Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Making The Bed

Hello Again. Christmas is well behind us with Easter just around the corner, so I am back to work on the Bellingham dollhouse. I took a long break to work on sewing 5 little prairie girl dresses for the 18 inch doll. Here is one. I adore this little doll. She is Target's Our  Generation doll. I found her at a local thrift store for $3.00. The 5 dresses are finished, but I have bonnets yet to make. My sewing machine  needed some repair, so while I wait for it to come, I am working on the dollhouse. Soon--not soon enough--it will be time to get out in the garden and get the spring gardening started.

Secret Project

Before I begin showing you the dollhouse, I want to share a secret project with you still in progress. I am a creating a room box for my seven year old grandson's birthday inspired by a jig saw puzzle that we have worked on together. I will show you the entire project when I have it finished. 

I needed a bed. I bought one, a cute little white twin-sized bed with '70s inspired pink floral bedding that was glued and and could not be removed, so I decided to make a bed.

Using bass wood that I had on hand and using a bed that I already had as my guide, I made this one. 

The next problem: How to find a mattress? The kits come with a foam mattress, but since this bed is homemade, I needed fabricate a mattress. I tend to save all sorts of things that I can convert to dollhouse minis, so this mattress is made from packing material. The image in college shows the packing material before and after I trimmed it down to fit the bed. It is stuffed with pulverized paper, making it fairly soft. 

Next I needed bedding, so I made a pair of sheets. I tend to want my miniatures to be just that, miniatures of the real thing, so these are sheets that I made. To make a fitted sheet, I followed these steps:

  • Cut a piece of fabric 6x8 for a 5x7 mattress (use cotton or cotton polyester)
  • Stitch 1/8-1/4 hem around
  • Place the fabric on the mattress to form corner pockets. Pin
  • Sew the pocket on the wrong side. Trim away excess fabric
  • Press the seam open
  • The fitted sheet will not have elastic as the real thing, but it it be on the bottom the mattress anyway.
Note: Don't sew? Use fabric glue

The top sheet is easier:

  • Cut a piece of fabric 10 1/2 to 11x 9 inches--shorter if you don't want the wide hem/cuff at the top 
  • Sew 1/4 inch around for hem
  • Fold the top hem and stitch. Use a decorative stitch if you want
Please note that these sizes are approximate, depending on the size of mattress and how much over hang you want. I arrived at my size by going on line to look up the standard sizes for mattress Sleep Train. A standard full sized bed measures 60x80 or 5 ftx6.6ft. Convert that to the 1:12 scale and you come up with roughly a 5in.x7in. mattress (that's what my foam mattress measures). Decide how much hem and overhang/fullness you want and cut your material.

I like to make the kit furniture so that I can paint or finish it the way I want it. I hate taking the vintage dollhouse furniture that has such nice finishes, especially if it is in good condition and painting over it, so I make the kits. You can find them on

Finally, I fitted the sheet to the mattress, but since it is paper and the edges were irregular, I had to glue the sheet in place. That's okay because it is going to be sealed up in a room box and not played with.

I surprised myself with this little bed. I have made other beds and I may eventually get good at it. Since it goes into a boy's room, it didn't have to have any fancy stuff.

The bed on left is made from a kit. Easy to make. The bed on the right, mine

I like to make the kit furniture so that I can paint or finish it the way I want it. I hate taking the vintage dollhouse furniture that has such nice finishes, especially if it is in good condition and painting over it, so I make the kits. You can find them on I also made the pillow and pillow cases with some hand embroidery.  The lace is a piece of lace that I have had for ages. Making these little beds and dressing them can be a lot of fun.

The spread for the bed here is an old handkerchief. I have dozens of them, too, but then I don't want to cut them, but they are perfect and cut folded and glued in place. 

So here is the finished bed. I stained it with MinWax Wood Finish Early American 220. I wanted a Star Wars themed bed, but who can find miniature Star Wars bedding? So I used a fat quarter that I purchased at JoAnn in the quilting material department. It looks a little Star Wars, don't you think?

Intrigued yet? It is going to be very cute. Not all grandsons are open to dollhouse boxes are they?  But his little guy will love it. I will glue the bedding in place--which I do not do in the dollhouses. Everything will be glued in place because Mamma doesn't want him to play with it. She will, I know, save if for herself until he grows up and wants it for his college dorm room. Really, Grandma!

Oh and dig that old fashioned TV. I came in a box of stuff that bought from the Junk Man. I wondered what I would ever do with it. It has a very special place now.

The Bellingham

I found these little bottles on a wonderful website DBJ Miniatures, but when I went there the other day to order more, the site has closed down. I am so disappointed because it was a great website.

The kit came with eight bottles, the tops, and the labels. 

I used a glue stick to adhere the label and Locktite glue to glue the lid on. 

I would love to do more. I have found them on Etsy, but they are made and shipped from overseas. I'll keep looking to find some state side.

Sometimes I wonder if I am in over my head with this house. While I do like the MFD wood, it is heavy and hard to hold in place, so I have struggles. The blue painter's tape works fair at holding it in place. Right now I have the front and this part glued in place.

I have not yet glued the back roof in place because it has taken me a long while to figure how the pieces go together. Right now I am waiting on wallpaper and glue to be shipped to me. I have not yet decided exactly how I want to do the attic. I also have to decide if I want to light it.

My directions are an older version because I can't find the ones that came with the kit and there are slight variations. By looking a pictures of other Bellingham houses that I have found on Pinterest, I was able to figure out how the back roof goes together. 

I am also trying to figure out wallpaper. I know that many dollhouse builders use scrapbook paper, so I decided that since I want a more modern looking bathroom, I cut a test piece from my paper stash. This paper stack has a variety of embossed papers, all pearly white. I like the look very much, though this not the pattern that I will use. It is easy to cut and heavy.

So I think you are now caught up. I do need to take time to show you what I purchased from Norm's Dollhouse located in Denver. Today is their last day open, a very sad day for them I am sure. Norm and his wife opened the store 39 years ago. It has run its course and a mighty fine it run it was. Son David now builds the houses and will continue to do so and has a new website:Dave and Wendy Dollhouse where they will continue to sell miniatures on line and they have a Face Book page. 

I will return when I have more to share. Right now I need to get on with my day. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you visit, please do leave a comment. I love reading them. The blog is growing too, up to 13 now. Wow. Thanks so much for signing on.