Reunited: the story of a tiny traveling tureen



Remember this Victorian cottage I added to my dollhouse collection a few weeks ago?

It came with furniture, decor that included tiny dishes, and a sweet little family. In the dish collection, there was a lid for a soup tureen, but no bowl. That’s the nature of dollhouse life, though; the tiny bits and pieces that make up a miniature world often go missing over time.

A week or so ago the sellers contacted me to let me know they’d found another dish that had belonged with the dollhouse and they wondered if I’d like it. Naturally, I said yes. You can’t have one little dish just hanging out, alone in the world. They mailed it to me and when I opened the envelope, which dish was in there? The bowl portion of the tureen! Seriously, I can’t tell you how delighted I was to see it. Many people would have chucked it in a drawer or the garbage, but they went above and beyond to get it to me.

Here’s my tureen, with both parts (and a little spoon I added since I don’t have a ladle) together again:



A sweet little Victorian cottage

Furniture and decor I've purchased, Uncategorized

This past weekend I got this sweet, adorable cottage. It came with the furnishings and family. The beautiful little staircase is what convinced me to drive all the way from Madison to Dubuque to get it.



A boho dollhouse you’ll love


Now and then I like to feature the work of other miniaturists here on my blog. Today I’m sharing Shelly Torkelson’s boho dollhouse. Shelly is from Madison, too, and I came across her dollhouse when I was perusing Craigslist the other day. Isn’t is amazing? The best part? Currently, it’s still for sale! All photos copyright Shelly Torkelson, shared with her permission.


More easy bamboo coaster projects for you

Handmade decor for my mini house

I’ve been all about the bamboo coaster crafts lately! It’s easy to turn a little container like this:

Into a cute hamper like this:

Or you can turn a small plastic container you no longer need, like this one:

into something much cuter, like this:

Let me walk you through the steps. Start with some small, sturdy containers. You’ll also need bamboo coasters like these:

Let’s start with the smaller container. This is a travel-sized container that I used for sunscreen at some point. I’m going to call this a hatbox, since that’s kind of how it ended up looking.

I started by creating the top of the container. I used a mesh-backed coaster for this part of the project because I wanted bamboo that would stay together well even after I cut it out.

Trace your cap and cut out your circle, and, when you’re happy with it, glue it to the top of your container.

I often get asked what kind of glue I use. For most projects, I use Elmer’s Glue-All multi-purpose glue. For projects involving paper (for instance, when I put up wallpaper in a dollhouse) I usually use Craft-Bond (aka rubber cement).

For the sides of the container, I used coasters without mesh backing because I wanted the bamboo to be as flexible as possible since it needed to wrap around a small, round container.

If your glue beads up, spread it around before applying your strips of bamboo siding. Otherwise it will seep out and you’ll have an unattractive mess!

If one coaster isn’t big enough to fit around your container, that’s okay. Focus on getting one piece in place properly. Hold it in place for a couple of minutes until it starts to set. Then add your remaining piece, readjust as needed, and use a rubber band or other materials to hold your container together while it dries thoroughly.

Isn’t that cute?

The best part of all is that it’s still a functioning container. Tiny treasures can be stored inside. For a container like this, you’re probably best off having the lid on but not **quite** closed while it’s drying. That way you won’t risk accidentally gluing it shut (if it’s closed tightly) or having the glue dry in a bulky way that makes it so it won’t close (if you have the base and lid drying as two separate parts).

Now let’s look at I how I made the little hamper.

This is a cardboard container that a little bottle of essential oils came in.

Ooh! What’s that inside?

That corrugated cardboard isn’t needed for this project, but I’ll save it for some future project.

I tried wrapping a coaster around the container. Would you believe it?? It’s a perfect fit!

I cut the coaster so that I had the correct portion for the top and the correct portion for the bottom, and then I simply glued each in place, following the same basic plan as with the previous hatbox project. Instead of using a random strip of coaster for the cap and another for the base, if you can use one piece and cut it, so it fits back together like a puzzle later, you’ll have a nice end product. No matter how neatly you cut your coasters, there may be slight nuances and when you put your cap on, you want it to look like a perfect fit.

Base in place! (That’s my little hatbox, not the hamper lid, right behind it.) As you can see above, my coaster extended beyond the bottom of the container. Since it was already so tall, I cut off the excess. If I was going to use this for a different scale project (for instance, a hamper in a Barbie doll house), I would have left it as it was.

This lid is cute, but I didn’t really want a bit of ribbon as my hamper handle, so I removed it.

These piece of a necklace is going to be my hamper handle instead.

Here’s a look at my hamper when it was just about done. Just waiting on that handle.

Once again, I used the mesh-backed coaster for the lid and the non-mesh-backed coaster for the sides. This container was basically designed to have some bamboo popped onto the top of it. It fit perfectly in the cardboard circle that was already part of the container’s design!

Back to that handle…

Since there was already a little hole in the lid from where I removed the ribbon handle, attaching it was really simple.

I just sewed it into place.

Here are some looks at the finished hamper:

Next up, faux tiki lights! This project was REALLY fast and easy. I just wrapped some coaster bits around some caps, added string, and had fun little lights.

Here’s a room using all of these bamboo projects along with the planters previously seen and some other fun, easy projects, like bamboo coaster blinds, table runners, and place mats.

All photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.


Make your own mini bamboo planters from a lotion cap and a coaster

A new house flipping project, Everyday objects repurposed, Handmade decor for my mini house, Uncategorized

Here’s a quick, easy, very inexpensive project for you. Use bamboo coasters, old lotion caps and lids, and a little glue to make planters!

A little scotch tape will help hold the bamboo in place while you get started.

All you need for this project are some old bottle caps or lotion container lids (or lip balm containers, or the other small container or cap of your choice) and some bamboo coasters or placemats.

Here’s what I started with:

Step one was to cut the coaster to the desired height you’d like your planter to be. I started with the green cap and decided I’d like the bamboo to extend just above it on either side.

Once cut, I wrapped the bamboo around the cap, using a little scotch tape to help secure it in place while I worked. When I determined the right size to fit around the cap, I cut it and glued it into place.

I like the kinds of coasters with a mesh backing because you can cut them up and they never fall apart. These coasters didn’t have that kind of backing, so once I began cutting, the tiny bamboo slats began to come out. It wasn’t a big deal — I just put them back where they belonged, but if you can find the coasters with a mesh backing, they’ll save you that trouble. Another option is to glue some kind of backing onto your coasters before you cut them. Some paper, mesh, or lightweight fabric, for instance.

I repeated the process with the lid. It was much bigger, so I needed two sections of bamboo. Here’s a look with section one getting put into place:

After my caps were nicely wrapped in their strips of bamboo, I used a rubber band to hold the bamboo in place while it dried. Later I removed the rubber band and added a little twine as both a decorative touch and also to help keep the bamboo in place over time.

All photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A cozy breakfast room on a budget

Everyday objects repurposed, Furniture and decor I've purchased, Handmade decor for my mini house

Today’s room box has lots of inexpensive touches.

The dresser, cabinet, and small table (night stand) were all Dollar Store purchases or from the dollar (or so) aisle of one of my local craft stores. All were originally unpainted. The dresser and night stand have non-functioning drawers, unfortunately.

I wove the chunky rugs on a potholder loom. The flat, tan one is just a scrap of burlap.

Here’s a link to a previous post about the faux macrame wall hanging and the faux light fixture.

The white, fringy wall hanging on the far left is an earring.

This little plant goes here!

The diamond shaped wall hanging is a scrap of burlap I wove some yarn into.

The oversized wooden pot on top of the cabinet was featured here. It’s a napkin ring.

Earrings from Prague.

All photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Quick, easy, inexpensive decorating tips

Furniture and decor I've purchased, Handmade decor for my mini house

Here’s a room box I recently made.

The placemats are snippets of burlap.

The oversized planters are napkin rings.

The flowers are from the Dollar Store.

The wooden vase is from a craft store. It came in a bag of about a dozen wooden vases for a dollar or two.

The table is another Dollar Store purchase, painted red.

The floors and walls are scrapbook paper.

The plates and mugs were inexpensive purchases from

The only “splurges” in the room are the chairs and faux light fixture.


The best part of all? The whole room came together in a matter of minutes.

Tip: Pull off a a bit of the burlap all the way around each placemat to give them a nice, even look.

Tip: Adding trim makes all the difference! This room wouldn’t look quite right or finished without it.

If you like the napkin ring planter idea, but think these feel a little too oversized for use inside a dollhouse or roombox, put them outside the house on a porch or beside a front door instead.

All photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Wallpaper in the farmhouse kitchen and dining area

A new house flipping project, Flipping my mini house, Furniture and decor I've purchased, Handmade decor for my mini house

I got a lot of work done on my Craigslist farmhouse’s kitchen and dining area this weekend. I still need to install some trim, but I did a little decorating, just for fun. Here’s a look:

The light fixture and bowl on the chopping block are Etsy finds, mentioned in this previous post.

I made the little woven table runner on a small loom. Here’s a look:


The wallpaper, including the flower mural, is scrapbook paper.

This little chopping block is from a thrift store.

All photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

In case you missed it, I’ve got a contest going on right now. I’m looking for a new for the dollhouse! Here are all the details.

Take part in my “Name that Dollhouse!” contest

A new house flipping project

I’ve got big plans for the secondhand dollhouse I bought recently. It’s going to be featured front and center in an upcoming book or two (or maybe even more!).

From The House of Seven Gables, to Fallingwater, to Graceland, houses with names have presence. Naturally, this needs a great name too. Since I’m planning to feature it in a mystery, the name should be spooky and mysterious but also fitting with the clean, classic look of the house (I’m planning to keep its exterior about the same as it looks below).

The person who suggests the winning name will get the following:
Recognition on one of the first pages of the book and any subsequent books I write using this name.
Recognition on the Flip This (Mini) House blog (right here!) and social media pages and also on my author social media pages.
A Kindle copy of the book.
Bragging rights!

More details coming soon, but it’s not too early for you to start suggesting clever names! To do so head over to the Flip This (Mini) House Facebook page, here.

By entering this contest, you acknowledge there’s no other compensation, financial or otherwise, for having your suggestion chosen as the winning name.

My newest dollhouse says, “I need a cool name!”

Tea for two

Furniture and decor I've purchased, Handmade decor for my mini house, Miniaturists, Shopping for minis

Today I created this sweet little room box:

The faux light fixture and two baskets shown above are recent purchases from Etsy artist MiniHome Co. Below is a photo of all my recent purchases from her: Two baskets, a macrame-style wall hanging, and three faux light fixtures. Check out her Etsy shop here.

The cute little glass animals are recent purchases from my trip to Prague.

The pink tasseled wall-hanging was made from some inexpensive jewelry.

This mirror was a quick project. You just need a snippet of twine, any inexpensive craft store mirror, and some glue.

All photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Love miniatures? Learn more about the Flip This (Mini) House mid-century dollhouse project here, here, here, or by searching through older posts.

Check out the Flip This (Mini) House book, the Decorate This (Mini) Room book, and the Style This (Mini) Room book by clicking any of these links.

Check out some more of my room box projects here, here, and by searching through older posts or following Flip This (Mini) House on Facebook and Instagram. Both feature occasional exclusive content.

Stick around to see the latest project: a farmhouse style dollhouse makeover!