Friday, April 18, 2014

MAKING "BUTTONS" FOR 1 INCH SCALE DOLLHOUSE FURNITURE - How to make faux buttons from card stock for 1 inch scale dollhouse furniture.

I was asked by Roberta how I make the "buttons" that I put into the back cushions on my furniture.  I thought that was a good topic for a tutorial for this month.

This is not an upholstery tutorial.  I have that listed on the left side of the blog, Make and upholster a 1 inch scale chair.

I have a back cushion cut out and I have the button placement marked on the pattern.

Place your pattern on the cushion back and punch through the foam core with a pencil to mark placement.

There are the holes made by the pencil.

I am using my Dremel to drill holes through the foam core.  That's probably a 1/16" bit.

Use tacky glue and apply it on the back cushion.  Can you see that I have left the area around the holes without glue?

This is my first layer of Thermolam Plus.  I buy this at JoAnn's or Walmart, do not buy the fusible.

With your sewing scissors cut out around the holes.

I say sewing scissors because we don't use those to cut paper with, do we? We only use our sewing scissors for fabric so they stay sharp.

This is the second piece of Thermolam Plus.

The second piece is glued on and the holes are cut out.

This the last piece of Thermolam Plus.

I have this piece glued on, I will not cut the holes out on the last piece.

I've cut a large enough piece of fabric out for my back cushion.

Turn the fabric to the wrong side and place your pattern on the fabric and mark the holes.

My holes have been marked.

I have a tip for you, on a flat back cushion like this you can enlarge your pattern on the computer by a very small amount, maybe 5%.  This spreads the holes out and gives more fabric to be tucked into the dimples you are going to be making for the buttons to set into.  If you use more padding on the back cushion you would want more fabric to go into the dimples.  It's a little trial and error on just how much to enlarge.
On a curved back cushion, like in the first picture at the top you do not have to do this.  Mark the pattern on the fabric as is, the curve takes care of giving you extra fabric.

I use button hole or carpet thread to pull the dimples with.  You could probably use sewing thread just as well.

I double my thread and make a knot at the end.

Start the needle from the back of the back cushion.  Use the marks on the fabric to line up your needle.

Yes, the knot will go through the hole, it will catch on the Thermolam Plus.

Take a small stitch on the front and come back out at the back.

Go to the next hole in the back, insert on the mark on the fabric, take a small stitch and come back out  and on to the next hole.

Don't pull too hard, the dimple doesn't have to be deep.

I've sewn all of the dimples and I've gone back into the first hole and took another stitch.

Knot off and cut your thread.

Here is the front of the cushion with all of the dimples sewn in.

If I were making a chair I would be ready to glue the cushion into it now.

To make the buttons I use a leather punch.  I bought this at a hardware store, I know that Michaels also carries these.

I use white glue, too.  I want the card stock to stay wet for awhile and the white glue does not dry too fast.

I also use a double ball stylus.  I bought this one at Michaels.

I use craft foam to shape the buttons. This is also available from Michaels.

Apply white glue to a piece of card stock and press your fabric onto it.

I am using a contrasting fabric so you can see the buttons when I'm finished.

The leather punch is not designed to cut through fabric, it's not sharp enough and it's cutter presses against a flat metal surface.  The fabric isn't thick like a piece of leather.  A paper punch doesn't work.  The card stock and fabric are wet and  hard to cut out.

So what do you do . . . .

I place another piece of card stock on top of the fabric.  This gives a tiny bit of depth for the cutter to cut through and it works.  I have put the extra card stock under the card stock that is glued to the fabric but that is hard to separate after the circle is punched out.  If you don't separate the two pieces of card stock you run the risk of the button falling off because you didn't glue the button on, you glued the extra card stock on.

This does work, it just takes some practice.

Here are my circles setting on two pieces of craft foam.

I am using the small end of the double ball stylus to shape the circles into buttons.

The size of circle you cut is up to you.  For this tutorial I used the 1/8" cutter.

My buttons are shaped.  Leave them in the craft foam to dry.  It's important to let them dry.  You will be pressing them into glue and if they are not hard and dry they will loose their shape and you will have to start over.

There is one button.

Apply a dab of tacky glue into the dimple.

I have all of my buttons glued into the dimples of the back cushion.

O.K. so they aren't real buttons but I think they look great on a piece of miniature furniture.

I hope you are all getting outside, I really think winter might be over!!

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Have fun, Expand on it, Make it better . . . . .
Just Keep Making Minis!!


Monday, March 17, 2014

1 INCH SCALE VINTAGE KITCHEN STOOL - How to make a vintage kitchen stool from card stock.

My daughter and I were going through an antiques/flea market mall and I ran across this stool.  I loved it and have been wanting to make it for years.  I intend to get around to everything, one day.
I added the cushion to modernize it a bit.  The original was just a Masonite seat, a composite material made from ground up wood and glue.

This is the pattern for the back of the stool.  On the left side of the blog is a list, "Things to do, Things to see", in this list are the directions for printing the pattern to scale, HOW TO RE-SIZE THE PATTERNS.  You can print on card stock one for a pattern to trace around or you can print two on the card stock and use those for the back.

I've glued 3 pieces of mat board together with yellow carpenter's glue.  I will use my scroll saw to cut the circle out.
NOTE:  Three layers are too many to cut through with a craft knife.  Use your circle template and trace 3 circles, 1 1/4 inch in diameter.  Cut them out with your craft knife and glue them together.
I am using yellow carpenter's glue to glue all of the "paper" together.

When you trace your circles mark the quarters on the mat board.  This is used for placement of the back and legs.

I've marked the quarters on the sides of the mat board seat, also.

I've used my pattern to trace 2 backs onto card stock.
Cut them out.
The bottom of the back is not straight, that's on purpose.  The bottom is slanted just a bit to make the back lean out from the seat slightly.

I drew the backs over the edge of my table to bend them.

Glue the two backs together.

I used a small Sobo glue bottle to smooth out the glue over.

Find yourself something that's about    1 3/8 inches in diameter for a mould for the ring we will make later.

This is close.

The legs need to be tipped out beyond the seat and I thought 1 3/8 inches was about right.

Glue the back onto the seat.  Make sure the bottom edges of the back are even with the bottom of the seat.

For the legs I am using poster board.  I buy this at Wal-Mart in the art supply or kids art supply section.  The label says "poster board".

Cut a piece 2 3/8 inches wide, that's the height of the legs.  We are cutting 4 legs from this piece, so make it about 3 or 4 inches long.

I am using my little square.  We are going to score 4 lines in the poster board.  The lines have to be perpendicular to the edges of the poster board; if the lines aren't perpendicular your legs will be crooked.

I am lining up the square to the edge and using the back of my blade of my craft knife to score a line.  I ran the craft knife only twice to make the line.

Can you see my scored lines?

Bend on the scored lines before you draw your legs.

Using the scored line as a center, mark a 1/16 inch on either side at one end and 1/8 inch on either side of the scored line at the other end.

Turn the poster board over and mark 1 inch from the bottom of the legs, that's the small end.  This mark is for the ring we are going to make and glue to the legs.

Cut the legs out.

I've cut two strips of card stock 1/16 inch wide and glued them together with yellow carpenter's glue.  The piece needs to be at least 15 inches long.

Wrap the strip around your mould, gluing between the layers. Wrap three times.

Let dry.

When the ring is good and dry place it on your circle template and mark the quarters.  These marks are where the legs will be glued.

Using the marks to go by glue the legs to the ring under the line on the back of the legs. Center the scored line on the mark on the ring.

While the legs are drying you can glue on crochet thread to the edge of the back of the seat.  Glue crochet around the opening in the back also.  I used tacky glue to glue the crochet thread on.

The original stool is metal and the metal back has a rolled edge.  This is optional.

Use the marks on the seat as a guide to glue the legs onto the seat.  Glue two legs at a time, centering the scored line with the mark on the seat.

When you get the legs centered, press and hold until the glue seizes up.

To cover the joins of the back and legs I 'm going to cover the seat's edge with a narrow piece of card stock.
Measure the thickness of the seat and cut a strip of card stock that width.  I ran the strip over the edge of my table to curve it a bit before I started gluing it on.

Glue the card stock strip onto the edge of the seat.

Use tacky glue to glue crochet thread around the bottom of the card stock strip.

There is the stool ready for painting.

This is a delicate piece and I wouldn't recommend it for children to use.

I spray painted the stool.  To do this I put a wad of sticky wax on the end of a dowel rod and pressed the seat of the stool onto the wax.

I took this outside and sprayed the stool a few times.

The seat cushion is optional.

I used mat board for the base, I traced a 1 1/4 inch circle using the template. When I cut the circle out I cut INSIDE the line.  This will leave room for the batting and cloth so the cushion will be at the edge of the seat, not over it.

I use Thermolam Plus for padding in my furniture.  I buy this from Wal-Mart.  Cut a circle about 1/4 inch smaller than the mat board.

The next piece of batting is just a bit over the edge of the mat board.  This is going to get folded over the edge when the fabric is put on.

Trace a 2 inch circle onto fabric from the template and apply tacky glue to the line.  Let the glue dry.  Cut the circle of fabric out on the line.

Thread a needle and sew a running stitch around the edge of the circle.

Place the mat board with the batting into the circle and draw up the thread and knot off.

To eliminate some of the bulk of the gathering apply tacky glue between the fabric and the mat board very close to the edge of the mat board.  Press the fabric into the glue.

Trim off the extra fabric.

The cushion.

Apply tacky glue to the seat and press the cushion on gently.

You could add feet to the bottom of the stool by using a round hole punch and punching 4 circles and gluing them to the bottom of the legs.

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Have fun, Expand on it, Make it better,