Monday, May 29, 2017

I Need A Shower: A Tutorial

Surprise. Sarah at Villa Emilia thought that I should do a mosaic from the Ann's Dollhouse Dreams , my dollhouse blog, for Mosaic Monday. Frankly, things are fairly quiet here at the Garden Spot this week, so I thought I would take her up on her suggestion.

We took time off from weed control yesterday to visit two of our favorite garden centers only to find plants over priced and picked over. I did come home with some perennials that I'll show off once we plant this week. Here in Colorado we are slow to get our gardens in because it has been so cold and wet. Hey. Not complaining. When it rains, the Garden Spot greens up and looks like a country estate. This week night time temperatures will reach 50 degrees, so the HG says we will plant tomatoes when the soil has warmed.

Gradually the HG has been getting some nagging little chores done such as stretching this rope from the crooked Locust tree to the pine tree to try to straighten the Locust's trunk We shall see how successful that attempt is.

I miss having a closes line here at the Garden Spot, which would be so handy when you have large items to dry. I washed this quilt and the washer didn't spin out the water, so I had the HG fling it up on the new line. (I still am without my washer.) The line is a bit high for me to reach. Nor is it in the best location--a bird fly-way to the feeders.

Now for the progress on the Bellingham Farmhouse.

Image from catalogue, pg. 59
I have a hard time working on the dollhouse when the sun shines, so I do most of my work downstairs at night. I haven't worked on it much the past several weeks, so the last few nights I have been working on building a shower for the Bellingham Farmhouse. I decided that instead of a tub, I'd do a shower. The nice modern shower carried by the online miniature catalogues costs around $30, more than what I really want to spend, so I decided to build one. Join me while I work. The shower in the catalogue measures 4 1/2 W x 6 1/4 x H 3 1/8 deep. Instead of measuring fractions, I made mine 4x6.

I began by making mock-up out of heavy card stock to get the dimensions and the pattern correct then cutting out the base using balsa wood and craft sticks.

I had two options, back the tile sheet with wood or glue it directly to the dollhouse wall; I chose to make a free standing shower. I actually dug through my stash and didn't have to buy anything.

Materials that you will need: 

For the shower:
  • Balsa wood (Hobby Lobby in the wood crafts supply area. You will buy a package that has a variety of sizes. Balsa is easy to work with with and can be cut with scissors.
  • Tile. I buy the vinyl floor tile by the sheet from Hobby Lobby located in the dollhouse supplies  section. (Not to plug Hobby Lobby, but it is the only craft store in our area besides Michaels that does not care much in the way of dollhouse building supplies.
  • Craft sticks cut to size: To build the rim for the shower base to keep the water from spilling put on the floor.
For the plumbing: Use your own creative ingenuity to come up something fabulous, these are the items that I used.

  • Garment snap for the drain
  • Jewelry findings for the shower-head and faucet
    • Head pins
    • glass bead
    • finding for base of handle and the shower curtain bar (still in the "thinking it over" stage)
    • earring back for shower head (Either dig through your jewelry box for a lone back or buy a package of them. They come in quite handy for building miniatures.

I  chose an antique gold finish. Our last home where we lived had gold finished faucets and handles. Not real gold, of course) but I loved them just because they looked elegant and no one else had gold in their home.

Here is the finished shower base:

I used craft sticks to create the edge for the shower base. You will have to decide how you want the edge to look then cut out your pattern from card stock first to get a good fit. I used Elmer's Wood putty--what you would use to fill nail holes-- to fill the gap between the pieces. Once it dried, I sanded it smooth. Next I will paint it white.

I was liking my results, but I wanted a second opinion so I dropped by the Blue Farmhouse to see if the girls over there would like to help out. I love my model's pink hair.  Were I younger--. Anyway.

 The Plumbing

The faucet is simple jewelry findings layered on a head pin and glued together.

I used a small punch to punch through the tile and the balsa wood to attach the shower plumbing.


I left the rounded top on the head pin for the shower (first image) to hold the shower head more securely in place. Next,  you can see the head pin for the the faucet extending out the back, so I clipped it off and placed a dab of glue on each head pin. Now the shower head and faucet are securely held in place on both sides with jewelry glue.

The shower fits. I need to paint the base rim and finish the edges. I am not sure exactly how I will trim them out right now and I need to add a shelf for shampoo, of course.

The ladies from next door were most glad to help out, but were pretty rough with their reviews. I almost got the impression that they were making fun of me. I can't imagine why because their house doesn't even have a shower and besides they are thrift store rescues, so they should be kinder and more grateful. Of course they are tall, skinny models who probably think that they should have a more custom designed shower. However, even if I had purchased the fancy one from Miniatures. Com, it still would not have been tall enough to accommodate them. They barely fit in the bath tub. Actually these girls are the prefect size for the dollhouse, if you want dolls. They measure 5 inches, so to scale they would be about my height--I am 5.2 and not nearly as thin. They are modern looking, not stiff and dated as the commercial dollhouse dolls offered. I need a Ken, though. Most of these were probably Happy Meal toys and ended up in the thrift store grab bags. 

I not necessarily a great crafter, but I do enjoy making my own things for the dollhouse. The shower still needs a shower rod and curtain. I'll use jewelry wire and findings to hang the curtain, but I am pondering the shower curtain. I'll get back to you on that.

Next I am trying to finish up the kitchen. Just for fun before I go, I thought I'd share my workspace with you. I need to do a good cleaning and sorting before I tackle the kitchen.

I hope you enjoyed today's Mosaic. I'll be linking with Maggie at Normandy Life. The HG will go for coffee this morning and I will pick rhubarb and make a rhubarb pie to take to a barbecue later today. Tomorrow it will be back to the garden to plant the new perennials. Check them out at the Garden Spot in a few days.

I know that I do not have to remind anyone to give thanks for our veterans, past, present, and future for serving their country and protecting freedom, not just here in the States, but those brave men and women who serve their countries bravely and with honor. And not just today as we celebrate in the US our military's service, but every day. 

Have a wonderful week and thanks for joining me today at Ann's Dollhouse Dreams.

Happy Memorial Day

God Bless America 


  1. I love your new shower for your "house". What fun this must be -- putting together miniatures! Happy Monday!

  2. I personally prefer your custom-made shower to the one in the catalog, and think that you can never go wrong when using black and white tiles. It's clean and fresh and goes with everything- Good Job!


  3. Ann, I love the shower and good for you to use what you have. Have a good week. Thanks for sharing. Sylvia D.

  4. Oh I love it SO much! You really have an eye for the details! And patience too! I have a doll post ready for tomorrow...something a little different! (not a doll house though!) heehee! Hugs!

  5. Ann, the shower is incredible, the attention to detail and how you've used items such as an earring back etc to create the shower head and a snap for the drain is very clever.
    Thanks for sharing yet another of your talents with the MM crowd this week.

  6. Hi Ann, Good work on the shower, and thank you for sharing your process. It is something I really enjoy about visiting blogs that we can share our discoveries and tutorials. It is nice to buy some things but also great to create something from scratch.
    Better spend more time in the mini room as the weather will change soon and you will be reluctant to leave your garden.
    All the best.

  7. Hello Ann, what a beautiful, inspiring and fun post!
    I'm happy you decided to participate in MM with your dollhouse... and the pretty models. :)
    It's amazing what one with creativity and dexterity can build "from scratch". I'm sure many MM readers find your blog very interesting.
    Have a lovely week ahead! xx

  8. That shower is fantastic! I don't do much bathroom stuff myself. Your shower turned out amazing. You should be very proud.