A mid century bubble chair for under $5

Handmade decor for my mini house

I was at my local craft store the other day, taking a look around since I was running early for an appointment. I came across a glass ornament (I have no idea what it was doing out in April — maybe it was meant to be used for a little spring/Easter scene?) that looked like a perfect mid century modern bubble chair. I decided I’d hang it from the ceiling in the corner of the living room. Ten minutes later, wondering down an aisle I’d never before set foot in, I discovered an assortment of plate and cup holders. One of the cup holders was a perfect match for my ornament/chair, turning it into an actual free-standing bubble chair. Here they are:

Cup holder + glass ornament = perfect 1:12 scale mid century bubble chair! Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Cup holder + glass ornament = perfect 1:12 scale mid century bubble chair! Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

My new bubble chair works great with my other living room furniture.

My new bubble chair works great with my other living room furniture.

Bubble chair with a mini newspaper rack and a side table that's actually a container of lip balm.

Bubble chair with a mini newspaper rack and a side table that’s actually a container of lip balm.

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Wooden handles turned modern love seat (and don’t forget the tiny newspaper)

Everyday objects repurposed

Since the only furniture I can find is Victorian, I’ve been busy making my own interpretations of mid-century modern furniture. I made this little love seat from two wooden handles, part of an old napkin, and some wooden balls. Let me take you through the process.

It started with some wooden handles I found at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. I’ve determined, at least in Madison, there is no place better to shop for dollhouse decor than hardware stores. The Restore is great because there are tons of tiny trinkets, washers, nuts, bolts, handles, and hinges. All kinds of things to capture a person’s imagination, all for very little money.

Two wooden handles held with tape while the glue dries. Another in case you are confused. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Two wooden handles held with tape while the glue dries. Another in case you are confused. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I glued two handles together. Here they are, drying. The other handle is shown in the photo in case you need a little help picturing what these handles looked like before I taped them together.

Once they dried I glued some wooden balls to them. The wooden balls are inexpensive. I got this entire bag at a garage sale or thrift shop for very little money:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here is an in-progress look with the the glue drying:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I turned part of a set of napkins into the fabric for my love seat. Here is the in-progress of this step:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Once the glue dried, I painted the love seat and then wrapped the fabric around the love seat and sewed it into place. I topped it off with a little pillow.

The thing the newspaper sits in is some little metal contraption, also from the Restore. Some kind of bracket or something, I guess. To me it just says Magazine Rack. I bought several bags of these. I have no idea what they are actually used for. I have them in other colors too. For a buck a bag, I couldn’t pass them up.

It took me two tries to get the newspaper the right scale. I didn’t worry about the details of printing on both sides of the paper, or having different text inside. I simple pasted in the same image over and over, printed it, cut it out, and put it in the magazine rack. To me, it works fine.

Tiny newspaper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini newspaper by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The end result is a cozy place to sit and read the paper:

Tiny love seat and a newspaper to read. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Tiny love seat and a newspaper to read. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.