Friday, February 26, 2016

Finishing touches

Well, a warm welcome to Debbie P. and Kelly P. who have joined this blog as followers. These gals are both wonderful miniaturists who I first met at Camp in 2014 and am looking forward to seeing them again this fall!

Now that you've had a grand tour of our Camp activities in 2014 I bring the story back to my room box which, on leaving Camp, still had quite a bit of work to finish. In an earlier post, I mentioned that, because I wanted to hang my little demon mask above the balcony door, the door height was shorter than ready-made doors. Not one to be deterred by lack of experience, or even skill sets, come to think of it, I arrived fresh back home from Camp with a renewed determination to do it myself. How does one compensate for lack of experience and skill sets??? - They surf the internet of course!! In my case I didn't have to surf very far since I was already a regular follower of Kris Compass's blog "1-inch minis by Kris". There are so many wonderful tutorials on Kris's site, including one on making your own doors from paper products like mat board and card stock. Her pictures and instructions are so well done, they gave me the confidence to jump in with both feet and "just get 'er done"!

On Kris's site, the door in the tutorial is a regular six-panel door. I wanted French doors (after all - it's for a balcony in the French Quarter!!). So - very little experience, skill sets in early development stages, and tutorial for a completely different door - what could possibly go wrong?? Luckily, as it turns out - very little. I'm actually quite proud of the way they turned out. If I was doing a review of Kris's door tutorial I'd have to give it top marks for clear instructions, lots of pictures, and easily adaptable...and here's the results:

I took careful measurements of the door opening and built a door frame from thin strips of wood (the tutorial uses mat board). I dry fit the frame to confirm fit, then stained the wood to match the floor and trim colour. While the stain was drying I cut out three layers of mat board for the doors, cut out a mullioned section in two of these and a full rectangular opening in the layer that would become the middle of the door. I also cut out a square "panel" section in each of the two outside pieces of the "sandwich". Since I wanted to continue the French theme, I found some fleurs-de-lis charms in my stash, cut off the rings from the top of them, and installed them on the middle layer of the door - both sides. After putting the layers all together, with pieces of acetate on both side of the middle section for the windows, and letting the glue dry thoroughly, I cut them down the middle to form the two French doors. I used a narrow strip of card stock to disguise the edges so the three layers would not be seen, waited for all the glue to be thoroughly dry, then I painted them a shade of blue I see often in pictures of New Orleans architecture. When that was dry, I installed the two doors in the frame, using cut off pins through the top and bottom of the door frame into the corner of the doors, to act as "hinges". Then I used very short pieces of pins with small crystal beads to install "door handles" on both sides of the door. In my opinion, not too shabby - except for the degree to which I wanted them to look shabby, of course.... Did I forget to mention that I also stained some baseboard and started to install it and I also hung a set of wired sconces on either side of the mirror?
With this done, it took me some time to find something to trim the sides of the door because the walls were at an angle. In my wood stash I happened across a small section of trim that was at a strange angle too. What it is usually used for, I have no idea. But it worked well for me and that's what counts! I cut an upper trim as well as a shelf to go over the door, stained them and installed them.

Then I went hunting through my ever-expanding stash for furniture and accessories to finish this, my first full-size project. Yeah!!!!

And - you'll see those results on the next post.

Tip for today: Regardless of what level of expertise you think you have, or don't have - don't let someone convince you something is too difficult for you to even try. I went into this believing that I could make my own doors and, even though others may have been initially skeptical, I ignored that and went ahead anyway. They may not be perfect but the feeling of accomplishment I got when I finished them was well worth the effort. Just get 'er done!! TTFN


  1. I agree with your philosophy totally. If I kept doubting myself, I'd have very few minis. Your doors turned out really nice

    1. Thank you Diane. I was quite pleased with them, for a first try. Plus - I learned a lot just in "the doing". - Marilyn

  2. Marilyn, the doors are wonderful! Great job!

    1. Thank you Maureen. I actually had fun doing them and now am not the least bit nervous about making my own again in the future. - Marilyn