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.

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!

I’ve been getting lots of work done!

Flipping my mini house

My mini bathroom is really coming along! The tile floor has been grouted, trim has been installed, the sparkly chevron wallpaper has gone up, and the mini blinds I made from a coaster are now on the wall. Here’s a look at all the progress:

Progress in the mini bathroom. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Progress in the mini bathroom. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

As a reminder, here are some before photos:

Bathroom before.

Bathroom before.

Bathroom floor installation, partway through. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Bathroom floor installation, partway through. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

For information on making your own mini coaster blinds, take a look back at this post from a few weeks ago.

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.

Choosing a color palette

Flipping my mini house

As I began choosing decor for my mini home, I had the idea that I wanted to go with mainly mid-century oranges, yellows, and greens, but with fresh metallics thrown in, and some teal (the color of the exterior) here and there, to tie the outside of the house and the interior together. In a human scale house, this combination wouldn’t be very overwhelming. I quickly discovered, however, that in such a small space it wasn’t working to combine so many colors.

I created this mid-century inspired mural several months ago, for one of the walls in the office.

Mid-century mural for the office. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mid-century mural for the office. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Until yesterday, I never wavered on my devotion to it. However, once I put it in place and began evaluating how it was going to fit in with other wall coverings and materials, I saw that it clashed. The room on its own looked cute, but a dollhouse is literally a house with one whole side of it torn off, and every room needs to work together cohesively.

Editing can be difficult. To better convince myself, I laid out several likely wallpaper choices together to see if I was happy with the overall effect.

Wallpaper choices. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Wallpaper choices. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

To me, these work well together.

I added in some of the furniture and accessories that will be going into my mini house.

Wallpaper, furniture, accessories. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Wallpaper, furniture, accessories. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I’m still feeling good about it.

Now here’s the part where I add in some of the teal accents, throwing in a few extras not really intended for this space, like the stool, just to see how the colors work together.

There's starting to be a lot going on here. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

There’s starting to be a lot going on here. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

At this point, it starts to look a little off to me. Between the gold accents, wallpaper throughout, strong black and white elements, and other details (Macrame owl, anyone?), I can safely say the teal has to go. I think I’ll paint a new mural for the office, similar to this one, but in shades of taupe, brown, and black.

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 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!