- Arts and Design
Miniature Flower Themed Room Settings
A Seasonal Room Box Display
Here's a bit of spring cheer in a box. What's the inspiration for the scene -- besides the natural world? What I have and what I found! My flower-themed room box is being created largely from thrift store finds. It's a new (but Goodwill-relegated) shadow box painted in a cheery distressed ivory and embellished with enamel leaf pushpins.
I'm carpeting it with upholstery fabric and furnishing it with remade items. The couch is resin, but I'm applying a bit of stencil cream to give it a softened, more dimensional look. The tulips, which were re-potted (having arrived in a ceramic shoe that said "Holland") have already been given a bit of a paint job.
The little end table you see there? It's a pizza box thing-a-ma-jig which has also been given a distressed ivory finish.
A Note on Finding Materials
If you have a thrift store within walking distance, check in often -- it can feel like serendipity. I had recently picked up the roombox at my local Goodwill and I thought it needed some decoration.
I remembered seeing, at the craft store, some little metal push pins that looked like flowers. I was going to make the investment... but then I checked (the much closer) Goodwill again.
A box of enamel leaf-shaped push pins for a buck or so? Hmm, not exactly what I had in mind, but I would find a use for them...
And then I just kept seeing things. Flower-themed things! And so the spring room box was born.
I DIY with a little help from my thrift store.
Making a Table from a Pizza Topper
Shabby Chic Style!
It's not impossible to paint on plastic, but it takes some patience. Dab -- yes, dab! -- a little on and let it dry well. If you try to put a new layer on before the old one has dried, it may peel up. If you want a solid base coat, it may take several slow, patient layers. If you're doing a distressed ivory finish, your brown base coat doesn't have to be real solid, though -- you'll still have a realistic look once you brush the ivory on.
No, not everything comes from the thrift store. I have a supply of craft items that come from actual craft stores. I have a lot of acrylic paint and paint mediums, a smaller stash of brushes and small tools. My main fabric is upholstery fabric, though I have some other odds and ends with small scales. I have novelties and embellishments.
Stencil cream is a surprisingly useful item for the miniaturist. It's handy for dry brushing. You can paint the item black and then build up the colors from scratch or you can just brush a little here and there to add tones and highlights. Because it goes on "dry", the raised areas get more color than the recessed ones -- an easy way to add a three-dimensional effect. I have a couple sets of the Delta variety pack, including the floral colors you see here.
Selecting Art Prints - To Hang on Miniature Walls
I think there's too much white space above the pizza topper... er, table. I got a package of enclosure cards at the Goodwill for a dollar. (There's a theme going here in more ways than one.) The cards could work as art prints -- but they may be a little out of scale for this tiny room.
The tiny prints on the cover of the package? Yes, if I find frames for them. Brooches or scrapbooking embellishments can work as frames. I think I may have a frame to fit, but not four. (Not yet. Hmmm...)
Scrap Booking Embellishments
Scrap booking embellishments can work very well in a dollhouse setting. Here is a garden-themed frame that could be left as is or refinished in distressed ivory or verdigris.
Considering the Possibilities
The pot you see here is further along. I used a bit of stencil cream to give it that aged, been-out-in the garden look. The planter-in-the-old-high- chair is a fun idea, but I don't think I have room in this box!
The things you see in this picture are not thrift store finds, but they're also cheapies -- and I've had them a while. The metal corner shelf used to be plain metal. I got it from a store called MacFrugal's that sells close-outs and overstocked items, way back when I first started dabbling in minis as an adult. I gave it a verdigris finish.
Carpeting from Upholstery Fabric
You can find relatively inexpensive uphostery fabric at JoAnn's craft store -- look for the kind with the backing that looks like cross stitch.
You may find pastels and heathers as well as neutrals. See if you can find a color that echoes something in your display. The carpeting will look better if you make a template of the bottom of the box and fold it around the template. (Don't glue directly to the floor of the box.)
I am good at finishing things -- or refinishing, as the case may be. I am not, not good at construction. So here's the hard part: getting the carpet to fit in the box. Deep breath, I can do this...
I set the box on a bit of card (from an envelope box) and make some markings. It's going to be just a little too big. I place it inside the box, bending a bit to fit. I trace a line to show where I need to cut it so the glass fits.
Now I lay the card on the white side of the upholstery fabric, fold inward, and glue.
A Tulip... or a Canvas?
They're darling as they are, but perhaps you want to paint on them like a canvas.
Making Miniature Flowers - From Scratch
Would you like to create miniature flowers yourself? The main methods are 1) modeling compound and 2) paper. Some artists use very delicate papers like rice paper.
Paper artists can buy special hole punches to create leaves and petals. It still takes quite a bit of artistry, though, to finish it off.
- Make Miniature Marigolds
Step-by-step directions for a dollhouse scale marigold.
- See Monet's Houise and Garden!
No step by step instructions here, but you can get inspiration galore!
- Make Miniature Tulips
These are made from paper.
- Make Miniature Lilies
Another step-by-step paper project from About.com.
- Petunia Tutorial
A picture tutorial from IGMA fellow.
- Gladiolus Tutorial
Make them out of crepe paper.
- Make Miniatures Roses
This tutorial shows you how to make roses from paper punch petals.