Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Wee Custom Bench

Sometimes, it's just really hard to keep a secret. Sometimes, you work on a project and really want to share. So sometimes, you decide to give out a little sneak peek...

The other night, I sent Dorothy a photo of the layout of one of the secret Spring Fling rooms, and she queried: "What is the blue thing? Couch?" I wrote back to say yes. She asked: "Did you upholster it yourself?"

OH BOY! She can tell that it has a real cushion. SCORE! And yes, I DID upholster it myself. This is my very first piece of "I made that" furniture. Well, I suppose I didn't truly make it myself. It's from a kit. But I bashed it (or modified it), so it's kinda custom.

*beams with pride*

It all started back in Chicago when I bought the Shenandoah Designs, Inc. Chippendale Collection Blanket Chest kit off ebay. I got it for cheap and planned to use it in the Beacon Hill at some point. Years went by, and I moved, and the little kit moved with me and sat in storage forEVER. I knew I wanted a seating area for the Spring Fling build, so I got out the kit one afternoon. It had a lot of pieces:

I glued together the lower portion and then realized some of the kit pieces were missing. It's been 800 years since I bought it and the company is no longer in business, so it was time to improvise:

Then I realized that the blanket chest would be quite tall if I continued making it. It made a nice little bench with storage underneath as is. I conferred with my mini gals, and they reminded me that it's good to SEE what is in that storage area. They told me that with minis, you want your "clutter" to show -- that's part of what makes it fun and realistic. So I left off the drawers that would normally go in the bottom and painted the whole thing a bright purple color. My Spring Fling build? It's a wee bit LOUD.


Then I went to the store and bought some fat quarters of a bunch of different colors. Originally, I planned on making a back to the bench and using these two colors:

One night, after a month or so of having the fabric and being too scared to work on it, I finally got up the courage to try to make the cushion. I took a piece of card stock, put a few layers of batting on it, and glued the fabric over it with fabric glue. It was dark in the house, so the color doesn't pop as much:

So then the little cushion got glued to the bench, and it sat on the coffee table for a while so I could think about how to make it look better. Trim! Trim helps everything!

Yesterday, I took my little bench to Hancock Fabrics. I was hoping to find a wee ropey trim for it, but none of the ropes were small enough. I'm trying to be better about scale, and I knew the big ones would look crazy. I finally settled on a satiny gold ropey thing. I bought a yard of it just in case I totally messed it up. On the way through the checkout line, the woman pulled my bench out of the basket and tried to scan it.

Me: "Oh, that's mine."

Her: "What is it?"

Me: "It's a bench."


Her: "For... a dollhouse?"

Me: "Yes."

*awkward pause*

I was in a "mood" yesterday, so I didn't feel like explaining myself.

I came home and felt the fear of MESSING IT UP radiate through my body. Then I took a deep breath and glued the trim on.

From the top:

From the back:

From the front:

I'll be sure to fill those little drawer spaces with mini goodies soon.

And you know what will look perfect perched on top of the bench? One of these lovely pillows from Brae's Otterine Etsy shop:

Like I said, the build is a little LOUD. Just as it should be.

I have finally completed my very first kind-of-original miniature furniture piece.

*pats self on back*


otterine said...

The trim is perfect!!! And, you can totally say you made something even if you start from a kit. That's the point...the kit didn't ALAKAZAM into existence as a finished piece. You MADE that happen! Hugs!

A. Wright said...

Hoooray for your trim job! It's excellent :D *beams with pride too*

LoL! "No a bench for my gecko, he demanded gold trim, he's a Diva like that". Now, THAT deserved a blank stare.

Rita Arens said...

Love it! Thanks for explaining. I know nothing about dollhouses, but I do know how damn hard it is to make anything look good DIY. GOOD FOR YOU!

Anonymous said...

Great job, Blondie! That trim added just the right touch. I can't wait to see your secret build-I'll bet it is awesome!

Lyssa said...

Yea, friend, yea!!! So glad you took the plunge!!! I love those colors together, and the the gold trim is PERFECT addition. It picks up what looks like some gold in the cushion fabric.

Maybe the cashier thinks all you can get for a dollhouse is yucky red with red velvet China stuff. :P

terry said...

I love it! Great work!