Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Resources

Hi, took a break from furniture making. I just wanted to say that I find the best resources are old decorating books. Look in used book stores or flea markets. My best resource is my Ethan Allen catalog. It gives sizes and of course lots of ideas. I have gone out and measured furniture to get an average on heights, widths and lengths and keep this in a notebook to refer to. Contemporary furniture seems to be bigger in scale. It's confusing when I'm holding something that sized from the 19th century and comparing my measurements of a chair for today.

I've loaded more pics of the apartment. The chair and sofa are what I am making right now to put on the site. I call them my Retro set.

I will talk you through anything else in the room that you want to know about. Post a comment and let me know where you want to start.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First Apartment

This room box represents what I thought would be a great first apartment back in the '70's. What a dreamer!
I'm going to start on the left side and go around the room explaining what I did.
To start with in the left corner hanging from the upper cabinet, you can't see it here, but I will post more pictures, is a 90 degree wall bracket. It imitates wrought iron filigree. I made it with black quilling paper. You can also cut paper 1/8" wide and paint it black. I used it for a plant hanger, the plant is in a starter bowl made from a clear pony bead. I made the plant from Fimo and the macrame hanger is buttonhole thread. In the '70's plants were very popular. The plants I made are from Fimo or florist's tape.
The sink, stove and refrigerator are made just like the Vintage Kitchen's, I just made them in apartment size. The bowls on top of the cabinet and holding the popcorn are painted to look like Pyrex Ware. I made them from quilling paper also.
The bathroom is just a peek, but the shelf inside is nice. I copied one from an old S&H Green Stamps catalog. It's made from quilling paper, too.
Remember the stereos that folded up? This is all thin basswood and Fimo. Now, the table and chairs were something I always wanted to have, I've had to settle for them in miniature! These I will explain how to do later. They are made from the little plastic champagne glasses, taller plastic wine glasses and basswood. And lots of gesso!
The brick wall is just a brick red plastic brick sheet that's been painted flat white and sanded a bit in spots.
The book shelf has sliding doors made from brown cross stitching paper. This makes good pegboard, I remember furniture having pegboard sliding doors. The T.V. is a copy of what I had when I first got married. It's a bit tedious, but I think it's worth trying.
The rug is punch needle using embroidery floss with the loops cut off. The pictures are from catalogs and picture frame from Hobby Builders used to make the frames. The shelf on the wall has false drawers. The table is copied from and old decorating book. The lamp base I turned on a lathe and them used gesso to give it the stippled texture. We can talk about improvising a lathe. And everybody had a boomerang ash tray your aunt made at ceramics!
I crocheted the afgan from embroidery floss and made the chair, couch and ottoman from pictures from old decorating books.
If you have any preferences of where to start please let me know, I would be happy to oblige.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh Boy!

I see I have 3 new followers, you all joined on the same day. Going to move onto another room box to talk about. I think the kitchen chairs are too hard to explain. Please, if you do want to know about them we can send e-mails and I will help you along. Get back to you all after Christmas. Kris

Leopard Print Settee'

This is a 1 inch scale asymmetrical settee' and it is covered in a leopard cotton print and trimmed with twisted black embroidery floss, it includes 1 black silk pillow trimmed in the same.
It's measurements are: at the highest point in the back, 3"; 5 1/4" wide; 2 3/8" deep, the tall arm is 2 1/2 high and the low arm is 2" high. It is $20.00 plus $5.00 for shipping.(U.S.A.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Furniture for Sale

These are pictures of the furniture I make and sell at
I am under "furniture", Kris Compas.

I will be using this spot for the extra furniture to be shown and you can contact me for purchase.

1 inch scale overstuffed sofa with 2 crocheted pillows. This is covered in blue cotton fabric with piping made with the same fabric. 3 1/4" tall, 5 3/4" wide and 2 1/2" deep. $20.00

A set of 1 inch scale slipper chairs covered in a slate blue stripe, touches of black and tan, trimmed in slate blue twisted embroidery floss. They measure 3 1/2" tall, base 1 7/8" x 1 7/8" and 2 1/2" deep, including slope of back. $15.00 for the pair.

This is a 1 inch scale overstuffed chair cover in a cotton blue print, with piping made from the same fabric.
This measures 3 1/8" tall, 3 1/2" wide and 2 1/2" deep. $15.00.

Shipping for these is $5.00 per piece or set (like the set of 2 slipper chairs). I use the U.S. Postal Service.(U.S.A.)
Please contact me at:

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm Busy!

Hello, Just checking in to say that I am busy with making upholstered furniture, I am on, under furniture. I will try to get back. TTYL Kris

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pictures of Kitchen Table and Chairs

Here are the pictures of the kitchen table and chairs. I hope they help.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Kitchen Table

I will get you better pictures and post them soon. My son helps me and I think I get him on Wednesday. Pictures will help. Forgive me, I never thought I would be telling anyone how to do anything I made.

This kitchen table and chair set is not easy to do. It is made from basswood and telescoping aluminum tube from Micro-Mark. I will do my best to tell you how I went about making the set, but I think I was successful because I had this set in my kitchen to constantly refer to.
Sometimes flea market/antique malls will have vintage tables and chairs, I would go looking for one you like for pictures and measurements.

The table is 2 1/2" tall, 3 1/8" long and 2 1/4" wide. I used 3/23" basswood for the top and apron. I bought 3/32" cove from Hobby Builders. This is for the edge of the table.
What ever your measurements are for the top of the table you will want to take 3/32" from each side. Miter the corners of the cove and glue onto your table top. There is a second table top if you look closely at the picture. These are the sliding extensions, no, mine do not work. Mine are roughly 3/4" with the cove on 3 sides. You won't put the cove on the side that is under the top. You will need 2 extensions with a piece of cove, serving as a handle, between them. I know you can't see this in the pictures, that's on the side where the chairs are.

I made the apron from 3/32" basswood. It is almost 3/16" smaller all around than the table tops. It looks like I cut the strips between 3/8" and 7/16". I did not miter the corners, just butt glued. On the corners it looks like I used 1/4" dowels. I drilled an 1/8" hole, it looks like it is off center on purpose so I could cut a section out to place on the corner of the table. I then cut half round and glued onto the dowels. This is imitating what my table has on its corners, although they are carved into the rounded part. I could not do that so I added the half round.

I added a false drawer front to one side of apron.

I used 1/8" aluminum tube for the large leg and found straight pins that would cover the hole in the bottom of the tubes to serve as feet. The smaller inner leg is 1/16" aluminum tube. I drilled a hole in the larger tube for this to fit into. Note: When drilling into this tube it helps to fill the tube with a dowel so you won't bend the tube. Also, when bending the tube fill with wire that is a tight fit. This keeps the tube from kinking.

O.K. I cut the table tops to size, minus the cove. Mitered and cut to size the cove and glued to table tops. I painted these with several coats of Rustoleum White, then carefully edged them with black Rustoleum. I remember there was a lot of repainting here.

Glue the table tops together, keeping the outside edges even. Glue the little piece of cove, the handle, to the bottom of the top tabletop, in between the extensions on the chair sides. This is painted white and there is a little space between the extensions and the handle.

Cut the apron to size and glue together. Cut the corner dowels and drill holes. Glue to the corners of the apron. Glue on half round, I used 4 pieces. Underneath the apron, glue 4 pieces of 1/4" square basswood into the corners. Cut these pieces shorter than the apron. You do not want to see them. This is for drilling a 1/16" hole in and securing the small leg of the table.

Paint the apron and glue the top on.

Make the false drawer front paint and glue on. I bent a wire for a handle. Drill small holes for the wire handle and glue in.

Drill 1/8" holes into the corner dowels for the larger leg that sets on the floor. Drill 1/16" hole into the corner blocks for the smaller leg.

Cut the aluminum tubes to length, it's easier to cut with dowels in the tube. You can cut it with an Exacto knife. Drill a hole in the larger tube, not over a 1/16" from the bottom. Gently bend the smaller tube, with a wire inside to prevent kinking. This smaller tube is 1/8" away from the larger tube when glued in, it finishes 3/16" away at top.

I would love to see what you have done, and I promise to get you more pictures of the table. Next week the chair! TTYL Kris

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just checking in to see how things are. I see I have 2 followers that aren't related, great! I have started to sell my upholstered furniture on I will try to get back to techniques now that I have some furniture made up. TTYL Kris

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm Baaack!

I've gotten everybody moved. I think I've moved every piece of furniture in the house. It's all clean and as soon as I get my room reorganized I can begin again.
I have been pondering about the last piece in the kitchen room box. The table and chairs. I cannot put the patterns on the blog, you can't print them to the exact size. I can talk you through making them, what I did and the materials I used. This project is more complicated than the other things. The best thing I had to help me was the full sized version in my own kitchen. I used it for all of my measurements. If you have access to any full sized version of anything you want to make, that's your best tool. Talk to you later. Kris

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to make a Miniature Vintage Refrigerator

This refrigerator starts out as a block of wood, just about anything will do. I think I used pine 2 x 4's. For the body cut a piece 5" tall x 1 7/8" deep x 2 3/8" wide. If you have to stack and glue to get your size that's all right. If you have an old refrigerator to copy and measure, that's great, use it. Refrigerators will vary a little on measurements. I know the old ones were smaller than today's refrigerators.

The door is 3 5/16" tall x 2 3/8" wide and 1/4" thick. I used basswood.

The drawer is 1 1/4" tall x 2 3/8" wide and 1/4" thick. I used basswood.

The bottom grille is 3/8" tall x 2 3/8" wide and 3/16" thick. I used basswood.

You will need some basswood 1/32" thick for the gasket and bottom and 1/16" thick for the back grille.

Once you have gotten all of your pieces cut to size make a pattern to use for the top of the body. If you have access to a band saw or scroll saw use it to round off the corners on the top of the refrigerator. If not get some 100 grit sandpaper and sand the corners off. Soften the front and back edges just a bit. Don't keep them sharp.

**Important** Please dry fit your pieces to your pattern to keep the rounding off from going to far. Dry fit your pieces together while you are sanding to make sure they will fit . You want a space between the door and drawer about card stock thickness. A little more between the drawer and bottom grille. The bottom grille should be even with the bottom of the body. Adjust your pieces now before the painting and gluing.

After you are happy with the body match the door to it. With sand paper, maybe 220 grit, round the face of the door. Soften the edge that will be towards the body, leave the outside and inside bottoms alone. Keep these sharp.

Go onto the drawer. Keep the inside and outside bottom and the top edges sharp. Round the face to the sides just as you did with the door.

I copied a refrigerator that had a round center pull on the drawer. I used my Dremel to cut into the basswood. I used an engraver cutter. Unfortunately, I couldn't undercut the center circle enough. When trying I just kept making the center smaller and I thought I should stop while I was ahead. Thinking about it now I should have taken the center out and replaced it with a dowel that had a small circle glued to it. You can do either.

The bottom grille is sanded just like the drawer. I glued on 3 pieces of half round to make it look like a grille. You can make half round from 1/16" x 1/16" basswood strips, sand 2 corners round on one side. Glue these evenly spaced onto the front of the grille. Round them off towards the sides.

Use Rustoleum white and black for the painting. The grille will be painted black, the rest is white. Give everything 2 coats, let the paint dry between coats.

Now sand, using 220 grit. The body is going to take longer if you used pine or even if you stacked basswood. You will have to paint and sand to cover the grain and where the pieces were glued together. We are painting a couple of coats then sanding to a smooth finish. It will take a few days to do this. As you start getting a smooth finish start using a finer grit sandpaper, up to 300 or 400 grit. You are after a smooth porcelain appliance finish. You stop when you are satisfied, do not sand the final coat.

While you are painting and sanding you can make the back grille, gasket, and bottom.

Trace around the back of the body onto card stock. Measure in 3/32" to 1/18" around to top and sides. Cut out and place onto back of body. If you need to change the size do it now, you should have not more that 1/18" of the body showing.

When you like the size, trace onto 1/16" thick basswood and cut out. Remember to cut on the line or your piece will be bigger than you expect. Dry fit this, if it's the right size paint it black.

Trace around the bottom of the body onto card stock. This piece's edges are even the the body. Trace onto 1/32" thick basswood. Dry fit and trim if needed. Paint black.

Trace around the door onto card stock. Measure in a 1/16" around the top and sides. Cut out and place against the door. We want this gasket to be just inside the door, not too far in, enough to see that it's just a bit smaller. When you are happy with that, trace onto 1/32" thick basswood and cut out. Dry fit, make changes if needed. Mix your Rustoleum white and black to make grey and paint the gasket.

I used Testor's silver enamel to paint a line on the bottom of door and top of drawer, around the circle and the knob of the drawer. I used masking tape to do the lines.

I use wood glue to glue the parts together.

Glue the bottom onto body, keep the edges even.

Glue the back grille onto back of body. Make sure you have an even margin of body showing on sides and top.

Glue gasket onto front of body. Keep an even margin of body showing around top and sides.

Glue on door, drawer and bottom grille. The bottom grille is even the the body, not the bottom piece you glued on.

For the handle I used 1/16" thick basswood. I traced a circle 1/4" round. I cut this in two so each piece was 1/4" x 1/8". The next piece is 7/8" long from 1/16" thick basswood. One end is cut just like the 2 other pieces (1/4" x 1/8") to fit between them. The other end is long and straight for the handle pull. I have a diagram at the top of the page. Glue these 3 pieces together. Sand round the end of the handle pull tip. Paint this silver. You will have to do this a few times with a little sanding between coats to get a smooth aluminum finish.

I used super glue to attach the handle, be careful.

If you have any questions about this project, please e-mail me and I will be glad to help you.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vintage sink, Kitchen Room Box

This is how I made the kitchen sink for the kitchen room box. I made the sink from wood, gesso and a jelly container, the small single serve kind from restaurants. If that's not available I've used any "bubble" packaging that is the size of the sink I want, this one being 1 1/2" x 1 3/4".

Start out with a piece of 1/16" thick stock, 1 7/8" x 4 1/2". Cut a hole in the center for your sink. I am now going to refer to this piece as the sink top. The plastic bubble should have a flange that you can use to glue the "sink" onto the wood. I glue the "sink" under the top. Don't glue now, just don't trim this flange off. Measure the sink and cut the opening, 3/8" from the back and 1/8" from the front. You can use an exacto knife, cutting a little bit at a time. Sand smooth.

We are going to add onto the 1/16" x 4 1/2" x 1 7/8"piece, the sink top, by gluing more wood to the top of it to make it thicker for the edge, back of top and drain board ridges.

From 3/32" stock cut a strip 3/8 wide and 4 1/2" long. Soften one edge of this piece, it should not be square, diagram A. This piece is glued toward the back on the of the sink top. This is where the faucet will be glued on. Glue the strip on using wood glue and clamp.

From 3/32" stock cut a strip 1/8" wide and 4 1/2" long, also cut 2 strips 1/8" wide and 1 3/4" long. Soften the top 2 edges of these 3 pieces, diagram B. Glue these pieces onto the sink top according to diagram C. Clamp and let dry. When dry slightly round off the front 2 corners of the sink top.

When everything is dry I sanded a slight slope to the drain boards going toward the sink.

Cut from 3/32" stock 1/16" wide strips. ( If you have access to 1/16" half round use that.) Round off the top 2 edges of the 3/32" x 1/16" strips according to diagram B. These are the drain board ridges. I glued 6 of these onto each side of sink. You'll need to clamp these down if you sanded the slope in.

Before you glue the sink to the underneath side of the sink top, cut a hole in the center for your drain. I found a plastic cap about 1/4" in diameter. I cut it off at about a 1/4" and stuck a straight pin in the center, painted it silver and dotted it with black on the inside of the cap to simulate the drain holes. This became my sink strainer/basket.
Another option is to use a gripper snap for the rim and leave out the strainer/basket. Gripper snaps are found in the notions department of a fabric store.

When you are satisfied with all of your sanding, glue the sink to the underneath side of the sink top, and set this assembly aside.

Cabinet. Follow the sizes in the diagram for cutting out the sink sides, back and front. Round off the top 2 corners of the back. Glue the sides onto the back, bottoms even, the back will be 3/8" taller, that's the back splash.
Glue the front onto the sides, keep the tops even. Follow the drawing at the top of page.

Cut from 1/16" stock a strip 3/8" x 4 3/8", this is to be painted black and will be glued onto the bottom front of the cabinet, it's the back of the toe kick.

The doors are made from 1/16" stock, cut 1" x 1 3/4", cut 4.

The drawers are 1/16" x 1" x 1/2", cut 2

The center vent is 1/16" x 1 1/16" x 1/2", cut 1.

With sand paper soften all four edges of the doors, drawers and vent.

I cut vent slots with an exacto knife. I've also seen a shape cut out and filled with decorative screen, maybe paper with tiny holes punched into it, or cross stitcher's perforated paper.

Glue sink top onto cabinet. The sink top will be longer and wider than the cabinet by just a bit, center the cabinet under the sink top from side to side and it should have extra in the front.

I use gesso to smooth everything in, all the seams need to be filled. I paint the whole sink top and let dry. The gesso will sink into the seams, so you will have to paint the gesso on a few times. After you've got everything filled you can sand it all smooth. Remember you want this sink to look like a piece of cast iron with the smooth finish of porcelain.

When that's done paint the sink top and cabinet. Paint the doors separately. I used Rustoleum white, it's an oil base enamel, gives a good appliance finish. Paint and sand between coats with fine sandpaper, I will use up to 400 grit to get a good smooth finish. When you are satisfied with the surface, do not sand the last coat of paint. Glue on the doors and toe kick. Go to the Kitchen Room Box Stove for a little more explanation of the painting.

I don't make my kitchen cabinets or appliances open. I am not going to open them and I don't leave them hanging open. They aren't hanging open in my full size kitchen. I think leaving them open in a miniature scene emphasizes that it is a miniature. I'm going for as much realism as I can achieve.

For the handles I painted a plastic drinking straw silver, then I tried to slice off identical widths, then I cut these in half. I glued the handles on with super glue, be careful.

Glue your strainer/basket in. I ordered a faucet from Hobby Builders, #938, $6.99.

If you have any questions about this please e-mail me and I will be glad to help you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Be back soon

Hi, if anyone is following my blog, thank you! You might have noticed that I haven't been blogging lately, I am moving everyone around in my house. Daughter going to college, son still living at home, rearranging bedrooms, painting, flooring installed. I will be back as soon as I get this all done, I am expecting about a month. Kris

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Miscellaneous Items in Kitchen Room Box

Just going to talk about a few items in the kitchen.

The round "tins" on the bottom shelf and canister set on the counter. These were made from card stock.
I use a wood dowel for the forms, choose the diameter you want for the size of "tin" you want. I find 3/4" dowels make a nice size tin. They come in all sizes, you choose the size of dowel you need.

Take a length of sewing thread, grey if you have it, and run it through your fingers full of silver paint. Get the thread covered, hang the thread to dry. Do enough to go around the tin twice. I do this the night before to be sure that the thread is dry.

The tin I'm copying is 2 1/2" tall. I'm going to cut a strip of card stock 7/32" wide and 2 5/8" long. Wrap it around the dowel, overlap the ends and glue with Elmer's white glue. Be careful not to glue it to the dowel. Let dry. When dry, sand the seam a bit to soften the joint.

Do you want to have a tin that opens? You can fill with cookies, candies or like mine, a button box. For the lid I like a pattern. There are lots of Dover Books that have copyright free designs and patterns. There are catalogs full of pictures that can be used. You can make your own on the computer. Or you can paint the lid. Small print calico is a good source, you can copy it on to card stock.

Cut a strip of card stock or your patterned paper that's been glued (with glue stick) onto card stock, 1/16" wide and 2 5/8" long. Wrap this narrow piece around the already glued strip that is still on the dowel. Carefully glue the lid strip to itself. Don't let glue go onto the bottom strip or you won't be able to open your tin. Let dry, testing occasionally to see that it is not glued to the bottom strip.

Push the lid strip slightly off the dowel, not all the way. Leave the bottom strip where it is. Cut a circle, a little larger in diameter than the dowel, from your patterned paper/card stock. Apply Elmer's white glue to the edge of the lid strip and set the circle (top) onto the glued edge. Let dry. When dry, carefully trim around, cutting close to the edge. I use curved scissors for this.

Take the completed lid off the dowel. Cut another piece of card stock a little larger than the diameter of the dowel. Push the the bottom strip slightly off the dowel, not all the way. Apply Elmer's to the edge and set the bottom circle onto the bottom strip. Let dry. When dry carefully trim off the extra card stock.

You can paint the bottom tin, I use Delta's PermEnamel, to coordinate with your patterned top. Let dry.

To make the rolled edges apply tacky glue in a very narrow line along the bottom edge of tin and apply the thread along this glue line. Let dry. Do the same thing with the bottom edge of the lid.

The canister set is made the same way using graduated sized of dowels.

To make the floor I first made a pattern and then cut a floor from poster board. I found something I liked from a "Better Homes and Gardens" 1940's magazine. I painted the whole surface dark blue, I used a little roller I found at Home Depot. You can use a foam brush, too. This time I used Delta's Ceramcoat. I let this dry. I marked off the border, it's about 5/8" and left an 1/8" space and masked another line about 1/8" wide. I used painter's blue tape. Then I sponged, I'm a great sponger, that's my answer to everything, "Sponge it". I used 2 shades a little lighter that the orignal blue plus white. Let this dry. Then according to the picture from the magazine I painted a little blue square, a yellow circle and 2 red lines. It's not much, but it gave the kitchen a 1940's feel. Take the blue tape off. I finished the floor with Delta's PermEnamel Clear Gloss Glaze.

I made the clock radio from polymer clay. The metal ring around the dial is a rim from a "Gripper" snap from the notions department in a sewing store. I use these for sink drain rims, too. The dial is a barometer face from a clock catalog.

The cabinets do not open. They are all boxes with doors glued on the faces. They are made from basswoood. The handles are drinking straws I painted silver. I snipped off small rings, trying to keep them all the same width, then I cut the rings in half, there's your handle. I glue them on with super glue. I painted the counter tops dark red. The old counter tops were covered with linoleum, some didn't have back splashes. I finished them with Delta's PermEnamel Clear Gloss Glaze. The edge of the counter tops is made from silver foil from a stained glass store or supplier. It's narrow, just the right size for the counter top, you can fold it over the top and bottom. This comes on a roll and is sticky. It looks just like the aluminum edge that used to make the front of our shirts black!

Going to make the sink top next.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kitchen Room Box, Stove, circa 1940, 1" scale

This is the picture of the stove I copied for the Kitchen Room Box. It's from "Better Homes and Gardens", April, 1941. I find these magazines at antique malls, it's good to have a few. I would really like to have some magazines from the 1920's, but those are hard to find and cost more.
This stove will be made from basswood. It is painted with oil base enamel. I paint, sand, and paint again until I get a smooth finish that looks likes porcelain enameled metal.
I don't make my appliances open, I don't think I could get them to look realistic if I made them to open. I'm just interested in making them "look" realistic, anyway.
If you don't like this style of stove, get on the Internet and type in "vintage stoves". You'll get some beautiful examples, with measurements.
I make my appliances first, then I fit my countertops to them. Sometimes when I scale the measurements down I will round off the fractions to make it easier.
This stove is 3 1/4" wide, 2 1/2" high and 2" deep.

Use wood glue for everything, until I mention the tacky.

First you will need a block of wood measuring 3 1/16" wide, 2 9/16" high and 1 13/16" deep. This can be a solid block of wood or you can stack basswood and glue & clamp together any combination that will get you to 2 9/16" thick.
If you are stacking, rough cut pieces about 3 1/4" x 1 3/4", glue & clamp 3 to 4 pieces together, let dry them cut 3 1/16" x 1 13/16". Then glue & clamp, using wood glue, your stacks together, KEEPING EVERYTHING VERY EVEN. Let dry.

Cut a bottom, this is the toe kick, 3 1/4" wide, 1 5/8" deep and 3/8" high.
This piece is not as deep as the block, that's for the toe kick. This piece is 3/16" wider than the block, that's because we are going to add sides to the block, each side 3/32" thick.
Glue & clamp the bottom onto the block, keep the backs even, 3/32" on each side and 3/16" back from the front.
Soften the 2 front corners of the bottom by sanding.

Cut a back 3 1/4" wide and 3" high from 3/32" thick basswood. Round off the 2 top corners. Glue & clamp this onto the back of the block/bottom assembly. The back will have 3/32" extra on each side and 1/2" extra on top for the back splash.

Cut the top 3 1/4" x 1 29/32" from 3/32" stock. *(That's a 32nd beyond the 7/8" mark)*
Divide the top in half and center 4 circles, 3/4" in diameter on the left half. Cut or drill these out. Place the top on the block and mark your circles. Remove top and paint the marked circle areas on the block silver. Let dry. Glue & clamp onto block.

Doors. Cut 2 from 3/32" stock: 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"; and cut 2 from 3/32" stock: 1" x 1 1/2".

Sides. Cut 2 from 3/32" stock: 2 9/16" x 1 29/32".

For the light on the back use 3/32" stock and cut 1 piece 1/2" x 1/2". Cut a 3/8" dowel 1 1/8" long. The safe way to do this next step is to sand this dowel flat, in half, and round the ends, like the shade in the picture. If you have a Dremel with carving bits, you can hollow out the shade, but you don't have to.

Using fine sandpaper soften the front and side edges of the top. Soften the front edge of the back splash. Soften the front outside edge of the sides, only. Soften all four sides of the doors.

Glue the 1/2" x 1/2" piece to center edge of back splash. Let dry. Glue the shade onto this piece. Let dry.

Mask off the silver painted holes in the top.

Using oil based enamel, I use white Rustoleum, paint the top, top and front of back splash white.

Paint the sides and doors white, paint both sides to seal and prevent warping.

Paint the bottom and the block all around and the back with black enamel.

Let everything dry.

Paint it all again, black and white. You only have to paint the fronts of the doors from now on. Let dry. Sand using fine grit sandpaper, 220.

Paint it all again and sand with finer grit paper, I'll go up to 400 grit. You are looking for a glass smooth finish, when you are satisfied, stop. Don't sand again. I will sometimes paint and sand 7 or 8 times until I get a finish I like. Something always gets on the wet paint, somehow, I don't know.

Glue on the sides and the doors. If you clamp, be careful, don't use much pressure, and put something between the wood and the clamp. If you don't it will leave a mark and you'll have to sand and paint again, Oh no!

I used the centers of round plastic canvas cut to size and painted black for the burner grates. For the knobs you can use poster board stacked and glued together for the right thickness or polymer clay. Cut 9 circles, 1/16" to 1/4". Cut 3 of them less than in half and place cut edge onto middle of the circles. Bake according to package directions. Or glue the 1/2 circles onto the circles. Paint the color you want. You can use tacky or super glue to glue these on.

I found clock dials on line at clock making websites. Size the dial the size you want, I glue it to a thin circle of wood or posterboard a little bigger and painted silver to look like a rim. Then I'll coat with a finish to make it all shiny. Glue this on with tacky or super glue. The handles for the doors are cut from 3/32" basswood. You can use tacky or super glue to glue these on. I used an oval template for the shape, 1", 20 degree oval. I painted these black with a silver line through the middle. I also painted the shade with a silver line along the edge.

A good substitution for the silver line is silver foil from a stained glass supplier. It's thin and narrow and has a sticky back. You'll have to cut it even narrower but it looks very nice, just like the metal trim used. I also used this as the edge along my counters in the kitchen room box and for the trim on my refrigerators.

I want to give you a tip. I am married to an architectural woodworker, we have a shop and he makes cabinets and furniture, free standing and built into homes. When he is figuring how much wood he has to have and how to cut it out from sheets of plywood and his hardwood, he makes a "cut list". I call it his "recipe".
This method saves on wood and also saves on table saw changes, especially when you are cutting 1 29/32". You don't want to have to set the saw up twice for a measurement like that!

The easiest way to explain how to do this is visually, once you understand it you won't have to draw the pictures anymore. Go through the directions and draw all the pieces needed, put the measurements and which way the grain is going. Now go through and find the common measurements. When you have the saw set up to cut 3 1/4", run them all at that time. It does take some careful pre-planning, but it helps out in the long run.

I have another stove in my "First Apartment" room box, it's a small apartment size and it is cute! If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me. I do aplogize, again for the lack of a photograph, still saving for that camera. Kris, 1 Inch Minis

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Picture of the Kitchen Room Box

Here's a bigger picture of the room box. I will publish this once in a while as I go around the room. I think we'll make the stove next. If you want patterns e-mail me. Kris

Monday, July 27, 2009

Canning pot from Kitchen Room Box, 1:12 scale

This speckled canner is setting on top of the stove in the kitchen room box. This canner is made from card stock, it has wire handles and the "jars" of beans are sitting on a piece of plastic canvas. The plastic canvas is round, I think coasters are needlepointed from them.

The jars are from medicine capsules. Our dog was taking medicine that came in clear capsules. Instead of giving her the whole thing, I emptied the capsules into her food and saved the capsules. (Check the Internet for empty capsules, I found them on, empty capsules (it looks like size #1 by the measurements they give) or ask an independent pharmacist or health food store for them.) By putting a gold painted polymer lid on the rounded end of the capsules they became canning jars. I made beans from leaf green polymer clay. Tip for keeping the beans close to the same size: Roll out the clay with a pasta maker, thinnest setting and use a 3/16" Kemper circle cutter to cut circles. Cut these circles in half, this should give you the right amount of clay for a bean. You can always adjust this. I cut the lids out using Kemper circle cutters, too. Glue the lids on with Tacky glue, let dry. Turn the jar onto it's lid and fill with a little, very little resin. Then fill with beans. Experiment, the beans are going to displace the resin, you don't want spill over. Let dry. I got my resin from Hobby Builders, I didn't put anything on the bottom of the jars, with the resin being hardened that was bottom enough. I was afraid that the resin would melt the capsule, but it didn't, all went well. Linden Swiss, makes very nice canning jars that you can use.

Back to the canner, the diameter is about 1 1/16" to 1 1/8". I usually look for a small bottle for a form, I save sooo much. If you don't have one you could use a 1" dowel rod and wrap it with wide tape around one end until you have the diameter you want. The width of the card stock is 13/16" and the length is 3 3/8". Wrap the card stock around your form and glue with Elmer's white glue. I use Elmer's on paper projects, it takes a little longer to dry, but when does it's permanent. Tacky is always flexible and can pull apart.
When the seam is dry push the card stock cylinder down and away from the form a bit. Put some Elmer's on the edge and place onto a circle of card stock larger in diameter than your cylinder, let dry. Trim the circle to the edge of the cylinder and now you have a pot with a bottom.
When the seams are good and dry sand them a bit to soften the edges.
The handles are 1/14" x 3/16" and made from wire. I used 26 gauge paddle wire. I buy it in the floral department, it's wound on a plastic paddle and hanging on a peg hook. Use paper and Elmer's to glue on the handles on opposite sides of the pot, see diagram.
Canners have rolled edges and raised ridges on them. We are going to make these with buttonhole thread. Use Elmer's to glue thread around the top of the pot. Glue another piece of thread about 1/4" down from the top, under the handles, let dry.
Lid. Cut a circle of card stock the diameter of your pot. The lids are raised and that's done by making a cone and gluing it to the center of the circle.
**Do you have an architect's circle template? Michael's sells them, they are very useful.**
I used the 7/8" circle, marked the quarters and drew lines to find the center. Cut on one line to the center. Overlap edges about a 1/4" and glue together, let dry. To soften the pointed top, place your finger into the point and press onto a flat surface.
I made a lip on the lid so that it doesn't slip off the pot. This is the trickiest part. The lip needs to fit inside the pot. Cut a strip of card stock 3/32" wide, about 3 1/3" long. Place it inside the pot along the top edge to get a length. Pull it just a smidge more and glue the ends together. Center the lip on the lid/circle and glue with Elmer's, let dry. Flip the lid over and glue the cone shape onto the top of the lid in the center. Glue on the handle at the top of the cone just as you did the handles on the sides of the pot.
For a rolled edge on the outside edge of the lid glue on buttonhole thread.
Your canner is done!
I used Delta's Permenamel Emperor Blue, (a dark, dark blue) and Permenamel Ultra White. I finished with Permenamel Clear Gloss Glaze.
To speckle, I dipped an old toothbrush into the white paint and quickly ran a popcicle stick over the bristles.
If you are going to place jars of beans into the canner: cut the plastic canvas circle the diameter of the inside of your pot. Paint the plastic canvas circle silver. Glue 7 jars onto the plastic canvas, use Tacky for this, it sticks better to plastic. Coil a strip of card stock the width you need to keep the jars up and out of the pot. Glue the card stock into the pot, then glue the plastic canvas full of jars onto it. Take wire, painted silver, if needed, and bend it to resemble the handles on the jar basket of a canner. These can be pinched on or you can glue them.
**You can make these handles actually hold the plastic canvas if you want and discard the card stock coil. Make the handles from 1 piece of wire, bending over one side of the pot, going down and under the plastic canvas and up and over the other side. I have a diagram drawn. Do this and then paint it all silver and then glue on the jars.
At the time of year Wal-Mart should have canners to look at if you are not familiar with what they look like.
Thanks for taking time to stop by, take care and make minis! Kris Compas

Friday, July 24, 2009

How to make a MiniatureToaster, 1:12 scale

How to make a miniature toaster, 1:12 scale. This toaster is in my Kitchen Room Box and my First Apartment Room Box. It's modeled after the classic ToastMaster toasters. I've given a diagram with measurements. If you would like actual patterns, please e-mail me.

Set A: cut 2 pieces #1 from 1/16" thick basswood
Set B: cut 3 pieces #2 from 1/16" thick basswood
Set C: cut 2 pieces #2 from 3/32" thick basswood

The two 3/32" thick pieces from pattern#2 are the toast slots. I use a scroll saw to cut out my wood.
To cut the patterns all the same glue the wood together with paper between. Rough cut, about a 2"x 2", something you feel comfortable with under the blade. Now cut paper the same size. For pattern #1 cut one piece of paper. Use glue stick to glue the paper to one of the 1/16"x 2"x 2" pieces of basswood. Now glue stick on the paper and glue the second piece of 1/16"x 2"x 2" basswood on top, making a sandwich. Hold this together for a couple of minutes or use a small clamp to secure.
Cut 3 pieces 1/16"x 2"x 2" of basswood and 2 pieces 3/32"x 2"x 2" basswood. Cut 4 pieces of paper. Glue the paper between the basswood as before, clamp.
Trace the patterns onto the the stacks and cut out. Separate set A, separate set B from set C. Leave set C together for now. Separate set B. **I have found the best way to separate the pieces is to slide the stacks like you are opening a fan. Peel the paper off and sand lightly.**
Set C will be the toaster slots. Cut out the slot on the scroll saw. Now separate them.
Using wood glue, glue: B to C to B to C to B together, keep all edges even, clamp and let dry.
Glue one of A to each side of your toaster assembly matching the bottoms, let dry.
Glue the bottom onto the center of the bottom of the toaster.
To have a smooth look to the toaster, paint the end grain of the center section with gesso, let dry, sand and repeat.
Use a oval "Woodsie" for the handles. I sand thin on each end before I cut off the tips for the handles. Glue onto toaster into the seam where the bottom and toaster meet. Sand the end of another "Woodsie" for the lever. I used a rounded end of a toothpick for the "lightness/darkness" knob.
Scrape a slot in one end of the toaster, in the center of 1/16" piece of basswood. Glue the lever at the top of this slot and the knob at the bottom.
Drill a hole into the other side of the toaster, in the seam where the bottom is glued onto the toaster. This will be for the electrical cord, made from painted wire or string. I made the plug from polymer clay, but you could carve it from wood and glue onto the cord.
I used Delta's Permenamel black and silver, and Permenamel Clear Gloss Glaze. Paint the inside of the toaster black along with the bottom, lever, knob, cord and plug. Paint the toaster silver. Finish with the clear gloss glaze.

I hope you like your new toaster, this fits in the late 1930's up to now, I've seen these in the stores.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Contemporary Shell Lamp

I thought I would start with this lamp, it's one of the first things I made and also wrote instructions for. Also, the kitchen is 1940's and I love the era, but I mostly do contemporary rooms now. No worrying about what does not belong in the scene because "They didn't make those in 19......".

This lamp is non-electric but it is easily made into an electric one. I use Cir-Kit Concepts lamp kits,

The things needed are: an auto light bulb, this one is a signal bulb, polymer clay, a toothpick, cupcake liners, a small gold bead to act at the finial on the top of the lamp and some card stock for the shade, and a flat gold bead that looks like a washer. And whatever you want to put inside the lamp, I used tiny shells.
Please read through the instructions, I usually leave something out in the items needed because I'm usually making things from what I have on hand.
Carefully cut the metal end off the bulb. I used a small triangular file for this. Please wear safety glasses for this. Sand the cut edge of the bulb after the metal part is off.
Use polymer clay for the top and bottom. I used brown to simulate wood, but you could use any color to coordinate with your room. Shape the clay to fit your bulb. I pushed the bottom of the bulb into clay so the bulb would sit right. I also made a small round bead to go the the top of the top. Make a hole through the bead to accommodate a toothpick. Bake your three clay pieces according to package directions.
While the clay is baking make the shade. Using the pattern, cut the shade shape from card stock. Glue together, for this I used Elmers, it's paper to paper and you can't beat Elmer's for this. Cut from card stock the round center for the shade. Make a hole in the center of this circle to fit the toothpick. Glue this circle inside of the shade. Let dry.
After the clay pieces are done baking and cooled you can begin to assemble the base. Glue the glass bulb to the base, making sure the bulb is straight all around. Ahhh, glue. What can I say, we all have our favorites. For this I would use something that is not flexable when dry, such as a tacky glue. For this I used Beacon's 527 glue, I bought mine from Wal-Mart. Fill the bulb with tiny shells. Glue on the top, Beacon's 527. Glue the flat gold bead, (you can make this from polymer clay and paint it gold) and then the round polymer bead you made onto the top. Let dry. Paint the toothpick a gold/brass color.
To finish the shade I used a cupcake liner because it looks like the pleated shades we have now. If you have a mini-pleater you could use it with the fabric of your choice. Make a cut between a pleat and cut out the bottom of the cupcake liner. Carefully fold along the pleats to compress them. I usually don't have to cut any excess liner off. All the liner is used to go around the cardstock shape you glued together earlier. Once you have compressed the cupcake liner, glue it to the cardstock shape, Elmer's. Over lap a couple of pleats.
Slide the finished shade onto the toothpick. Glue this assembly into the polymer clay bead on the top of your lamp. Let dry. Move the shade so that the bottom of the shade is above the top of the polymer bead. Glue the shade to the toothpick and let dry. Carefully nip off the toothpick just below the top of the shade. Glue a gold bead, round or oval, to the top of the toothpick.

I am knew to this, and the lamp shade pattern may not print out the size you need. From what I understand you can copy it into one of your programs and adjust the size. If anyone can help me with this problem, please feel free to offer suggestions. I am going to be putting patterns on the blog and need to have them the right size for you to use.

How did I do? Kris

1 inch minis, Kitchen Room Box

This is my kitchen room box. Before making this box I did a little research by buying a few old "Better Homes and Gardens" from a flea market, circa 1940. Let's take a tour. I made the box with a false back to allow for a window scene and pantry. The floor is painted to look like linoleum, the cabinet doors and drawers do not work, there's a teapot, round tin, toaster, a canner with jars of beans inside, a percolator, flyswatter, calendar, wall shelf, stove, canister set, sink, cookie jar, lots of stuff in the pantry, refrigerator, radio, table and chairs, cutting board and knife and the basket of tomatoes and beans.
I plan to share with you how I made most of the minis in the scene on this blog. If you have any questions about the "how to's" please contact me at my e-mail address.
I plan on expanding and selling KITS in the future, flowers, upholstered furniture and whatever else I think that you would like. Keep me informed, I'll do my best. Kris

Lets make minis

Hi my name is Kris Compas, "1 inch minis". With this blog I would like to share my methods, patterns and ideas with you. I make room boxes and I make nearly everything in them. I have recently been published in "Miniature Collector" magazine, (April, 2009), Wow! That was a thrill. My article was "Miniatures on a Budget". These are the rooms I will be demonstrating how to make along with the other things I dream up and figure out.