Thursday, August 4, 2016

Still Waiting...

A couple of weeks ago I was told that the "take over your whole life" part of my job was likely starting a week early. Now the news is that it might be another week. It sure is difficult to make plans when you're in "wait mode". So, what better to do than a series of little projects on the HBS Creatin' Contest build!

It seems to me that little pigs would have lots of indoor activities at their disposal. You never know when a bad wolf might be lurking outside. So, having books to read and games to play would be essential!

I have a few of those cute but not always in scale cabinets that Michael's sells. They are always good for quick projects, like a bookshelf. Here is what I started with.

About 30 to 45 seconds in the microwave will usually loosen the glue up enough that you can pull parts off. TWO IMPORTANT CAUTIONS:


These are the parts I pulled off to use in another project someday...

These are the parts I will use. I had to add my own bottom shelf piece from my scrap bin because the original bottom was an inside fit and did not want to come off without splitting. This sometimes happens. Sometimes you will even have to make a small repair to splintered off pieces after you pull the doors off. A little wood glue and some sanding does the trick.

I taped off the top of the shelf and painted the body in the same Georgia Clay that I've used for much of the furniture in this build, then stained the top and shelves in the same Chrysnbon Fruitwood stain that I seem to have oodles of packages of. After it dried, I put two coats of ultra matte sealer on and let that dry thoroughly.

Now, to fill the shelves... I ordered a sheet of the vintage cut & glue game boxes from HBS. It was my first time using them, and they are really cute! Patience while cutting them out, and then letting the glue dry thoroughly before handling them is the trick. The mini clamps are also a must have. I suppose you could use paper clips in a pinch. I also went over the edges with a sharpie where necessary.

I saw Marilyn's video about a kit she purchased to make loads of books. I decided to give it a shot using my own blocks of wood and my own printed covers. Some of the books were double thick by gluing two pieces together, and some were just a single piece of wood. Once I had them measured and cut for the shelf, I painted the edges with a Folkart paint called Linen.

To make the covers, I just measured how long and high they needed to be as follows:

Front 3/4" + Spine 3/8" + Back 3/4" + a smidge more to fold the front edges under = 2"

Height 7/8"

I converted the measurements to decimals using this handy Fraction to Decimal chart. This meant I needed them to be:

Front .75" + Spine .375" + Back .75" + a smidge more to fold the front edges under = 2.0"

Height .896"

In my drawing program, I made a box for the front, spine and back at the height I needed. Then I grabbed nice book jackets off the interwebs and resized them to fit into the boxes. In some cases I had to cut up the images, regroup and reconfigure them.

Then I printed them out on matte photo paper and gave them a coat of matte Mod Podge.

Once dry, I cut them out and colored the edges and a bit of the inner cover with coordinating sharpies. I used Mod Podge to adhere them to the wood blocks.

Once the shelf was dry and the books and games were completed I could load them up! I even had a special little piggy bank to add to the shelf.

A fun, easy and quick project to fill the time until there is no time. For minis. that is. Now let's see what else I can bang out before the chaos begins!

Back soon, I hope!



  1. I look one apart too. But it required, but it required lots of wood filler!

    Check out this Flickr page. Lots of scanned book covers to work with!

    1. Thanks so much for the link! There are some great and modern choices there! I bookmarked it for later plundering! :O)

  2. Hello Jodi,
    Well done! The bookcase is perfect for your project and the books and game boxes came out beautifully! It is a great touch and I love the logic behing the pigs needing something to pass the long wolf filled evenings. I am impressied with all the thought that went into this project. Bravo!
    Big hug

    1. Thanks Giac! This project has reconnected me to "art time" in grade school! It was all about imagination and creativity with no right or wrong. Taking my ego out really allows me to have much more fun with no worry of criticism. I was a quirky kid, and I guess I still am! :O)

  3. Dear Jodi,
    For some reason my comment about your previous post did not appear so I will begin by saying how delighted you must be on how well the brick work has turned out. The colours used to create the shading enhance the realism beautifully. It is always inspiring to see how miniaturists create furniture for their projects and I love how you created a bookcase from another kit...the completed effect is just what three little pigs would want in their home. And to think that they have lots of reading material and games to play is a perfect addition to the storyline...thank you for sharing! Cheers, Alayne

    1. Hi Alayne - I'm so sorry that you were not able to leave comments before, but I am glad that you've left them here! The first time I attempted to go outside of the instructions and get more life from the mortar material was with my Encounters project. I fell so in love with being able to make something uniquely mine and the freedom to explore with crafts! That is what I find the most fun, and I am so glad that you enjoy it, too. In the furniture realm, I am still in the early learner stage, so I love that there are creative shortcuts advised by other miniaturists. Someday, I am going to meet with Gary Graves and pick his brain and learn his skills but for now, simple is good!

  4. Book-making is very zen, no? :D I always get in the zone when I sit and make books. The cabinet turned out perfectly!

    1. Thank you, Brae! It is surprisingly relaxing, and I really found myself enjoying a simple project! A lot of times my ideas overwhel my actual skills and I struggle to figure things out. Those times are a little less enjoyable during the process, so it's nice to be happy and singing all the way through!

  5. Cute book shelf, and love the ceramic piggie. Thank you thank you, I love the tips to disassemble!! I have destroyed a couple in my attempts, and would never have thought to stick it in the microwave, and I highly suspect I would've stuck the sucker in the microwave with no thought to removing the metal parts first ... lol ... you have spared me an injury, maybe my house burning down :) Elaine

    1. Oh no! I am glad to have passed on a good tip! Not originally thought of by me, but glat to pass it on just the same!

  6. Perfect addition to the little house. Plenty for the brothers to do while the Big Bad lurks.

    1. Thanks Sheila! A house without books is just not a home!