Introduction: Houseplant Treehouse & Tiny Mouse
Welcome, happy you're here!
I like small curious things and surprises to appear in my interior, things that make others - and myself - smile!
Here is my newest "happy-thingy" - a tiny treehouse, that makes my - some would say "misshapen" - ginseng-ficus, fun to look at again! ( No, I wont shape it, it knows itself how to grow best ;) )
There is a cute little mouse fella dreaming in a walnut hammock up in the branches,
a rope swing to cheer the habitants up, platforms to enjoy the view and a cozy cabin when the days get colder.
This is a fun project and can be made with tons of different materials and shapes - so don't be afraid to use other techniques and materials.
Be my guest and build your very own treehouse!
materials i used ( materials for the mouse listed below) :
thin wood sheet - i gathered mine from an old fruit crate
acrylic paint: brown, red
thin hemp cord ( gardeners supply)
white glue or other glue
tools i used:
dremel tool with different bits ( can be substituted with files, sandpaper and a normal drill)
a small paintbrush
pencil and marker
For the felted mouse:
brown felting wool
light pink felting wool
felting needles coarse and fine
felting pad ( I use a linen sack filled with rice, a sponge would also do)
a walnut shell
black fine liner
string for hanging
Step 1: Treehouse Architecture
it will help you alot to roughly plan your treehouse.
A crude cardboard model makes it easier to visualize the result and helps you cutting the final pieces in sturdier material.
grab your plant and start planning - where do you want a platform? - how should your treehouse look like, and where is it situated?
cut the pieces in thin cardboard and tape them together - until you are pleased with the result - no need for details - only the rough shapes.
Step 2: Cut the Parts
now disassemble your cardboard models, and simply trace them onto your thin wood sheet.
A few things to keep in mind:
if your planned platforms are situated round any kind of branch - they need to be cut in half.
keep in mind, that your chosen material may be thicker than the cardboard you used: that means, the structures will eventually increase in size if you don't keep that in mind. Example: the cardboard i used is 1,5 mm (0,06") thick and the wood sheet is 5mm (0,19") - to maintain the original size of the house, i had to shorten the houses sides - angle remains the same, but they need to be shorter.
with that said, grab your saw and cut the pieces.
Step 3: Adding Details and Sanding
on the platforms and housewalls: emboss a woodplank structure with a sharp knife.
you can use a dremel tool for that as well.
cut windows and the door, by drilling a hole and threading the saw through it.
sand with sandpaper or a dremel bit.
Step 4: Painting and Glueing
I wanted the wood to appear a little darker and more rustic,
so i dilluted some brown acrylic paint and painted all parts with it (the door got another nuance).
also paint a bunch of toothpicks for the railing.
NOTE: make sure your painted parts dry flat, thin wood sheet tend to warp when too wet.
time to assemble your tiny house - glue it together and let dry completely.
Step 5: Platform Railing Part 1
A platform up high in the woods without any form of protection seems hazardous!
So to save our small inhabitants from falling, a railing needs to be installed!
to do so:
devide the platforms so that your planned railing poles appear with equal spacing - I just eyeballed it and had around 1cm (0,39") in between each pole - mark each spot with a small dot.
cut the painted toothpicks in desired length - i made them 1cm (0,39") long ( 1,5cm (0,59") for the big platform) - mark with a pencil and cut easiliy with the secateurs ( hold both ends of the toothpick, otherwise the will fly like small projectiles around you ;) )
I used the dremel tool, with a bit in size of a toothpicks diameter, to make small blind holes on the marked spots.
when all of this is prepared:
dab a "railing-pole" in some white glue and press it into the blindhole - proceed untill all poles are done.
Step 6: Platform Railing Part 2
this part was easier than expected, but before you start some helpful notes:
remember the platform are cut in two halfes? - so leave it open on one side, you will finish weaving when they are installed.
if you want to have a sort of ladder up to the platform, plan it now, and leave a space for it in the railing ( see the pictures)
cut a piece of the hemp cord, twice as long as the circumference of the platform,
fold in half, add a small drop of (hot) glue into the loop and fold aroud the first pole.
add a small dot of white glue onto every poles top and start weaving the cord around the poles.
when reaching the end, add some more (hot) glue and make it look neatly =)
Step 7: Roof
I wanted the roof to have some structure - so I went for corrugated cardboard instead of wood, for an easy achieved "roof-look".
Use a toothpick to peel the upper paper from the corrugated part and cut it in size for the house.
glue it on and paint it in different shades of red and some brown.
TIP: If the corrugated part is misshaped - use a toothpick to "pop it up" again: just put it into the holes and gently raise it back in shape.
Step 8: Installing the Platforms
heat up your glue gun - it might come in handy.
add some white glue where the platforms halves meet,
position the plateau and press the halfes together until the glue sets - a small dab of hot glue underneath will help the parts stay together, also you could use some rubberbands to press the halves in place.
for the upper platform i used a toothpick inbetween the branch fork to support from underneath.
the lower platform was locked in place with some wedges of the wood sheet, until it was stable.
time to weave the remaining cords of the railing.
Step 9: Ladders
to reach the platform, our fellow treehouse residents need ladders
for each ladder: cut hemp cord to the approximate length from platform to platform (2 cords/ ladder)
cut painted toothpicks with the secateurs (same procedure as before for the railing) - about 1,5cm (0,59")
tape down the cords equally
add drops of white glue where you want the ladder rungs to be.
lay down the rungs ( pieces of toothpicks )
put something heavy on top, to press everything down, while the glue dries
ladders ready to install :)
Step 10: Rope Swing
treehouse fun: a rope wing!
cut a circle from wood and drill a hole into the middle of it.
paint the circle in desired colour
thread a piece of hemp cord through the hole and add some knots as detail
fray the lower end of the cord
Step 11: Needle Felted Mouse in Walnut Part 1 Body
this is an easy needle felting project, that is on beginners level, so don't hesitate to try something new to you.
If you don't feel for it, but anyway want such a tiny fella - there are some out there on etsy :)
Take 0,4g (0,014oz) brown wool
roll it into a small cigar shape
bend about 1/3 of it in a little and start felting witch a coarse felting needle
go on - curse when you stab yourself - and shape the wool into the mouses little body.
when you get near the final shape, switch to the fine felting needle for a nicer surface.
Step 12: Tiny Mouse Part 2 Ears, Nose and Tail
roll a small ball of pink wool and attach it to the tip of the mouses head, with the felting needle.
shape two ears from pink wool and attach them on each sides of the head
roll a piece of wool to a long, thin tail - you can cheat with a little dab of a glue stick - attach to the body
use a thin marker and draw a sleepy eye
the mouse is ready for bed :)
Step 13: Tiny Mouse Part 3: Walnut Bed
glue some moss to the edges of the walnut shell
if you want to hang your walnut bed, like I did, add some string to both long sides of the shell
lay or glue the mouse in place.
Step 14: Assembly
adding all your details:
hang the walnut from branch to branch
install the ladders with smal dabs of hot glue
add the swing on a good place under the platform ( hot glue)
Be sure to crack a smile everytime you see your small furry friend dreaming in it's walnut-hammock...
This is one of these projects, that are never really done - there are endless possibilities to upgrade the treehouse with small details that attract the eye.
what about: Lighting? Flags? Garlands? Furniture? Flowers...
I'm sure to gear up the residence of my little mouse fella soon!
What about you? - want to give it a try? show the community and me your results!
Second Prize in the
Tiny Things Speed Challenge
1 year ago
The introduction was really cheerful and happy. And the instructions were easy to read. Good luck with your other projects.
Reply 1 year ago
Thank you - glad you like it :)
1 year ago
1 year ago
Very nice work! :)
1 year ago
This is adorable! Now I want to install tree houses in my plants :D
1 year ago
I loved the moment of walnut 🤎
Reply 1 year ago
A cozy bed for a sleepy, tiny mouse :)