January 30, 2019

January Projects: Miniature #Dollhouse Books


(PS - If you're looking for real-life books, check my comprehensive list on the Pages tab at the top of the blog!)

I posted before about making miniature books. Yes, I'm still at it and came upon a couple cool ideas. (Click photos to see full size.)

 I've been making an assortment of faded, old-looking books.  Here's some of them:

I also was making a bunch of modern horror books before for the Mini Horror Bookstore project. I put that on hold for a bit.

Thanks to Jennifer's Miniatures on FB for offering a great tutorial on making "fancier" books. A few ideas I'd used before; a couple I tried and made some different books this time.

Here's my version -  Fancy Mini Books: 

I resized the sheet of vintage book photos to a 1", 3/4" and a smaller half-scale 1/2" high size. I always spray the sheets with matte acrylic or fixative so they won't smear when I varnish them.

I tried matte Mod Podge, but it didn't give enough shine, so I coated the covers with one light coat of gloss Mod Podge. My thought is that more expensive and "leather" books do have a slightly shinier surface.

This is something I hadn't tried before and thought it gave the books a nice finish. Trace over the designs and certain lines on the books with a stylus ball tool using the smallest size ball. I trace the covers on a small mouse pad that has a fairly firm surface. The books end up with nice definitions in the design. It's hard to see in the photo, but the indents are there. 

Cut out covers. I always trace the edges of books with a matching Sharpie or other marker to mask the white edges. Color in the inner edges of books with the same color. 

Inside: I like picture frame mat board as it's easy to cut with scissors and is simpler to use. Measure the board piece to fit the book interior. It should fit so a little cover overlaps the  board on each side. 

I usually don't paint my mat board as the edges then have an "old book" look. But since these are "fancy" books, I painted the edges as suggested in the tutorial. I use a bottle of yes, fabric paint, I have on hand, Tulip soft fabric paint Metallics. It dries quick and has a nice, shiny metallic finish.  (Oops! I see a spot I missed on the edge of the book cover.)

When dry, glue mat board inside cover with Tacky glue. Some books require two pieces of board for thickness to match the spine width. 

Bookcase Idea:

I saw another idea on Facebook that someone was making bookcases inside a book box. Well, I happened upon this case at Goodwill and got an idea. Can you guess what it is? (Yes, I still have to touch up the corners of the box with some acrylic paint. It has a fake-leather finish.)

I opened it up and it's a key holder box! I thought it would be perfect to turn into a kind of inventory box to store my miniature books until I need them. (The bonus being that they'll be easy to find! ha!) The nice thing is the box has sturdy hinges and a good clasp on the side to keep it closed. I just have to add a hanger on back if I want.

The box inside has two rows of wood strips with the key holder hooks. I removed the hooks, then found a photo online of books on shelves. 

I printed out two sheets and sprayed the print-outs with the matte acrylic. I glued the books onto the back wall of the box in three large sections. I also cut down a couple lines of books to glue over the wood strips. 

When that was done, I glued in my own wood display shelves, which I edged with cove building so there would be a "lip" to hold the books in. All were painted black. I will also probably decorate those wood blocks to use as "dividers" and maybe put in some bookends as well. I know the printed books don't show much once the box is filled, but they look nice if any gaps show or on open shelves.

I'm really happy with how it turned out. So keep an eye open as you never know what you'll find to use for a project! Now to fill it....  

So far there are just over 50 books in there... yes, a compulsive thing that I won't be happy until all the shelves are filled! Stay tuned. haa!

What are you working on? Feel free to share your latest find or project idea!