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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Beachside Bungalow - Décor-ating

I worked on so many different décor projects this week that I thought the most organized way to share them would be to break them out by category. This will likely be a pretty long post (sorry), and whether it be in one sitting or several, I hope it's interesting enough for you to get to the end. And even more, I hope something here will inspire you with ideas for your own mini projects!

Curtain Components

For the living room window, I had in my mind a gauzy sort of single curtain, pulled back to one side because of the stairs. It's always been a struggle trying to figure out how to hang curtains in a dollhouse, so I wanted to come up with an idea that I could use again and again in this and future projects. Using Tinkercad, I created hardware to hang a curtain rod and finials for the curtain rod ends. The curtain rod is a 3.18 mm K&S Metals brass rod, but you could use a 1/8" dowel, too. I painted all of the components black, then made the curtain panel from a scrap piece of gauzy Swiss dot fabric in my stash. 

Curtain Rod Support Rendering.
I can probably make them about half as wide in future projects.

Curtain Rod Finial Rendering

The plate and holder get glued to the wall, then the rod sits in the hook's belly.

The finials fit over the end of the curtain rod.

Hardware painted black and curtain panel installed.

Hanging Groupings

It's hard enough to hang mini décor straight, but what if you have a grouping and want them exactly the same level and distance apart? That was my dilemma with having a grouping of four plaques to hang. And because I was working at the very back corner of the dollhouse, and in the stairwell, I needed extra assurance. I made a jig that was the height off the floor that I wanted for the bottom plaques with an added side piece that would center the grouping in the wall space. Pictures are worth one thousand words, so here's what I did:

Scrap wood jig is distance I wanted off the floor and centered in the wall space.

Jig taped in place.

First plaque added.

First spacer piece added and then second plaque.

Spacer piece added above bottom two plaques.

Third plaque added.

Last spacer piece and plaque added.

Perfectly straight, level and even.

Starfish Plaques

I needed to make some interesting art for the walls. I had these neat starfish saved in my stash since I first began collecting beachy things for this project. I thought it would be cute to make some plaques with a beachy, wooden fence vibe. I cut 3/8" scrap pieces into 1-1/8" lengths, painted them alternating colors, applied ink pad to the edges, mounted the starfish then sprayed a matte sealer on them.

Key Holder

You may have noticed in the above photo the adorable little key holder. Once I'd hung the starfish plaques it seemed like that wall space needed something. In thinking about what would be there in a real sized house, it occurred to me that mini folks might need a place to hang their keys like we do. Once again I turned to Tinkercad and the 3D printer.

Porthole Mirror

For the wall above the fireplace mantle I made a porthole mirror, again utilizing Tinkercad and the 3D printer. I just looked at some examples of porthole mirrors online to get ideas for the details. I have a bunch of 2.5" Darice mirrors in my stash, so this seemed like a great way to use them. I painted the frame black, then used gilder's paste in copper to add some rusty looking highlights.

Porthole Mirror Rendering

Darice mirrors, white printed frame and then painted.

Back of mirror. Mirror fits flush into frame.

Mirror above the fireplace.


I needed to add supplemental lighting in the living room, so I thought a lamp would be nice on a table between the chair and sofa. I just happened to have one of my Shapeways Lamps on hand, the Twilight model, and I'd always wanted to try wrapping part of it with jute.

Painted then wrapped in jute.

It takes a regular dollhouse 12 volt bulb.

The wire is threaded down through the lamp base.

And comes out the bottom into the recessed channel.

The bulb sits in the holder.

Exiting wire in the channel allows the lamp to sit flat.

The shade sits on top of the bulb holder.

The shade gives off a nice, soft glow.


Since I first got the 3D printer, I'd often get lost in thoughts about designing and printing lanterns. Now was finally the right time to dedicate some serious time and effort to making them happen. Essentially, I spent and entire 16 hour day making different designs with different components and orientations to see what would work, what would fail, and how to correct the fails. Here's what worked:

Some were a little rougher than others, but they sanded up pretty well.

I made "candles" too, so I could string candleflame bulbs in some of them.

The PLA paints up and distresses really well!

I'm pretty sure the largest nautical lanterns are going to go on either side of the bench. I need to drill holes in the floor to run the wires under the house and hook them up to the power. That is a big undertaking at this point, so I am procrastinating, likely until after all the holidays are finished. Hopefully, the light from the candles will add some nice ambiance to the back of the room.

Coffee and End Table

If only I could (or would) learn how to make real life furniture, my real life house could be so much prettier! But while my ideas are good, lumber and real power tools are a lot more to deal with than chipboard and the Cricut Maker. I found three beach house style coffee tables I liked on Amazon, then combined my favorite elements from each to make this table set.

Inspiration tables.

I distressed them with several layers of paint and washes.

Here they are with their accessories...

And in the living room with the furniture...


I found a sisal rug photo on Amazon, then printed it onto regular paper to test the size out in the living room. I settled on 7" x 7", printed it on fabric, and decided against fringe. I love how it incorporates so many of the project's colors!

I made a few other tiny accessories until I ran out of steam.

These beach totes and hat give a little lived in look to the hall tree...

And a few more angles to give a better perspective of the space...

I just love the way this first floor came together! I do still have the powder room to do, but that shouldn't take too long since it's really tiny.

I think this is going to be a good stopping point for me until after the holidays. After so much separation from family because of the pandemic, we have all decided that Christmas Is On this year! Everyone who lives relatively close by is coming to our place, and my folks will be coming up from Arizona, too. There is so much to be done in order to make the lovely Christmas backdrop for creating precious memories! I may pop in from time to time if inspiration hits, and now that my self imposed one year hiatus from Facebook and Instagram have concluded, you might see me there more often.

Keep dreaming big things for your small spaces, my friends!

xo xo,



  1. Nunca me canso de ver tus trabajos ,disfrutar de todas las fotos y el proceso de como lo realizas. Disfruta de tu merecido descanso y de tu familia, estaré pendiente de tu regreso. Besos

    1. ¡Gracias Rosa Maria! ¡Tú también disfrutas de las vacaciones! ¡Sigue haciendo esas hermosas exhibiciones!

  2. I love your eye and imagination for just what’s needed and am in awe of their creation and envy your wonderful painting skills which bring the pieces to life. I am a big believer in making jigs and templates to 'fix' things. It is much simpler and more accurate than fiddling around trying to measure inside a small space. Lovey creation. Enjoy the mini break from minis and have a wonderful time with friends and family. Stay safe.

    1. Thanks Marilyn! It only feels like work until you actual begin making and decorating, then you remember how much fun it is! I'm so glad you like the way the space came together! Hope you enjoy the holidays with your family and that grandson, as well! What a marvelous age he is for all of you to enjoy!

  3. You certainly conjured up a enviable Beach side retreat and kitted out the decor with a designers eye for those little extra details that make a dollhouse A HOME! I'm left in wonder and Awe at your painting skills as Marilyn has already commented on AND by your cleverness with the jig regarding the plaque placements, which I think is BRILLIANT!
    I wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS with your family members this year Jodi what a roller coaster ride 2021 has been yet regardless what it was, spending Christmas with our loved ones, makes the season bright!
    Blessings :)


    1. Thank you Elizabeth! I am so happy that you like how the details came out! It is such a huge blessing to be able to imagine anything you want for a room and then be able to make the idea come to life. That Cricut Maker and 3D printer have really opened up the possibilities for me!
      The last couple years have been such a challenge, and for a lot of us deepened our faith. This Christmas with loved ones will be especially more meaningful, and I know it will be for you, as well!

  4. Your ability to create is inspiring Jodi. You just come up with so many little decorating ideas and can perfectly coordinate everything to fit the theme and colourway. You should be very proud of your efforts. Those things are hard!
    Enjoy your holiday break with family and friends. I hope it is an amazing and truly enjoyable time. Perhaps it will also give you the mental space for a whole lot of new ideas! Xx

    1. Thanks so much, Shannon! I am so glad that you like how everything came together. You are right - sometimes it is a trememdous struggle to know what to put into a room, what to make and the colors to use that will compliment rather than compete with one another. I think this is one of the reasons I seem to get only so far on a project before I get stuck. That is why I am so surprised at how much fun I am having with this project and how I just seem to know what to do next. I hope it lasts until the project is really finished!

    2. I fel the same so often! I think that you are also ‘striking while the iron is hot’ - working on something when you are super motovated and inspired really helps things come together.

    3. Totally agreed! I am concerned about getting motivated again after turning my concentration to other things during the holidays. I am hoping to be able to sprinkle in a mini day here or there as my preparation benchmarks are met. Fingers crossed!

  5. Oh Jodi, I don’t know where to start. I’m speechless, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I like the way you have incorporated the step under the fireplace as the first step of the stairs. The jig is a great idea, the plaques look lovely, the starfish are great, and the key holder is brilliant. I love the lamp, and your candle lamps, oh my word, they are exquisite. I LOVE it, when can I move in? It’s so homely and cosy. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family x

    1. Thanks Polly! I am so happy to hear that you like my ideas and the way they are coming together! It is easy when you know what to do, and with this project, the ideas seem to come in with little effort. It is such a treat when that happens! I would love to have you come stay - a mini house Air B&B! Free of charge, of course!

  6. Oh my you have been busy! I love how everything looks. The tables and lamp and lanterns and all your art!

    I'm amazed. Simply amazed.

    1. Thanks Sheila! You know how it is when you know what to do next - it's the best fun there is! I hope it lasts through the bathrooms and bedroom, because it would be nice not to have another unfinished project glaring at me, lol!

  7. We rented a beach house last June and one thing I noticed was lots of ocean oriented decor which really helped with the “I’m not at home ambiance.” You really captured that “I’m on vacation feeling.” I’m so impressed with your TinkerCad skill; it is very inspiring. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Sherrill! I have really tried to strike a balance with the décor, because it would be really easy to have it look as though I cleaned out the gift shop on the beach, lol! And at the same time, I am trying to display some of the neat things that have been waiting patiently in a drawer for their turn to be admired. I am so glad you think I have achieved that vacation feel!
      Tinkercad has been a wonderful learning experience for me. It was simple enough to let me feel un-overwhelmed with all the creative possibilities. I am taking a series of online Blender classes now, and it is an entirely different animal. I may just stick to Tinkercad for a lot of things in the near future. Blender is so, so much to learn!

  8. I found myself starting to take notes for my comment. As you said, so much to see and drool over. I've said this before, the 3D printer has given you so much flexibility and freedom to design and create whatever you want, giving you the edge toward realism. Remember my post some time ago when I asked facsimile or reality? I think you are mastering realism I enjoy your projects so much because of all the wonderful little details and accessories that you add. Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas sounds wonderful to have your family together. It has been such a rough year and we need our families and our holidays together.

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments and encouragement, Ann! Whenever I am about to embark on a contemporary/modern project I alwasy worry that I am not going to be able to achieve the realism that I want. It's so wonderful to hear the feedback that I am doing that! The Cricut and the 3D printer have really opened up possibilities that I may not have tried to pursue with clay or wood. I seem to really enjoy the designing process!
      Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas to you and your family, as well! I envy you having all those grandkids to enjoy them with! It is always so special to live through the holidays knowing you are making lifetime memories with the kids!

  9. This is the most amazing beach house I ´ve ever seen in mini! It´s absolutely FABULOUS. I love all you ideas Jodi, you are really good at decorating and finding the right accessories, colours and atmosphere for a room. I believe that you could be a very successful interior designer, having your work published in fancy magazines in RL, I truly believe it. It´s not only your great skills with the Cricut and 3D printing, those help, yeah, but without your great eye they would not be the same. Congratulations on a fabulous job, can I move in? 😉

    1. Wow Alex! That is the most amazing compliment I have ever gotten! Thank You! I am so, so happy you like how things are coming along! There are many project that are still sitting her unfinished because I do not feel I am good with the décor and I have no idea where to begin. This project has just been feeding ideas to me since the beginning, and I am so grateful for that! I hope it lasts through the rest of the rooms!
      I have a niece that is an interior decorator, and was surprised to learn how hard a job it is! Unless the client has LOTS of money and gives you all the decision making power it is stressful. I am so glad we have mini houses to decorate and that we get to be our own bosses, lol! Thank you so much for your kind encouragement about my skills! 💗

  10. Estas haciendo un trabajo maravilloso en la decoración, tienes un gusto exquisito Jodi, podrías dedicarte profesionalmente al diseño!!!
    Para decirte todo lo que me gusta en la decoración del salón, tendría una lista interminable ya que me encanta absolutamente todo, desde el mueble más grande, al más diminuto de los objetos, me maravillan!!!
    Me encanta la decisión de comenzar ya la Navidad, juntaros y disfrutar de la familia todo el tiempo que podáis, vivir cada momento con ilusión y disfruta de un merecido descanso de miniaturas que te lo mereces! Luego volverás con ansias e ideas nuevas y fantásticas, te estaremos esperando amiga!!

    1. ¡Gracias Pilar! ¡Significa mucho para mí que te guste la habitación y todo lo que hay en ella! Tus amables palabras me dan alas y me dan ganas de seguir haciendo minis!
      Tengo muchas ganas de pasar tiempo con todas las personas que amo. Muchos de nosotros estamos envejeciendo y quién sabe cuánto tiempo nos queda para experimentar esta vida juntos. ¡Espero que este año también tenga muchos recuerdos especiales con todos sus amigos y familiares!

  11. Wow! You surpassed yourself. Your amazing skills with the tools and wonderful decorating taste have made this Beachside Bungalow a magnificent, dollhouse.
    Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.

    1. Thank you, Drora! I am so happy that you like the room and the beach house overall! This project has been such a surprising pleasure to work on that it almost feels ordained, lol! Thank you again for your kind words and encouragement!

  12. Everything is perfect in your Beachside Bungalow. This first floor is so cozy and relaxing, I would like to live there!
    I really like the lantern.
    It's fantastic to have a cricut and 3D printing to be able to realize everything you have in mind and you would not find for sale.
    I can't wait to be able to admire the floor above.

    1. Thanks Faby! I am so glad you like the first floor! It would be wonderful if we could all take turns vacationing there!
      Having the 3D printer and the Maker have revolutionized what is possible for me. It's been quite a learning curve, but one I am glad now to have invested in. Ideas fill us with possibility and excitement, and knowing an idea can be achieved with a little work is truly an amazing feeling!

  13. Me encanta disfrutar de cada detalle que incorporas a tus escenas.
    Estudias cada posibilidad y siempre eliges con muy buen criterio.
    Esta planta ha quedado preciosa.
    Un saludo

    1. ¡Gracias Marian! ¡Estoy tan feliz de saber que te gusta la habitación!

  14. Dear Jodi, What can I say but WOW! WOW and more WOW!!! Every single detail is so perfect... I don't know how you do it! The little starfish are so cute! And the Porthole mirror (with the little K next to it....! Ok!!! So Okay! I love it! And the gauzy curtains with only one side... just the right touch for a beach house stairway! And the hardware for the curtains... you will be getting orders I am sure! (I use coat hanger wire and tiny 'eye-hooks' but don't have the finials worked out!) And the lamp... and the lanterns.... and the tables.... yikes! You work so fast when you get to the decorating part! (It takes me years and the tables accumulate junk... oh, just like my RL home! LOL!) I am sure there are other things I wanted to mention... like the cute key hanger! but gosh, I've run out of steam! I love it all... perhaps I need a vacation at a beach somewhere! LOL! I hope you have a wonderful time with your family through the Holidays... and I hope you will bring us some flashbacks to the Gingerbread house while you are "away" from blogland! Have a Wonderful Time!!! :):):)

    1. Thanks Betsy! I'm so glad you like the room and all the elements that made it come together! The eyelet and wire idea is wonderful! I bet it works great, and I bet you could string beads onto the ends for finials.
      Things do seem to go much faster when I have ideas for what to do and how to do it, and this first floor seems to be feeding the ideas to me. I hope to be able to sneak in some mini time here or there before Christmas, or I fear the momentum will be lost! I know what you mean about junk accumulating - I have plenty of it too, and thankfully, a good deal of it fits into my drawers and is hidden away! My son is cooking for us on Thanksgiving - a first! We are all really excited about that! As for the gingerbread house, it's dusted and on display, but it need a bit of a rewiring. I think I have an idea how to do it, now I just need to find the time. After Christmas, likely. Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your long weekend!

  15. ¡Hay tantos bonitos detalles! Es todo tan hogareño y la decoración exquisita.

    1. ¡Gracias Isabel! ¡Me alegra saber que te gusta la habitación!

  16. Oh what a wonderful post! And far from being too long... I wouldn't have had difficulties with enjoying a few photos more. I'm always in awe with your abilities to decorate rooms! One of them is for sure your ability to create your own items like the key holder, the porthole mirror (a brilliant idea) and even lanterns in different styles. Bless your skills and your trusted machine park. And you're also able to paint everything so well, giving it a bit of touch here and a bit of class there. And even the tiniest detail like a "K" at the fireplace's mantle is not forgotten - but although you're thinking of everything it's never stuffed or crowded, it's always just the right amount of items to create the most friendly, cozy and inviting place. Wonderful work!

    With Thanksgiving on the way and Christmas time lurking around the corner I'm wishing you a lovely season and lots of wonderful time with your family. Enjoy every moment of it! Around here (apart from my personal situation) Christmas time will be once more under the cruel reign of corona, Christmas Markets are canceled and in some German areas they're in lockdown once more. And still officials seem to apologize for cutting the rights of those dumb, crazy idiots who still think getting a vaccination shot is not their business.