass foam etc.

First you spread on a tacky glue (Elmer's glue works just as well).

Then you sprinkle on your grass foam etc.

Shake off the excess and most of the time you will see only 50% of the foam has stuck.

Now you have 2 options---you can wait for the glue to dry before applying another layer of glue and sprinkle your foam again. If you try to place glue on before it has dried completely, you'll end up taking off the foam you just sprinkled and you have a messy goo on your glue spreader.

This is where Scenic Cement comes in handy. What I do is I take a dropper (if you have young children, droppers that come with the liquid medicines work great or you can get disposable droppers from American Scientific Surplus) and suck up some Scenic Cement and I add DROPS of Scenic Cement onto the grassy area. Now you can sprinkle another layer of grassy foam etc and NO MESS. You can do this repeatedly until you are satisfied with your coverage.

Don't overdo the Scenic Cement. Because it is so watery, you can warp the wood if you add too much of the Cement.

When it is dry, you can shake your structure and you will see the foam has adhered and there's no bare spots.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Travel Size Healing Cutting Mat

Sku: 349746 @ Hobby Lobby
This is a great find and bargain at Hobby Lobby---a travel size healing cutting mat. Comes with a 5"x7" healing cutting mat, Xacto knife and blade holder that comes with 5 Xacto blades, all for under $7 (without their 40% off coupon).
This is perfect to pack when you are traveling to Miniature shows, houseparties etc. Smaller healing cutting mats are available, but I find their small size makes it difficult to cut things like QS wallpaper.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Printables from Carol Clarke

These are a sampling of printables available for PERSONAL USE from Carol Clarke of

Her work has been featured extensively in Dollshouse Miniatures & Scenes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Free Clay Tutorials from Raggedy D Miniatures

Donna Eckel of Raggedy D Miniatures offers several SUPERB tutorials on working with clay for making miniatures. They are listed under HOW-TO-PROJECTS, but you can also find them here.

She gives very specific tips, what to do and what not to do when working with clay, along with step by step pictures of the project in progress.

As of this writing, the tutorials are for making:
- General tips for working with polymer clay
- Christmas Bread and Jam
- Donuts with Chocolate Icing
- Jelly Bean Sugar Cookies
- Pizza
- Orange Blossom Cake

This is one of the few times I would be WILLING to offer a donation for the value of the tutorials provided.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Free Tutorials from DHMS

Fireplace Garland

I've been a fan of Dollhouse Miniature & Scene magazine since I started miniatures 5 years ago. Every magazine came chockful of projects, tutorials, show highlights, and at least one Felicity Price petitpoint chart. Unfortunately, not being a Brit, a year's subscription would run me over $100.

For a while I bought individual magazines from their website, but they were having problems with accepting credit card info and my order would never process for payment. So I gave up on them.

Now under new leadership, the credit card problem has been cleared, and they even offer a digital only subscription for about $35.

But what really excites me is the FEATURES section of the magazine's website, which offers some very nice TUTORIALS that have been published in the magazine. Check it out here.

There are 31 pages to browse through. Not all are tutorials, as they feature notable miniature artisans as well.


1" Xmas garland
1" Xmas cake by Sarah Maloney
1" Xmas ornaments by Gayle Baillargeon
1" sledge/sled by Carol Clarke
1" Xmas gift basket/hamper by Carol Clarke

1" skeleton mummy
Wizards hat, witch broom, crystal ball, aged books, wizard wand
Elves Boot and Witch Hat Planters

1" shopping trolley by Jane Harrop
1" basket by Jane Harrop

1" sewing room table by Carol Clarke
1" pet bed by Carol Clarke
1" shabby chic cabinet by Carol Clarke
1" fabric ottoman by Carol Clarke
1" Tuffet Stool
1" tudor leather stool by Jane Harrop
Silk covered Regency Sofa Jane Harrop
Cotton Fabric covered Edwardian Sofa & Wing Chairs
Upholstered club chair and how to button Jane Harrop
Velvet covered Chaise Lounge Jane Harrop
HS Art Deco Side Table
Clothes hanger air dryer
No Sew Bed--Julie Jackson
Desk Accessories

1" jubilee cake by Kerry Fawcett
Sandwiches Paul Taylor
Chcolate with pink icing cake Mags Cassidy

1" ladies hat by Carol Clarke
Ladies Hat from Twine Kat Hazelton
Trimmings for Ladies Hats--clay roses, leaves, feathers Kat Hazelton
Straw Ladies Hat Hazel Dowd
Closed Ladies Parasol Hazel Dowd

1" victorian floral centerpiece
Wedding Bouquet Carol Clarke
1" Topiary Planter
Wire Tree with Swing

Fabric tips from James Carrington
1" leather satchel with contents
Leather Handbag and Tiny bows Hazel Dowd
1" ballerina tutu by Carol Clarke

how to distress wood for miniatures Jane Harrop
distressed wood techniques part 2 Jane Harrop
1" distressed wood table by Jane Harrop

Air drying clay Q&A from Malcolm Smith
Making bricks Malcolm Smith
Making stone walls Malcolm Smith
Timber Frames with Infill Malcolm Smith
Roof tiles Malcolm Smith
Thatched Roofs Malcolm Smith

Silver Goblets from Precious Metal Clay
Leaf shape fruit bowl from Silver Metal Clay

General tips for miniature making

Friday, December 7, 2012

Australian Association of Miniature Enthusiasts

I wanted to share this link from the Down Under Miniaturists
They host an online convention every two years (the 1st convention was in 2009), and they post the convention's doings online. This is a gold mine of TUTORIALS, PRINTIES, tips, and inspiration. Check it out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

LED Magnifier Floor Lamp 5X Magnification for less than $50---DO NOT BUY

Full-Page Magnifier Floor Lamp

Yes, you heard right. It can be purchased at

I can't vouch for the light, not having purchased it yet, but it can't be any worse than the Mighty Brite floor magnifying lamp I purchased for the Door Buster price of $50 from Joann's last yr (2011) during their Black Friday weekend. The Mighty Brite lamp works great for me, especially if you do petitpoint (needlepoint on higher than 30 holes per inch canvas). The Mighty Brite only has 2X magnification, but it does wonders.

This is the 24" ruler with level on the website for $6.95. The handle bar looks like it would be useful.

They have a lot of interesting knick knacks for sale, not all miniature related, but all at great prices.
I signed up for their newsletter, but so far they have not offered any free shipping. However, the shipping charges don't seem outrageous, so I may bite the bullet and purchase the above two items.

UPDATE: I couldn't resist and bought the floor lamp "magnifier". 5X magnification is a joke. The "magnifier" is a cheap-o plastic piece and not a GLASS MAGNIFIER found in legit magnifiers. I am returning the item, although not everything they sell is a bust. Just read the description and fine print carefully (you may have to read between the lines as well).

I apologize for making this recommendation and hope no one fell for this like I did. I think I'm going to delete this post after one month.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lisa's Little Things

Gentlemen's shoppe kits
This is the Gentleman's Attire shop counter kit from Lisa Engler of Lisa's Little Things. She has revamped her website to reflect current offerings, which include kits and furnishings for a men's shop, ladies shop, sewing room, chocolate shop, laser cut doilies, accessories such as glasses, hair combs, ladies gloves, and more.

A nice TUTORIAL for making 1" scale PERFUME BOTTLES can be found here.

She has also provided a PDF file of vintage PERFUME LABELS printies here.