Featured in Issue 218 of American Miniaturist

Don’t miss the latest issue of American Miniaturist Magazine!

I’m pleased as punch to share that my 4th of July backyard cookout has been featured in issue 218 of American Miniaturist magazine! They included all sorts of grilled goodies and barbecue favorites, and I’m so honored to be a part of such a lovely publication. Inside this issue, you’ll also find my tutorial for making pussy willows! If you’re not a subscriber yet, what are you waiting for?!

See more of my published features here!

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Featured on NBC’s Small Fortune

One inch scale tropical cocktails by Erika Pitera of The Petite Provisions Co. on NBC's Small Fortune | Trae Patton/NBC | 2020 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Small Fortune – Season 1 Episode 2 – Contestant Alyssa | Trae Patton/NBC | 2020 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Tiny Tiki Delights on NBC’s Game Show “Small Fortune”

I’ll admit, I never thought that what we miniaturists do on a daily basis – carefully and meticulously handle and arrange the tiniest of treasures – would be the subject of a game show, but NBC’s latest competition show “Small Fortune” proved me wrong!

NBC's Game Show Small Fortune

Hosted by Lil Rel Howery, “Small Fortune” is an eight-episode team competition game show with itty bitty challenges for huge stakes – a cash prize of $250,000!

As we all know, working with miniatures requires a great deal of dexterity, focus and patience, and that’s exactly what these contestants need to win.

That’s all fun and games, of course, but imagine my surprise when I saw a clip from Episode 2, titled “Grandma Knows Best,” where the contestant, Alyssa, was carefully balancing a tray of miniature cocktails at a tiki bar… and they sure looked familiar!

In fact, Alyssa’s challenge included balancing my Mai Tai (complete with cocktail umbrella) in a pineapple cup and my Piña Colada, along with a couple other tropical drinks!

I created those as a special order for the show’s Games Production Designer all the way back in November 2019, but I didn’t know what they were going to be used for, so this is just a delightful surprise. I never imagined my little mini drinks would make it to television!

Tiny dollhouse miniature cocktails by Erika Pitera of The Petite Provisions Co. featured on NBC's Small Fortune game show competition
Small Fortune – Season 1 Episode 2 | 2020 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

If you’d like to see how Alyssa competed in the “A Little Tipsy” challenge yourself, click here for the video (it starts around the 29:00 mark). I hope it makes her feel a little better knowing that I’ve knocked them over dozens of times while photographing them myself. And that’s without $80K on the line and the pressure of competing on TV, so I think she did a great job!

How to Make Miniature No-Sew Shopping Bags

With Earth Day this past month and an effort to be more eco-friendly, I knew a miniature reusable shopping bag was in order!

This dollhouse miniature no-sew shopping bags tutorial couldn’t be easier, and you can make them in any color or style you choose! So, let’s say farewell to plastic grocery bags and get started!

Learn how to make dollhouse miniature no-sew shopping bags

What You Need to Make Miniature No-Sew Shopping Bags

I don’t know about you, but I love no-sew projects, and this one is SO easy that it’s perfect for beginners. It’s also very inexpensive to make! Here’s a little more about the materials I used:

Materials to make miniature no-sew shopping bags

Lightweight Cotton Fabric

Since these bags don’t require sewing, I actually like a lighter weight fabric for this project. I used a light linen color, but you can use any color or pattern you like! Just stick with thinner, natural materials – I haven’t tried synthetics and don’t know how well the glue would hold for those.

Tacky Glue

As I’ve mentioned before, this Quick Dry Tacky Glue by Aleene’s is my favorite and it dries pretty quickly with the fabric in this project. Also, fun fact: you can bond your fabric with glue almost instantly with a quick pass of the iron. And I do mean quick! Just don’t let it get too hot or you’ll have a singed, sticky mess.

Suede Cord

For the bag handles, I used 2.6mm suede cord that comes from the jewelry and beading section at the craft store. I love the way it looks, but you could substitute ribbon or other cording if you prefer. However, I’d stick to something that’s flat rather than rounded.

Craft Wood

I used little unfinished wood rectangles that came in an assortment from the craft store. They’re very thin and a little rough out of the bag, so give them a quick sand before you get started. The piece I used measures 1-1/2″ long by 3/4″ tall. However, this project affords a lot of flexibility in terms of size, so you can use a different sized base if you like. I’ll give you tips for calculating the measurements below.

Rotary Cutter

This isn’t required – you can use fabric scissors, but I like the rotary with a steel-edged ruler to get clean, straight cuts on the fabric.

Fabric Transfer Paper

If you want your bag to have a logo or graphic, you’ll want to use fabric transfer paper that you print on your inkjet printer. I like the Avery Printable Heat Transfer Paper for Light Fabrics and use it for a wide variety of projects.

Fill your miniature shopping bag with groceries and other goods from the market

Tips for Making No-Sew Shopping Bags for Your Dollhouse

Ironing

You’ll need an iron to press the hems on the fabric and to iron on the transfer (if you’re using one). Any average household iron will do, but if you like making miniatures, I highly recommend the Clover Mini Iron. This makes working with small pieces SO much easier. And fewer burned digits. Trust me.

Check the instructions on the transfer paper for what iron setting you should use. Generally speaking, though, you should use a dry setting (no steam) and don’t let it get too hot – this can cause the fabric and the transfer to discolor.

Mirror Your Graphics

If you decide you want to include a graphic on your bag, make sure you remember to reverse/mirror the image before printing it. That way, when you iron it on, it’ll be facing the right way.

Resizing

For this project, I’m giving specific measurements for the wood, fabric and suede cord; however, you can definitely resize your bag as desired by measuring your wood base to calculate the size of the fabric you’ll need:

Length of fabric = (2 x Length of wood base) + (2 x Width of wood base) + 1/2″

Width of fabric = Desired height of finished bag + 1/4″

So, for example: If your wood base measures 1″ long by 1/2″ tall, your fabric will need to be (2 x 1″) + (2 x 1/2″) + 1/2″ = 3-1/2″ in length. And if you want the bag to stand at 1-1/2″ tall, you’ll need the fabric to be 1-3/4″ tall.

This formula doesn’t give you a lot of extra fabric to work with, so if you’re feeling unsure, add another 1/2″ in length and you can trim it down when you’re ready to assemble the bag. Better to have a little extra than not enough!

Centering the Iron-On Transfer

Getting the placement of the graphic just right is a little tricky. I just eyeballed it, but the best way to test the placement is to pick up your rectangle of fabric and hold the unhemmed short end near the center of the long edge of the base. Then wrap it around the base fairly tightly. The hemmed short end should overlap the unhemmed short end just slightly. You can take a pencil and make a very light mark near the center of the front panel to help you when you place your transfer.

How to Make Miniature No-Sew Shopping Bags

How to Make Miniature No-Sew Shopping Bags

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner

Learn how to make no-sew shopping bags for your dollhouse!

Materials

  • Lightweight cotton fabric
  • Tacky glue
  • Craft wood - 1-1/2" by 3/4"
  • 2-3 mm suede cord
  • Optional: Fabric heat transfer paper

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Self-healing mat
  • Rotary fabric cutter
  • Iron
  • Optional: Inkjet printer

Instructions

  1. Take your wood base and glue it onto a piece of the fabric. Allow to dry for a few minutes and then trim around the edges with scissors. Repeat for the other side of the wood base.


  2. Lay your fabric out on a self-healing mat and cut a rectangle with your ruler and rotary cutter measuring 5" long and 1-1/2" tall. If you're resizing this project, please refer to my tips above for calculating the dimensions.


  3. Heat up your iron and move to a heat-safe surface. Fold the fabric of one short side over about 1/8" and press with the iron. Also fold and press 1/8" on both long sides. Once these are firmly pressed, run a small bead of tacky glue under each fold and hold in place until the glue begins to set.



    To reduce the bulk a little when assembling the bag, I leave one of the short ends unhemmed. You really won't see this when you have items in the bag, but you can hem all edges if you'd prefer.
  4. If you're not using an iron-on transfer, skip to Step 6.
    Print your graphic (make sure it's mirrored) on your inkjet on the heat transfer paper. Use the best quality settings you can. The graphic I printed for this project is about 1" wide and 5/8" tall. Cut it down to size, leaving a small border around the graphic. You don't have to get very close when cutting it because it will be transparent when you iron it on.


  5. With the hemmed edges facing down and the unhemmed edge on your right, iron on the transfer in the center of the rectangle (see tip above for placing the graphic correctly). Apply even pressure and make sure to go over it several times. Go over the edges carefully, too. Allow this to cool a few minutes, then carefully peel away the paper backing. If the backing isn't coming away clean and the transfer isn't sticking, you need to put it back and iron some more!


  6. Apply tacky glue to the side of your fabric-covered wood base. Start at the center of one of the long edges and apply a thin bead all the way to one of the short edges. Start with the unhemmed short edge and carefully align the bottom of your long hemmed edge with the bottom of the base and wrap it around the side. Wipe away any excess glue as you go.


  7. Continue to apply tacky glue along the front and opposite side of the base and press firmly to adhere. When the fabric is wrapped around three sides, add glue to the back of the base and along the hemmed short edge.


  8. Carefully press the hemmed edge in place over top of the unhemmed edge, making sure the top and bottom are aligned neatly. You can clamp this in place while it dries. You now have a clean, finished seam at the back of the bag.


  9. Cut two 4" lengths of suede cord. You can make these longer or shorter if you'd like, but I think 4" creates a nice handle length. Before applying glue, see where you want to place the handles. I adhered mine just on either side of my Farmers Market graphic. Apply a very thin bead of glue on the length of cord that will touch the bag and clamp in place to dry.



    Once dry, curve the cord into a U-shape and glue the other end down in place. Clamp to dry, then repeat on the back side of the bag.
  10. Once all the glue has dried, you have a fun little reusable shopping bag you can load up with mini groceries! To make mine look extra full, I placed a little bit of polyfill at the bottom of the bag and then added the groceries on top of it.

Notes

© 2021 Erika Pitera, The Petite Provisions Co.

This tutorial is for personal use only. Please do not repost it without permission. Sharing a link with attribution is fine!

Please feel free to tag me on Facebook or Instagram @petiteprovisionsco with your version of these miniature shopping bags, and let me know if you have any questions!

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, my friends! I can’t believe how quickly April has arrived, and with it, all the best parts of spring! I’ll admit, the holiday snuck up on me this year, and I didn’t have time to make nearly as much as I wanted to for Easter, but I thought I’d share some of my little goodies here with you. After all, there’s always next year!

Happy Easter from The Petite Provisions Co.

I’ve been wanting little chicks for the longest time, so this past week I decided to just give it a go and make some myself! Overall, I’m very happy with these little cuties for my first attempt. I learned quite a bit in the process and may give them another shot in the future. I also made little bird nests from coconut fiber and moss, and then I added polymer clay robin’s eggs. The lovely little bunny is by Juan Manuel Diaz Solis.

A handmade leaping bunny topiary in one inch scale by The Petite Provisions Co.

I actually made this leaping bunny topiary last year, but for some reason I never really did anything with it! The bunny is a plastic figure that I painted green before covering it in model railroad foliage. I made the ivy by cutting out the leaves on my Cricut Maker, then coloring them with alcohol ink markers and painting the edges with white acrylic paint.

A dollhouse miniature bunny topiary in a planter with flowers by The Petite Provisions Co.

The potted bunny topiary was also a leftover from last year, made the same way as described above. I think the topiaries are so cute!

A dollhouse miniature spring, Easter table setting with cabbageware, pink and green glassware and white lilies by The Petite Provisions Co.

Now, back to what I made this year! I’ve actually been wanting a set of “cabbageware” for a while now, so voilà! I made each plate from white polymer clay that I veined with a silicone mold. Then I painted them with acrylic paint. Finally, the critical step for making them look like ceramic was a coating of UV resin! I liked them so much that I made chargers to go with them from orange jute twine glued onto orange cardstock. The result is very garden-y, isn’t it?

Speckled eggs in a dollhouse miniature spring, Easter table setting by The Petite Provisions Co.

I also made the speckled eggs, which are displayed in a depression ware bowl from Melvin’s Miniatures. The white lilies I made from a laser cut sheet from Mary Kinloch. The clear depression ware jar (also from Melvin’s Miniatures) is filled with polymer clay jelly beans I made, and the glassware is all Chrysnbon.

A one inch scale dollhouse miniature Easter basket with Easter candies and chocolate bunnies

And of course, Easter just wouldn’t be complete without a basket, so I made a new one this year with glitter eggs, assorted candies, chocolate bunnies and a tulip “carrot” bouquet!

I hope you’re all enjoying your Easter! ‘Til next time!

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