dollhouse tutorial

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!

How to Make Miniature Natural Cotton Bolls

These miniature natural cotton bolls are a great way to add farmhouse charm to your dollhouse decor because they’re so versatile! Whether you make an arrangement of stems, or use them to decorate a grapevine wreath, the possibilities are endless.

After making the pussy willow branches, the only logical next step was to figure out an uncomplicated way to make natural cotton bolls (the round seed-bearing part of a cotton plant) since they’re everywhere in farmhouse-style decor right now! They use some of the same materials from the pussy willow project, as well, so that’s even better. Let’s get to it!

Learn how to make dollhouse miniature natural cotton bolls

What You Need to Make Miniature Natural Cotton Bolls

These little raw cotton stems are a little more complicated than the pussy willow branches, but they’re still a great project for beginners. Here’s a little more about the materials I used:

Materials to make miniature natural cotton bolls

Cotton Balls

Yep, literally just your drugstore variety of cotton ball. You’ll be tearing off little pieces, so even a single cotton ball will last you a while!

Alcohol Ink Markers

Alcohol ink markers are my favorite choice for coloring paper petals and leaves for a few reasons: they fully saturate the Japanese crepe paper I favor (more on that next) with bold, vibrant color; they dry almost immediately, which wins over waiting for paint to dry in my book; and they can be blended for a natural look with a blender marker.

I use the brand Spectrum Noir, and their markers are a little more budget-friendly than Copic markers. The shades I chose are EB3 and TN9. I used a combination of both to get a slight variation in color, but they’re quite similar so that’s not absolutely necessary.

That being said, you can color your paper however you like: colored pencils, watercolors, acrylics, or whatever else you have on hand! We’re just going for a nice dark brown shade on this project.

Japanese Crepe Paper

This is a special paper I learned about from Mary Kinloch. It is not the same as crepe paper that’s used for streamers. In fact, it’s actually a mulberry fiber paper, so it has a fantastic texture that works great for a lot of flowers and plants. I recommend checking Mary’s shop on eBay because she often sells it in small quantities, which is perfect if you’re just getting started. She also has an awesome selection of laser cut sheets!

Even though the crepe is my favorite, you can use other paper types for this project, as well. Experiment with different types and see what you like best. Even regular copy/printer paper will work, so don’t hesitate to try it!

Paper Punches

For this project, I used two specific punches: the Mini Birch Leaf from The Punch Bunch and the Mini Daisy Hole Puncher from EK Tools. I have a number of punches from both of these brands, and they work really well.

If you decide to use the Japanese crepe paper, I’ve found that I get a cleaner cut with the punches if I sandwich the crepe paper in between a folded sheet of regular copy paper.

Ball Stylus / Needle Tool

These tools are really handy for shaping petals and veining leaves. I found an embossing stylus set by EK Tools on Amazon where one of them has a ball on one side and a needle tip on the other – that is PERFECT for this project! But if you don’t have these, don’t worry. You can actually use tweezers to shape them, too, you just have to be careful not to tear your paper.

Shaping Surface

I bought a foam pad (it’s actually similar to a mouse pad in terms of density and thickness) for shaping paper, but if you don’t have anything like that, you can actually use a rubber art eraser. You just want something with a little bit of give that will allow you to use the stylus and needle tool to shape the paper without tearing holes in it. Gentle pressure is key!

Make a miniature grapevine wreath with your natural cotton bolls

Make sure you visit my pussy willow branches tutorial for more on the glues I like to use along with the floral wire recommended for this project.

Tips for Making Natural Cotton Bolls for Your Dollhouse

If you look at pictures of cotton bolls online, you’ll see that they can range from 3 to 5 segments. As a beginner, I made mine with three, but now that I have a little practice under my belt, I may try some more with five instead. You’ll just need to make your individual cotton balls a little smaller for that to work.

Prepare Your Glue

I like to use a paint palette or a little piece of aluminum foil with a blob of white tacky glue and a small pool of superglue so I can dip the pieces in to adhere them. When you use white tacky glue and superglue together like this, it creates an almost instant bond, but you have to work quickly!

How to Make Miniature Natural Cotton Bolls

How to Make Miniature Natural Cotton Bolls

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner

Learn how to make natural cotton bolls for your dollhouse!

Materials

  • 24 gauge brown floral wire
  • Cotton ball
  • Japanese crepe paper
  • Brown alcohol ink marker
  • White tacky glue
  • Superglue

Tools

  • Wire cutters
  • Tweezers
  • Mini Daisy Hole Puncher by EK Tools
  • Mini Birch Leaf by The Punch Bunch
  • Ball stylus / needle tool
  • Shaping surface
  • Paint palette or aluminum foil

Instructions

  1. Cut 2" lengths of brown floral wire with your wire cutters. I like to have a little extra length to hold on to, and you can always trim them down afterwards as needed.
  2. Tear off little bits from the cotton ball and roll them tightly into smaller balls. You'll need 3 for each stem.


  3. Dip the end of your floral wire into the white tacky glue, coating about 1/8" of the way down. Pick up each of your prepared mini cotton balls with tweezers and just barely dip them into the superglue before attaching them to the floral wire.

    Attach the mini cotton ball to the end of the floral wire
  4. Repeat with 2 more cotton balls so that you have a trio attached to the end. Set aside to dry.



  5. Get your paper and punch out 1 daisy and 3 birch leaves, then color them brown with your alcohol ink marker.


  6. Cut off each of the 6 petals from the daisy and lay them on top of your shaping surface. Use the needle tool to score a line directly down the middle so you can fold the petals in half lengthwise.
  7. Pick up a folded petal with your tweezers and dip the folded edge in your tacky glue and then the superglue. Place the glued edge in between two of the cotton balls, pushing it in as deep toward the center as you can. Repeat with 2 more and set aside to dry. You can use your tweezers to open up the petal a little once it's nestled in place.


    Place the folded petal in between the cotton balls
  8. Grab your birch leaves and lay them on top of your shaping surface. Like with the petals, score a line directly down the middle for the vein. Then, use the ball stylus to curve the leaf.
  9. You'll want the curl of the leaf to point downward. Pick it up with your tweezers and dip the stem in your tacky glue and then the superglue. Place it on the floral wire just under the cotton balls. Try to offset the leaf from where the petals were placed in between the balls. Repeat with 2 more and set aside to dry.

    Add the birch leaves to the cotton stem
  10. Trim your wire stems as needed to arrange in a vase or to add to a wreath. Enjoy!

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 miniature cotton bolls, and let me know if you have any questions!

How To Make Miniature Pussy Willow Branches

This vase of miniature pussy willow branches is the latest addition to my farmhouse-style dollhouse in progress!

I’ve been on a flower and plant-making kick lately, and since I’ve been completely obsessed with farmhouse decor, I decided to try making some arrangements that would be fitting with that style. Hence, I tried my hand at one of my favorite spring florals, pussy willow branches. And lucky for us, they’re really easy to make, so let’s get started!

How to Make Miniature Pussy Willow Branches

What You Need to Make Miniature Pussy Willows

These cute little pussy willow branches are a great project for beginners because they’re not only easy to make, but they also don’t require too much in terms of special supplies. Here’s a rundown of what I like to use:

Materials for Making Dollhouse Miniature Pussy Willow Branches

Floral Wire

The brown wrapped floral wire isn’t quite as easy to find as the green variety, but it’s definitely available on Amazon if you can’t find it in the floral section of your local craft store. I used 24 gauge, but you could use a higher gauge (meaning a smaller diameter) if you’d like.

Styrofoam Balls

The miniature styrofoam balls I used came from the Dollar Tree (they were selling it as fake snow at the holidays), but I think they’re the same kind used for making slime and can be purchased on Amazon.

Flocking

I purchase my flocking on Etsy, but I know you can also get small quantities that are sold for nail art on Amazon. Look for “velvet flocking powder” or “velvet manicure” and you can get an assortment of colors if you’re just trying it out.

Matte Gel Medium

I like to use Liquitex brand for matte gel medium. It’s a thick yet smooth medium with a decent amount of body that dries with a satin finish. It also mixes really well with paint and gives

Acrylic Paint

For the brown acrylic paint, I used Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic in Vandyke Brown, but any dark brown will work.

Glue

My favorite white tacky glues are Aleene’s brand, and I really like the Loctite superglue gel because it’s not too runny.

Tip for Making Pussy Willow Branches for Your Dollhouse

The white tacky glue and superglue trick is one I picked up from Mary Kinloch, a very talented miniature flower maker. You can certainly just use white tacky glue, but the combination of the two together creates an almost instant bond that I find very useful when working on pieces like this.

How to Make Miniature Pussy Willow Branches

How To Make Miniature Pussy Willow Branches

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner

Learn how to make pussy willow branches for your dollhouse!

Materials

  • 24 gauge brown floral wire
  • Tiny white styrofoam balls
  • Off-white or ivory flocking
  • Matte gel medium
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • White tacky glue
  • Superglue

Tools

  • Wire cutters
  • Small paint brush
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpick
  • Paint palette or aluminum foil

Instructions

  1. Trim your brown floral wire to 2" - 3" lengths (or as needed to fit your vase) with wire cutters.
  2. Bend the wire back and forth in different directions and then smooth it out so that it's mostly straight but not perfect.
  3. Prepare your glue: I like to use a palette or a little piece of aluminum foil with a blob of white tacky glue and a small pool of superglue so I can dip the pieces in and work quickly to adhere them.
  4. Carefully pick up a styrofoam ball with your tweezers, dip it in the white tacky glue and then in a tiny bit of the superglue before touching it to the side of your brown floral wire. Start at the top (maybe 1/8" down) and work your way down. Repeat for as many as you'd like, but don't space them perfectly evenly so that they look a little more natural.

    How to Make Miniature Pussy Willow Branches
  5. Once the branch has as many balls attached as you like, set it aside to dry and repeat until you have as many branches as you want for your arrangement. I always go with odd numbers and found five was a nice amount for a small vase.
  6. Get a fresh bit of white tacky glue on your palette/foil and dip a small paint brush into it, brushing it all over the tiny styrofoam ball and where it connects to the floral wire. Only apply glue to 2 or 3 balls at a time so they don't dry before the flocking can adhere.


  7. With your tweezers, pick up a little clump of the off-white flocking and sprinkle it over the fresh glue on the styrofoam balls, then gently tap off the excess. Repeat until all the balls are flocked, and set aside to dry.



  8. Using a toothpick, scoop out some matte gel medium onto your palette/foil, then mix in your brown acrylic paint until you get a shade of brown you like.


  9. Once that's completely combined, scoop a blob of the medium onto your toothpick and apply it gently underneath each flocked ball, making sure to coat the brown floral wire up to the bottom of the ball. Also be sure to place a tiny dollop on the top of the floral wire branch so that you don't see any exposed wire from where you cut it. Set aside to dry thoroughly.


  10. That's it! You can paint the rest of the floral wire the same color if you like, but I didn't really feel it was necessary. Now, the fun part - arrange it in your favorite vase and enjoy!

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 miniature pussy willow branches, and let me know if you have any questions!

Halloween Luminarias and Brick Walkway Tutorial – Part 2

Dollhouse Miniature Halloween Luminarias and Brick Walkway Tutorial by The Petite Provisions Co.

Now that your brick walkway is illuminated and ready to go, all that’s left to do is make our luminarias. I decided to make mine look like jack-o’-lanterns, but you can cut out any design you like! Let’s get started.

Basic Tools & Materials:

Most crafters are likely to have the items on this list on hand.

  • X-Acto blade
  • Copy paper
  • Hole punch
  • Quick dry tacky glue (I like Aleene’s) or glue stick
  • Pencil

Specialty Materials:

These materials are more specific to this particular project.

  • Bone folder or ball stylus
  • Templates (optional)

How to Make the Miniature Halloween Luminarias – Part 2

If you’re going to use my templates, go ahead and print them out on regular copy paper so we can get started!

When I was in the planning stages for this, I did try making the luminarias from vellum, but I found that ultimately I liked the soft glow created by the plain old printer paper better. If you try a different material, please let me know how they turn out!

Get the Halloween Luminarias Template here.

Note: If you are a Cricut user, I have the cut file available on Design Space here.

Cut out all 10 luminarias, either from my printable template or on your Cricut. If you’re using the Cricut, choose the following settings: copy paper, fine point blade, blue or green mat, default pressure.

Dollhouse Miniature Halloween Luminarias and Brick Walkway Tutorial by The Petite Provisions Co.

Next, you’ll want to create the score lines with a ball stylus or bone folder (my preference). Use my printable template for guidance, if needed.

Now, take a pencil and trace your design onto the panel as pictured below. Keep in mind, we’re going to fold the top of the paper down, so don’t place your design too high up on the luminaria.

If you have a light table or a bright window, just tape your design down and trace the design onto each luminaria. You could cut designs out of both sides, but I opted not to because I felt it would diminish the glow of the lantern too much.

Dollhouse Miniature Halloween Luminarias and Brick Walkway Tutorial by The Petite Provisions Co.

Now for the fiddly part – cutting out your design with an X-Acto blade. Make sure you have a fresh, sharp blade and make short cuts, otherwise you’ll tear the paper.

Once all 10 are cut, grab your regular old office hole punch and punch holes in the bottom flaps as pictured above. This is for your lights to fit through!

Time to fold and glue! Start by folding down the top flap. This will NOT be glued down. Next, make all your vertical folds. That little tab on the side will be where you want to put your glue. I used Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue because my glue stick just wasn’t cutting it, but use whichever is easiest for you.

Dollhouse Miniature Halloween Luminarias and Brick Walkway Tutorial by The Petite Provisions Co.

Once the sides are glued together and dry, you’ll fold up the bottom flaps. Start with the two narrow flaps, adding just a tiny bit of glue to the bottom of them, and then fold over the larger flaps and glue. Your punched holes should line up, but even if they’re not 100% perfect, they should still work.

Dollhouse Miniature Halloween Luminarias and Brick Walkway Tutorial by The Petite Provisions Co.

Lastly, pinch the top of each luminaria together a little to give it a paper bag look. Place each luminaria over the lights on your walkway. I chose not to glue them down, since the lights hold the lanterns in place fairly well, but you can certainly add a drop of glue or even tacky wax to secure them in place.

Dollhouse Miniature Halloween Luminarias and Brick Walkway Tutorial by The Petite Provisions Co.

And now, the moment we’ve been waiting for… let there be light!

If you decide to try this mini project and have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below or contact me. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial!

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