Thursday, June 30, 2011

That formerly useless old 3 1/2" floppy disk

My latest computer doesn’t take 3 ½” disks so I had a pile of them around. What a treasure trove inside!

To begin, take off the “brushed chrome” or black piece that’s across the top of the disk. These are generally a lightweight metal which could be used to make maybe the holder part of a magazine rack or a mail box...or a cookie sheet as is. The Maxell ones are a nice black plastic which could be cut into tiles.

Next, pull the disk apart at the top where you removed the first piece. Be careful that you don’t lose the tiny metal spring (lower left). I plan on using this for the needle in the playing arm of a record player. There is also a small black plastic piece (lower right) that would make a lovely little soap dish. To me, it also looks like a high chair tray in 1:48.

Remove the round metal piece from the black plastic. As is, you can make a polymer clay pizza in it. Or line the bottom with a piece of decorative paper to make a vanity tray.

You can cut 1” circles out of the black plastic to make LP records. There is another tutorial for these.

On the inside of the outer case pieces are the two white semi-circles. These are a wonderful weight and texture to make j-cloths or kitchen towels.

One of the outside pieces has a circular piece with a raised edge in the centre. Cut around this (cuttable with scissors) and you’ve have a nice little tray. You may want to sand around the cut edge a bit to smooth it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

T2T in the kitchen

cookie jars: Large macramé beads make good cookie jars. Glue a small shank button on for a lid. You can use your computer to print a small label, even add a picture.

COOKIE SHEET:  Eye shadow metal pans are perfect for bake ware in the kitchen. (The heat from a hair dryer will loosen the glue so they can be popped out of the case.) Make some donuts, cookies, etc and place on cookie sheet and place in an oven or on a countertop.
COOKIES:  Punch from thin brown fun foam. Paint on icing or dots of paints for sprinkles.

 CRANBERRY SAUCE: Mix some red seed beads with white glue or red glass stain and pile on a white button for a dish of cranberry sauce.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


ICE CREAM SUNDAEA pushpin can be used as a base for an ice cream sundae. A dollop of Polyfilla makes good ice cream (can be tinted with a bit of acrylic paint if you want chocolate or strawberry ice cream). Add a bit more untinted for whipped cream, drizzle on some chocolate syrup (acrylic paint or glass stain) and add a cherry (no hole bead) to the top.
To remove the pin, heat it with a match or lighter and pull out with pliers.


Using a single edge razor blade, slice a wine cork. You can also use the blade to cut a slice from the cake.

The first cake was iced with spackle then topped with very tiny beads mixed with red glass stain for a cherry topping. The 'cake edges' of the second cake were painted with brown paint and the rest iced with spackle. If you push a push pin into the bottom of the cake, it makes a good handle while you're painting and icing the cake.

I painted a pop cap liner with red marker for the plate and used a push pin through the liner and cake to make the pedestal.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mirrors and Muffins

MIRRORS:  Glue a small round mirror to the swivel portion of an old cufflink. Set on a counter in the bathroom or on the vanity in the bedroom. 

Old makeup compacts often have mirrors which can be hung in a bathroom, bedroom (above a vanity) or above the fireplace. They can be framed or trimmed with ribbon or lace. The glue holding the mirror in place can usually be loosened with the heat from a hair dryer so the mirror can be carefully pried out.

MUFFINS OR CUPCAKES: The wooden plugs used by carpenters to cover screw holes can be painted or stained and used as muffins. Cover the rounded top with some Spackle tinted with a bit of acrylic paint and you have cupcakes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some more Trash to Treasure ideas

BED SKIRT: Pre-gathered lace (about ½ - 5/8” wide) makes a good bedskirt.

BLANKETS: Fleece baby blankets from the dollar store are often thin enough to be cut into blankets for your dollhouse beds.

BOLOGNA: Cut very thin slices from the round eraser on the end of a pencil. If you have pencils with varying colours of erasers, you could do a plate of cold cuts. A white eraser could provide slices of mozzarella cheese.

BOWL:  Make a "crystal" fruit bowl or cake dish from those clear plastic suction cups.  Remove the hook!! 

BRASS TUBES:  When your ball point pen runs out of ink, save the empty ink cartridge. Cut off the end and you’re left with a wonderful plastic or ‘brass’ tube. Any remaining ink can be cleaned out using a pipe cleaner. The tubes, especially metal ones, can be used for plumbing pipes, lamp poles, furniture legs, etc.. Save the spring for a screen door. If the clip is metal, save it to use as a handle on a fridge door.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Coffee Pot

Through The Camp I found this great little tutorial for making a camping coffee pot. I didn't have time to look at what else she had but looks like a great blog.

I would probably use a push pin to make the holes for the coffee pot handle. I use push pins for holes/hole starters most of the time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Paint Brushes

To make larger craft paint brushes, you need the end of a round toothpick, a pair of pliers and a silver pen.

Cut your toothpick to length (about ¾”) and moisten the cut end about 1/8”. With your pliers, squeeze the moistened end several times, rotating the toothpick between squeezes. This will separate the wood fibres and form your ‘bristles’. When that’s done, use your silver pen to mark the ferrule and your paintbrush is finished.

To make foam paint brushes, you need a piece of round toothpick about ½” long, a piece of thin black craft foam about ¼” x ½” and some white glue (Weldbond or Aleene’s Tacky).

Coat one side of the craft foam with glue, place the toothpick about half way up the length of the foam, fold the foam over and clamp until dry. (Once it’s dry, you can even trim it a bit to make slightly narrower.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hanging lamp fixture (non-electrified)

Treble fish hook
Pliers, wire cutters
Metal tone nail polish (optional) or Pilot Gold or Silver pen (optional)
Jump ring
Loctite Super Glue Gel Control [I prefer this but you could use Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate (second choice) or Aleene’s Tacky Glue]
These are size 2/0 extra strong. They came in a package of 5 for about $4.00 at Canadian Tire. They are 1 7/16” tall and 1” between each barb.

First, remove the barbs. You may be able to do this with a good pair of wire cutters. I held the hook with one pair of pliers and used another to snap the barb off. Wear eye protection when doing this. Another good idea is to put the hook and pliers/wire cutters inside a paper bag while you make your cut. That way the piece you cut off stays inside the bag and doesn't go flying about the room.

If you wish, you can now paint the hook to match your décor. Acrylic paint will not work for this. A metallic nail polish works best or you can use a Pilot Gold or Silver pen.

Add beads of your choice for the lights.
The tulip shaped beads came from a necklace I found at a garage sale.
This hook was painted with a gold Pilot pen. These irregularly shaped crystal look beads were from Dollarama.
These plastic beads are from a shoe box of beads I got at a garage sale for $1.00.

I wanted the look of white globes here but didn’t have white beads. A couple coats of white nail polish took care of that. A quarter under the outside edge of the green bead held it level for gluing.
Attach the fixture to a chain with a jump ring. This chain is part of an old necklace.
This chain would work also. It’s from my bits and pieces of jewellery stash.
Tip: I put the bead on a bamboo skewer while I put the nail polish on it. The bead hole was larger than the skewer so it wouldn’t stay in place. I pushed the end of a round toothpick between the bead and the skewer to hold the bead steady.

Salt and pepper shakers

For fancy 'silver' shakers for the dining room table, use the cone-shaped backs for pierced earrings.

For larger kitchen shakers, make them from pony beads.  Punch 1/4" cardstock holes for the tops and bottoms and use a needle to put tiny holes in the tops. The cardstock can be painted silver or gold with a Pilot marker - or you could use a colour to match your decor. You can add an S and P to the beads with a very fine  permanent permanent marker.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trash to Treasure salad

Many bottles of water come with a clear cap that can be used as a wonderful salad bowl. My particular favourite is faceted and looks like pressed glass (sorry I don’t know what brand they’re on). If you paint the inside with glass stain they look especially nice. I sometimes add a gold or silver rim with my Pilot pen.

You can make wonderful lettuce from plastic snow. Put some of the snow in a
plastic sandwich bag and add some green paint or glass stain and mix well until all the snow is coated then spread on some wax paper until the paint has dried. I usually do this with two or three shades of green mixed separately then combine the dried snow for a variation in colour in the lettuce.

If you’re a purist you can make some tomato and onion slices from Fimo or you can just snip small pieces of red and green fun foam to add a bit of colour to your salad.

You can also cut the ends off a couple turned toothpicks (stained, or painted silver, if you like) and stick them in the salad for salad servers.

Not getting any mini-ing done as Vern is still in ICU but don't want to get out of the habit of blogging so I'll be posting T2T until things settle down.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Closet construction

Here I've drilled the holes for the closet rod.

 The shelf in place in the left closet:
 The closet rod glued on the left and dry-fitted to the upright.

Whew! Caught myself in time…..

I was all set to glue in the upright divider when I realized that if I’m going to do the sliding doors, I have to install them before that upright goes in. BIG disaster averted. Although who knows, this attempt at sliding doors could become a disaster in itself. LOL

Now I have another problem….the closet doors are 8” tall and my mirror pieces are only 6”. I have enough mirror to piece it together to make 8” but what can I do to make the seam work? Off to Google!

Here’s one possible solution. And I have enough detailing tape to do it.

This is another one and it might be a possibility if there weren’t such a discrepancy in lengths. Maybe if it were only a half or even a full inch but two inches – don’t think it would work.

I did see one other possible solution where a piece of black/smoked mirror with gold veining was inserted in the door mirror panel. Even thought I had some but if I do I can’t find it now. 

Finally found it!

But all this is going to have to wait for another day. All this was prepared this morning. Since then.....

DH Vern has not been well for the past three weeks and this morning he was in really bad shape so called an ambulance and spend the last 8 hours with him in emergency. Looks like he'll be in the hospital for awhile so don't think I'll be getting much mini-ing done. He's where he needs to be right now and hopefully they'll soon be able to figure out exactly what's  wrong with him and get him on the road to recovery.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bedroom closet

Okay, I've decided to build a closet along the left hand side of the room. It will have two closets on either side of a vanity. This is a tentative sketch:
The back of the unit is an 8 x 10 piece of matboard. The four sides are double pieces of matboard held together with strips of carpet tape. The outer pieces are 2 1/8" deep and fit around the outside of the back. The inner pieces are 2" deep and fit against the edges of the back piece.

There are two reasons for using double layers of matboard: One is strength (really a minor consideration when you think about it) and the other is the fact that I'm using up scraps of matboard in various colours so I'm putting the colours on the insides of the layers so all that shows is the white side.

The top and bottom pieces are double but the side pieces are still single layers.

The second side pieces are just dry fitted here.

The middle dividers are also double layers of matboard. They are also just dry fitted.

I'll be drilling holes for the closet rods before these pieces are glued in place.

I think that I've figured out how to install sliding closet doors. We'll see how that works out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

change of pace

You may have gathered that my get up and go got up and went as far as the barroom is concerned.

So I've decided to put it aside for now and work on the bedroom. Not that it promises to move more quickly...sort of stalled on the decision as to which colours to go with.

The room has white walls and a wooden floor at this point.

My original thought was to use the striped wallpaper (I have several sheets of it) and top carpet:
Or maybe the floral (but only have two sheets of this one) with the peach carpet and the small area rug:

Definite furniture:
Chest of drawers, blanket chest, desk
Canopy bed:

The pleated fabric on the right was a huge shawl collar on a blouse. I'm hoping there's enough to dress the bed.

I need a chair or two in there. I actually have a couple side chairs that match the armchair. The table is a trash to treasure one that I made. Think I might make a vanity along these lines with maybe a triple mirror or just a wall mirror.

Or maybe a closet along one side of the room with a vanity in the middle?

So many decisions...

Maybe I should just finish the barroom. LOL

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quiet day

Didn't get much done today. Made 3 more beer pitchers. Really need more practice with the Dremel.

One change I did make was to shape the handle in a D-shape and glue that together and let dry. Then glue it to the side of the pitcher.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beer pitcher

I was in the condo office the other day and the pen I grabbed was out of ink. BUT it had a wonderful clear barrel that reminded me of a beer pitcher. (And the lady with me didn't even blink an eye when I told her the plans for it!)

My Dremel has been out on the work table for a few days as I had thought I might actually use it for something - and didn't. But tonight I put on a cut-off wheel and cut a length from the pen barrel.

Glued one end to a piece of clear plastic with Ultimate glue. Left that to dry and cut a very narrow strip of the plastic and glued one end of that to the side of the 'pitcher' point up.

Using manicure scissors, the excess plastic was trimmed from around the bottom. Then the narrow strip was pulled down, looped at the end and glued to make a handle.
It's not perfect but I'm on the right track...

Monday, June 13, 2011

cigarette vending machine

The bar is still not coming together in my head so I decided to make a cigarette vending machine for the barroom.

The machine itself is an amalgam of several different machines so it may or may not be particularly historically correct. Most of the ones I found that were actually from the 40s were very Art Deco and much too upscale for what I wanted.

Then there were hours of research trying to find what brands of cigarettes would have been sold in Canada in that time frame. Finally found this website which was very helpful.

I constructed the vending machine from matboard.
 The front of the machine.
 The top sign and coin slot is from a picture of an actual vending machine. The cigarette packages are from the 40s. They've been given two thick coats of clear nail polish.
 These are ship model belaying pins. I got mine at a model train shop in Edmonton. Bought them originally to use as perfume bottle tops.
They will be the levers to release your choice of cigarette brand. Here I've sandwiched them in a roll of tape to hold them in place while I colour them silver with my Pilot pen.
On the back of the front of the vending machine, I've built a little box where the cigarettes will be dispensed. (It's painted silver on the inside.
 Here the coin slot has been added at the front top and the picture of the available cigarette brands has been added with the belaying pins stuck in holes below the pictures.
 The sides added, then the back.
 The top added, then the bottom.

 The tapered legs are the ends of square toothpicks from Dollarama painted silver.
 In place in the barroom.