Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘DIY instructions’

open-house-miniatures-glitter-christmas-trees

These date from a time when I was trying to fit many Christmas decorations into a very small space.

open-house-miniatures-slot-together-christmas-tree

  • Glue two sheets of thin card (140gsm each) together
  • Glue the paper pattern (photocopy paper, probably 80gsm) to the card
  • Place under a flat,heavy weight and allow to dry completely before cutting out
  • Cut out slot first
  • Then cut out tree (cut away from the inner corners towards the outer edge)
  • The raised surface at the cut edge may be removed by burnishing with the back of a metal tea spoon
  • Test fit and make adjustments

Decorating is a matter of choice. I did all of the following:

  • Paint
  • Allow to dry completely
  • Glitter (this is the fun but messy bit)
  • Allow to dry completely

I ran out of time, daylight and ideas when it came to photographing the finished trees, which is a pity because I like them and think that they cast pretty shadows.

 

open-house-miniatures-leave-the-fancy-photography-to-the-experts

open-house-miniatures-christmas-tree-pattern

I don’t know what size the above pattern will be when viewed / printed on another computer / printer, but the trees in the pdf below should print at 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall, which is the size of the examples I made.

OHM_011215_1_inch_Christmas_tree

 

Read Full Post »

Open House Miniatures - Theater Bilderbuch - one scene

I haven’t seen many copies of the Theater Bilderbuch, and the (very few) antique ones that I have seen usually resemble the one on the V & A website.

[ Lucia Contreras Flores has an edition on her website that I have never seen before – you may need to scroll down the web-page to find it. ]

There are two modern editions that I know of –

  • a German edition (ISBN 978-3480131631)
  • an English language edition (ISBN 978-0722655368)

and these have been  re-engineered to work on a smaller scale, and using much thinner materials, than the original publications.

In order to make my miniature version work (to my satisfaction) I had to re-work the original construction too.

Open House Miniatures - Theater BilderBuch - construction of one scene

My version was designed for 100 gsm paper (I use the smoothest, best quality that I can find.)

90 gsm paper (in my experience) tends to be a little bit too thin and “soft” and, with repeated opening and shutting of the book, quickly loses its crispness.

I am mentioning this here because I have been experimenting with some paper that was recommended by the printers who do most of my printing.

It is 90 gsm, comes on a large roll and is designed to go through a printer “under tension” – in other words it is thin, smooth and relatively tough. It also gives a superb print finish, with excellent colour reproduction.

The printers call it “proofing paper”.

I still don’t know much about it, but I am quietly excited by the possibilities it seems to offer.

In the following slideshow I am using that “proofing paper”.

I would still say that most 90 gsm papers are probably unsuitable for this project, but you may know of a paper, or discover one, that will work better for you than the 100 gsm that I recommend.

It is definitely worthwhile experimenting !

***   ***

The pdf for this is here –

Theater_Bilderbuch_Christmas_Eve_OHM20130419

– and there is a page for those who like to Make and Do here.

I am going to repeat here what I have written there –

  • Simply click on the link to open the pdf on-line. You can then print it without downloading it.
  • If you want to save the pdf to your computer / a CD / data stick etc. you may do that too.
  • You may use the contents of the pdf for yourself – and if you would like to make 10 of something and try selling them please go ahead, but do think first of all the other people who will be doing exactly the same thing.
  • You may share these projects with your friends and family, and miniature club.
  • You may link to them from your website / blog / satellite station, if you have one
  • You may customise them.
  • You may use them / the design ideas, in whole, or in part, as for inspiration for making your own things.

You may not copy the pdf, or the contents of the pdf, in whole, or in part, and re-sell them.

***   ***   ***

I found the method used to construct the modern German edition of the Theater Bilderbuch very interesting.

The background scene, the text for one play and the front of the next theatre in the series are printed on one sheet and the various sheets are then folded round each other and glued together.

reproduction theater bilderbuch structure

Technicalities aside, the way that the front of the theatre frames the scenes, so that the edges are hidden – even when viewed from an angle – and the way that the overall scene changes depending on the viewer’s position make this (for me) not only an extremely good example of paper engineering, but it is also a wonderful piece of “theatre” – in every sense of the word.

reproduction theater bilderbuch side view

Read Full Post »

Open House Minaitures - How to make an accordian fold book - Mcloughlin Circus Procession

It’s a very long time since I made any of these books and I was rather surprised when someone asked if I would demonstrate how they are made.

First many thanks are due to Q, who lent me the original book and gave me permission to use it here.

Secondly, many, many, many thanks are due to Sharon who, several blog posts ago, mentioned that she thought that HP plotter paper gave her a better print.

To cut a long story short, thanks to Sharon, I bought a large roll of 80gsm (21lbs) HP plotter paper from Amazon.

When I tried it out on my printer at home I was astonished by the results.

It is very difficult to show the quality of the print in a photograph, but I am going to try.

The top strip is 80 gsm plotter paper and the bottom strip is 100 gsm best quality inkjet (un-coated) paper.

Open House Miniatures - HP plotter paper, home print and professional print

The top strip (which is 12th scale and smaller in size) was printed last week on my home computer. My printer has an unreliable paper feed and does not reproduce colours particularly well.

The folded strip below (which is slightly larger than 12th scale) is a professionally produced giclée print from about 10 years ago. (Giclée = fancy word for ink-jet print done by a very, very good, exceedingly expensive printer – in this case an Epson.)

Sharon, I can’t thank you enough.

I have tried and, so far, failed to photograph the difference this is going to make. I can only say that a 600 ppi, professional print on this paper looks as though it is on coated ink-jet paper. It is that good.

***   ***   ***   ***

The book in the slideshow below was made using HP plotter paper but it should be possible to get a reasonable print on ordinary photocopy paper.

NOTE – the glue makes a difference as well as the printer, ink and paper on this project.

I used Evo-stick white wood working glue – this has a thick consistency and dries quickly.

The text in my 12th scale version (even on plotter paper !) are only readable to dolls’ house residents so,  please visit Project Gutenberg, where the book is reproduced in full, if you would like to read it.

I feel I ought to also mention that Paper Minis have a kit for this book (it is a long way down the page, so keep scrolling). This has a cover and readable text. There is also a tutorial on how to make it here .

I haven’t seen Paper Mini’s kits in real life and so I haven’t tried any out. They do have an enviable collection !

Finally, my version…

The McLoughlin Book that I copied was a simple accordion fold, or concertina fold, book.

In the slideshow I do not follow the usual instructions for making this type of book. (I was reproducing a book, not making one from scratch). There are some good videos on YouTube, if you want to see how one is usually made.

As the full strip of pages is 12 inches (30 cm) long, I have made two pdfs, so that there is a choice –

Print and join two strips – McLoughlin_Circus_Procession_A4_paper_20130322

Print one (very long) strip – McLoughlin_Circus_Procession_12_inch_strip_20130322

The pdf for the covers is here – McLoughlin_Circus_Procession_covers_20130322

NOTE – 23rd march 2013 –  from the comments there seems to be some confusion as to what “tissue paper” is.

In UK English, “tissue paper” is not a paper handkerchief (or “a tissue”), it is the sort of very fine paper that is sometimes used for wrapping small items before putting them in a gift box.

Have a look here on Amazon to see what I am talking about.

To escape from the slideshow at any time, press the Esc key on your keyboard.

 

Finally

The plotter paper is available from Amazon in A4 sheets too.

These would be much easier to store than the roll that I bought.

open_house_miniatures_hp_plotter_paper.

There is a page for those who like to Make and Do here and I am going to repeat here what I have said there –

  • If you want to save the pdf(s) to your computer / a CD / data stick etc. you may do that too.
  • You may use the contents of the pdf for yourself – and if you would like to make 10 of something and try selling them please go ahead, but do think first of all the other people who will be doing exactly the same thing.
  • You may share these projects with your friends and family, and miniature club.
  • You may link to them from your website / blog / satellite station, if you have one
  • You may customise them.
  • You may use them / the design ideas, in whole, or in part, as for inspiration for making your own things.

You may not copy the pdfs, or the contents of the pdfs, in whole, or in part, and re-sell them.

Read Full Post »

I have not had a computer this week and, shortly after I have uploaded this, I will not have a computer / internet connection until Wednesday, 6th March. Everyone who has been leaving me comments and messages –

Thank You ! I will try to reply as soon as possible.

Open House Miniatures How toMake a McLoughlin Folding Doll House

I usually use a professional print service.
This example was printed on my home printer.

Some time ago, I blogged about my version of the McLoughlin Folding Doll House, and I feel I should repeat here some of what I said then –

  • I do not have, and have never had, a complete example of the Folding Doll House, and I have only ever handled rather worn and battered examples. For this reason, my miniature version also looks slightly faded and worn.
  • I was born and live, and work, in the UK.
  • McLoughlin toys are comparatively unknown here and so, rather than seeing them as iconic cultural items, my interest in them veers towards the technical expertise involved in their manufacture.

This being so, a large part of me wants to write at length about lithographic printing processes and modular manufacturing as applied by mid to late 19th Century toy makers, particularly large companies like The McLoughlin Brothers.

However, I suspect that no-one, except me, is even remotely interested in this and so I will keep this short –

The McLoughlin Folding Doll House is one of the things that makes me wish that time travel was possible.

At school, we were taught that Henry Ford invented the production line – my guess is that The McLoughlin Brothers beat him to it by a number of years.

Finally, just a few more things before I leave you to grab the pdfs and start having fun –

  • If you make up this house, please be aware that the weight and type of paper that you use will make a huge difference to the result.
  • The printer and the ink will make a big difference too.

The walls and floors are here

McLoughlin_Folding_Doll_House_OHM_130301

Papers for finishing the backs of the floors (one spare) are here

McLoughlin_Folding_Doll_House_OHM_130301-a

A walkthrough for making the house is in the slideshow below.

To escape from the slideshow at any time, press the Esc button on your computer keyboard.

This is a page for those who like to Make and Do.

I am going to repeat here what I say there

  • If you want to save the pdfs to your computer / a CD / data stick etc. you may do that.
  • You may use the contents of the pdf for yourself – and if you would like to make 10 of something and try selling them please go ahead, but do think first of all the other people who will be doing exactly the same thing.
  • You may share these projects with your friends and family, and miniature club.
  • You may link to them from your website / blog / satellite station, if you have one
  • You may customise them.
  • You may use them / the design ideas, in whole, or in part, as for inspiration for making your own things.

You may not copy the pdf, or the contents of the pdf, in whole, or in part, and resell them.

A 24th scale version of this house (I have not yet tried this out !) is at the bottom of this post

Read Full Post »

open House Miniatures - How To Make a Fan

Real life, full-size fans come in all shapes and sizes and they are made from all sorts of materials. In fact, they vary tremendously.

There are, however, two important facts about miniature fans.

  1. They are  very, very difficult to photograph – 63 photos and this was the best of them !
  2. It is very, very difficult to find a print of a fan that does not lose its detail in miniature.

Below are a couple of superb (professional) photographs of very beautifully decorated painted fans.

ohm_fan1

ohm_fan2

The smaller fan (top right in both photos) is 12th scale (on my computer) and look how the detail vanishes in miniature!

Some people prefer to use scraps, like the one below –

Open House Miniatures _ Victorian Scrap Fan

Scraps are often boldly designed and can work very well, but rather than using prints (of any sort), I find it much, much easier to design and paint my own fans.

If you would like to make a fan, you may well find this more satisfying too.

Which brings me to a third important point about miniature fans, and the question that I am most often asked –

Are they difficult to make?

The answer is yes, and no.

I make sure I have a good night’s sleep, a large breakfast, and lots of daylight, before I make them. (This is the truth)

I have learnt from bitter experience that I cannot answer the phone and paint them at the same time, that the paper I use makes a HUGE difference to the outcome, and that it is vitally important to let the glue and paint dry completely before attaching the tassels.

They take TIME, lots and lots of TIME.

In some ways it is easier to make a batch of several fans because then you can be working on one while another dries – I  have had practice and I can make six printed fans in one day. (Wow !)

One painted fan takes me all day.

But, getting back to the matter in hand –

The fans that I put on Etsy are made from professionally produced prints, and the print quality is better than anything that I can manage at home.

I made the example in the slide show with a home produced print because I wanted to be fairly certain that if anyone wanted to make this particular fan for themselves they would have a decent image to use.

The original fan is French and the figures are supposed to be of Marie Antoinette, and her companions, walking in the grounds of the Trianon, but they are so very, very small that they really could be anyone at all.

I chose this fan because I liked the overall design and the rich colours. I also thought that the colour of the tassels could be varied to suit different needs.

Below is the pdf for image. If you decide to make it, I hope that it will work well for you.

Fan_French_Marie_Antoinette_OHM_130206

A walkthrough for making the fan (with tassels) is in the slideshow below.

To escape from the slideshow at any time press the Esc key (usually top left) on your keyboard.

I think this blog entry should be called: “How to Make a (printed) Fan (but not take photographs)”

Read Full Post »

Open House Miniatures - miniature paper doll Mary Bell

As a rule, I am not overly fond of paper dolls. I find the way they fall over if you breathe on them – not to mention the way their clothes refuse to stay on – exasperating in the extreme.

Despite this, I am rather attached to Mary Bell and Rhoda. Not only are they an excellent reference for Victorian clothing, but I like the way that, although they are very simple and probably not designed to last, a great deal of attention has been lavished on small details like the patterning of the floors and the pleats in the dresses.

Besides which they have such nice expressions and I feel sorry for them in their solid-looking boots and indestructible underwear.

The original dolls were published by Peter G Thompson of Cincinnati and, from their clothes, I think that they date from the late 1870s / early 1880 – but this is a far from reliable guess.

They were printed on a coarse, thick paper and are roughly about 4 inches (5 cm) tall – and in real life they are rather the worse for wear.

My miniature versions have been tidied up – by computer magic – and are just under 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall – well over 12th scale.

Open House Miniatures -miniature paper doll

It is possible to cut out and dress the dolls at this size and if you would like to try this for yourself the pdf for both miniatures dolls is here – _Mary_Bell_and_Rhoda_Paper_Dolls_OHM_20130129

If you decide to print them, please bear in mind that your computer / printer settings and the paper that you use will make difference to the results that you get.

Open House Miniatures - miniature paper doll download

They are so simple to make that it seemed almost silly to make a slide show about how to fold the booklet and suggest how the dolls could be made to stand up – but I did it anyway.

Below are larger versions of  Mary Bell and Rhoda.

They are smaller than the original dolls and, as these are very faded and worn in their original state, I have cleaned them up considerably.

At 72 dpi, they are not the very best print quality, but they are “not bad”.

They should print on to a A 4  piece of paper but, as they are not pdf files, the size will depend on the programme that you use to print them with – on the other hand, as they are not pdf files, you should be able to experiment with the sizing to some extent.

Open House Miniatures - Reproduction Victorian Paper Doll - Mary Bell open_house_miniatures_victorian_paper_doll_rhoda_72dpi_not_to_scale

Read Full Post »

Open House Miniatures - 3 Houses from McLoughlin's Pretty Village

revitalised photo courtesy of http://www.picmonkey.com

I am not going to have a computer next week so I have been trying to cram everything computer-related into this week.

Naturally, I haven’t managed to do half of what I wanted to do, but before I disappear off-line I thought it would be nice to post a Make and Do, so here (in a bit of a rush) it is – with a little bit of explanation first.

I seldom make a limited edition of anything.

The Pretty Village was an exception to this rule because, although I like it very much, I could not bear the thought of making thousands and thousands of tiny houses – endlessly.

The last of the limited edition sets will be in the post this coming Monday, and so I wanted to have a little bit of fun, both to celebrate and say farewell.

The result was a different sort of “limited edition” – there are only three houses in this set and what you do with them is limited to your imagination.

I have  re-sized the houses to fractionally over 1/2″ (1.25 cm) tall and, although they are not “easy”, they should not be impossible to put together.

Open House Miniatures - McLoughlin's Pretty Village - House Assembly

I did photograph the “how to make” process but, unfortunately, it has been snowing on and off for a couple of days, and there was either too much reflected light (or not enough light ! ) to get good photographs – and not all the wonders of computer science could improve the photos much – so the following slide show is very uneven in quality.

The pdf  3_Pretty_Village_Houses_OHM_20130119   is, I hope, vastly better !

To escape from the slide show press the Esc key – it is usually in the top left hand corner of your keyboard

I hope you enjoy making these.

***   ***   ***   ***

May 2013 Update –

I have had several requests for the full village.

I am sorry, the full village is one of the very few things that I made as a limited edition and it is not available for download.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »