Range hood lighting

by brae  

I had built a lip on the bottom of my range hood to give a more realistic look and to have room to add a light.

I chose an LED strip in warm white by Novalyte, cutting a rough hole in the balsa to hold the light in place.  These lights are compatible with 12V dollhouse lighting.  I drilled a hole through to the back; the wires will run through the wall and plug into the power strip.

Here is the light in the mockup phase to check the fit.

Lights out!  This is exactly the look I wanted.

Spice rack

by brae  

I wanted a wall mounted spice rack, but I wasn't sure how to go about making the little spice jars to go in it.  I considered using beads for the base and perhaps polymer clay to make the caps, but I couldn't really find anything that matched the idea I had in my head.  Most things were either too large or not the right color, texture or shape.

What I ended up using was 3/16" diameter rigid aquarium tubing for the jars and 3/16" diameter wooden beads for the caps.

I cut 3/8" lengths of the tubing using a sharp X-Acto knife and a lot of patience.

I painted part of the inside with colors matching the various spices I wanted to mimic.

I didn't seal the bottoms since the jars would be displayed either in a rack or standing upright on a countertop, and since they were merely painted, there was nothing to spill out.

I created labels in Word using clip art borders for the design.  These measure just 1/4" square but they are legible.  I printed them on Avery label paper since I figured I'd get more glue on myself than on the tiny labels if I tried applying an adhesive after cutting them out.

I cut out each label along the lines and found it relatively easy to pull the backing off even though the paper was so tiny.  Using the sticky label paper made it very easy to attach the nameplates to the miniature bottles.  I then glued on the wooden beads to the serve as caps; I liked the existing reddish color so I decided to leave them as is.  The hole in the top didn't bother me since the jars wouldn't normally be viewed directly from above.  From the front perspective, the hole seems like a design detail.

Once the jars were made, I built a spice rack out of basswood and mini dowels, leaving it unfinished for now since I like the color.   I will likely seal it but not paint it.  Here you can also see the finished backsplash; I used two light coats of metallic silver paint that I wiped off before drying to create variegated shades of silver.

Update: The custom made spice rack with jars is now available in my etsy shop.

Teapot clock and bird statue

by brae  

Jewelry findings make for great minis.  I bought a string of teapot shaped beads by Madame Delphine.  I found a photo of a clock online and printed it on an Avery label.  I then mounted the label on a scrap of balsa.

I cut out the clock face and pressed it into the back of the bead.  I didn't end up using glue on this since the fit was tight.  Here the back is shown before I painted the wood black so it wouldn't show from the side when attached to the wall.

I mounted it on the wall above the door in the kitchen.


click image to enlarge

The other item I made is a bird statue from a sterling silver charm and a wooden bead.  I cut the loop from the top of the bird charm and glued the piece to the bead.  I am not even trying to fool myself into thinking it will stay put forever (I've glued it twice already), but as long as I don't touch it and leave it on the shelf, it will be okay.

Kitchen range hood and new backsplash idea

by brae  

Originally I was going to make upper kitchen cabinets and a range hood for this side of the kitchen.  But, after making a mockup of the range hood, I decided I liked it on its own.  The range hood is made from a block of balsa and decorative wood trim.  I built a lip on the bottom of the balsa base so it would look like there was a vent.  I had photos of the process, but my hard drive crashed and I lost them.  (I knew it was coming, so I didn't lose much else.)

Here it is with just primer, before sanding and finishing.

I searched for more ideas online and found some nice images of tin ceiling tiles used as a backsplash.  It seemed like something fairly easy to replicate since Houseworks makes a sheet of vinyl molded to mimic tin ceilings.

I first taped a piece of scrap paper to the wall behind the oven and bottom cabinets.

After mounting the range hood with tape and placing the ceiling board on, I marked where I wanted the tin tiles to end.  I used the paper as a template to cut a piece of the tin ceiling sheet.  I plan to paint the vinyl sheet and the range hood.

Bird prints, completed

by brae  

In an earlier post, I wrote about making a set of nine vintage bird prints from images I found on etsy from A History of British Birds, published in the 1850s by Rev. Francis Orpen Morris.  I finally finished making the tiny frames.  I had a fair amount of waste wood left over, even with the use of an Easy Cutter, because the frames had to be as close in size as possible since I wanted to hang them as a set.

Here they are above the sideboard in the kitchen's dining area.  The box is a silver and Swarovski crystal charm by Jolee's Jewels and it opens.  The shell is real, but this is the only way I can display it since there are holes drilled through it to string on a necklace.


The sideboard is from the same Mayberry Street set as the dining chairs that I had modified in a previous post.

After new coat of paint (before painting the hardware silver).

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