Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Miniature Dollhouse Christmas Tree - Making Your Own - Tutorial

I have tried various miniature kits to make a miniature Christmas tree.  I have found that the closest I have come to having it look real is to use preserved ground pine which I found at a local florist.
For those miniaturists that have never made one, it is quite easy. I  start with a bottle brush tree available at craft stores.  I usually trim it a bit to get the shape that I like before I start adding the pine.
Starting at the base of the tree - I use clumps of the ground pine but I measure each clump as I add it so that I get an even round at the base of the tree. 
Then, I add another few full rounds a little further up the tree.  This establishes the shape of the tree.
Then, it is a matter of filling in the rest of the tree and you are ready to light and decorate the tree.
I found some wonderful candle lights for a tree that I am working on at the moment and you can see them in a photo below. Just wrap up the battery pack and set it underneath your tree to resemble a large present.
I highly suggest that anyone that makes a tree stores it away in a box when not in a dollhouse.  I have found that the ground pine discolours if it is exposed to light for long periods of time.
Good Luck!

Finished Red, Gold and Silver Miniature Tree
Bottle Brush Tree

Measuring the Ground Pine

Establish your width at the base

Create the shape of your tree

Ready to Decorate

Silk Organza Ribbon

Candle Lights

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Favourite Mini Toolbox Items

I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer.  
I did not accomplish much in the way of miniatures this summer.  I did manage to get a few things started and worked on odds and ends which I will share in later posts.
It occurred to me that the reason that I enjoy reading miniature blogs is to learn new techniques that others share. I do enjoy seeing the end result when a miniature room is completed and filled with wonderful miniatures.
It also occurred to me that everyone has certain items that they work with that they "could not live without" when working in miniature.  I thought that it would be fun to share my few items and perhaps others will post their favourites too.
The table saw is a relatively new addition to my workroom.  I have not done a lot of woodwork so I took a lot of time to decide if I was going to make such a big expenditure for this saw.  I love it and as I work with it more and more find that I am really happy with it.   I have started a project that I will share later with everyone and this saw is making it fun to do the project.
Measuring is sometimes a challenge for small items so I am a huge fan of the mini square and the centre finding ruler.
Another item that I find invaluable is the gluing jigs made by Kreative Acrylics.  I like to clamp small items to the corner and leave them to set to a perfect right angle.
And, my most recent find - the rare earth magnet right angle gluing jig.  It comes in a couple of sizes - one perfect for anyone doing 1/24 scale.
A number of these items are available through the Micro-Mark catalogue and website.  I picked up a couple of the items below at the local hardware store.

Microlux Tilt Arbor Table Saw - Micro-Mark

Mini Square - Micro-Mark
Centre Finding Ruler - Lee Valley Tools
Mini Level - Micro-Mark

Large Square -Hardware Store
Clamps - Hardware Store
Kreative Acrylics - Gluing Jig

Rare Earth Magnetic Right Angle Clamps - Micro-Mark