A good night’s sleep

Cozy bed for my cottage.

I’ve been working on a cottage that needed a bed that made you want to crawl in and snuggle down.  It needed that cozy and warm look of a thick coverlet and extra blankets tucked at the bottom if more were necessary.  Ok, you have to shrink down first to fit but miniaturists have very active imaginations!

It turned out pretty good and fit the spot.

It was easier that I thought, so I thought I would roll back the blankets and share some tips if dressing a bed or working with fabric draping is in your future.

Rolling back the blankets for a closer look at construction.

I will admit that most of my success was the fabrics themselves but this gives you some ideas to keep in mind when picking fabric or thinking about bedding.


I simply cut 3 pieces of foam and loosely sewing them together for a mattress.  It could be more or less foam depending on the foam thickness and your bed. Some people use a ceiling tile cut to size as a mattress for the ease of pinning the fabric draping.  For me the foam was handy and not so messy to cut.

The foam mattress beginnings.

I covered the foam form with white cloth and sewing it shut.  It doesn’t have to be fancy– generally no one is inspecting underneath the covers in a dollhouse bed.

I have had this odd fabric (a polyester blend of some sort but has a very soft drape to it) for a long time.  Generally, cottons, silks, and other natural fabric are the best for mini work but there are exceptions.   A couple stripes of this fabric became the bed skirt (and no gathering needed!).  I glued the stripes to the mattress.  I folded the raw edges of the ends to the back at the foot and head of the bed.

The bed skirt material.

I used the fabric fusion glue.  It is a clear gel like substance.  I am not sure I like it but it worked.  It left spots but it could have been me, it was white on white and I didn’t spread the glue out well.

Fabric glue I used.


This fabric just looked right!  I draped one piece on the bed and decided to double it so it could be turned down and inviting to climb in for the night.

My fabrics for the bed.

I loosely folded under the sides to the back of the 2 pieces and sewed them together. I had only used ironing and steaming at this point.  The base is tucked in so no messing with that side.  The top is stitched down after the turned down part is in place.  This may seem odd but I think it allowed a better draping this way than sewing the two pieces entirely together, turning it right side out and then trying to get it to lay naturally.  It gets bulky and boxy.  This way the top and bottom pieces can move and set in position without being bound until it is laying on the bed the way you envisioned (or hoped) and then connected together.

Now that I have size and positioning figured out, I put the piece in a plastic bag with fabric stiffen liquid.  Dampen the piece until completely covered.  Remove it and drape it on the bed.  I used pins as needed but not too many (the pin holes will show when pins are removed later) to get the natural draped look of the coverlet.  Now is the hardest part for me.  To walk away and let it dry!  I kept wanting to adjust something but just have to give it time to dry.  So I worked on a matching pillow to keep my hands away from the drying fabrics.  Added a little touch of lace to the end to finish it off.  It looks comfort.

The necessary magic for great draping of fabrics!

The fabric will be stiff as a board as the saying goes when it is completely dry.  Here is the photo to prove it!

Stiff as a board!  Finished but not glued to bed yet.

I used more of the stiffening liquid for the blanket and throw at the base of the bed.  I did add a 2nd layer of white batiste to the cut up doily for a more solid look to it.  It needed to be delicate but still warm as a cover.

Materials for the blanket and coverlet.

Now the bed is complete and moved into the cottage.  No matter the weather, this bed has the look of a perfect place for a good night’s rest.

Warm and inviting bed for the night!
It is a snug little place but homey!





My China Overflows…..

Pretty dishes are the start of a great meal.  It announces that it is an occasion with good food and conversation to follow.  My love of beautiful dishes overflow from the dining table to the walls and shelves of my home. I enjoy the artwork of these treasures so it is no surprise that it spills over into my miniature world.

I actually painted and sold sets of Chrysnbon dishes many, many years ago before I discovered the laser.  So following a miniature whim this year, the dishes were calling. My goal this year is to explore and actual DO some of the things I have bookmarked on the web.

One pin of bunny plates had caught my eye many times while I was browsing on Pinterest.  They were actual tags that someone created for embellishing packages.  I reduced them to mini size and printed them.

Unfortunately, they were not that great in mini size.  When reduced the colors became muddy.  So I had to tweak them to bring the colors and graphics out.

Comparison of the graphic tweaking of the image

Oooh — that worked! I was excited and combined a bunny postcard graphic with the plate rim pattern for another style.   Another success!


Then the hunt was on for more dish images to shrink down for my mini china obsession.

A sampling of china ….the garden hose rubber washer, metal washer and button are my dish shaper from found objects at home.
I liked the red and blue combinations together.

I decided to make some cardstock dishes forms (these are a little larger than the Chrysbon sets) so they could be punched out with a paper punch for a perfect circle cut.  I used a 1 inch and a 3/4 in circle sizes due to the ease of available punches.

The cardstock blanks need to be shaped to look like a plate otherwise it doesn’t look real. My shaper isn’t fancy or perfect but I was experimenting with what I had laying around. It is in the bottom of the sampling photo.  The basics requirements of the shaper is to have some way to hold the cut out circle over a center hump to shape the paper so there is a rim.

I did come up with some improvements of this and have two shapers for 1 inch and 3/4 in circles available at my website (www.lisaslittlethings.com) but this can be done by other means as you can see. Sorry but I have closed the website and it is not available any longer. See the first photo of my homemade start for ideas of how to make a shaper from things at home.


Dish shapers for 1 inch and 3/4 inch cardstock circles

I shaped two cardstock blanks and glue them together so my dishes have a bit of body to them.  I then glued a dish image to this form.  I used a piece of parchment paper to protect the image as I rubbed the image down.  You don’t have to use parchment paper but if you have on hand it is helpful

Use a strip of double stick tape on a piece of mat board to hold the dishes stationary for the next couple of steps.  Color the rim edge with a color from the dish or get fancy with a gold edge.  Now the dish is ready for a coat of glossy varnish to get that that china look.  Apply the varnish with broad strokes with a very loaded brush so it is a thick coat but avoid the temptation to repeatedly go over the plate to smooth it out. You will work in air bubbles in your strokes doing this and makes it even messier than what you started with. If you have a few air bubbles – touch the bubble with a wet brush tip of water,  The water dissolves the bubble.  Allow the dish to dry and apply a second coat —now it looking like china!


An overflow of china……

Now comes the really fun part!!!!


Check out my youtube video for a visual tutorial and more in depth details on creating some wonderful china……….

an easy way to create dollhouse dishes

Here is the pdf file of dishes sized for Chrysnbon dish forms.

chrysnbon bunny plates GIVE away

Here are dishes for 1 inch and some for some 3/4 inch circles.

dishes for 1 inch circles give away 3

dishes for 75 in dishes give away

The original creator of the bunny plates/tags was gracious to allow me to share these with you…..here is her blog if you wish to visit her site also……….

original bunny tags

more pretty plates/tags

Here is another blog posting that will give you more china facts and her tutorial of miniature dish make too….

wonderful china info and mini tutorial too

Hopefully you will find this as fun as I did  and create some cherished china for your mini home.


Kid’s Play

It’s January and for the most of the United States it is really, really cold and misery outside.  Time to stay inside and find some place warm, for me that’s my workroom.

I’ve been tinkering again and cleaning out some bins of bits and pieces that time forgot. This year I am trying to make time to do some of the pins from Pinterest that I am always adding to.  I will never get to all of them but love the creative mood it creates for me as I am scrolling through the pictures.

Miniaturists do have a hard time tossing things.  I kept saving the candy/cough drop tins over time.  Now is the time to transform them into something.  One pin that catch my eye was the stovetop transformation.

So I decided to make some for grand kids and recycle some minis that were tired of being in a forgotten drawer. So the fun began!

Its a small surprise to send in the mail when the live far away.  A reminder that Grandma was thinking about them. I like to imagine their faces when it is opened. It is always a treat to have something come just for you in the mail, especially for kids!

Here is the pictures of one of them.

Spaghetti and meatballs is what’s cooking!

Here is the graphics for the stove top that I mentioned in the video below.

Here is a video for further explanation. Hope you find this as entertaining as I did.

Playtime is always good for lifting your spirits on cold, cloudy winter days.

Building a Library

As I mentioned in the last post, I have found it enjoyable to search for beautiful books to fill my library.   There are many sources and the internet is a helpful aid in pulling it all within reach.

Pinterest again was a great help in finding sources.  There are so many! Some are already reduced and ready for printing to use for mini shelves. This one is such a link–    Herbie’s Collection of Printables

Graphic designers love to pin the book covers for design inspirations.  One such board lead to the library collections of several universities with wonderful sources.  You can spend hours enjoying the visual glory of time honored works of printers in the past.   Here are few of my favorites from following Pinterest board leads.

Publishers’ Bindings Online, 1815–1930: The Art of the Book. University of Wisconsin–Madison. A great collection, a little hard to search at first but wonderful covers and spines. Try searching  keyword “art nouveau” to get started and then clicking various highlighted items to browse deeper.  Plan to get lost in this library!

Here is a board of book covers to start with Beautiful Antique Books.  After that just keep looking and pinning covers that appeal to you.

If you like children’s literature –  the Baldwin Collection of the University of Florida is a good place.  Again, it takes some time to figure out the system enough to search but well worth it.

Here is another place to browse and gain some insight into some lovely rare books.   Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts  It also has pdf catalogues of their books.

Making miniature versions it is not simply finding a complete book cover and shrinking it down in a smaller copy.  Sometimes it is possible but generally there is tweaking of colors, lettering, or a need to create a back cover in a similar style to match the front. At times some of the detail has to be eliminated so it doesn’t because a blob when sized down.  It is not possible to show a step by step process to do this because the steps would change with which graphic program using, what version and even what kind of computer.  There are too many variables to nail down to be helpful.  Don’t let that stop you.  Experiment in a graphic program without a time deadline to build some skills if you are craving to do it.  Remember to be child like and just try things to see what happens. Patience and accepting that it is not an instant gained skill will help.

I  realized my book making skills have grown over time when I compare my current books to earlier ones created years ago.  All that tinkering added up over time! So hang in there if you give it a go.

So to celebrate the love of books…….

I am sharing a file of book covers – Mini Books from Miniature Whims

Here is the wood and inner cover patterns for them – Sizing for Mini Books

I like the book covers to be backed with a solid color cardstock before wrapping them around a wooden book form.  The inner cover hides the white backside of the graphic covers and adds some sturdiness to the mini book.  If the white backside of the individual books shows the realism fades and it quickly looks like paper wrapped chunks of wood.  So for me the added step creates a better book. For the best results use good paper (presentation paper is good choice) and set the printing to high quality(300 dpi) not speedy.

Enjoy the books and add to your miniature library.


In Search of a Good Book….


This little shop is an attempt to capture my love of books and the many happy times that I have spent browsing in bookstores.  There is always a thrill of finding the perfect book of the moment when scanning the shelves.  The rich layering of detail in this shop was very satisfying, to recreate my feelings associated with books in a miniature setting.

My bookseller is using his spare moments wisely between customers to read.  It always makes me smile thinking of all the times I’ve read a bit more while I waited for something to finish or start. There is that instant transportation from reality to a place described in the pages of a book when you start to read.  It’s a magic trick that doesn’t grow old.


The rich colors of blue and gold on the exterior front windows invites the casual stroller to come inside.  The warm glow of light shows the books within.


The shelves are full of colorful books of all sizes with ornate covers that make your fingers itch to pull out the one that catches your eye, to browse the pages within. The artwork of past eras still work to draw the book to your attention.


It took a lot of books to fill this small book shop.  I am embarrassed to say how long this project has been around unfinished.  There has been many stops and starts over time  from various interruptions but I was determined to finish this time since there was only a few things left that it needed. So now I get to share it with you and invite you inside this tiny corner to book heaven!

I did at one time think there should be no repeated books but abandoned that idea due to the shear volume of books the shelving needed.

The paintings on the walls needed to reflect the love of reading.  I settle on these two to fit the bill.  The relaxed reader in a summer hammock and the thoughtful reflections of the serious reader were perfect.  They are now framed and have a home in the shop.


The outside cart stacked with a casual assortment of books was another detail I enjoyed adding.  How many times that has worked to stop someone passing by to look just for a moment and then get drawn into going inside for more?


The snail light is a favorite piece.  It is an unique and quaint light source.  I like to think it reflects my bookseller’s taste for detail that spills over into the book choices on his shelves. My photography skills don’t allow me to show how beautiful it is lit (just a glowing blob in the photos) so here is a photo of it unlit to see the detail.


Books abound in the shop and there is even have a place below the elevated floor to display more.


This project is completed but started another journey of discovery, finding book covers to use to build miniature books to fill the shelves. I have gotten drawn into recreating book covers just for the shear pleasure of it, even though these shelves are full.

As things go with books, there is never a clear stopping point of how many you can have. More about this new exploration in the next post.


A Halloween Trick

I know, I know, October is almost GONE but I wanted to share a seasonal item currently at Michael’s that has quite a bit of possibilities.  They are clearing out the Halloween things at a deep discount now so you might be able to still find them.  Here is a Halloween trick for you using one object to create something new. Happy Halloween!

The JACK-O’-LANTERN straws !!!   They come apart!!!!

The 4 stacked pumpkins can be separated!  Ummm…   Use a sawblade to separate them into 4 individual jack-o’-lanterns.  Yes, the tops of 3 of them look ugly but that is easily fixed.  Just sand lightly with FINE sandpaper and use an emery board for the inner edge.  The sanded area looks dull at first but fine when wiped with water.

saw them apart
first one nice rim, 3 others are rough
lightly sand with FINE sandpaper
use emery board for the inner edge cleanup

Here is some of them doctored up.  SO COOL!!

Doctored up individual jack-o’-lanterns


First one is stuffed with a cotton ball wrapped in a double layer of black panty hose material.  It fills the pumpkin so only one face shows.

The second one I covered both faces with black tissue paper inside the pumpkin and made a paper base since there is no bottom.  Using a large needle heated by a candle I poked a hole on each side to attach a piece of black cording for a handle. I then filled it with Halloween treats.


The third one came apart at the seams but seems like it could be used when you wanted a flat back.  A wall planter?  A light (remember to only use LEDs with that idea, so no overheating issues with regular bulbs)?  Who knows???

Here is a couple of them in my pull cart ………


Hopefully you can get a bag of the straws before they are gone and have fun exploring their potential.  ENJOY!

Pull Cart wanderings

Fall is finally here — the wind is blowing and the leaves are tumbling everywhere.  I am enjoying the change of season, staying inside to play with my minis with a glance outside now and then to enjoy the rich fall colors.

I had to tidy up the workspace to actually do some work and needed a project to get the creative juices flowing again after the pause from all the summer activities.

Pinterest again fueled the fire!

I have been looking at old photos of carts pulled by goats and other trained animals.  I definitely would have loved one as a kid — they have far more charm than the modern dirt bike but I am an animal lover of most furry things.

This picture really caught my eye.  I loved the curve and wicker look — how far could I go without actual building a wicker one ???

Goat Pull Cart from Pinterest

So off I go with a basic line and form to create this. A start  but much more is needed to get the feel of that cart in the photo.

The start of the pull cart

So I wander about in my supplies not knowing what I am looking for — just searching.  Good grief, its the handles of a shopping bag that catch my eyes!  I swear miniature minds work very oddly.  The handles will give me the bulk and rounded edges I wanted.

Shopping bag handles have the right look and texture
Bulky trim for the top edge of the pull cart

Still missing the texture — so I wander about some more digging in the supplies.  I have no desire to paint it to create the wicker look — so what do I need? A textured paper does the trick!  Ya!

Textured paper added to the sides

Needless to say it is a process to create something in your mind to an actual physical form but so very satisfying when it all pulls together.

I further the look with some wheels, a harness, and the sweetest little goat to lead my cart.  I had other animals but this one was my favorite.  It is from the Schleich line of animals found at the local farm supply store but I imagine a toy store would possibly have them.

The perfect goat for my cart

I toyed with many ideas of what to fill the cart with but settled on Halloween items due to the time of year.  I think I might have to fill one with various cheeses later –especially goat cheeses.

First attempt at filling the cart
Finished filled pull cart

Do I need to say I have created quite a mess pulling out various things that didn’t work? This is not a straight line process like the pictures present.

So I guess I need to clean up my workspace AGAIN ….. Oh well ….. as I glance at my new pull cart with a smile of satisfaction.


Little Delights to Share

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