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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Doll Size Fireplace pt 4

This week we are finishing up the fireplace construction. After this we just need to do some decorating and accessorizing of it.

So for the mantle you have some choices I wanted a wood mantle so I used a piece of 1/8” plywood from the craft store. I added some strips of ½” strip wood to give it a bit more body and cover up the top of the fireplace body. I think it looks nice.

I show you how to use craft paint as a wood stain but you have unlimited choices for finishing the wood. Real wood stain or the all in one finishes sold in the paint department of the hardware store would be great too.

The plywood piece I started with was 6” by 12” I just cut to 4 ½” by 12” to look more in scale with the rest of the fireplace.

I hope you enjoyed this project. Next week we will be making a “fire” for the fireplace and maybe something else (depends on how my week goes LOL)

Also a slight programming note, I am going to move the tutorials on this channel to go up on Tuesday starting this week. In the past I tried to have them up on Monday but I have added another video to one of my other channels and Monday worked better for it. I am going to strive in the new year to be more consistent in getting the tutorials up every week. Also I am hoping to post some kind of blog on Friday of most weeks so be sure to subscribe to my Blog for that (or follow me on Facebook for more info)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Doll Size Fireplace pt 3

This week we are continuing to work on the fireplace by creating a hearth. I was hoping to also get the mantle on but I got snowed in for most of the week and couldn't get to town to pick up supplies.

For the mantle I used one of my favorite building materials, it is a foam insulation board sold at home improvement stores. I have always called it Builder's Foam because that is what the people I learned about it called it. Here is a link on the Home Depot website that shows what the product is so you will know what to look for. I love this stuff for several reasons, it is inexpensive, easy to work with (no power tools required) and can be made to look like a lot of different kinds of surfaces. It also takes water based paint and glue well.

I cut my hearth 6” by 12” because that seemed like a good size for the fireplace. I then roughed up the edges a bit and painted it to look like stone. I do recommend that you be sure to give that coat of white paint as an undercoat no matter what effect you are wanting in the end. Covering that pink color is really important.

I gave a final coat of gloss Mod Podge, either gloss or satin would be fine for this. I would not use a matte finish on the “stone”

I really love how the hearth looks once attached to the fireplace. The project is really starting to come together and look like a fireplace. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Doll Size Fireplace pt 2

Watch the video here.

This week we are continuing with our work on the fireplace for the dolls. I had one of those weeks where everything took way longer than it should and we also had a batch of horrid weather. So I am sorry this is late in the week going up. On the bright side I have been filming next week's tutorial while waiting for parts of this one to dry so it should go up on time.

So we are adding bricks to our fireplace this week. I am using paper egg cartons again as my material of choice to make my bricks. I have been working on trying to come up with an alternative for those of you that have trouble finding the paper egg cartons. It is kind of funny that what is common in one area is so rare in another. I seldom see the foam egg cartons that a lot of you get every time you buy eggs.

So one thing that I have substituted for the egg carton material in dollhouse scale is sand paper. For our scale it wouldn't have the thickness we need but I got to thinking if you were to glue some sandpaper to the paperboard that a cereal box is made of I think it would give enough thickness that it should work just about the same as my egg cartons. You would have the advantage of less waste too. I think I would use a medium grit sandpaper, glue it to the paperboard then continue with the painting and cutting. It should work well. (I think)

For the step where I paint the fireplace with the gray paint, just use any combination of about 3 colors of gray to give the mottled look we are after.

Now you probably noticed that I had to cut larger bricks in order to finish the front of the fireplace. I had sized my bricks based on the depth of the fireplace I am making. I hadn't thought through to how that would work for the top front area. I played around with the bricks and this seemed like the best solution. I think it looks fine and you don't really notice the difference in the size unless you know about it.

I do wish I had gotten my bricks glued on straighter. I was a bit sloppy on some of them. We have had some horrid weather this week and I was feeling rushed to get this done when I was able to work on it. If I were going to do this again I would take a lot more time with gluing the bricks down. Also some of my bricks were cut crooked but again I was feeling rushed and should have taken the few extra minutes to fix them.

I do have to say that making a larger project for a tutorial on this channel is a challenge for sure. On my dollhouse miniature channel I normally make up a copy first then tape the tutorial. That way I have some/more of the “bugs” worked out. For this scale because the projects are so much larger I can't really make up multiples of them so I am making up parts of the project as I go. I had some things worked out when I started but some parts I haven't really figured out yet (the mantle for instance) and some become obvious as I do the steps. So if this tutorial at times seems a bit disjointed that is why.

I did promise to do a brick count so you would know how many bricks I used. Remember we aren't done yet and depending on how I do the mantle we may need a few more bricks. But so far this is what I have glued on to my fireplace. You may need a few more or a few less depending on your grout lines, cutting and a multitude of other factors.

1” by 2” 50
1” by ¾” 30
1” by 2 ¼” 10

If I can get to the store to figure out the mantle we will work on the hearth and mantle next week. If not we may just do the hearth next time. I have been snowed in for several days so far and it doesn't look good as far as getting out in the next day or so at this point. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Doll Size Fireplace- Part 1

The day after Thanksgiving I decided that I wanted to make a fireplace for the dolls this year. I have been working on furniture and other props for a “living room” or “family room” set to take pictures of the dolls in and I think it needs a fireplace. And what better time to make a fireplace than just before Christmas? It will be completed in time to do some Christmas d├ęcor around it this year.

I did have a false start last week hence there was no tutorial last week. I had started the fireplace and I thought I would have the first part done in time but I ended up trashing the work I did then and starting over.

I am really happy with the way it is progressing this time around. One problem with this scale is that I don't want to make two of something as large as a fireplace so I am filming the tutorial as I am working on it. You are seeing some steps moments after I figure out what I want to do and/or how to do it.

This week we are basically just working on the base structure. We do get the fire-bricks into the inside of the fireplace. Next week we will at least get the bricks on the outside. I am not sure if the hearth and mantle will also be next week or if those parts will become a part 3. it just depends on how long it takes me to do the brick portion.

Like a lot of the larger pieces I make for the dolls I am using foamcore from the dollar store as the base structure. I like the foamcore from there for several reasons. First it is only a dollar a sheet that is half the cost of anywhere else around here. Also the sheets are larger so I get even more for my money. And after working with it a few times I find I like not having the paper lining on the outside that I am used to seeing on foamcore from other sources.

When I glue foamcore into shapes for large pieces like this I normally use pins to reinforce the seams. I know some people take the pins out later but I prefer to leave them in. I am fairly certain that the pins will all be covered completely when we are done anyway.

So the cutting list for this portion of the project is as follows:

From foamcore cut:

2 pieces 11” by 11”
2 pieces 10 ½” by 3 ½”
2 pieces 10 ½” by 3”
4 pieces 7 ½” by 2 ¼”
4 pieces 7 ½” by 3”

1 piece 11” by 3 ½” (this is for the bottom measure you piece to make determine if you need to adjust)

2 pieces 11” by 3 ¼” (these are the sides, again measure to determine if you need to adjust)

For the fire-bricks cut egg carton to

2 ¾” by 1” I did need to trim these just a hair to fit.

Next week for the bricks you will need more egg carton lids, so start saving them and get all your friends and family to save them for you too.

fire-brick detail