Introduction: Miniature Beach House
This is a Miniature Beach House that I made from using various materials.
The floor of the house is made from a rectangular piece of wood, that formerly was a desktop pen/pencil holder. I turned it upside down to provide a flat surface for the floor of the house and also to hide the 'ugly' part of the holder underneath. The walls of the house are made from small pieces of plywood from an old wood burning kit. I just glued the edges of the plywood to the sides of the holder, 3 sides glued together sturdied it up welI. painted over the wood burning pattern with yellow paint and left them their natural color for the interior of the house. The roof and gables are made from bamboo coffee stir sticks. The deck area is made from plywood covered with a piece of sandpaper, as I wanted something on the surface that didn't look like a piece of plywood. The stairs leading to the deck are made from small dowels purchased from the dollar store. I painted them yellow and blue. I painted them before I glued them to the side of the deck. The stairs leading into the house are made from cut pieces of an old picture frame, the profile on the inside of the frame edges looked just like wee stairs. My husband cut them to length for me. I glued small strips of cork on them to look like treads. I left them their natural wood color. I used a 2 pieces of wood for rails so you couldn't see the cut ends. The 'carpeting' inside the house is made from a piece of felt backed cloth material. The deck roof is made from stir sticks woven to form a square. (soak in water for a while, they become flexible enough to be able to weave together.) The upright supports under the deck roof are made from bamboo dowels from an old plant hanger. The supports underneath the house and deck are made from corks that are painted brown. I used various small pieces of wood to build the cupboards and bar in the 'outdoor kitchen' on the deck area. The sink is made from seashells and silver painted bamboo 'plumbing'.
I used an old picture frame turned upside down to make a 'island' for the house. First I glued a piece of stiff cardboard into the frame to give a sturdy base to build upon. The frame edges I then painted in various shades of darker blues, I did this quite messily as water is made up of many shades and having different colors gives interest and makes it look 'alive'. The strokes with your brush should be a horizontal nature, not vertical. No need to be articulate, just remember water lines are fairly horizontal with a just a bit of vertical lift, and that the waves are coming to shore and apply your paint to try to mimic that. Ensure you paint the blue enough up the sides of the frame to where your land surface and water will meet. I then covered the land area of the island with white glue, and sprinkled sand onto this. I made the darker line that the waves have washed up to the beach edge, by making a thick line of hot glue, when it was dry I covered the line with white glue, then sprinkled sand that I had mixed with black paint to make it look wet. I used hot glue to make the waves, again remembering that water is fairly horizontal and waves are coming to shore. I then used light blue metallic paint to highlight just the top surface of the hot glue waves, making sure to not cover the darker blue beneath. This adds dimension to your water. It turned out surprisingly well and looks a lot like waves.
After it was dry, I glued down the house and deck (which I had already glued the corks onto the bottom of) onto the sand surface of my island..
Now this is the really fun part, making accessories for the house! The nets were made with string, with dollar store wooden beads forming the floats. Making a net is surprisingly easy, if you can tie a knot, you can make a net. The Japanese floats are made from marbles. You can make the netting for them too, but I thought the string was too big for the size of the floats, so I used the thin plastic netting from a bag of oranges. The dishes in the cupboards were made from buttons, the drinking glasses from beads and cut portions of transparent tubes from inside old pens. The dog dishes are buttons that had an indent in them. I filled them in with glue then sprinkled some herbs (from kitchen spice cupboard) that looked like wee bits of dog food.The couch is rectangles of foam covered with material, beads for legs. The 'papasan chair' is made from a crafting bird nest covered with material, glued onto a spiral piece of metal from an old hanging sun catcher. I glued the spiral onto a round piece of wood to form its base. The 'hand' chair is made from a broken back scratcher. The hand sits on a round base made from the inside plastic piece from an old tape roll, that I covered with material and glued onto a base of another round piece of plastic that used to be the end of a cardboard tube. The coffee table on the deck is made from a large wooden bead with an acrylic circle from an old ornament forming the tabletop surface. The material that I used for the furniture was from an old shirt, very thin materials are needed when making miniatures, coarser weaves look out of proportion with small items. The doily is cut from a piece of lace. Glasses are beads, ashtray is a piece of Lego. The basket was already made, I glued a broken crystal earring in it just to give it some sparkle. The 'flower container on the step is a part of an ole belt. The umbrella on the deck is an umbrella that you put in your fancy summertime cocktail. The Canada and Saskatchewan flags are made from lapel pins, with the pin part cut off, affixed onto gable with hot glue.
The 'tanning' area was made using a piece of material for the towel, making a pillow, I used wee pieces of plastic from a chocolate bar to make the bag of chips. The flip flops are made from white foam paper with sparkle strip across the toe and a piece of rubber forming the sole. The sunglasses are made from bent wire with hot glue forming the lenses. The drinking glass has a small umbrella in it that I made. The tube of suntan lotion is made from plastic with a plastic topped pin forming the cap. The sign on the side of the house actually says "Day at the Beach' (The net is covering 'at the' in the photo) I've since corrected this and affixed the net so it doesn't cover the words. This sign is a paper scrapbooking item from the dollar store. The flowers and greenery are made from silk flowers. (You can sometimes take apart larger flowers and make smaller flowers from the pieces. You can paint the flowers with thinned acrylic paint to change the color to suit yourself too.) The seashells are real purchased from the dollar store. (They sometimes are available in an aquarium section of a store too.) The blue starfish is an old earring. The 'palm tree' is made from a piece of branch with sword shaped leaves from silk flowers forming the fronds. The 'birdhouse on top is made from the pod of a poppy with a seashell roof.. The wee cockatiel beside it was a garage sale treasure.
Inside the house...ohmygosh, where to start!? The candle holder on the back wall is made from a L shaped piece of Lego, the candle is a mechanical pencil eraser painted metallic white, with a tip of a toothpick forming the wick. I put a large sparkle circle behind the eraser and glued it all onto the L. The fish on the shelf above the couch is a small decoration I bought at a garage sale, possibly one they used to give out in tea many years ago. The telephone is a button, vase is miniature with a flower that was a lapel pin. Elephant and giraffe are old wooden earrings. Fruit is made from glass, I found them at a garage sale. The plate beside fruit is a button. Coffee cups are miniatures, also garage sale. The kitty under the bench: face is made from a cat faced button that fit into the holes on Croc shoes. Cat cave is material covered plastic bubble (think prize in gum ball machine) with an opening cut to glue the button into. Cat picture on wall is old earring. Plastic teddy bear on bench, pillows that I made, rose is metal miniature. The part to the right of the doorway is a piece of wood that I covered in cloth paper, with a strips of black sparkly glam along top and bottom, the heart is an old earring.
Please keep in mind, this could never be 100% reproduced exactly as is, even by myself the artist! For starters, the base of the house (the wooden pen/pencil holder) was an item given to me by someone who was going to trash it. The project all started from there and just kept growing until I had made a house. And then I needed somewhere for it to all live, so I came up with the upside down frame after trying a number of other things that didn't work as well. I worked on this for a number of months in my spare time. None of the accessories were glued into the house or deck areas until I had finished making them all and were sure of their final placement in the scene. Everything is affixed and was glued with either hot glue, Gorilla glue or Lepage's white glue depending on my needs. I can turn the entire frame upside down and nothing will fall off. Scenes like this can be made with items that you may have around the house, garage or sewing room, craft supplies, dollar store lumber, old jewelry, etc. Adapt your project to what you have on hand, you don't want to have to spend a fortune on supplies. Garage sales are fantastic places to obtain cheap craft supplies and other cool items too. Use your imagination in ways to make these items work for what you want them to do. I had tons of fun making this!! Thanks for looking at my beach house and if you've read this far, I hope you have a blast making your miniature scene too!! Any questions? I'll try to answer. Thank you.