Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dining Room: Pocket Doors

When I decided I wanted double doors leading into Myrtlewood's dining room, I didn't know exactly how I'd design them. There isn't enough clearance on either side of the doors - they would block the staircase if they opened into the foyer, and would interfere with the cabinet doors and furniture if they opened into the dining room. After mulling this over a bit, I came up with the perfect solution - pocket doors!
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Installing pocket doors required me to tear out some of the framing I'd already erected, so I put it off for a while, but I've finally finished them. I built the doors out of prepurchased panelling and door frame molding, although I did have to do some modifications to get the top panels sized correctly.

I rigged up some window frame molding I had lying around to create an upper track along which the doors slide. Here's a picture of it from the back (as you can see, I haven't started on the foyer walls yet).

Of course, once I painted everything, the doors didn't slide very easily at all. This is the same problem I've had with the windows, but I think I've found a solution. I used a bit of Slip It Sliding Compound (purchased at Woodcraft) to lubricate the track, and the doors slide much more easily now. I'm definitely going to use this stuff on the windows, too.

I wasn't sure what hardware I'd use; all the standard dollhouse hardware seems to consist of doorknobs, and what would be the point of doorknobs on sliding doors? But then, in the woodworking section of my local Hobby Lobby, I came across a package of clasps. I think their actual purpose is to be used on wooden boxes, but one side looked a lot to me like a door handle. There were four in a package for US$1.49, which is a lot less than what dollhouse stores charge for their doorknobs. I had to cut off the ends and file them down a bit, but I think they work perfectly for these doors.

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Still Here

Well, it's certainly been a while since I've posted! I spent several weekends working on the dining room windows, then taking them apart, redesigning them, putting them back together and taking them apart yet again. I despise them now. I think I became really uninspired for a while because of those silly things.

Anyway, I think I've finally figured out how I'm going to finish them, but I've lost my energy and patience for them for a while, so I've turned to other projects until I feel like tackling them again.

Here you can see the draperies I've made for the dining room. They were a lot of fun to make, and have kind of reengergized me and renewed my creativity. Please ignore the partially-finished windows behind them.
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I've learned from lots of online reading that the best fabrics to use for miniatures are silk and 100% cotton. My favorite place to shop for small-scale cotton prints is my local quilt shop. They have so many adorable or beautiful scale prints that my difficulty lies in choosing between them all!

Now if only I could find a similar source with a huge variety of tiny trims and laces! I can dream, can't I? (By the way, if you happen to know of such a place, please, pretty please, let me know.)

These were so much fun to make, I've been designing miniature draperies in my sleep the past several nights. I do so wish I could just snap my fingers and have the entire Manor built, so I could spend all my time working on the fun stuff!