General Mini Crafting

Bedroom Re-Do

For this round of the Year of Creative Crafting Challenge the theme was “Night Time – it’s all about the hours after the sun has gone down. You could make something for bedtime or sleeping, or maybe something for a late-night gathering spot.”

Strangely, this was a more challenging topic for me than I anticipated. Inspiration was absolutely not coming to me. I know that I should continue to work on the Porker home – and the bedrooms (3 of them) are my next assignment, but I just didn’t have the spark to work on it. Instead, I returned to my favorite – and most complete – residence, the Mouse house. Even though it is the most finished of the homes I’ve built, I often find myself finding things to tweak here and there. And one area of the house that has been bothering me for a while is the bunk beds in the children’s bedroom.

mouse house kids room

This is a picture of it as it was…and maybe you can see my problem. The blankets. I definitely took the easy route and simply cut some felt to size and placed it on top of the mattresses. I have never been a fan of the bedding that comes with the set (see here) but my felt solution was not much better. It looks neither good, nor does it look realistic.

In improving the bedding situation, I found myself in a bit of a pickle – I really wanted the bedding to drape down off the bed, not be all tucked around the mattress. But then I came to my next problem: the mattresses seemed too thin.

bunk original mattress

If I made blankets that draped down, then the blankets would be sitting on the rails, rather than on the sleeping surface. Well, I couldn’t let that stand, so making new mattresses was in order.

bunk new mattress

I cut pieces of foam core to size, then added several layers of felt on top to give it squishiness (I could have used batting, but didn’t have any on-hand.) I then basically “wrapped” the foam core/felt structure with fabric, like wrapping a present. I used tacky glue to adhere the fabric to the bottom and sides of the structure. These mattresses turned out awesome, in my opinion!

Then I made new blankets with pieces of cotton fabric that I hand hemmed. I ended up using the original pillows, as they looked nice enough.

bunk new bedding

I am overall quite happy with my night time project. It is a definite improvement over the previous blankets and adds more color and personality to the Mouse kids’ bedroom.

bunk new bedroom

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Catching Up

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I haven’t been feeling super passionate about making minis lately. But for the most part, I have been trying to keep up with the Year of Creative Crafting challenges I’ve been posting on the Sylvanian Families forum. But I’ve only been posting in the thread there, not on the blog. So to catch up, here are the projects I’ve made:

Challenge: ABC – Letters and Text

magazines

I made little magazines. The magazines are “Nosh: for those who love to eat”, “Confectionery Quarterly”, and “Mountain Living”. I used my own photos to create the magazine covers.

Challenge: Ultra-Violet, Color of the Year – Use purple, violet, or lavender color

pansies

I made a pot of purple pansies. The pansies are made of floral wire, a bit of paint, mulberry paper, and a tiny touch of alcohol ink. The leaves are trimmed off an artificial plant, the pot was purchased, and the soil is brown air dry clay.

Challenge: For the Kids – Make something for children or babies

blocks together small

A set of building blocks. Caleb Cuddle-Bear was building a tower with his blocks. Until his little brother Calvin knocked it down. At first Caleb was mad at his baby brother. But then he found that it’s fun to build towers together…and knock them down together!

Challenge: Tradition – Make something traditional, like a local tradition, a family tradition, or even a crafting technique that was “passed down”

quilt1   quilt2

My project was a family tradition – I made a miniature quilt. For this project I used the “paper-piecing” technique where a pattern is printed onto special paper that you sew on. It’s a rather odd technique, but it is very accurate, especially for small pieces. I found a pattern for free online and printed it at a much-reduced size. After the patch was done, I quilted around the star, and added a hand-sewn binding. This was the trickiest part, and I am sad that one of the seams popped.

Challenge: It’s Too Hot! – Make something refreshing for when it’s just too hot

ice cream

I made polymer clay ice creams to enjoy on a hot day.

Now I’m all caught up!

Minor Repair

Sometimes I need to return to an otherwise finished project and tweak or fix some aspect that isn’t working. The latest was a minor but annoying issue in the candy shop.

I’m not sure if it was just from the weight of the jars or whether it suffered a bit of damage in the move, but the wall shelf in the candy shop was starting to sag:

Shelf Fix 1

(Excuse the untidy background of my work table.)

The shelf was originally attached with super-sticky tape adhesive. But as you can see, the front edge was beginning to sag downward. Every time I noticed it, I would try to push it back into the proper position, but soon it would be angled downwards again.

So I decided that I needed to shore it up a bit. I measured and cut some bass wood to create a bracket at each end to help hold the shelf horizontally. A bit of paint and some glue later, the shelf looked much better:

Shelf Fix 2

So not a big project, but a good one for peace of mind.

Seed Packets and Box

Wow, I’ve really been neglecting the blog, haven’t I? After the last large project, I guess I took a bit of a hiatus from crafting minis. Well, I’m back this week to show a little project I made. A few months back, I made a whole bunch of miniature seed packets. They are 1/4″ by approximately 1/3″. Each seed packet is different. I used images of seed packet art from the collection of The Label Man for them. (I’m sure it’s a copyright infringement in some way, but I figure they are for my own personal use only, so I’m probably in the clear.)

So anyway, I had 90+ teeny tiny seed packets hanging out in a bowl in my craft room and nowhere to put them. So I was pretty excited when this round of Iron Craft was announced: Store It. Making things that can store other things. So I made a miniature seed box inspired by vintage wooden seed boxes.

seed box

I made the box itself out of cardstock. It’s 1-1/4″ long by 3/4″ wide. Making the dividers was probably the trickiest part for me (it really took a lot of faith that they would be the correct size to fit and gluing the tiny flaps was really nerve wracking!) I then made some quick printies for the box labels to give it a more authentic feel. I then aged the printies by sponging on some beige ink – I wanted the box to look antique.

seed box2

I thought adding a penny would help give a sense of scale to the box and seed packets. Each packet has flaps and is folded and glued so it’s not just a flat rectangle. I think it adds a bit more authenticity.

I’m really pleased with how this tiny box turned out. Of course there are a few things here and there that I wish were a bit tidier about it, but overall, I think it serves its purpose quite well and looks pretty cute.