Friday, May 20, 2016

1 INCH SCALE CONTEMPORARY STAINLESS REFRIGERATOR TUTORIAL - How to make a 1 inch scale refrigerator from mat board.

This is the refrigerator I made for the corner cabinet dollhouse.  I made the original from bass wood, this one is made from mat board.

I will use Elmer's wood glue for most of the tutorial.

These are my pieces for the refrigerator.
Top: 2 3/4" x 1 7/8", 1 layer mat board.
Back: 2 3/4" x 5 15/16", 1 layer mat board.
Sides: cut 2, 1 7/8"x 6", cut out the toe kick, 1/4" up from the bottom and 5/16" in from the side.  Use  one layer mat board.
Middle: 2 3/4" x 1 13/16", cut two from mat board and glue together.
Bottom: 2 3/4"x 1 13/16", 1 layer mat board.

Here are the beautiful patterns from Nancy.  Thank you very much, Nancy.

I've given you the patterns for the "box" of the refrigerator.  The directions for transferring are at the left of the blog in the "Things to do, Things to see" list, HOW TO RE-SIZE THE PATTERNS.  After you have followed the directions for printing them I want to you check the dimensions after you have traced them.  This isn't about Nancy's patterns, it's about the transfer.
I want you to use your rulers to measure for the doors.

Apply wood glue to the edge of the sides without the "toe kick".

Glue the sides to the back.  Keep the bottoms even and leave a 1/16" at the top.

Glue the top on.

Cut a strip of mat board 1/4" wide and at least 9" long.

Cut one at 2 3/4" long and cut two at 1 7/16" long.

Glue the 2 3/4" x 1/4" piece onto the back, keeping bottom edges even.

Glue the 1 7/16" x 1/4" pieces on the sides.  Keep the bottom edges even.

I call these spacers and they make it easier to keep the bottom and shelf even.

Apply glue to the top of the mat board.

Press the bottom onto the mat board spacers.

Showing the bottom glued in.

Cut a strip of mat board 1 7/8" wide at least 9" long.

Cut one at 2 3/4" and two at 1 3/4" long.

These are the spacers for the middle shelf.

Glue the 2 3/4" x 1 7/8" piece onto the back.

Glue the two pieces of 1 3/4" x 1 7/8" onto the sides.

These are the two middle shelves.

Glue these two pieces together.

Apply glue to the top of the mat board spacers and press the middle shelf onto the spacers.

Glue two pieces of card stock together with yellow glue.  Let dry.

We are going to use a 1/8" punch.

Cut a few 1/8" wide strips from card stock.  We are going to use these for the handles and for wrapping around the doors.

For the handles glue together four strips, two each.  Set the others aside for now.

What we have now are two strips that are two layers of card stock glued together.

Punch out 24 circles from the doubled card stock.

Glue four circles together.  I have my circles slanting away from the edge about 1/32".

On scrap paper draw a line and mark 2 3/8" apart on that line.

Glue a stack of circles at each mark.

Do this three times for three handles.

Go back to the 1/8" wide strips that have been glued two layers together.

Use the circle template to trace a 1/8" rounded end.

Trace the rounded ends 2 1/2" apart.

Trim the ends.

Cut six.

I used a piece of mat board and a doubled piece of card stock as a spacer.

Apply glue to the stacked circles and glue one strip on.

Glue a second strip on.  Press them together while the spacer is in.  Make sure you have a good seal between the layers.

Make three and set aside to dry.

Cut three pieces of mat board at 2 7/8" x 2".

These are for the bottom freezer door.

Glue two layers together.  Leave the other piece of mat board.  This will be for the rubber seal.

Get a strip of 1/8" wide card stock.

Apply glue to the edge of the doubled piece of mat board and press the card stock strip onto the edge all around.

Cut 1/16" from one long side and one short side of the single layer of mat board you have left.

This is your rubber seal.

Cut 6 pieces of mat board 1 7/16" x 3 11/16".  These are the two refrigerator doors plus the rubber seals.

Glue two together for each door.  Leave the other two for the rubber seals.

Apply glue to the edges of the doors and press a 1/8" wide strip of card stock onto the edges all around.

Cut 1/16" from one long side and one short side of each of the "rubber seal" pieces of mat board.

Paint just the edges of the 3 "rubber seals".  I would paint at least two coats, sanding a bit between the coats.
I used 220 grit sand paper.

Get started painting the body of the refrigerator and doors.

Let the coats dry and sand with 320 grit paper and graduate to 400 or higher grit paper between coats until you are happy with the results.

I mixed some silver paint and gesso together to make a paste.

Cut the handle loose from the paper.

Apply the paste to fill in the layers of card stock.

Let the first coat dry and apply a second coat.

When that is dry carefully sand smooth with 220 sand paper.

Apply a couple more coats of the paint/gesso paste and let dry.  Sand smooth.

I am using painter's tape to mask off an area on the back of the refrigerator.

Measure 1/2" down from the top, 1" up from the bottom and 1/4" in from each side.

Paint this area black.

For the grille on the back of the refrigerator I used plastic canvas.  This piece has 6 holes per inch.

Cut a piece 16 holes x 30 holes.

I cut out some of the cross bars to take away some of the plastic canvas look.


I spray painted it black.

Remove the tape.

Place the grille onto the back.

Use your tweezers to mark two holes over a cross bar in each corner.

Drill the two holes in each corner.

Cut a piece of 1/8" diameter dowel about an inch long.

I used green paddle wire, 26 gauge to hold the grille on.

Start a center hole with a "T" pin.  Don't push it in too far, just enough to start your drill bit.

Choose a bit that will make a hole that the 26 gauge wire will fit though.

Drill into the dowel a little bit over a 1/8" long.

Cut off a 1/8".

Start the drill again.

Cut four 1/8" long pieces of dowel.

Cut four 3" long pieces of wire.

Put the wire through the grille at the corresponding corners to the holes that you drilled earlier.

Thread the dowel on.

Just thought of an easier way, use a large black seed bead instead of the dowel????

Insert the wire though the holes.

Use pliers to twist the wires to hold the grille on.

I painted the dowels and wire black,

I used tacky glue to glue the doors to their rubber seals.

I did this because I wanted the quick tack.  I am going to clamp this together and I don't want things to slip.

Apply the tacky glue to the door and press the rubber seal onto the door leaving a tiny edge all around.

It is important when you clamp to put a scrap of mat board over your door so that the clamps won't mar the surface of your door.

Clamp all around.  Repeat this for the other two doors.

I like leaving this overnight.

This is one door with the rubber seal glued on.

Cut a piece of mat board 1/4" wide and 2 7/8" long for a kick plate.

Paint this black, let dry and glue to the front of the refrigerator.

I used tacky glue to glue the doors to the box.

Put the doors on keeping the edges even.

Put scrap mat board on top of the doors and weight them down.

I left this overnight.

Next day.

I went to the model car isle at Micheals and bought a small can of chrome spray paint.

I used this for the handles.

I lightly glued the handles to a scrap of mat board and sprayed the handles with the chrome spray paint.

This paint takes a long time to dry.  Be careful when you touch it, you can leave fingerprints.

When the handles are dry carefully remove them from the mat board with your craft knife.

I used tacky glue to glue the handles on.  You can use super glue if you want.  I am not good at applying that and generally make a mess.

Showing the back.

Showing another view.

Now, you have the stove and refrigerator to make your contemporary kitchen.  I do hope you try this out.

Have you all seen the kits in Hobby Builders??  I am putting together more kits so if  you have a favorite chances are I will be adding it to the list.

If you have questions or pictures for the Follower's Gallery send them to:

As always,

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