A mini book signing

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

I’m planning to design new author business cards soon, so I have a big stack of old ones that I was going to recycle. Lucky for me, I realized they’d make perfect mini books! Once I made a few, I was inspired to stage this mini book signing.

The tiny handbag is made from a coaster. The newspaper is an image I found online, shrunk down, and printed out.

You know how I love a tiny bunting or garland to festive-ize a room box!

These coasters are great for all kinds of dollhouse and room box projects!

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Decorate This (Mini) Room

A new house flipping project, Everyday objects repurposed, Furniture and decor I've purchased, Handmade decor for my mini house, Miniaturists, Shopping for minis, Tweaking store-bought dollhouse furniture

I had so much fun working on the Flip This (Mini) House book that I decided to publish a shorter book devoted to room boxes. It’s filled with never-before-seen photos and projects that are sure to inspire. It’s now available as a Kindle eBook (included in Kindle Unlimited) and will come out in paperback soon.

Decorate This Mini Room by Holly Tierney-Bedord

Decorate This (Mini) Room

A new house flipping project, Everyday objects repurposed, Furniture and decor I've purchased, Handmade decor for my mini house, Shopping for minis

Since my dollhouse is done, I’ve been having some fun decorating a room box. This is the perfect project for a beginner, someone on a budget, or anyone with a short attention span! Any cardboard shipping box is all you need for your structure. Dress it up with scrapbook paper, mini furniture and accessories. Below are a couple of recent projects, including a bohemian bedroom, inspired by a clearance iron-on butterfly I bought a couple days ago, and a Christmasy room filled with clearance minis.








Jewelry as dollhouse art

Everyday objects repurposed

I’ve mentioned how much I love small hardware items like handles, knobs, and hinges when it comes to creating miniature decor. Jewelry is another excellent source for dollhouse design. This vintage fish brooch from St. Vinny’s is going to work perfectly over the fireplace.

Vintage fish brooch. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Vintage fish brooch. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Vintage fish brooch back. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Vintage fish brooch back. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A modern bed with built-in side tables

Everyday objects repurposed

There’s been a huge, unexpected benefit to installing wallpaper that I’m feeling lukewarm about. Before installing the wallpaper, I felt like I was pretty much done with the bedroom decor. I had a little bed I’d made from some Styrofoam, handmade bedding, some nightstands I’d painted, and a little dresser. They were all so-so. I was happy enough with them. Once the wallpaper was installed (And let me tell you, working in a tiny space like that, cutting out the perfect window-shaped rectangle that is positioned just so is the definition of tedium), I realized I would do whatever it took to not have to redo it. That has meant taking a serious look at everything else going in the room, and only allowing in decor that will elevate the overall look of the room. I’ve admitted to myself that some of my original plan wasn’t particularly mid-century or modern. Like the nightstands. I decided I either need better nightstands or better wallpaper, but I can’t leave both as they are, or my room will not be cute enough.

In this instance, inspired mainly by The Century House, I decided I wanted my mini bedroom to have a platform bed with built-in side tables like this, this and this, and ohmygoodness this, so I decided to create one for my mini house.

Several months ago I purchased a bottle of men’s cologne from St. Vinny’s, specifically for the awesome wood cap that came with it. The cologne was nestled in a faux wood box. Here’s a look at the box:

Faux wood box. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Faux wood box. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I decided I was going to turn this into a headboard with side tables!

The box had three parts, as you can see, that all fit together. I decided the two smallest ones would work best for my mini house.

The box is not in perfect condition since it’s from decades ago and has who knows what history. I’m not letting little issues like that stop me. No house is perfect, so a couple of scuffs here and there are no big deal.

Here are the steps I took:

1. Cut the lid in half. These will be my side tables.

You say lid, I say side tables. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

You say lid, I say side tables. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

2. Next I made marks on what will be the headboard of the bed, outlining where the side tables will be inserted.

Attach side table here. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Attach side table here. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

3. Both sides got matching marks, and then were sliced through with an Exacto knife. Then the side tables’ rough cut sides were inserted into the slots that had been made. Here’s the result:

Mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

And a view from the back:

Back of the mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Back of the mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I realized it needed legs. With their light coloring and clean lines, these wooden caning pegs are perfect for mini mid-century furniture legs!

Caning pegs. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Caning pegs. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

4. I punched holes in the bases of the sides tables, and each got a leg added:

Adding some legs to my mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Adding some legs to my mini headboard. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here’s a view from the front:

Mini headboard, now with legs. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini headboard, now with legs. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Once the mattress, pillows, and comforter come into play, the imperfections will be hidden or toned down. I think it looks pretty cute! What do you think?

A mid-century brass drawer knob becomes a tiny bowl

Everyday objects repurposed

When we bought our mid-century home, the built-in dresser in one of our closets came with original, giant brass knobs. They were too cool to hide out of sight, so I swapped them with the knobs on an old cabinet from Target that we use as an entertainment center, to dress it up a little. Here’s the look:

Brass mid-century knobs make a cabinet from Target unique. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Brass mid-century knobs make a cabinet from Target unique. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

It’s still just an old cabinet from Target, but a little more fun than it was with the original, boring knobs.

We ended up with one extra oversized mid-century knob, and since I’ve pointed out in previous posts that I like the look of metallic bowls around the house, like this one:

Thread wrapped balls in a West Elm bowl. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Thread wrapped balls in a West Elm bowl. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I thought that my mid century knob would make a perfect brass bowl for fruit or other miniature goodies. Take a look:

A mid-century knob becomes a mini bowl of fruit. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A mid-century knob becomes a mini bowl of fruit. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here it is in relation to a human-scale bowl of fruit:

Fruit for humans and mini fruit. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Fruit for humans and mini fruit. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Bottle caps, particularly from perfume and cologne, and other common items like drawer pulls and knobs, often make great materials for your mini home! You’ve seen me turn them into everything from tiny sofas, to vases, to bowls, and more in previous posts. Best of all, secondhand shops have an abundance of items like these for next to nothing. If you’re creative you can do a lot with very little!

An old place mat becomes a sisal runner for my mini house

Everyday objects repurposed

If you like the look of sisal rugs and runners like this one, this one, and this one, why not make one for your own mini home? I bought this old place mat at my local St. Vinny’s for $1.00.

Old place mat. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Old place mat. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I simply cut out the portion I wanted to use for a runner, like this:

Mini sisal mat. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini sisal mat. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Then I removed everything but the contrasting weaving, so it looks like this:

Mini sisal runner. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini sisal runner. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

What remains of the weaving will hold itself together as long I’m careful with it. There’s enough remaining of the place mat that I can make other mats or window coverings. Talk about a quick, simple, inexpensive craft project! It’s going to look great in my mini dining or living room!

Miniblinds that are mini blinds!

Everyday objects repurposed

Inspired by woven bamboo shades like these and these, I decided to make my own for my mini house. When I saw these inexpensive coasters at Bed Bath and Beyond I knew I’d found my perfect materials.

Inexpensive coasters. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Inexpensive coasters. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I cut them to fit, and then attached another piece over the top to hide where the cord would be attached and to give them the appropriate look.

Mini blinds in progress! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini blinds in progress! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The toothpick will be used like a curtain rod. Next I added a small line of wood glue and held my blinds in place with a chip clip while they dried.

Mini blinds drying. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini blinds drying. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here’s the finished product, with a pair of scissors added so you can picture the scale. I will show them in my mini house later, once the house is a little further along.

Mini blinds made from a coaster. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini blinds made from a coaster. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Inspiration and tiny decor items lurk everywhere

Everyday objects repurposed

When I’m in the creative zone it’s kind of hard to shut it off. At any given time, I have ten (or twenty, or thirty) different projects swimming in my head. From books I’m writing to houses online I’m dreaming of buying to my imaginings of going on Project Runway (even though my sewing talent level is more on par with Threads), I’m always dreaming about my next creative endeavor. Lately my mini dollhouse is on my mind quite a bit and I find inspiration everywhere. Example: What do you see here?

Bodywash. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A.) Some bodywash on a bookshelf

B.) Something out of place. Is that still wet? It might leave a mark. Maybe you should have set it on a coaster or something.

C.) A disposable bottle and a cap that looks like a tiny, modern bowl.

If you said A, you are a normal person. If you said B, you might be a little bit neurotic. If you said C, let’s take a closer look!

Bodywash cap. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Ooh! Look at the lovely curving lines of this bottle cap. And the rich, gold color. If I flipped it over and ripped off the top I’m sure it would look something like this…

Mini modern cap/bowl. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reservede.

This is going to make a great little holder of mini fruit, mini balls of yarn, mini magazines, mini plants, and other items. What did I tell you? Tiny decor truly can be found anywhere if you simply look a little closer.

Hits and misses on the road to design

Everyday objects repurposed

I’ve created a little staging area on the dining room table (My husband really appreciates stuff like that) since my mini house is thoroughly under construction. It’s filling up with the little maybes and probably-nots I’ve been creating.

Whenever a person embarks on any creative project there are hits and misses. My dollhouse project is no exception. This (non-functional) lamp made from a Keurig individual coffee serving and some wooden doodads, for instance, looks a little bit more like its components than a lamp. A little chain hanging down might help, but maybe not enough. I’m still debating its ultimate destination, be it in my mini house, or in the trashcan.
Lamp made from a Keurig coffee serving. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.I’m up in the air about whether I am going to keep the modern plastic chair I made from a Klarbrunn bottle. I’m not sure if it reads more as a modern chair, or more as the bottom of a bottle.
Hit or miss? Klarbrunn bottle turned modern chair. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Since people seem to like to decorate with bowls of balls orbs, I decided this would be a realistic addition to my mini house. Inspired by this design element in my own home as seen below…

… I used the shiny lid of an Anthropologie candle as a tray, and filled it with wooden beads, and these shiny brass buttons I recently picked up at a garage sale.

A card of shiny, old buttons. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The result is a little tray of decorative orbs, much like you’d see in a real living room:

Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I think this works pretty well and will probably end up in the finished product.

The coffee table I showed you here now has a matte black top, like much of my other furniture. I might repaint it all glossy. I thought the flatness would be a nice juxtaposition to the shininess of the brass that will be in the room, but I’m not sure I’m loving the look.
The bookshelf and rug you see here are Ikea Huset miniatures, as seen here. The shelf is definitely going to be in my finished dollhouse. I’m still debating about the rug.

I had the highest of hopes for my end table with a geode slice top. At $5 for the geode slice, it was a big splurge, and I thought would make a really amazing table. However, I am not loving its look or tippiness. I think I need to remove the wooden ball base and glue four little legs on. More about that later. I still know it’s going to be great.

Big splurge! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The little staging area helps me see if the varying, imperfect scales are working together. I knew early on that I was not going to be a stickler about precise scale, in part because my dollhouse itself has scale issues, with some doors being one scale, others being another, but also because I think embracing this quirkiness makes it look more fun in the end, and more fun to work on during the creative process.

When you see the finished house, however long from now that is, I think several of these elements will have been altered or edited out completely. Taking a step back to evaluate, and not getting too committed to bad ideas makes for a better finished product. This is true or writing, design, and unfortunately, I’m afraid, that lamp.