Saturday, 10 December 2011


The base cottage is a bit modern so it is going to need some kit bashing. As I'm dying to get started and the house hasn't even arrived yet, I thought it would be a good idea to try out a few ideas first.

I know I want to replace the doors with something more rustic looking but my woodworking skills are rudimentary - OK to be truthful non existent!

I couldn't resist the urge to pop into the local dolls house suppliers ( Phil's Dolls Houses in Taunton if you are interested) and pick up a few bits and pieces. I've ordered some light fittings ( shiny brass or Tiffany style isn't going to work with my vision) and some antique brick paper which will be ready to collect the week before Christmas. Yes I could have saved a few ££ buying over the internet but nothing beats actually looking at the real thing and if we don't buy from our local shops we soon won't have them.

Anyway homily over - Phil ( I assume it was him!) gave me a quick lesson in beam making which I have taken to heart and decided to extrapolate into door making.

I have plenty of craft "stash" already and the basic tools so all I had to buy was some balsa wood and the wood dye in the colour I wanted.

The cutting board and quilting measures came in useful here. The base is a rectangle about 6" by 3". If I'm lucky it will fit, if not then this is a good practice run.

The plank markings were made by my embosser tool and the edges nibbled out with a craft knife. These make good dots to join up on the reverse side so the planks match.

So far so good. I wanted a dark wood so I've used a "Jacobean" wood dye.

Once painted on I sponged a lot of it off to get an uneven finish.

The dents have taken the dye more strongly which is the effect I wanted.  I still need to make some nail holes ( forgot!) but I'll use an oil pastel crayon to blacken them.

Having got the bit well and truly between my teeth I decided to try out an idea for the external walls. I want the cottage to look old and shabby with flaking render and exposed brickwork in places.

I downloaded and printed some brickwork wallpaper to play with and got out some scrap MDF and the polyfilla. Next step was to tear the wall paper into pieces and glue randomly to the MDF with PVA glue. Whilst it was drying I mixed the polyfilla.

Then it was a case of applying the polyfilla with a spatula.

Whilst I'm pleased with the brick peeping out  I'm still not sure whether I want a smooth render or something more rough but I'll be using this sample piece to try some weathering effects once it's dry.

It's still soft at the moment but I'll be sanding down the "window" around the lower brick work.

I've already been looking out for some furniture and accessories for Tลท Awen although it's going to be a while before I need to.

Couldn't resist this though ( and I can see now how to make my own books!)
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