Progress in the blizzard

Handmade decor for my mini house

I’ve made some progress on my house (and the creation of accessories for it) in the last couple of days, thanks in large part to the blizzard that has kept me stranded at home. Here are some updates for you.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Every mid century house needs one of these. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here’s a look at this little blanket, in progress, with some scissors in the photo so you can get a better idea of scale:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I also installed some tile floors in my bathroom:

Grout coming soon! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Grout coming soon! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I was going to go with tealish blue stone, but as I shared in a recent post, I changed my mind and decided to cut blue from my house’s interior color palette. These yellow tiles were purchased at the start of the project, and once again seemed like the best choice, so I went for it and installed them.

Here’s are some photos of the “before”:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

and “during”:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I’ll grout them soon, and install some wall paper. This horrible little room will be bright and cheery before you know it!

I also made a little rug/throw, using the pot holder loom I’ve mentioned in previous posts (every kid had one of these at some point, and they’re great for making mini weavings!)

IMG_0656

Here’s a peek at the finished result:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Also, some of you may recall me making a thread-wrapped lampshade for my (real, human-scale) home, in my blog Holly Recommends. Well, I decided to make a little thread-wrapped lampshade for my mini house as well. Here it is:

A mini, thread-wrapped lampshade, set on top of a tiny vase makes a cute lamp. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A mini, thread-wrapped lampshade, set on top of a tiny vase makes a cute lamp.
Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Thank you Darice!

Flipping my mini house

A couple of weeks ago a friend let me borrow her heat tool. She thought it might loosen up the remaining part of the kitchen floor that wouldn’t budge.

Stubborn floor. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Stubborn floor. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Stubborn floor. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Stubborn floor. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I’d been trying to tear out the floor for weeks months, and was at the point where I was actually damaging my house, since the remaining bit of flooring was stuck so firmly in place.

I had doubts about whether the heat tool would work because I’d tried so many tools and cleaners to loosen it up, and I’d had so little luck.

To my amazement, it worked like a charm. It turned the adhesive back into a somewhat liquid state, and the remaining bits of the floor came up in a few easy sections.

Like Pangaea breaking apart. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Like Pangaea breaking apart. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The final result was this:

Ready for new floors to be installed! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Ready for new floors to be installed! Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Thought still a little uneven, it’s now smooth enough in my house for my new wood floors to go over the top. I am SO happy to finally be able to move on to the next step! Thanks to my old friend Beth and my new friend Darice, my house is ready for its dream kitchen to go in any day!

My husband thinks Darice looks like she needs to be hidden in a sock drawer. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

My husband thinks Darice looks like she needs to be hidden in a sock drawer. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Construction secrets

Flipping my mini house

If you’ve ever worked on an old house, you’ll uncover some secrets. Mini houses are no different. Yesterday I removed the baseboard trim in the living room…

Baseboard trim. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Baseboard trim. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Baseboard trim. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Baseboard trim. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

and discovered this:

Trim with notes. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Trim with notes. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

As you can see, it’s the hand-written notes about which wall to install the trim on. I thought it was pretty cool to see the notes that someone, a little girl’s dad, I imagine, made to himself as he constructed the house. I had to save that little piece. It’s too special to toss in the garbage.

I’ve also discovered as flooring and wallpaper come out, that my house is definitely made from a kit. You can see how parts are labeled (for instance, “Part F”). That might lessen its appeal to some collectors, but it doesn’t make much of a difference to me.

Once the trim came out, I began fitting some of the new wallpaper. Unlike the wallpaper in the bedroom, I’m crazy about the one for the living room. It has gold in it, feels very Jonathan Adler-ish, and will help tie together all the metallic accents that will be going into the living room. Here’s a sneak peek at it:

Living room wallpaper sneak peek. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Living room wallpaper sneak peek. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

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.

Slowly but surely…

Flipping my mini house
A look at my mini kitchen and dining area. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

A look at my mini kitchen and dining area. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I finally got my breakfast bar removed. It turns out it was screwed into place. Once I figured that out I was able to remove it without breaking it, which I was really excited about since I thought it was such a cute feature. I’ll drill new holes for it and it will get moved a little closer to the bench in the dining area, so my kitchen will be a little bigger than it used to be.

The little bit of flooring that remains is coming out one little chip at a time. I almost cut my thumb off the other day when I was trying to watch an old episode of Survivor and work on my house at the same time. All I can say is, I’m glad this is dollhouse flooring and not something I’m dealing with on a larger scale.

I’m not sure what, if anything, I can do about the fact that the floor swoops down a little towards the carport. I didn’t notice it so much at first, but when you’re sitting on the floor, staring at it for an hour, it starts to become really obvious.

Speaking of the carport, I was able to get the wall propped back up to be straight. So that’s great news.

Here’s a reminder of how my house looked when I first got it:

Day 1 of my mini house. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Day 1 of my mini house. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The exterior is now dark teal. Also, I’ve decided the exterior trim will be a yellowish color to match my West Elm measuring cup planters. Photos of that coming soon!

Free printable template to create a mini vintage ornament box

Handmade decor for my mini house

A few weeks ago I shared the mini ornaments I made here, along with the tiny box to store them. I said I’d be sharing a free, printable template so you could make your own ornament box. Here it is. Sorry it’s after Christmas, but better late than never, right? This box can be scaled up or down a little to accommodate different size ornaments. You could also use it as an starting point to create tiny doughnut boxes, dress boxes, game boxes, etc.

To form the base into a box, cut it out along it’s exterior border, and fold accordingly. Snip the sides just to the second line. These four little tabs you create by doing this will hold the other sides in place, once they’re folding around it. It sounds confusing, but once you cut it out and play with it you will see what I mean. You won’t need to use glue for the base of the box since it will hold itself together fairly well once it’s folded, but you can use a dab of glue if you want, just to be safe.

For the lid, use an Exacto knife to cut out a small viewing window. Ideally you should fill that window with a piece of clear acetate for a finished look. Glue it together using a glue stick.

Mini ornaments by Holly Tierney-Bedord for Flip This Mini House blog. All rights reserved.

Mini ornaments by Holly Tierney-Bedord for Flip This Mini House blog. All rights reserved.


Shiny ornaments box designed and created by Holly Tierney-Bedord. Free to be printed and used for personal use and not for financial gain. Not to be sold or distributed without my written permission. All rights reserved.

Shiny ornaments box designed and created by Holly Tierney-Bedord. Free to be printed and used for personal use and not for financial gain. Not to be sold or distributed without my written permission. All rights reserved.

Making the ornaments is easy and inexpensive, but tedious. You’ll need just beads, wire, wire cutters, a pliers, and some kind of scrolly metal detailing like you see dressing up the top of my ornaments. The wire and metal doodads should be the same color. Just stick the wire into the doodad and bead, and use the pliers to make a little loop at the top and little bend at the bottom, then clip off excess with the wire cutters. Be careful that a piece of wire doesn’t fly in your face or land someplace where you’ll stop on it. That’s about all there is to it. It’s an easy project that just requires a little patience.

Choosing wallpaper for my mini master bedroom

Flipping my mini house

There’s going to be a lot of wallpaper in my mini house. A LOT. Like every room. Since it’s a mini house, I’m going to pile on all the crazy things I wouldn’t want to live with in my real house. (Or in some cases, the things I would want in my real house, but don’t have the energy or money to make happen.)

I’ve been thinking about wallpaper for the master bedroom. Here are several choices:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Originally, the second picture (green flowered) was what I had in mind. However, now I like the sparkly chevrons and the fireflies (# 9) best. Sparkly chevrons was intended to go the bathroom, in part because it’s got some texture to it and the walls in there a mess from having had tiles glued to them at one time. I love number ten, but at some point my house is going to stop reading mid-century modern if I’m not careful. I think that could be detail that takes it from mid-century with quirky touches to just plain wrong.

I’ll have to think about this.

Which do you prefer?

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.