Tutorials, tips&trics I

Here you can find tutorials and tips&trics I found on the internet (or elsewhere) and think are worth mentioning. All credits are in that case of course for the person that made the tutorial (and I asked and they gave permission for me to use them). Also, I will place tutorials from myself here. Have fun!

Overview of tutorials, tips & trics in the order they appear here for easier searching:
(click on the subject to go there directly -->)
- Making Flexible Molds
- Imaged Metal Signs
- Great tip for scratched plastic windows or accessories
- Bows
- Homemade Air Dry Clay
- Miniatures Scale Calculator
- Pleating (tea)towels
- Wooden Parasol (Working!)
- Weaving with a selfmade loom
- Weathered floorboards/wood
- Marbeling
- Tiles 
- Jug
- Photography

Friday, January 26, 2013


For duplicating frames, bottles or whatever you want duplicate, flexible molds are ideal.

If you like to know how to make those, you can find my way as well as an alternative method here.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013


If you would like to know how to make metal signs like this (due to copyright issues, only copyrightfree image is provided, this is the bottom-one), find out here.
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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Do you have plastic windows in a house or roombox you've build? Or have plastic accessories  like vases and so on? Then you know how easily plastic scratches and becomes dull and not very nice looking.
Wish to know how to get rid of them and give them a nice polish that makes them bright and like new again? With only that what you have in your home?
I think you might, here's how.

What you need:
- toothpaste
- window cleaner
- (old) piece of cloth

Source: Airmighty Megascene magazine, Spring 2011
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Sunday, July 8, 2012
Andrea Thieck has a great tutorial for miniature bow making, for two kinds.
Simple & the little bit more complex bow:

You can find the instructions on her blog, click here for the simple bow.
For the other bow, you go here to make the tool for it, and here to make the bow itself. Enjoy!

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Saterday, April 28, 2012
I just saw this great video on Kathi's blog Beautiful Mini Blessings and just had to place it here too. How nice is it to be able to make your own clay and how fun is it that it also makes it a cheap way of using clay?!

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December 2012

UPDATE: unfortunately the website from Al is shutdown and this miniatures scale calculator no longer available. I hope Al's okay, don't know the reason his site is offline.
I searched for an alternative, but that wasn't easy. This is what I did find: the inches-decimal-chart (the one Al had/made(?), but via Google that found it on other websites) in a reasonable size so you can still look up fraction inches to calculate to cm's.
Then, to convert inches to cm's I found The Calculator Site (most sites only calculated with round numbers, no decimals).
It's all not as easy as it was with Al's site, but I'm happy I found a way again since I used it very often!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
This is a tip for something I use frequently and want to share with you for hopefully as much enjoyment as I have with it. With this calculator you can easily convert those unfamiliar measurements like inches or millimeters (depending what system you're used to) to what you dó know. On the link (below the picture) you also find a chart with an overview of fractions and decimals which you can use to know what 1/16" is in decimals for example to be able to fill in the calculator.

This Miniature Scale Calculator was developed by Al from The Art of Dollhouse Miniatures. A very interesting site and with loads of other handy tips and information.
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Place a piece of bakingpaper or aluminumfoil on a piercing pad. Pin the loop of the teatowel to the piercing pad with a thin pin. Pull the lowest corner in a way that a pleat will appear. Make more of them in the same manner in the rest of the teatowel and fix them with pins. And you can do the same with other fabric items. Spray the towel or other item with printfix, stiffy or hairspray. After drying you can take the pins out. The pinholes that might be visible you can get rid of by carefully scratching over the pinhole.

This tutorial is from Wilma (Wilmatuurtjes) where you need to scroll down just a little bit. I translated it in English.
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For the frame you need:
parasolstick/pole................................1x round piece of wood 200mm long, 5mm in diameter
ribs...........................................................8x lath (=flat stick, don't know if 'lath' is right) 2x3 long 140mm
ribs...........................................................8x lath 2x3 long 60mm
bobbins..................................................2x8mm 15mm
finishing piece.....................................a round piece of wood approx. 6mm and 3mm thick

Wire, a piece of approx. 40 cm and 1mm thick.
A piece of a bit thicker wire for holdingpin of approx. 5 cm.
2 very small 'screweyes'.
Cord of 20cm to pull up the parasol.
For the lining: piece of cotton of 100x20 cm, 100 cm ribbon or fringe for the finishing touches.

Making the parasol:
Round the ribs on the ends. Drill holes of 1 mm (see drawing 1). Make the holes in the middle of the large ribs at the same size/place of the smaller ones (a)

Devide the bobbins in eights with pencil (see drawing 2). Exactly in the middle you drill a hole of 5mm in diameter for the parasolstick/pole. Make 8 slots at the sides, of 2mm deep, 3mm wide and 5mm long (in lengt, see drawing 3). Around the bobbin, exactly in the middle over the slots you file a 'gutter' of 1mm wide and 1mm deep (tek.4). Form an eye at the end of the wire for the pin (see drawing 5).

Cut the pattern for the parasol 8x with hem from the cotton. If you use a striped fabric, than carefully watch the pattern. Sew it together from the point to the sides. These were the preparing steps.

The assembly:
Take a piece of wire of approx. 10 cm. and string the long ribs to it (drawing 6). Do the same with the short ribs. Then lay the ribs in the sockets of the bobbin one by one and led the wire through the 'gutter'. If everything is in place, tighten the wire and twist it a couple of times so it becomes nice and tight. But the ribs must be able to move up and down. Do the same with the other bobbin. Make sure that the upper bobbin with the long ribs is facing down with the openings en the one with the short ribs is facing the openings upwards.

Slide the upper bobbin on the parasolstick/-pole with the openings downwards. Secure it for the time being with a piece of maskingtape or something. Slide on the second bobbin with the openings upwards. Apply the short ribs in the middle of the long ribs with a piece of wire through the holes. If everything is placed the right way you can open and close the parasol. If this works well, than you can glue the upper bobbin permanently to the parasolstick/-pole.

The lining:
Fit the fabric and adjust if needed. If everything is placed right, you can finish it with a ribbon alongside the edge. Fix the fabric in the middle with the finishing piece by drilling a hole in the piece you have for that and in the topside of the parasolstick/-pole and hammer in a thin nail.
On top of the parasolstick/-pole [under the fabric, FS] you place the screweye. Place the other one in the lower bobbin. Fasten the cord to the lower screweye and pull it through the upper eye. With the cord you can open and close the parasol. Sew the ends of the ribs [to the fabric, FS] through their holes.

The last step:
Open the parasol till the fabric is stretched enough and determine where the holes for the pin need to com. Drill the holes, place the pin.

For the foot I used a lying dog of plaster. Drill a hole and glue in the parasolstick/-hole.

This tutorial is from Mieke and can be found in the 'workshops' section (in Dutch). You also find other tutorials there you might find interesting. The translation of this tutorial is by me and hopefully accurate enough to understand, since I had some trouble finding the right translations for some words ;)
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

my tweed yarn that you don't see :(
I had found a fine tweed yarn that had 'nostalgic woolen blanket' written all over it, but I wouldn't be able to make it as delicate as I want with making a frame with nails or something. But more importantly: it takes a lot of time with every thread going over and under and over and under and so on. I wanted something that worked like a real loom with all upper or lower threads going up at once and you just slide the yarn through, and did not have the intention of weaving more often. Long story short: after a long search, considering different options and trying one alternative thought up by myself (didn't work) I found the 'backstrap loom', the kind of loom they use a lot in South America. And later I found what I was then looking for: a tutorial by Laverne Waddington for making one, which I'd like to share with you. Click here to go to it.

A few IMPORTANT things to keep in mind that will save you time and frustration (that I experienced myself):
  1. the yarn you use for setting up the loom (the thread between/around the loom bars) must be smooth. The upper and lower threads constantly touch each other and with wool for example it 'felts'(?) making it impossible to work with. A big disappointment since using wool was essential for this part because of point 2 (you don't see it otherwise)*
  2. this yarn (see first point) is what/all you'll see: the thread that you weave with becomes invisible (for 99%). Something I found out the hard way after setting the whole thing up for the 3rd time, because the wool didn't work and the second time went wrong because of some stupid accident and had to start all over. It was funny enough the reason I had used the wool as a setup the first time, but forgot all about it when this turned out not to work.. 
  3. although working with a loom is very time-efficient because you can work fast, setting up the basics (the yarn as a base and incorporating the thread for the heddle stick which you need to do for every project) does takes some time, you need to know that so you can decide what you prefer.
  4. as you can see on the picture of (the piece of) my loom, the side isn't very neat although I was very careful placing the yarn around the loom bars in order to get it all balanced out nicely so this wouldn't happen. But needing to touch it a couple of times for example while putting through the heddle-stick-yarn it got looser here and there. I would recommend to fix it all well to the loombars with adhesive tap so it will be nice and firm, all of the threads. What I will do when I will start this one again in order not to waste the yarn I used here and at the same time trying the loom and get the hang of it.
*If you would like to use wool like I do or another material as your baseyarn (and thus the one visible); I did think of a way that might work after all. I still need to try that out however. I think how it might work is with a little space between the threads so they have more room to move along side each other, the only way I could think of of getting that without having the threads moving around and filling up those spaces (you don't want) is wrapping a piece of wire (or pieces of other yarn) between every loop around the loom bars. I hope that that works, if so then keep in mind that point 2 will probably not apply anymore. I'll update this if I know how that works out.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011


Do you also like weathered floors? 'Greyed' (is that a word?) and with little cracks from old age? I thought of a very easy way to achieve that. You need some patience, but an easier and more realistic way of getting this effect doesn't exist (for as far as I know). For my rustic floor in my christmaslantern I just took some tonguespatulas and popsiclesticks and put them outside for the sun and rain to play with. The wanted effect is what I got, a natural and beautiful grey and weathered wood. You need to check them regularly and turn/adjust them because the wind plays with them too.

If you can find one, I recommend a spot that's windfree, but doesn't block the sun or rain. You can use the wood just weathered (not just for floors, but also for making certain style furniture or weathered exterior for a house) or with some lightly diluted paint rubbed in for a somewhat different look. The process took about 3-4 months, I'm not sure (if I had thought of making a tip&tric about it I would have kept notes of it). I recommend cutting/sawing/sanding for rounded edges etc. everything to size and assemble it before the weatherprocess. I did'nt do that since I wanted to know if my idea made any sense and it was just to find out, but - of course - now the cuttingedges don't have the same effect.

the wood outside on the BBQ where I had them, leaving visitors with puzzled faces

the raised floor (still loose on some places because of the fireplace that needs to be ready first)

part of floor for a better view

ADDITION: I recently discovered "weather all", a substance that weathers wood in seconds. Of course you can still achieve it by doing it the way I described above, this is also free, but will take a significant amount of time.
Or if you don't have that time - or the patience - you can achieve it very fast. This will however cost you some money. "Weather all" works great, it's easy and you can manage the effect by applying just one coat or more for more weathering.
For Dutch people, you can get it at the webshop from Modelbrouwers for 13,50 euros
Everyone from outside the Netherlands can go to the website of the makers, where it's possible to order, Rustall
On both websites you can also order rustall, a great way to apply rust on any surface!
My experience with 'weather all' and 'rustall':

For rustall I can recommend to look at the reviews for tips and how to use it for different - slightly rusty to heavy - effects.

Artsforsake reminded me of another way to get an easy and cheap weathered grey wood: the vinegar tip that I understand is pretty well known, but since I didn't know before I saw it on Pepper's blog but hadn't thought of adding it here: place a bit of steel wool (or something rusty) in a jar of white vinager and leave overnight (24 hours is what I read too). Brush on bare wood and it will turn grey!
source: the Hunted interior

Kristin of the Hunted interior suggests making small pieces of the steel wool (don't know if this is necessary, but if you do: wear gloves though, they damage & hurt your hands!)

This is an example of what I found when used brewed tea first and after it dried apply the 'steel-wool'-vinegar, I love the effect!
source: the Hunted interior

An extra tip from Last Alliance Studio's is to apply 2 coats of cold tea to the wood first before you brush on the vinegar. Quote: "the tanins in the tea react with everything else and it looks lovely!"

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Josje has an online workshop that appeals to me and wich I'm definately going to use. In time.. For who already wants to take a go at this, click here. The workshop is in Dutch only, but easy to translate with Google translate.

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Another workshop of Josje I'd like to try is for making tiles. For the tutorial on how to do this, just click here or on the picture (an English version of this tutorial can be found below the Dutch version).

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Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Marlies van Roekel has made a great and extensive tutorial for making jugs with lots of pitures. Click on the image to go to the tutorial or on her blog here. The pattern is in this one. Enjoy!


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When you've made something you want to photograph it and preferably in a way that it shows well and sharp. How you can do that best is explained in a tutorial in the AIM (online magazine Artisans in Miniature), click on the picture to get there, or here. You'll be directed to the issue where the tutorial is published. Here you go to page 23, unfortunately it's not possible to place a direct link to the right page.

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  1. Nämä opasteet on todella ihania ja monipuolisia.
    Kiitos näistä saa uutta inpiraatiota jatkaa tekemistä. Aika menee tosi nopeasti.

    1. Kiitos, olen iloinen että pidät sivuni hyödyllistä. Ja kiva että jätit kommenttia!

  2. Hiya. I love your work and thought I'd add a recipe for wood aging. (bug juice) Place something rusty in a jar of white vinegar. Wait a few days to a week and when you see little bits in the liquid, it's ready to brush onto or dip your wood in. Set wet wood aside for a wee bit, and it'll turn grey!

    1. Thank you for your compliment and extra tip! I have heard of that way some time ago, but am glad you remind me, so I can add it to the post. Can take some time, but I definitely want to do that, so thanks!

  3. I really like your tutorials. I just acquired an old doll house that I am in the planning stage before actually applying. Your information is very clear, and I love your extra comments and even your trials and errors. (thank you, so that I don't have to experience them for myself) and I like how kitty even joined in, as I myself have two small dogs that will be very curious and "helpful" as well. Thanks again, for your great tutorial. I will be doing your metal signs today, as my first project from your blog. I have everything at home that I need for the project!!

    1. thank you for you kind comment Robin, I'm happy you find my tutorialspage helplful, I hope your signs did tunr out the way you wanted/hoped!

  4. Fantastic tutorials! :D
    I can confirm that rusty vinegar is very effective for aging wood, but if you paint on a layer or two of cold tea before adding the vinegar to your wood, the tanins in the tea react with everything else and it looks lovely!

    1. Thanks for the compliment ánd the great extra tip! I'll try it and add it to the aging-tip

  5. Hello Monique,
    Thank you for all these great tutorials and tips! :)
    I saw that you had lost my site, it was hacked, but this is the good link http://www.marliesandminis.blogspot.nl
    The jugs are there in English, thank you for your compliments :)
    * marlies

    1. Hé Marlies, you're welcome and I'm glad you like it! Thanks for stopping by and your new link (or not that new, you've had it since 2009 ;) but at least one I didn't know of. I've added it to the image and other links, thanks! And it's great that it's all already in English. I'll browse through your blog someday, think it will be fun to see what you've been doing all these years, looks promising! Bye bye!

  6. Thank you for sharing all these tutorials! Great to have them in one place too =)

    1. Hi there Hannah, thanks for checking this page out. You're very welcome, hope you're able to make some of the tutorials and enjoy them!