Dining furniture makeover

by brae  

For the dining area, I wanted a table and chairs reminiscent of Crate & Barrel, like their Avalon Extension Dining Table and Vintner Chairs.

I found this light wood table by Handley in a similar shape.

Here is the table after one coat of black paint.

The chairs came in a set by Mayberry Street including a round table, but the base of that table wasn't the style I wanted.  What I like most about these chairs is that they have a curve to them; the back isn't straight up and down.  Real life chairs are angled like these, whereas most of the dollhouse chairs I've seen are straight-backed.

I wanted the look of wood chairs with tie-on cushions not upholstered seats, so I removed the glued-on cushion from each chair with a palette knife.

I had to sand and sand and sand to get that glue off.  What a workout!

Here's the whole set painted black.  The chairs will need further sanding and another coat of paint (and I need to make the tie-on cushions), but the set is turning out very similar to the Crate & Barrel example.

Study flooring and wallpaper

by brae  

The first step of installing the flooring was to make a template of the room.  I cut a rough outline and then taped bits of paper to cover any open areas.  This method makes up for any warping there may be along the edges of the room.

I used dark wood flooring by Handley House; it comes on a paper backing so you can cut a single piece of flooring using a template instead of laying the wood down strip by strip.  I did have to piece the wood a bit by the fireplace wall since the sheet was not wide enough to cover the entire width of the room.

The flooring isn't permanently affixed yet.  There are a few gaps from the wall, but I think it turned out well for my first attempt at wood flooring.  I plan to paint the edges where the base floor will show to make the gaps less obvious, and there will be a baseboard around the perimeter as well.

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The wallpaper is scrapbook paper by The Paper Company appropriately called Parchment Tan; it is also not permanently affixed yet.  The furniture is by Bespaq, bought on eBay; the plant came from Hobby Builders Supply.  I am not sure if these pieces will stay here since I bought them for a different room, but they are closer to what I have in mind than the red velvet ones I had been using during the planning phase.  I made the rug and fireplace.

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Kitchen progress

by brae  

I knew I wanted painted cabinets, but I had a hard time deciding on a color scheme.  I searched through countless online sites for ideas and stumbled upon something I would never have thought of: red cabinets.  I like the cream upper cabinets shown in this photo I found online, so I am not sure if I will go with red for both the upper and lower cabinets for my kitchen or follow this example.

With red cabinets, the red brick wall I had originally planned for the kitchen would need to be modified.  Otherwise, it would be too much red.  I painted the brick white, which brightened up the entire room.  For the wallpaper, I chose Bazzill Basics scrapbook paper in a light grey/white called Glass Slipper; it has an iridescent sheen to it.  I needed something pale to offset the pop of red.

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The island, sink cabinet and corner cabinets are Euro Mini's.  I filled the hardware holes, because I wanted to put them higher on the doors.  It didn't make sense for them to be so low on the doors of floor cabinets.  For the sink cabinet, I wanted a different look than knobs, like the example above.

I also spackled the wall I had cut and reglued to have the door in the middle of the wall.  I didn't want the seam to show under the wallpaper.

I masked the tops and baseboards of the three cabinets and then applied one coat of Apple Barrel paint in Barn Red.  I liked that the wood grain showed through, so I opted not to paint a second coat.  I am still mulling over color ideas for the countertops and baseboards.  Once fully painted, I will add a coat of satin sealer to give them a shine.

There will also be two or three floor cabinets with drawers, but I haven't completed them yet.  The wood floor is one possibility, but I am also considering other options.  So far, I really like it.  :)

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Miniature area rug

by brae  

I followed the technique on this Finnish website.  I couldn't read the instructions, but the photos were clear enough: glue pieces of yarn to a fabric backing.  I used Red Heart cotton yarn in a variegated pattern and a piece of scrap linen blend fabric.

I measured and cut the fabric for a full size area rug, leaving a little on the ends to create fringe.

Pulling out the cross fibers on each end created fringe.

I taped a piece of wax paper to my work table.  I then taped the fabric backing to the wax paper making sure to cover the fringe on both ends to keep from getting glue on it.  Working on a small area at a time, I cut pieces of yarn longer than the width of the fabric and glued them to the fabric backing.  I measured repeatedly to make sure I was keeping the rows straight.  The fabric stretched as I went along, so I ended once I reached the length I wanted.

I cut off the original bottom fringe and made new fringe below the end of the glued yarn.  Flipping the rug over, I cut the excess from either side of the fabric backing.

Here is the finished area rug. :)

click image to enlarge

Faux crochet afghan

by brae  

I know how to crochet real life size items, but I remain in awe of those who crochet in miniature.  I might give it a try one day, but in the meantime, I figured out a way to make an afghan that looks crocheted using premade trims and some sewing thread.

I used Wrights venise lace daisy trim in lavender, light blue and ivory.  There are other colors available as well.  I bought 1 1/8 yards of each and had some left over.  I used regular sewing thread in lavender and light blue.

After looking up the standard afghan size for a queen bed, I positioned my lace against a ruler to determine the amount of rows and daisies I would need to make one in miniature.  At first, I left the rows longer figuring I could always cut off excess flowers.  I sewed the pieces of lace together, stacking each row so that the subsequent row would fit into the previous row.  I made bands of three, one of each color, and then sewed those bands together.

My result has vertical stripes, but this method could easily be converted to make horizontal stripes.

Here the afghan is shown with a chair from Lee's Line.

Update: I now have some of these in my etsy shop.

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