Woven blinds for your mini home

Handmade decor for my mini house

You may not be a big fan of the woven yarn and wood slat blinds like the ones featured here in this kitchen that used to adorn homes in the 1970’s. I happen to like them, and feel that they’re perfect for the early 1960’s – late 1970’s vibe that my house embodies.

To make some for your own mini house, all you need are some skewers or similar narrow sticks, some yarn, and a small loom (As I’ve mentioned on here before, a potholder loom works great for dollhouse weavings. You can pick one up at your local craft store for usually under $5.00).

Easy to make woven dollhouse shades. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Easy to make woven dollhouse shades. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Once you have a the window covering part taken care of, you can make another piece from cardboard to top it off with. This also gives you a way to hide the knots you’ll tie on one side of the weaving, and gives you a place to install a small pull cord (not installed yet on mine).

Score your cardboard with an exacto knife or scissor edge and it will easily fold like you need it to. The score should be on the outside, not the inside.

Score your cardboard with an exacto knife or scissor edge and it will easily fold like you need it to. The score should be on the outside, not the inside.

Making mini woven shades for a dollhouse. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Simply wrap your cardboard in yarn, adding in some skewers (break or cut them if needed) to complete the look. You can use tape or a dab of a hot glue gun to hold down your yard, since the back of the cardboard won’t be seen. Finally, finish it off with a small pull cord that has a tiny knot or bead at the end (still to come on mine). I think I may add some black yarn to mine to make the top and bottom a better match.

Installing wallpaper in the living room

Flipping my mini house

I’ve installed wallpaper in the living room! Here are some photos of it, along with one showing the stencil I created (much like the kind I created when installing floors) for the area by the stairs.

Add a little, take a little away until you get it right. Creating a wallpaper stencil. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Add a little, take a little away until you get it right. Creating a wallpaper stencil. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Installing wallpaper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Installing wallpaper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Installing wallpaper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Installing wallpaper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Installing wallpaper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Installing wallpaper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Creating a miniature medicine cabinet and bathroom accessories

Handmade decor for my mini house

I decided to create a medicine cabinet for my mini bathroom. I fashioned it using a mirror from an old eyeshadow compact and a plastic box that once held pins in a sewing kit. Here are the original components in their natural state:

Plastic container that originally held needles and pins. This will the interior and door of my medicine cabinet. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Plastic container that originally held needles and pins. This will the interior and door of my medicine cabinet. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Side view.

Side view.

This mirror goes on the front of it. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

This mirror goes on the front of it. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I was able to snap the mirror off the eye shadow without breaking it, which was great. I glued it to the lid of the box and used regular clear tape as a hinge. I painted it with white paint (unfortunately, plastic hates to be painted). I lined the interior of the cabinet with paper and inserted a little shelf that is actually the same floorboard material I’m using for trim (also plastic-y, also hates to be painted).

Medicine cabinet interior, shown with tape so you can better imagine the scale. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Medicine cabinet interior, shown with tape so you can better imagine the scale. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

 

Next I needed some little bathroom accessories, like glass jars of cotton balls and fancy little soaps wrapped in tissue paper. For cotton balls I used the kind of mini pompoms you can buy at almost any craft store. Here’s a look:

Big jar of mini pompoms beside mini jar of mini pompoms. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Big jar of mini pompoms beside mini jar of mini pompoms. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

To create soap, I used a real bar and cut off little chunks. A couple got wrapped in white tissue paper, and one was set into a tiny ceramic bowl that will make a great soap dish.

Mini bars of soap made from a regular bar of soap. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini bars of soap made from a regular bar of soap. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Little soap.

Little soap.

Are you ready to see the finished product?

Bathroom with handmade medicine cabinet. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Bathroom with handmade medicine cabinet, partially opened. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

As you can see, the paint continues to scrape off, especially when I open and close the cabinet door. I’ll need to touch it up again and then leave it alone. Despite its imperfections, I think it’s pretty cute!

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!

Progress on my mini house, as of today

Flipping my mini house

I thought I’d share a few pictures of how the house looks right now. As a reminder, this is how it looked when I received it this summer:

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.

Most of the carpeting, wallpaper, and trim have since been removed. Wood floors have now been installed in the upstairs bedroom, as well as some funky retro wallpaper in the master bedroom. All rooms will be receiving white baseboard trim, but a flatter version than what was originally in the house.

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A small part of the original kitchen floor remains, thoroughly glued in place. A friend lent me her heatgun yesterday. She thought it might help loosen up the floor. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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!