27 January 2012

Week 4: Sneaky, secret dolls house


So now that we're on week 4 of this mini obsessed challenge I like to think I'm winning a few of you over on the dolls house front? A bit? Maybe?..

They don't have to be obscenely expensive and take up loads of space. It can be your dark little secret.
Here's how.

What I used:
Office storage box
PVA glue
Wrapping paper
White paint

What I did:
I'd wanted to give this a go for a while. There are purpose built, room-box kits out there but they are horrendously expensive for what is essentially, well, a box.

This box was one of three I got from WHSmiths ages ago. Until this week it had been serving it's purpose as useful office storage, until I was struck by inspiration, tipped everything onto the floor, painted it, papered it, job done.

That is literally all there was to it, but just incase, I'll throw a few finer points at you.

- Give the box a good dust before you start painting and glueing.

- Paint the top an bottom inside edges. 2-3 coats should do it.

- Cut the paper to fit the inside of the box

- Use a VERY slightly watered down PVA glue to cover the three sides that are going to be papered.

- Apply the paper carefully, use a dry cloth or sponge to smooth out any air bubbles.

- Fill with your best mini's and display with pride...until your mates come over, then you pop the lid back on the box and visitors will be none the wiser.

Storage boxes, DVD shelves, shoe boxes, old wine crates, make up cases. All can be converted into sneaky, secret dolls houses, you could have hundreds squirrelled away about the house.
There's a thought.

Were gonna go all romantic for the next week or two what with Valentines day looming so pop back if you fancy some small scale lovin.

Ta Ta!
Kat - Four little walls

26 January 2012

House Hunter: Le Chateau

Fellow Dolls House weirdos among you may already have heard whisperings / seen the press releases for the new house being launched next week by Dolls House Emporium, if not, read on!

It seems the folks over at DHE wanted to inject a little Ooh la la into their current range and I think they've hit the mark with Le Chateau, channelling features commonly seen in French architecture and fizzing with provincial potential.

DHE Specs are as follows:

-Six well-proportioned rooms on three floors -One opening front panel
-Hinged roof for access to the top floor
-Authentic steep-pitched roof in the provincial style
-Carved ‘stone’ dormer windows faithful to the French style
-Typical corner stone and roof detailing
-Five beautiful opening French doors featuring pretty balconies on the first floor
 -Intricate front entrance door opening into the impressive hallway
 -Exquisitely-detailed internal doors
-Dog-leg stairs with ‘wrought iron’ railings and wooden posts

It's important to note that the sprawling staircase at the front of the house comes as part of the basement kit which is sold separately and also, if you're not wild about the colour and finish shown here, other options are available.

Personally, I would have to buy both kits as the stairs are largely what make the house for me (plus you would HAVE to have a wine cellar!) and then turn it into a teeny, tiny homage to Sofia Coppola's film, Marie Antoinette.

Think sugary shades, chaise lounges, cakes, macaroons, designer dogs, piles of shoes and of course champagne by the bucket load. Disgustingly decadent and over the top would definitely be the name of the game. (Not that I can justify getting another house, this is all hypothetical you understand...)

So with that in mind, here's some more mini treats to feast your eyes on.


Miniature cakes, profiteroles and croissants by Hummingbird Miniatures

Le Chateau will be available to buy from February 1st 2012 at www.dollshouse.com

25 January 2012

It's the little things

It doesn't take much to amuse me but the smiley train conductor and his heart shaped ticket punch definitely raised a smile.

23 January 2012

Stuff & things: Brighton adventures

Another day, another meander about the lanes.
My laptop just blew up and I don't own a Tv so I'm trying to keep my unemployed self from going completely stir crazy with...walking.

Today's discoveries included more mini / jewellery displays. This time in Baroque in the Lanes.

I also took a moment to oggle the new Choccywoccydoodaa window display.
Didn't make me want spend my last pennies on a boat load of chocolate at all. No siree. I backed away from the confectionary and instead spent my last £5 on tiles at Fired earth. I can't tell you what they're for yet. All will be revealed soonish.

20 January 2012

Week 3: Shabby chic chair

How are we three weeks into the year already??
I've acheived nothing of note and broken all resolutions. How about you?

Today I'm going to show you how to tart up a white wood chair to co-ordinate with the cabinet from week 1.

The plan is to eventually have 3- 4 chairs in the kitchen with mis-matching cushions but times are hard here at Four little walls HQ so we're just gonna make do with the one for now.

I picked these up at a Wendy's world fair a year or two ago and have been waiting to do something with them ever since.
Soo, here goes.

What I used:
White wood chair
Off white acrylic paint
Nail file

For the cushion
Fabric swatch
Needle and thread
Small amount of stuffing
Thin ribbon
Tacky glue

What I did:
Firstly give the chair 2-3 thin, even coats of paint. It can be any colour you like, I chose the off white so the chairs match (ish) the cabinet from week 1.

When the paint's completley dry take your nail file (the thin, cheap, cardboard kind are best for this.) and gently start to rub away the paint around the edges to create a distressed look. I rubbed a section off the seat (yes I know it's going to get covered up but I will know the detail's there!!) to look like the paint had worn off as a result of many mini bums resting on the chair!

To make the cushion, measure the seat of the chair and add 1/2 centimeter sewing allowance to each edge.
I made a paper template first and used this to cut the fabric to size.
before cutting fold the fabric in half with the patterened sides facing eachother.
When you've cut the sections out keep them facing eachother and neatly hand stitch all the way around the edge. Leave a gap at the top edge big enough to turn the entire cushion through.

Trim any excess raw edges before turning the right side out.
If you can be bothered this is the moment to carefully iron the cushion cover to ensure nice neat edges.

When you're happy with the cover take a small piece of stuffing and tease it so its evenly spread before filling the cushion.
Turn the top edge under, trimming excess if you need to. Secure the edge with a few small stitiches. You could use a tiny blob of tacky glue instead if you want.

Cut two pieces of ribbon to equal length. I started mine at 3cm. Fold each ribbon in half again and secure to the top, under side of the cushion, again with one or two stitches or glue.
Note: if you've used glue ensure you leave enough time for it to dry before proceeding or you might stick the cushion to the chair!

This next bit is fiddly, using the ribbons secure the cushion to the chair using tiny knots. Trim the ribbon if neccessary and seal the ends with a bit of glue to prevent them fraying.

You're done!

Undecided for next weeks mini. It's the final kitchen project (for now) and torn between two ideas...
Guess it'll be a suprise!
Right, I'm off for lunchtime drink with lovely friend. How very civilised.
Have a great weekend.

Kat - Four little walls

17 January 2012

Stuff & things : Ferm living

I should be packing my bags and hopping on a train back to the seaside.
Instead, I'm ooh and ahh-ing at the Ferm living spring collection.

There's a recurring theme that I just can't seem to get enough of....

13 January 2012

Week 2: Black board wall panel

Hello hello!

It's Friday the 13th so I'm staying inside and messing about with mini things. What could go wrong?!

Week two of the 52 week, mini-making, challenge brings with it a super cool, black board wall.
We're staying in the kitchen for this as that's where I've seen the majority of real black board panels, though it would look equally fab as part of an office or kids room.

Now you did get a little sneaky peek at this in last weeks pics so I hope you're not too underwhelmed!

What I used:
Stiff black card / mount board cut to required size
Chalk (sharpened)
Assorted post-its, papers, images

What I did:
Measure the height of the room your panel is going into and cut it to size.
Sharpen your chalk to a point and doodle away on the panel.
Think shopping lists, memos, phone numbers, cheeky messages. What ever you fancy.

When you're happy with you're scribbiling, get your post-its and papers and trim to teeny-tiny sizes, before arranging on the panel. If you make sure you cut your mini post-its from the sticky strip of the real ones there won't be any need for glue. If you're not using post-its a little dab of Pritstick should do the job.
That's pretty much it. To personalise it you could try shrinking down your real life photos or postcards. make mini take away menus and use different coloured chalks.

Note: The chalk won't really rub off the card once it's on so have a little practise before writing out your final doodles.
If you're feeling really brave and want to splash out an extra few pennies, try using real black board paint. You can paint it directly onto the dolls house or on a pre-cut board , that way you can change your messages and doodles as often as you like.


Well, I hope you stay lucky today!

 Next week we're gonna have a kitchen chair make over, complete with comfy cushions. (Not the one in the picture)

Ta ta!
Kat  - Four little walls 

11 January 2012

Stuff and things

We're quite spoiled living in Brighton really. Even when you're utterly skint there's still loads to do and on days like today, when it feels more like April than January you can just saunter around the lanes to your hearts content, feeling very smug about it too.

Was just heading home when I spotted this window display...


I failed to get the name of the store as my mum called right at that moment and distracted me. Will try to find out. I can tell you it's on Bond street right after HSBC.

I also saw these bottles. They're not mini, but I liked them. One day I hope to have a shelf full like this one, but with 'poison' on the labels so as to unnerve potential dinner guests and keep future hubby's on their toes.


6 January 2012

Week 1: Cabinet makeover

Soo, here we are. The first Friday of the year and with it comes the first of 52 (hopefully!) mini projects for those inflicted with the dolls house bug.

If you haven't had a read of the About page maybe have a quick squizz, else you might just think I'm a crazy lady playing with dolls houses. Partly true.

I've decided to start off in the kitchen.
Kitchens are my favourite room in most houses. It's where the food comes from, and where everybody always ends up squeezed into during a party!

I got this little cabinet about 10 years ago when I first started collecting things for the house Dad was building me.
(Long story short, said house was much neglected after I bought my huuuge Squirrel collection dolls house and from then on gave very little thought to what I was putting into it. All the good stuff and pocket money went on the big one. I shut the doors and eventually buggered off to Uni leaving the poor little house forgotten and collecting dust.)

What I used:
Fine grain sandpaper
Ieko eggshell paint in 'Cupboard Love'

What i did:
Firstly I gave the whole cabinet a quick dust and wipe. Sitting in a box for the best part of a decade gets surprisingly mucky.
I roughly sanded the whole cabinet, including the drawers. You don't need to do this for long as you're not stripping the wood, just creating a more paint friendly surface.
Give it another wipe down to remove all the dust and debris, the tiniest bit of grubbiness will stand out a mile when your working with mini things so it's worth taking the time to give it a thorough clean up.

It was at this point i decided I didn't want cabinet doors anymore so cracked them off using a small, blunt-ish knife. You may not wish to be so destructive with your own mini furniture but should you decide to customise mind out for the little pins used for the door hinges. Surprisingly sharp!
I also discarded the tiny drawers, preferring the look of cubby holes instead.

Using a small, good quality paintbrush (cheap ones shed too many bristles for this job!) start applying a thin, even coat of paint. Don't forget to do the drawers too.
The paint I used didn't take long to dry at all, in fact, the time it took to fix a cranberry G&T and have a little sip or too was the ideal 'watching paint dry' activity.

Apply a further 2-3 coats of paint until you've reached the effect you were after. Please note you probably won't need a gin between every coat, you need a steady hand for mini work after all!

Leave for an hour or more to ensure the whole cabinet has completely dried before styling it up and displaying with pride.

I'll leave you with a few pics of my playing about with the finished cabinet.
See you next Friday for a blackboard wall panel!

Kat - Four little walls

4 January 2012

2 days to go!

Have just finished the launch post and am itching to press 'publish'!
However, I said the 52 week challenge would be a Friday thing so Friday it shall be. May as well try stick to something for 2012, have broken all other resolutions already. Sigh.

Hope you'll check back on the 6th for week 1 of the challenge and a sneaky peek of what's to come next week too! (couldn't help my self!)

For now I shall leave you with a little pic of what I've spent an unhealthy amount of time looking over this week...