Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dollhouse Brick Tutorial

Hey guysss! I have been working on my 'brick' foundation for my dollhouse, and I wanted to share a quick tutorial with you guys about how I did it! 

I have seen several BEAUTIFUL bricking tutorials where people use cut up egg cartons. I must admit I was feeling like...way too lazy for that, so I tried to come up with a slightly lazier simpler solution.

I found these adhesive backed cork sheets at Hobby Lobby in the scrapbooking section. They were half off so I got a couple sheets for $1 a piece! (YASSS SALES) How much you need will depend on how big of an area you are wanting to brick. I am only doing my foundation, so I just bought two sheets. 

ALSO, before you start, I would HIGHLY recommend doing ALL of your cork sheets at one time. Do more than you think you will helps the finished product look more cohesive. Because yay cohesion!

OK. So, I grabbed a bunch of ...brick colored acrylic paints I had in my large box o' paints. These were just the cheap bottles you can find at Walmart or any craft store. I also applied them with a kitchen sponge...because, texture things and stuff.

I didn't try to be too neat here, because the more random and splotchy the colors are the more brick-like (brickish? brickly? brickesque?) they will be.

I laid down a base coat of red, and then dabbed back over it in several different colors.

Ignore the medicine syringe. The small humans brought it to me lol

After your paint dries, turn your sheets over and mark off the height you want your bricks on the back. I used a piece of college ruled notebook paper to mark my lines, because, well, #lazyprobz.

Using an x-acto or other delightfully pointy object, carefully cut out along the lines. Cutting from the back makes cutting the cork 10000% easier and shreds it less than cutting from the front.

Then, you get to cut your strips into SEVEN THOUSAND TINY RECTANGLES. I highly recommend doing this whilst binging Netflix. 

Then, you can simply peel off the paper backing and MASON THAT SUCKER. I am sorry for the potato quality of this picture, but I will take better pictures once I've grouted it!

That's it! Really easy, just tedious!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

DIY Dollhouse Hardwood Flooring....Realistic, Easy, and CHEAP

So my first post in this most likely to be disjointed series about my dollhouse, I wanted to share with you guys how I did/am doing my 'hardwood' floors in the majority of my Alison Jr.

I am currently in love with the wide, rustic-y vibe hardwood that is currently trending about. I love the matte, not quite perfect, driftwood look to floors like this one;

SWOON. I love the greyed out boards. LOVE THEM.

I originally came across this flooring at Hobby Lobby, 

but even if I used a 40% off coupon, it was going to be $8 a room, minimum, and I was going to need about 8 of them to cover everything I wanted to cover. I definitely wasn't in the mood to spend $64 just on flooring. Also, it wasn't the color or width I was looking for, so I turned to the internet in my time of need.

I found several awesome tutorials on using popsicle sticks as hardwood, (like this one and this one), so I started out by picking up a bag of popsicle sticks from the dollar store and attempting to do it that way. 

Y'all. I got real tired of chopping off the rounded end of those popsicle sticks real quick and in a hurry. I had a hand cramp. I ruined a pair of scissors. I was being real whiny (ask my husband). So I went back to the internet, and found one blogger who used thin sheets of veneer chopped into small pieces with her paper cutter. That looked easier so I took myself to Menards to check out their selection of veneer. The good news was they had LOADS of beautiful colors. The bad news is that it \as still more than I wanted to pay (I'M REAL CHEAP YALL)

I ran by Lowe's to see if they had better prices, but their selection wasn't very large. So as I was walking out of Lowe's, I spotted a sign that said 'ADHESIVE VINYL FLOORING'. COULD THIS BE THE ANSWER?? 

I asked the sales associate nearby if I had to buy them by the box, and he told me I could purchase the planks individually! YAS!! I got two 6x36in planks in the color 'Driftwood' for less than $2 a piece!

At first I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to cut it very easily (despite it being thin), but you only have to score it with a craft/utility knife, and it snaps right apart. It was so easy! I decided to cut my pieces 1/2 in by 6 in. I used my clear quilting ruler to help me make the lines super straight.

If you want to make your floors removable, you could cut a cardboard template in the dimensions of your floor, and simply peel and stick the pieces to the template as opposed to the actual dollhouse, but I don't plan on changing this (FAMOUS LAST WORDS AMIRITE), so I simply stuck mine directly to the dollhouse floor.

 To make it look realistic as possible, I staggered the 'planks' so the seams weren't all lined up. It give it a more organic feel and texture. After I finished the first little hallway, I was so pleased! I loved the width and the color! These pieces also have a beautiful woodgrain texture to them. 

After I laid the pieces, I decided I wasn't loving the bits of white showing at the seams, and it wasn't quite as dark as I was going for, so I brushed on a coat of Rustolem's Ebony Wood Stain, making sure to push my foam brush into the all the cracks and crevices.

Next, IMMEDIATELY wipe the stain off with a paper towel or four. I say IMMEDIATELY because this dries very quickly and it will, well, stain, your vinyl. I also recommend wiping with the direction of the grain.

Sometimes you might have to do more than one coat. This is what I had after one coat. You can probably tell I missed some spots. You can also probably tell that I got the stain on the wall. I don't care so much about that as I will be covering all the walls and you wont see it, but IF you are doing this AFTER YOU ALREADY PAINTED/WALLPAPERED, make sure you tape off/cover the walls and anything you want to be protected from stain.

I repeated this process in the rest of the rooms that I wanted to be hardwood.

This next step is optional, but if you find you have gaps/uneven spaces between some of the boards... can mix up some spackle with some regular acrylic paint to use as a 'wood filler' of sorts. I used a tub of lightweight spackle from Dollar Tree, and some regular black acrylic paint.

I mixed it until I got a nice dark grey color. I didn't want brown because I thought it would draw attention to the spaces. Grey is a nice subtle, neutral color.

Then, I just took my finger and rubbed the spackle into the cracks. I wiped away the excess with a damp paper towel.

It might not seem like a big difference in the pictures but I can really tell up close and in person. It definitely makes the floor look more even and polished. There were also several spots where I cut boards too short and the spackle filled it in nicely!

I am so so happy with it! I already had everything but the flooring panels on hand, so it was only like $6 total!

What do you think? Anyone ever try this method? Let me know! 

Also, you can pin this picture to your favorite Pin board for later!

Alison Jr. Dollhouse Kit Build

I'mma tell you guys a secret.

I've always, ALWAYS, ALWAYYYYSS been obsessed with miniature things. 

That isn't a secret, Jordan. Stop trying to sound intriguing.

Growing up, the library in my hometown had this HUGE dollhouse behind glass and I always remember being so incredibly fascinated with the tiny furniture a teensy windows and ESPECIALLY THE TINY FOOD. ALWAYS THE TINY FOOD. Its always about the food with me...

Anyway, this long lost love of miniatures coupled with renting a home and my landlords not being on board with my need to knock out walls and go all Joana Gaines on the place (long live Queen Jo!), I decided living out my Pinterest fantasies through a dollhouse would be the next best thing. And also allow us to get our security deposit back. EVERYONE WINS!

A quick Google-y search quickly showed me that dollhouses aren't cheap. So I looked on Craigslist for a while, as well as eBay and Facebook Marketplace, and still never really found one 1. that was within my budget and 2. that I really liked. Then it dawned on me....Hooby Looby has dollhouses....and I could use a 40% off coupon!

So I took myself down to HL and bought the Alison Jr. Dollhouse Kit. Originally $149, my coupon took off $60! I wasn't sure if the dollhouses would be excluded from the coupons or not, so I tried it online before I went to the store, and was super happy to find out I could use it!

So I brought that puppy home, and put it together (minus the windows and doors) and its ready to get filled up with the contents of my entire Pinterest board! SHIPLAP HERE WE COME!

I'm super excited to share my maiden dollhouse voyage with you guys! Also, if you have a favorite miniature blog leave me a comment below!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

All Saints Anina Belt Construction :: River Song Cosplay

When I decided to recreate River's look from 'The Day of The Moon', I spent a few hours researching the original pieces used during the show. Most of them were from a store in the UK called AllSaints and they were also all discontinued...yayyyyyy! (HASHTAG SARCASM) So I went to eBay to try and track them down, and only managed to find the All Saints Zeeda dress that Alex Kingston wore (and there was much squealing and rejoicing and happy tears when I finally won that dress auction!!)...but no dice on the boots (All Saints Criollo) and the belt, the All Saints Anina.

She also wore the Anina belt in 'The Pandorica Opens'

After a few months of fruitlessly stalking eBay, I figured it wouldn't be too hard to replicate, and I had always wanted to try my hand at leatherworking, so I jumped right in!

After some research, I found that the original belt is about 3 3/4 inches wide. I decided to round up to an even 4 inches and ordered a 4 inch Leather Belt Blank from an eBay seller named landco317. It came super fast and I would totally recommend him if you are looking to purchase leather for this project. It was $30 with free shipping and came super fast!

I also purchased a leather punch...

and proceeded to mark out the hole patterns on the belt blank. I marked the holes vertically in 3/4 inch intervals. I found this diagram (I don't remember where??) that is helpful for the more visual learners...

I then proceeded to punch LIKE 349527 HOLES IN THIS BELT UNTIL MY HAND WAS LITERALLY ABOUT TO DIE. LIT. ER. ALL. Y. ABOUT. TO. DIE. I wasn't able to punch the middle rows of holes with my punch so I drilled those with my dremel tool. If you have a drill press, this project will go 1000x better and more quickly!

note to a drill press...

ANYWAY. After the holes were all punched I ended up with thisssss...

I then went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bottle of Fiebings Leather Dye in 'Dark Brown', because it was the darker of the two colors they had in stock and I wasn't really sure what to expect. 

So I applied a few coats with a wool dauber...



wat the poop.

So note to self...this stuff dries a lot lighter than expected...


I consulted the swatch guide on Fiebing's website and ordered a bottle of dye in Chocolate and tried again. After one coat I had this...

and after four coats it was looking MUY BETTER (sorry for the potato quality on this was late, I was out of Dr Pepper, and hence too lazy to go get my camera)

After that had dried completely (this stuff dries SUPER FAST. It is AWESOME!) I applied a thin coat of resolene with a regular kitchen sponge (diluted 1:1 with water) and let that dry completely. It is NECESSARY to apply resolene or the dye will rub off on your clothes and skin...and ain't nobody want that.

The final touch was putting in the button studs used to fasten the belt. I bought these in 'bronze' and they worked perfectly.

After that I ended up with this!

And some action shots!

I got lots of compliments on it at MegaCon Tampa and was super pleased with how it turned out! Let me know if you try this for yourself, I'd love to see others!

Check out the other posts in my River Song Cosplay Series!

-River Song Wig Tutorial-
-All Saints Anina Belt Re-Creation (you're here!)-
-River's Gun Belt & Holster-
-Completed River Song Cosplay at MegaCon Tampa-

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