Before my parents' visit, I had been working on the Beachside Bungalow's bathroom. You see, I was in the Chicken/Egg dilemma. I needed to know where the upstairs dividing walls were going to go before I could mark the walls in dry fit. This was so that I would know which wallpapers would go where and where precisely they would begin and end. If you've followed my previous builds, you know I like to apply the wallpapers whenever possible when the walls are flat and separate - especially when using thin scrapbooking papers for wallpaper. They tend to crease, tear and wrinkle more easily when reaching in and applying to a vertical surface. Plus, as my eyes are getting older, I get a much better result with bright lighting and a closer view. What about the joins, you ask? Corner molding or quarter round work great, if necessary, and where two patterns meet a trim piece makes for a nice transition.
By marking where to start and stop, I could take the kit out of dry fit, apply all the papers, then assemble the kit with glue.
In the case of the bathroom, I was making a built in shower which would be fitted to the back of the bathroom where the steep angle of the kit's ceiling leaves a lot of unusable space. By having the shower enclosure pre-built, I would have exact measurements for my bathroom's width, layout, sconce placement and wallpaper placement.
I started with some 1/16" basswood, making a floor, back, sides and a top. I also added a cubby shelf for shower necessities. This sink is just a place holder. Even in a dollhouse, a pedestal sink is just impractical in a main bathroom unless you have a massive linen closet! I had to make the shower deep enough so that the height would accommodate a six foot dollhouse person. Any taller than that and you'll just have to duck or bathe in the ocean, lol!
For the tiles, I took the same scrapbook stack that I am utilizing for the whole project and created tiles from the patterns. I used wallpaper gel to adhere the paper to mat board, then cut the tiles from that. I attempted to use my Cricut to cut the tiles for me, but could not find the right combination of blade, material, pressure and passes to cut the tiles through cleanly. After a fair amount of invested time, I decided the job would be easier accomplished by hand. I actually enjoyed it! At first, my tiles weren't perfectly consistent, but like with any job, I got better with practice. I used tacky glue to adhere the tiles to the primed wood and applied them by eyeballing it.
By the time I got to the shower's ceiling, I was pretty happy with the tiles and tiling job. I thought about starting over with some of the pieces to get a better result, but I just didn't have the heart (or the time!). I still liked the results, they are just more whimsical in style. We'll just say that the homeowner enjoys DIY!
Once they were applied, I sprayed them with several layers of Krylon Triple Thick Gloss. Then I applied lightweight spackle for the grout. Once they were dry and cleaned up, I glued the shower pieces together.
I wanted to have functioning glass sliding doors, so I needed to come up with a frame to hold them in. I went with 1/4" channel molding and 1/16" Lexan. The channel itself is 1/8" wide, and with two pieces of 1/16" Lexan, it was the perfect width. I cut the corners at an angle, glued the bottom and sides to the shower frame, measured the opening, divided the space for two doors with a slight overlap and then tested the fit. Perfect!
For the handles and the shower head, I had some chrome pieces from Elf Miniatures in my stash. I drilled holes in the Lexan big enough for tiny brads to seat into, then glued the chrome handle and towel bar through them. For the taps, I made them from spacer beads, corsage pins and earring backs. There is really nothing more fun to me than creating home spun minis with things from my stash!
At this point I had to put everything away and clean the whole house for my parents' visit. It was so hard to be on a roll and have to put the project on hold for chores!!! But knowing I was going to get to hug my folks again, after not seeing them for sixteen months and through a pandemic, was uplifting! I had the whole house ready for them even before they began their drive up from Arizona!
So... Since I had a little time, I couldn't start on a big undertaking, but I could work on a small project - the vanity! You know how I love making vanities!
I started with a House Of Miniatures Lowboy kit and decided it would be great fun to remodel it a little. I put the cabriole legs away - they were too short since a vanity should be between 36" and 42" in real life (around 3" in mini), and instead made my own bottom. I wanted something beachy with storage baskets so this was the perfect solution.
I had more of the Elf Miniatures handles in a smaller size that were perfect for the drawers. Looking at my stash, I also realized that I had an MBS plastic sink and could cut a hole into the HOM kit's top. Things were starting to come together!
I found this inspiration photo when trying to decide on a top material, color and finish.
Using the technique that I discovered while playing around with the Storybook Cottage's kitchen counters, I went with the pouncy/sponge/marbling effect using paint and glazing medium.
I made little baskets using Julie Warren's great method of wood lined with fabric then covered in hemp. For my material, I scanned one of the striped patterns from the scrapbook paper stack and then printed it on fabric paper.
Here is the vanity with the top set on.
And here is the sink from the painted back side and the top side. To prevent the paint from rubbing off with time, after the paint has dried I apply a thin coat of watered down tacky glue over the paint as a protective layer.
Vanity with the sink installed...
And with the drain and taps installed...
And with pretty matching scrapbook paper as drawer liner...
And a few shots in the bathroom...
I think a real estate listing would call it "cozy" or "efficient", but it works!
Notice the channel in the MDF floor? Next time, I'll share about wallpaper, lighting and The Best Tool I have discovered in a very long time!
Until then, stay cool in the ever hotter and globally warmed Northern Hemisphere, and warm in the Southern!
P.S. For those wondering about my parents' visit, it was wonderful! We got all the local family together several times, visited, hugged, talked, toured and planned for more future visits. I only wish the drive was not so long for them, but they just don't do airplanes. Next time, we'll go to them! 💗