Come Back often

Have you checked out all my blogs?

Dollhouse Minis:

18” Dolls:

General Crafts:

Joanne's Kitchen:

Also if for some reason I can't post I will try to give a head's up on the Facebook page so check there too.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Doll Size Mashed Potatoes

I am going to say right off the top here that this project did not go the way I had planned. I am still not sure why I was having so much trouble with the TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) I use this product a lot and this was by far the most trouble I have ever had with it. I decided to leave that struggle in so you can see I sometimes run into problems too and I just work through them. I have already put a new bottle of TLS on my shopping list for this week. Hopefully it was just that the bottle I had was old and had thickened up over time.

I have been planning to do this project for about a month but I just didn't have the time before this. In a way that worked to my advantage because when I took my youngest son to do his Christmas shopping last week one of the stores he wanted to stop at the Cost Plus World Market. I was so happy to find the small casserole dish on the display. I picked up another style bowl that I will be using in a future tutorial too. It does pay to really look at items while you are out and about you never know where you find something that can be used for the dolls.

If you can't find the same casserole or just don't want to use a breakable container feel free to use what you can find. The only requirement, other than being in scale is that it be made of a material that can be baked. That will eliminate plastic containers.

Here is a photo of the casserole I used both the inside and the bottom (with the price tag) to help you find what you are looking for. I am also including this link to the set of the little dishes on the Cost Plus website if you want to order them from there.

Since the casserole is fairly deep and I really didn't want have to grate enough clay to fill it all the way I used some regular polymer clay to fill the dish most of the way up. This will never be seen so use any clay you have. If you are using a scrap clay I would top it with a thin layer of white clay just in case you can see the top past the edge of the mashed potatoes. Bake this filler clay in place and allow to cool.

You will also need a wad of white clay that is baked into a shape that is comfortable to hold. I used Original Sculpey but any white clay will work for this. This will also need to be cooled before the next step.

Once this prep work is done it is time to start grating the cooked wad of white clay. The perfect grater for this in my opinion is a nutmeg grater just like you might use in the kitchen. Just remember that once you use it for clay it can not be used for food again. I purchased an inexpensive one a few years ago just for clay and keep it with my other clay tools.

You are going to need a lot of grated clay, enough to more than fill the area you are trying to fill. Once it is mixed with the TLS it seems to shrink a bit. I thought I was going to have extra and I needed all I created.

Once you have your clay grated and ready to go you need to tint a portion on TLS. I use oil paints for this, you will need both a white paint and a yellow ochre one. Use mostly white with just a touch of the yellow ochre. You just want to “warm up” the white color and make it look creamy.

Now mix the TLS into the grated clay. This is where I ran into trouble if yours is thick like mine just keep working it and eventually you will get a workable mixture. Normally this is a relatively quick process for me. Like I said my TLS was extremely thick. I am not really sure what could be used to thin it but I might do some research on the possibilities in the future. You are looking for a mixture that ressembles real mashed potatoes. When you get the texture you want simply pile it on top of the filler in your casserole diss.

Now bake the entire casserole again and allow to cool.

You can also use some of the grated clay/TLS mixture to make mounds of mashed potatoes for the individual plates for your doll's dinner.

If you would like to make a casserole dish instead of buying one I would recommend using some cardboard from a cereal box to make something the correct size. I showed you how to make baking pans in a previous tutorial which you can find here.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Doll Size Glitter House Makeover

A week or two ago I was walking the aisles of Christmas stuff at the local Joann's. When I came to the display of glitter houses I was very happy to find some that were just the right size for our 18” dolls. The only problem (in my mind anyway) was that all they had in this size were plain white ones. I really wanted one of the pretty colored ones but they were only in the larger sizes. Since they were on sale for around $2 each I decided to take a chance on coloring one.

I thought about a couple of different ideas for getting color on the house. Acrylic paint would definitely add color but it would cover up all the pretty glitter. Then I remembered a technique I had seen on a card making video on how to color glitter paper with alcohol markers. I decided to give it a try and it works really well.

If you aren't familiar with alcohol markers they are markers that have an ink with an alcohol base. Good old Sharpies are probably familiar to all of us and some of you might be familiar with the ones from the Bic called Mark-Its. I also have a collection of Spectrum Noir Alcohol markers that I bought myself last year for card making. I love them and use them a lot.

You can use any of the alcohol markers including Sharpies (or Mark-Its) for this or if you have the fancier ones feel free to use those. I tried to use both types so you could see how they all work.

The first step was to remove the hanging loop, fairly easy with a pair of needle-nose pliers. I also removed the smoke from the chimney to keep it nice and clean.

Really all you have to do is take some time and color the house and trees with the markers. The broad tip on the Spectrum Noirs made it a lot faster but a Sharpie would do the job just as well.

The colors of markers I used were:

Spectrum Noirs in:

EB8, JG4, JG6,DR6

Bic Mark-It in Woody Brown

Sharpie in Green (not marked for color name)

When you are done all you have to do is glue the little tuft of “smoke” back in the top of the chimney and you are ready to display your new colorful Glitter House.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Doll Size Cranberry Sauce

This week I thought it would be fun to show you how to make a cute bowl of cranberry sauce for your doll's holiday dinner. I made some cranberry sauce a week or two ago on my dollhouse channel/blog but I wanted to see if I could figure out a way to make it in this bigger scale.

The first challenge was to find something suitable to use for the cranberries. I actually spent a bit of time looking at several stores one day. I finally hit gold at the Dollar Tree. They had bags of “Faux Snow” that were made up of tiny balls of a Styrofoam like material. I was pretty sure they would work providing they took the paint. I was really happy when I started playing with them because they do indeed take paint wonderfully.

So now I was ready to make the project. The thing was to find a bowl to put the sauce into. I have been wanting to show you how to make simple small bowls formed over the flat marbles for a while so this was the perfect time.

If you have a bowl/dish to use feel free to use whatever goes with your doll's style. For this bowls we use a simple process of rolling out clay, cutting it to fit, forming, trimming a baking. Pretty easy and you can make a bunch of bowls at a time this way. Just remember it works the best to take the glass pieces out while they are fresh from the oven and those little things get hot! So be careful.

Once you have a bowl to use it is time to color those little balls of foam in some pretty reds. I like to use more than one color in projects like this because in the end the finished product just looks better. Use whatever red craft paint you have on hand. I think having at least one really dark red is important to make the cranberry sauce look right in the end.

Once the cranberries are dry mix some of the darkest red paint with some Triple Thick and then mix in enough cranberries to fill your bowl. Get everything mixed around really well then transfer to your serving dish. Now would be the time to add a spoon handle if you are going to want one in there. You would really just need the handle not the entire spoon for this since that is all that will show.

Allow to dry before proceeding.

This is where my camera decided to not record correctly. I ended up with a corrupted file instead of my showing you how to do some touch-ups to the paint.

First I used the darkest red paint on a small brush and worked it under and around the cranberries in the bowl. In retrospect I think if I make this again I will paint the inside of the bowl with the red paint as deep as I plan to put the cranberries, it would be a lot easier.

Next I used a bit of white paint to cover any red paint that was on the bowl in places I didn't want it. (like the huge fingerprint I managed to get on the side of one of the bowls LOL)

After the touch-up paint dried we just need to coat everything with a nice coat of Triple Thick and we are done. Be sure to do this in 2 steps so you can set the bowls down on the side that is dry.

So I think this project turned out really cute. I hope you enjoy it too. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Doll Size Salad

This week I am showing you a project I have been wanting to do for a long time. I had to wait until the Christmas decorations started to show up in most of the stores first though because we need to use some of the artificial snow that is sold to scatter under the Christmas villages. You need the kind that has the clear and white flakes but no iridescent ones. If all you can get are the bags with some of the iridescent flakes you will have to pick out all of those flakes.

You will also need 3 or 4 colors of green craft paint and a bottle of a grape color craft paint. At least that is what you will need to make a nice bag of mixed salad greens. If your dolls just want iceberg lettuce then you can probably get by with only a bottle of green. In real life I like the mixed greens for my salad so that is what I always make in doll size. It is just so much prettier with the extra colors.

You will also need a zip lock sandwich bag for each color of paint. The process is simple enough just put the desired amount of snow into the sandwich bag and add the paint a drop or two at a time. You really don't need much so start with less paint than you think you will need and add more if needed. Zip the sandwich bag shut and use your fingers to rub the snow and paint together inside the bag. If you are careful it won't be too messy. I have had the bags break a few times and that can be messy.

This is a fun project that even the kids can do with very little supervision.

After you have the color spread through the snow open the bag and let it partially dry in the bags. Once the paint is mostly dry dump all the bags out onto a paper plate to allow it to completely dry.

That really is all there is to it.

You can add some slices of the carrots and celery I have shown in past tutorials.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Doll Size Grocery Kit

A while back my friend Ann over at Paper Minis contacted me to see if I would be able to share her new kit for the 18” dolls with you when it was ready. Of course I jumped at the chance since I am a huge fan of Ann's kits and love every one of them.

This time she is providing our 18” doll with a wonderful set of modern day groceries, the Contemporary Groceries kit.

Like all of Ann's kits for 18” dolls this one comes to you on a CD that contains PDF files that you then print off via your computer's printer.

The home page that you first see when you open the files gives you links to all the printable pages as well as a photograph of the finished project.

Be sure to look at Ann's recommendations for what paper to print on. I did vary a bit from her recommendations in that she suggests printing the page with the can lids on regular paper. I used cardstock for that and most of the pages. I did use regular paper for the page with the bags of sugar, flour and the grocery bag.

This is a fairly easy kit to assemble especially if you have done any printables in the past. I do recommend taking your time and spreading this kit out over several sessions because there are a lot of pieces to construct.

Also I only work on 1 page at a time most of the time. It is easier to keep track of all the parts this way. The only exception to this was I did cut all the cans at one time even though they were on two pages. The trick with the pen is optional but it really helps the paper pieces look like they are real metal cans so I recommend taking that small extra step. The metallic Sharpies are not that expensive and I use mine often.

I had already finished my filming before I noticed that I somehow missed the little box of butter when I was going over all the things that are in the kit. I took pictures of groups of the things from the kit so hopefully you can see them better.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Party- Allison's Journal

There are so many things to do to get ready for a party. First I had to get all the invitations ready and delivered. I gave them to all my friends but I don't think everyone can come. I know that there are other parties going on that night and there is a big dance competition out of town so Jennifer probably won't make it. Her mom said she would bring her if they get home in time.

Jazmine is going to be here and of course Molly and Jeremy. At least Michael, Chelsea and I will have fun no matter who else can come.

When we got home from school yesterday Chelsea and I baked and decorated a cake that looks like a bat. It is sooo cool I can't wait to eat it at the party.

This morning I worked really hard getting everything ready. I put the candy we got for trick or treaters into the candy bowl.

I put the whoopie pies that mom picked up at the bakery onto the board with our cake. I wonder if anyone would notice if I ate this one?? I'd better not, they are for the party.

I made up a plate of veggies, I even put some peanut butter in some of the celery. That is Jazmine's favorite snack.

I put some cans of Coke into a big tub of ice so it will stay cold. Dad put it out in the garage to stay cold. He says he will dump off any water from the ice melting and add more ice just before the party.

I put out some licorice onto a plate.

Then I got all the paper plates set out for the party.

Mom called the pizza place and ordered the pizza to be delivered just before the party starts.

Now I need to go get my costume on!

While I was getting ready for the party Chelsea put up some decorations in the kitchen. I think they look really cute what do you think?

Michael tried to sneak some candy out of the bowl but we all caught him. Jeremy came in just about then.

Also while I was getting ready Dad brought the bucket of soda back into the kitchen and the pizza came! It looks so good, I love Canadian Bacon and Pineapple pizza. 

Jazmine got a ride from Molly's mom so they got here at the same time.

Jennifer called me on her way home from her dance competition and said that her mom said they would be early enough that she could come by for a while. She even had time to get her costume on before she arrived.

The bat cake and the whoopie pies were a huge hit, I wish all of you could have been here to enjoy the party with us.

We all had a good time eating and talking. We played some board games and watched scary movies. I forgot to take pictures after we ate, sorry but next time I will try to remember.

We do want to wish everyone a very Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Doll Size Halloween Whoopie Pies

This week I thought it would be fun to continue the Halloween party food theme for the dolls. I was looking at one of my many cookbooks the other day and ran across a recipe for people size Halloween Whoopie pies. I decided that they would be a perfect project for doll size and even though this batch is Hallween theme you can easily make them fit any time of year and be any flavor you wish by just adjusting the the decorations and changing the color of clay you use.

I used a roughly equal mix of Original Sculpey and Tangerine Fimo. Any white and orange clays would work for this project.

Once again this week I used a clay cutter to portion out the clay this is really the easiest way to make sure that all your pieces come out the same size when you are done. It does save you a lot of work in the long run, trust me on this one.

To texture I am using some tools you have seen me use before on my tutorials if you have been watching me for very long: the pot scrubber and a toothbrush. I do prefer the pot scrubbers from the dollar store because they have a softer, finer texture than the ones from the regular grocery store but either will work fine. The toothbrush is one of my most used tools when it comes to texturing clay especially when I am making baked goods.

Also again this week I formed my clay cakes (?) on my piece of sandpaper. This really cuts down on the amount of work you need to do to get wonderful “baked” texture. I think this particular piece of sandpaper has finally gotten to the end of its useful life however since it stuck to so many of the clay pieces. I think this was at least the 6th time I had baked on it though so it has gotten a bit of use. I might try to use it again we shall see.

The faces are really fun to paint using the Scribbles 3-D fabric paint. Use your imagination and see what faces you can come up with.

Also if you have been watching my channel you probably weren't surprised to see the tube of caulk show up again this week. It really does make the perfect frosting.

I think the most important step with these to make sure you allow enough time to let each step dry before you go onto the next step.

I hope you enjoyed this project, be sure to subscribe/ follow me to see more projects.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Allison's Journal: I'm having a Halloween Party!!

I am so excited I just had to share the news, mom said I could have a Halloween party next week!

I have been asking for a long time- it seems like ages anyway. And she finally agreed to it.

We picked up paper plates and invitations today on the way home from my skating lesson. 

I love the plates we got they are going to really to set the stage I think.

Mom says I can get some decorations this weekend but since I loved the plates soooo much she let me get them today.

On the way back from getting the invitations and paper plates we passed the new bakery. They had just put some Halloween Whoopie Pies in the window and they looked sooo good, and I was sooo hungry from skating that I begged mom to get some so we can taste them. I told her it was her fault she should know better than let me walk in front of the bakery after skating practice. LOL

I got busy with the invitations as soon as I got home
Anyway as soon as I got home I filled out the invitations so I can take them to school tomorrow and hand them out to my friends. I hope they can all come. It will be lots of fun.

1 done, lots more to do

aren't they cute??

I love these paper plates!

Now I need to think about a menu..... I think pizza and soda and maybe Chelsea and I make a bat shaped cake. Oh, and I hope mom will pick up some more of these whoopie pies they are yummy.

I need to look at the decorations too, I think we have some left from last year. And I know Micheal wants to get some pumpkins this weekend too so we can use those.

So much to do in the next week. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Doll Size Bat Cake for Halloween

This week I am showing you how to make a bat cake for the dolls. For those of you that also follow my dollhouse scale tutorials this will be a little bit familiar. I did a similar cake over there last week.

I just love this bat cake and have been making it in dollhouse scale for many years. I wanted to adapt it to the larger 18” dolls this year also. In the smaller scale I use a polymer clay base but I wanted to go a different route for this scale. I felt it would be a lot of wasted clay to make a cake this size when you will never see the inside. So I started thinking about alternatives to the clay. I thought of and discounted several options but I kept coming back to the Styrofoam base. I felt it was inexpensive and light weight as well as easy to work with.

My local Joann's didn't have a huge selection of Styrofoam to choose from but they did have something that would work. I was able to find a sheet that is 15/16” thick and the sheet measures 11 15/16” by 17 15/16” so let's just round that all up to 1” thick and 12” by 18” just to make this not hurt our brains. The cost of the sheet was around $6 or $7 and I did have a 40% off coupon to use.

Before I started the video I used a 3” cookie cutter (from the kitchen) to cut 2 circles (cake layers) and on camera I cut one of those in half. I then used my 1 ½” round clay cutter to give that straight cut edge some shape to look like a bat wing.
So far this is really easy isn't it?? Don't worry it doesn't get much harder the rest of the project.

Now we need to frost our “cake layers” I love the way latex caulking looks just like frosting and it is so easy to color with acrylic paint. I do prefer to use the paint in the tubes over the bottles of craft paint simply because it doesn't dilute the paint as much. I used mostly Burnt Umber with just a bit of Raw Umber to make it a bit darker. The paints I used today are just the cheap ones from Joann's. Don't worry if you don't get your “frosting” as dark as you want it we are going to paint over it after we get the cake layers all frosted. The color we add now is just make it easier to get a rich chocolate brown later. We could leave it white and just paint it but it will be harder to get it dark enough and any place that you either miss in the painting or that gets chipped later will show. This way those mistakes won't haunt us later.

On this scale I like to frost the sides of the pieces then let that dry and then frost the tops. It is so much easier this way because you have a dry place to hold onto while you are frosting.

Since the Styrofoam has so much texture and is also sooo porous you might as well plan on putting on 2 coats of the frosting mixture. Even after the two coats I still had a few spots that were showing the texture underneath.

Don't worry that the color of these coats of frosting isn't even we are now going to give our cake a top coat of the chocolate color paint. When this dries we will be left with a cake that looks like it was frosted with some rich yummy chocolate frosting.

For the base I used a piece of foamcore that was left from another project. I always have foamcore left over so it was easy. Use whatever you have a piece of cardboard from a cardboard box or even some of the paper board that we use from food type boxes (I would use 2 layers of this though) I cut mine 5” by 10” to give a generous serving board. You can make yours whatever size works best for you. Now cover your board with some aluminum foil to make it look like a real serving board under a cake.

Now the fun part let's add some decorating to this bat. I love to use Scribbles 3_D fabric paint whenever I need the look of decorator's icing. It works great and is inexpensive. I used the hot chocolate and winter white colors. I got to thinking after I had finished the cake that it would have been really cute to use some of our marshmallows we made for the s'mores as eyes for our bat. Maybe next year.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Doll Size Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week I thought it would be fun to show you yet another really easy cookie made from polymer clay.

I know I love chocolate chip cookies and I am sure the dolls do too so join me and make a batch of these today.

We are going to start off by making our “chocolate chips” these are made from any dark brown (chocolate color) polymer clay you happen to have. Today I used some Suede Brown from Sculpey III but I have also used Fimo's Chocolate color and I am sure that Premo has a color that would work also.

Roll your chocolate color clay into a thin snake (or 2) and bake these according to the directions on the clay package. Allow these to cool and then using a sharp blade cut little pieces to represent the chocolate chips in the cookies. The exact shape and size really don't matter.

Now for our cookie part. We need a dough colored clay for this. Normally I use either Premo's Ecru or Fimo's Sahara but I didn't find any of either in my clay box. What I did find were packages of Sculpey III in Beige and Tan. One of these was too light in color and the other too dark however, mixed in equal amounts the perfect color was made.

Now we need to divide our clay up to make the perfect size cookies. I rolled mine in my pasta machine and then cut it with the ¾” round cutter that was on my table from another project. The size and shape don't matter nearly as much as making getting the same size balls of clay.

After you have your clay cut into the size portions you are happy with roll them all into balls. This is a case where neatness does not help. If you leave a few creases in those balls of clay your cookies will look more realistic.

For making cookies like this I like to work on a piece of coarse grade sandpaper. I had 60 grit today. This will save you a lot of work by texturing the bottoms of your cookies without you having to do anything. For the tops of the cookies I like to use: a pot scrubbing pad, a ball of aluminum foil and a toothbrush. In the video you saw how easy it was to get the texture with these tools.

Now we need to add those chocolate chips to our cookies. I like to use a strand of un-cooked spaghetti as a picking up tool when I am working with tiny, lightweight things like this. Just barely wet the end and use it to pick up and position your chocolate chips. When you are done with it break off the softened end of the spaghetti and put it with your other crafting tools.

Now we need to use some chalks to make our cookies look baked. This is the same process I use with almost all my baked items.

Now all that is left is to bake the clay according to the directions on your clay package.

There now wasn't that easy???

I am pretty sure once you make a batch of these you will be hooked on making clay foods for your dolls. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Doll Size S'mores!!!!!!!!!!

This week we are finally getting the s'mores finished! I know this was a long process but I didn't want to make any of the videos any longer than they already were. I hope this was worth the wait.

So we are starting by making some roasting sticks for our s'mores. Since we use the metal variety at our house I started with those. 18 gauge stem wire seems like a good weight and looks in scale. By adding the clay to make a handle it is more substantial and easier to handle.

For the wooden variety an 1/8th inch dowel looks about right and is a good balance between the correct visual weight and still having some strength to it.

For the marshmallows that go on the sticks we are using the same Model Magic clay that we used last week for the ones to go with the bag. That way these still retain the softness of the real thing. It is up to you how much color you add via chalks and paints to make yours look gently roasted or totally burnt. Remember there is a kid like me in every group that just has to start their marshmallow on fire.

Now the fun part begins, we are going to build the s'mores. Start with the baked half graham crackers from last week. Place one textured side down on your work surface and using the same clay we used for the chocolate bars form the blob of melty chocolate on the less textured side. Now use another half cracker to smash a ball of white polymer clay until it looks like the marshmallow would look in your s'more. Now use a blade to remove the marshmallow unit from your work surface and stick the two halves together. Give them a little squeeze, add some chalk to the white clay and set them on a paper plate for baking.

There that is all there is to it! The dolls can now pig out on s'mores around the campfire.

Now I am going to go make some real s'mores why don't you join me and we can eat some gooey goodness to celebrate fall.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Doll Size S'more Fixin's

So I decided that it would be best (at least for my schedule) to give you the clay portion in two parts. I know this drags the project out a lot longer but it does keep the individual videos shorter and frankly I just didn't have enough time to get any more done this week.

Making marshmallows is super easy just roll a little rounded cylinder of clay. I prefer the Model Magic by Crayola for this because it is easy to work with, it air dries and it stays just a bit soft so you get the feel of the real thing.

My real marshmallows were just a bit over 1” in both height and diameter so I decided that a measurement of 3/8” would be fine for the doll size ones. You have some lee way on these just try to get them close to the same size. Keep some of the clay (well wrapped) for next week when we are going to be making some on roasting sticks.

For the graham crackers you just need a light tan color of polymer clay. Since we have the paper version from the printable set we can use that to size our clay ones. Then texture and brush with some brown chalk and bake. Be sure to make some of the half size graham crackers if you are going to be making the s'mores next week. For those we will need the baked half crackers as a base.

The candy bars are again sized by using the paper printable ones. I used a double pointed knitting needle to make the typical markings on the top of mine. Bake them off and they are done. And because we used the printable chocolate bars to size our the clay ones can fit in the wrappers we made last week. Save some of the same clay (unbaked) for the s'mores next week.

So wasn't that fun and easy. Be sure to come back next week to see how we make the finished s'mores.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Doll S'more Ingredients

Okay, so this was supposed to be up last week and I do apologize for it not being. I actually did have it filmed but I must have set something wrong on my video camera because it just didn't turn out. I made the decision to re-do the entire video rather than put up something that I was truly unhappy with. I also decided to divide the video into two videos- the paper printables in one and all the clay work in a second one. There is just so much to do in each of these parts and I felt that trying to rush through to make a reasonable length video wasn't going to teach you what I want you to take away from the project. So this week we are doing all the paper printable work and next week we will dig out the clay and make that part.

Once again I am pulling out on of Ann's free projects that are available to those that subscribe to her newsletter. All you have to do is go over to Paper Minis and sign up for the newsletter. Super simple and it is free, it only comes once a week and you get see all the wonderful kits she has as well as photos people have sent her of the things they have made from her kits.

We are making up 3 of Ann's projects this week so be sure to print off all three.

I decided to start with the chocolate bars mostly because they are easy but also because they have a few steps and could be drying while I worked on other parts. I printed the chocolate bar page out on cardstock weight paper so they would have some body. Next week I am going to show you how to make chocolate bars from polymer clay so these are optional. I also wanted to use them to put inside the wrappers of the bars I wanted to seal up.

I printed the sheet of chocolate bar wrappers on regular printer paper. I didn't want them to be heavy at all. These are the more modern version of the candy bar wrappers and if you want to make yours look more like the ones from the 50's you might want to trim the wrappers to make them a bit shorter and then wrap your chocolate bars in foil before you slide them into the wrappers. I am not sure what the graphic looked like back then but you would at least get the feel of the old time bars. (this is just in case you purchased the new American Girl doll from the 50's and want to keep her there)

The wrappers are really easy just be sure to not use too much glue. You really just need a tiny bit of glue at the edge of the paper on each of the places we glue these.

The candy bars themselves are easiest to manage with a glue stick.

The marshmallow bag is one of the coolest ideas I have seen in a long time. I had in the past tried to figure out how to make a plastic bag for something and could never come up with a workable idea. The way Ann does this one is really simple and I can't figure out why it eluded me for all this time. I find it easier to tape the label on first and then cut the bag to size and assemble. Ann does provide a sheet of directions with this project to make it easier for you.

Next up was the graham cracker box and some graham crackers. These go together just like most of the printables we have made in the past. If these will be played with a lot by children you might think about making the “bricks” of graham crackers over wooden blocks to make them a bit more strudy.

The last step is to use a clear finish to seal the printables. This does several things. It makes them shiny so they look more realistic. It adds a bit of strength to the finished pieces. And just as importantly it covers up any dots of glue you might have gotten on them in the process of assembly. Just don't over do the finish and don't go too shiny. I used a satin finish and I think that is just about right. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Doll Size Campfire

This week I thought it would be fun to show you how to make a campfire for the dolls. Here in the states we still have Labor Day Weekend and I know a lot of families that traditionally go always try to use that weekend for one last camp out before fall sets in.

What would a camp out be without a campfire? This is a lot easier that it looks, really it is.

First we need a base to build our fire on, I decided to use one the plastic plates that I got in the 8 pack from Dollar Tree. They are strong enough to hold the project and still thin enough to cut the hole that we need in the bottom.

The light, or fire, in our campfire is one of those little battery operated tea lights that we can find at almost any craft store. I have some times even found them at the dollar store.

The first step (and this is really important) is to cut a hole in the center of the plate so we can access the switch and the battery compartment of the tea light. Be sure that you have the opening just big enough to access those things but still have the base of the light sitting on the plate.

And if any of you can think of a safer way to cut the hole please share it with the rest of us. I thought about this for a couple of days and couldn't come up with a different way to do this. So be very careful when cutting.

Once you have the access hole at the bottom use some hot glue to secure the light to the plate. Be sure to check that you can still get to the switch and battery door (including the little screw that holds the door in) I made a different project with one of these lights one time and didn't double check this and managed to glue the light in with the switch covered up.

After the hot glue sets up a bit you can add the “ground” to the base. For this we are using a mixture of white sand and Mod Podge. Make a fairly thick mixture and spread it around to fill the plate base. This will preform a couple of functions for us. Number one is to cover the plate and become the dirt and ashes at the base of the fire. Just as importantly it will help to hold the tea light onto the base.

While this mixture is still wet use some more hot glue and attach rocks to the edge of your campfire. The glue is needed to hold them on. I put them on now so that they can settle into the soft surface of the sand mixture. They will look more realistic that way. If you wait until the sand is dry they will just sit on top and not not look real.

Let the sand mixture set up over night. Mine was still squishy at this point but dry on the surface.

Now paint paint the sand with a pale brown paint. I used some Cocoa from Americana. The exact color doesn't matter just a light brown. Paint the sand and the base of the tea light. Try not to get too much on the rocks though. (a little bit is okay though)

After the brown paint has some time to dry add some black and gray paint to the all parts (except the flame of course) the colors I used were: Black,
Bridgeport Grey, Rain Grey, and Storm Grey. (all by Ceramcoat)

Don't try for an even coat of paint just dab and dry brush the different colors to make it look like a lot of fires have burnt here in the past. Think about how a real fire pit or fire place looks after it has been used for a while. Be sure to get the rocks too.

Now find some branches to make the fire out of. I used some that had come off the trees in our yard a while back and we piled to the side of the yard. They have had several months to dry out so they aren't pitchy.

Cut them to size and add them to the fire pit securing with hot glue. Just build it up like you would a real fire.

When you are done dab on some more black paint randomly to the wood. I also dabbed some black paint to the visible hot glue to disguise it.

I do wish I could have gotten a better photo of the campfire for you. It was a difficult subject. I did have to buy a new camera this weekend and once I learn it maybe I will have better luck. (yeah, my old camera totally died in the middle of taking the photos for this blog post!)