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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!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Doll Size Slushie

This week I am going to show you how to make a cute (and refreshing) Slushie for your dolls.

I was already thinking that I should come up with some kind of “fair food” for this week's tutorial since it is County and State Fair time where I live. Then on one of the Facebook groups that I belong to (sorry I have no idea which one now or who posted) had posted a photo of the same red cups I had just gotten and was wondering how to make Slushies for them.

I have made Slushies in other scales in the past and knew exactly how I would go about this project so my decision for this week's tutorial was an easy one. I just had to go to town to pick up a new package of resin.

So these cups are sold at the Dollar Tree and I am assuming are meant to be shot glasses for real people. They are fairly much in scale for the dolls especially since this style of real cup is often a bit bigger than other cups we use.

If you can't get these cups or just don't want to use them go ahead and use whatever cup you have. Anything in scale will work. If your cup is clear (like the regular plastic shot glasses or the plastic communion cups that I see some people use) you will have to fill the entire cup with the sand mixture we used on the top. I think I would work in layers in that case so that the part on the bottom of the cup will set up properly. It would be fun to layer a couple of different colors (flavors) in a clear cup.

I explained in the video that I used just resin in the base of mine for two reasons. I think the sand would have made the finished project a lot heavier and I didn't have enough sand to fill the entire cup. As you saw when we mixed the part for the top it takes a lot of sand to do this.

Since craft sand comes in all different colors you can create just about any flavor slushie for your dolls that you want to.

Be sure to show me your projects, I want to see what you are working on!

Also be sure to request things you want to see me make. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Doll School Supplies part 2

This week we are adding a 3 ring binder and some notebook paper to our doll's back to school supplies. Now first I need to tell you that unfortunately the rings don't actually function. I have no idea how to do that, well, I have an idea but I need to do some research first. Anyway, the rings I used look like they work and if you are really careful you can put the paper in the notebook. Just be careful and you should be okay. At the worst you might need to glue the rings back on.

So I used one of my go to materials for this project, a cracker box. I love the weight of the cardboard used in these and they are free. (in fact since they aren't going into my garbage they save me money since we pay by the weight of our garbage when we take it into the dump)

So here is a list of all the pieces you have to cut to make the project. I am hoping I didn't miss anything. If I did leave anything out let me know so I can add it to the list.

Paperboard (our cracker box)
2 pieces cut at 4” by 3 7/8”
1 piece cut 4” by ¾”


Outside cover
cut 1 piece 4 ¾” by 9 ¾”

Inside cover
measure your assembled cover mine was cut 3 ¾” by 8 ¾”

Jumbo craft sticks
1 cut 3 ¾” long
2 cut 1 1/8” long
2 cut ½”

Now for the notebook paper cut the sheets to measure
3 ½” by 2 5/8”

You of course can make your notebook any size you wish. After all the real ones come in many sizes. I patterned this one after the note book I had handy and I do admit is a large one.

I hope you enjoyed the project.

Be sure to find us on Facebook if you haven't already. I try to keep everyone informed about any changes in the video schedule and sometimes I even show some photos of the week's tutorial there a bit ahead of the time it arrives on Youtube.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Doll School Supplies part 1

This week I am starting a short series of projects to get the dolls ready to go back to school.

Here in Oregon, where I live school is just about ready to start and the stores are filled with back to school sales. Right in front of the door I enter to do my grocery shopping in my favorite store are the aisles of school supplies. I decided that it would be fun to re-create some of those for our 18” doll friends.

Since I have several things I want to do I decided to make this a multiple week series. This week we will start out with some of those cute little pink erasers, some pencils, and some folders so the dolls can try to stay organized with all their homework.

starting to get ready for school

We start with the easiest of the projects the pink erasers, and you can of course make them any color you want to. I just wanted to stay with tradition on mine and made pink ones. These are super easy since they are a basic shape and come in different sizes. Just get the general shape correct and it will be fine. Any brand of polymer clay will work for these, just pick a pink (or other color) you like and make a bunch of erasers.

When I started filming the pencil portion of the video I had intended to just make some of the typical yellow pencils. However, part way through I changed my mind and made some pretty purple ones too. There are even two gorgeous purple glitter pencils!

The pencils are made from 1/8” dowel from the craft store. Paint it first before you cut it to make this much easier. Then after painting cut your pencils 2 ½” long. Pick the end that looks the best for the eraser end. For the sharpened end just use a regular pencil sharpener and carefully sharpen them just like the real thing.

On the folders I actually had no trouble at all when I made the first one (off camera) then the moment I turned the camera on I kept messing up. I ended up ruining a couple of sheet so 12” x 12” cardstock before I got done. I made a mistake on this one on camera too but it was minor and I decided to show you how to fix it.

Bonus Project!!!!
Set of Colored Pencils

The set of 12 colored pencils is super easy and just a slight variation from the regular pencils.

To start you will need:
1/8” dowels
Something to cut the dowels with
Acrylic paints (I used the kind in the tube but use what you have) in the colors you want your colored pencils to be
Paint brushes or cotton swabs
Clear nail polish
A pen (or pencil) to mark where to cut.
A manual pencil sharpener\
Block of foam to use to hold “pencils” while they are drying
Emory board or sandpaper4

Start out by cutting your dowel into 3” lengths, this gives us a bit extra to make painting easy. We will trim them to size later.

Next prepare your foam block, I used a scrap of builders foam again use whatever you have. You just need something to put the ends of the dowel pieces into while the paint dries.

colors I used 
Here is a photo of the colors of paint I used, I chose these based on the colors of pencils in the box of colored pencils I have. You are in control here pick the colors 
you want to use.

Paint each dowel the color that you want it to be, being sure to keep track of the colors used (we need them again later) Allow to dry and re-coat as needed.

When the paint is completely dry coat the pencils with clear nail polish. When my bottles of clear polish start to get low I put them with my paints so I can use them up for projects like this.

After the polish dries cut your pencils to the correct size- 2 ½” in our case. Use the Emory board to make sure one end is completely straight and flat. Use the pencil sharpener to make a point on the opposite end.

paint on the tips drying in foam block
Next dip just the tip of the point into the same color of paint that you used on the pencil body.

Allow to dry and your dolls now have colored pencils for their art class!!!
finished colored pencils