29 Oct 2013

Kitchen Island Tutorial

Today's post is a step by step tutorial on making a miniature island.  The design includes a breakfast bar, a working set of drawers, and space at the ends for optional shelves or design elements.  My design is based off of this real life kitchen island here.

For this project I used Basswood in 1/16" thickness. As well as 3/32" cove moulding, 1/8" by 1/16" and 1/4" by 1/8" strip wood for trim.  For reference counter top is currently unfinished in the photographs and is 1/8".  If you are going to have shelves at the ends I would recommend 1/16". Also I used a set of drawers from a basic Houseworks worktable that I took apart (you can see the table in my previous Thanksgiving post).  Alternatively you could make your own or leave them non-opening.  Lets begin!



These are your basic components.  Front, sides, and drawers.  I used a regular bandsaw to cut my pieces quickly, but because the wood is so thin you could just use a knife.  I will admit I built this island 3 times with different dimensions before I got it just right.  The measurements I used  in the end were: (2) 2 3/4" by 3 1/8" for the ends, (1) 2 3/4" by 6 1/2" for drawer front, (1) 2 3/4" by 5" for inside (not shown above), and (10 ) 2 3/4" by 12/16" for little pieces that make up the boxes.  You will need to take into consideration your kitchen size, my island is slightly lower then the rest of my kitchen cabinets to allow for a better view.



Assembly:





Front with cut out for drawers and inside piece:


See the way the front overlaps both the ends?

Next fit in your drawer.  Next time I'll probably make my own.  They look really simple to make:




Then you will need to attach the inside piece using glue:





Time to add trim, knobs and finishes.  I first switched the houseworks drawer handles for chrome knobs to match the rest of the kitchen. A really simple and quick fix.




Next trim the sides and baseboard using the strip wood. I used the 1/8" by 1/16" for the cabinet part and the 1/4" by 1/8" for the baseboard.





The trim really adds a lot of bulk to the boxes .  It also means that the sides by the bar and the sides at the end will now look like they are different widths because of an overlap of trim.


Wider side↑ and  Shorter end↓ (see the overlap?)

For a more ornate look you can choose to add in decorative moulding (cove is shown).  I used scissors or my knife to cut it and roughly measure it using no ruler (ah!).  It's pretty forgiving and any gaps are filled in with paint.
The design I picked for the front: two tall cabinets and two lower.  Because the drawers were made so close together I only put cove above and below the two drawers rather then on all four sides.  Its something I compromised on but once painted I think it looks okay.
Paint according to your kitchen design.  I am showing you a basic paint finish.  I still need to stain the baseboards once I have chosen the colour on all my cabinets and floor.  Add your knobs, these are Elf miniatures chrome knobs in the smallest size (B).

There you are! You can now decide to either add shelves or something decorative to the ends.  Personally I think I'm going to add shelves and I will update with the final results.


I found a great way to make drawer pulls which will be explained next time.  The countertops were also re-cut and I'll be working on them too.

Hope you found this tutorial helpful and it gives you some mini inspiration!

12 Oct 2013

Happy Mini Canadian Thanksgiving!

Nothing says goodbye to the warm memories of summer like Thanksgiving weekend at the cottage.  A cozy fire, the putting away of docks and boats and one last family dinner overlooking the lake.  This post is definitely inspired by the fall scenery here.














The kitchen didn't progress that much this week.  I'm waiting for several packages to come in the mail; knobs for the cabinets, magnets to hold the door fronts on - and a totally unrelated but very exciting - Eames Recliner chair by Reac Japan.  Still my kitchen looked so neglected.
Time for a mini scene!  After showing my miniature collection to a friend I was reminded of all my harvest items I got over the summer like the squash, pumpkin, apples and potatoes.  I set them up on the makeshift island in the kitchen with some other accessories and punched out some colourful leaves.

The upper cabinets are missing here but its nice to see the tile up.  And the placement of two of the windows, I added a festive fall background for now.






































Here's a look at the full kitchen, including my makeshift fridge!  After setting this up I realized that the tables won't work as part of an island because they are too low.

I'm off to bake a pie before the kitchen becomes one big turkey frenzy.  I hope you all have a great weekend!




5 Oct 2013

A Place For the Dishes!

Hi Everyone,
Another piece has fit into place in my kitchen puzzle.














I love these new transparent shelves in the upper cabinets!  They allow just enough light to filter through down to the bottom.














After getting the right plastic it took me weeks to find the right tool to cut it.  My bf got the plastic as a sample at Home Depot (for free!) and then after trial and error went back and got cut them into strips.  They also suggested this plastic cutter and it worked really well.















I built little runners to place the shelves on.













I also decided to test out some lighting options in the kitchen these past two weeks too.  I had some mini Christmas lights from the Dollarstore from a few years ago.  Essentially they are 3mm LEDs tied together to a battery pack.  Its a short-term solution, something to help me visualize what it will look like.














Some things haven't gone as smoothly. The glossy counter you see will have to be re-done.  The clear acrylic gloss I used to spray it bubbled.  I've realized painting miniatures is not my forte.














Then I  tried out the hinges on the upper cabinets. Basically they are bent thin pieces of metal. The problem is that the window front bows out from the cabinet.
















Back to the drawing board!  I'm going to get some magnets from the Dollarstore today to try out.

My real life  was very busy this past week and once again I find myself at the cottage, far far away from my minis.  That said I've been working on the blog (notice the domain change?) and obsessing over whether to join up with the Undersized Urbanite challenge. (After I finish this kitchen of course!)
I'd love to have another small project on the go to work on when I run into issues with the big house.   The best part would be linking up with a bunch of fun and talented miniaturists.  I'm thinking a 4 room (living, kitchenette, bed and bath) modern structure.  The contest runs for 7 months so lots of time to link up.  You can check it out here, its run by Little Victorian.

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