Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Making Something .... from something else.

Making something.....

It is a very satisfying challenge for many miniaturists to convert an item into something that will suit ones project. 

In the Swedish House bedroom there have been several of those challenges. 

I won this wardrobe in the 1990's as a door prize. It was surprisingly sturdy but held no appeal.
I am often hesitant to attempt to change an existing piece of furniture. I worry that I will make it worse than it is. I have decided I should be more adventurous ... so this was the process.

This existing wardrobe was too small for the room. It was also the wrong colour and had very unattractive knobs. It did have recessed cupboard doors that would accept trim. I thought the base and the top were very simple and could be removed easily.

The base was removed and an extra drawer made.
Below you can see the extra drawer mocked up and a little extra height added. The reeded front panels are clamped in place to dry.  To make the reeded door fronts I used panels of thin basswood scored with a needle tool against a ruler.

Squares cut from a Dollar Store ribbon add a little detail below. 

In the next photo you can see the reeding better... also the trim was removed from above the drawers. The mock bottom drawers did not look right so Bruce (thank you, thank you) redid that drawer.

Sections of metal trim, a key and fob are now added to the doors.  Yes, the drawer pulls are earring backs - cut in half with a ring threaded through and painted black.

The half-moon table is a kit. I changed the legs and added plastic trim on the fronts and metallic silver tape on the apron. I keep fighting with one of the legs to get it straight. I think I have won that battle.

Now it is painted and almost ready to slide under a window beside the wardrobe.  I reglued the errant leg again after this photo was taken. It really does help to take pics as you can look at items in more detail.

Once it was fitted under the window sill I realized the table top needed extra width to carry the items I wanted displayed on top. An extra panel was added to the back and supported with two wooden brackets then sanded and the table repainted.

Now in position with the wardrobe. The space is beginning to looked lived in.

Handy husband has taken over my workroom. Below he is making the Mora clock.

Last year handy husband began building the Kakelugn Stove for the bedroom.  You can see how it was made with parts of a cardboard tube, rubber ring, flexible tile, bits of plastic and metal crowns and light fitting in a previous post. Here B is finishing the copper door - adding a piece of metal jewellery findings as door decoration and door handle.

The fireplace glows, The little handle on the side is for controlling draft. I will try and get a close up pic soon to show you more details.

Elizabeth of and I had a book-making day early in December. We used embossing liquid and stamps to create the decorated covers of these books.

I made the lower book with the tie on it using the foil from a Ferrero Rocher chocolate. Of course I did not eat the chocolate I just wanted the wrapper!
I had made the book pages and cover and then cut to size and glued the wrapper on to the cover in one piece -front, spine and back.  Before I cut the foil to size I smoothed it gently to remove some of the texture and then pressed it onto a metal jewellery finding to give the impression of embossing.
I then sponged colour on to the foil and used a matt finish paint to give it some stability.  It looks like leather.

It was a lot of fun to spend time together and to try something different.

So on that note I encourage you to do something you enjoy and perhaps post your discoveries.

All the best.


  1. I bet there are hundreds of miniaturists nodding in agreement at this post. We all have a stash of items that arent quite right and need something to make them better. Your lovely room does encourage me to delve into my to-do pile. I love the alterations you made, especially the handles.

    1. Dear Pepper, So nice to hear from you. I find it very inspiring and encouraging when I read posts from other bloggers who tell us how they have been able to create something quite different from what it was originally.
      All the best. Janine

  2. You did a fantastic job, now these pieces of furniture are perfect for the bedroom. Your post is full of inspiration as I'm not good at making something from something else. I like the stove very much and it makes the room very welcoming with its fire. Congratulations to your husband! and to you too for your work! Beautiful books!

    1. Hi Genevieve, Hopefully the worst of the winter is behind you in France. It took me so long to get going on the interiors of this building. I think I was held back by the idea that everything should be white or pale grey.
      Obviously I have let that idea go.
      Thank you for taking time to leave a comment.
      Regards Janine

  3. Hello Janine,
    What wonderful transformations. The half moon table is beautiful, but I must say I am very impressed by that gorgeous wardrobe. You would never guess that the bottom section was an add on. The door for the stove is perfection and those books are amazing. It is always such a pleasure to see a new post.
    Big hug

    1. Dear Giac, I do not know what it is but day-to-day my ability to leave comments changes. This evening I can reply.... but earlier today I could not.
      I was so happy to see your post. Of course, I rolled my eyes and thought how can he improve on the dining room? But .... yes you did! It is true our tastes change or I think become more refined as we research and clarify what makes a space more interesting to ourselves.
      I always enjoy seeing what and how you do your spaces and appreciate your posting.
      All the best. Janine

  4. Janine- NEVER Tell me AGAIN, that you "don't do anything!" 😄
    Your transformations of the table kit AND your books AND the INCREDIBLE Swedish Stove and fire, AND B's reworking of the wardrobe AND the Wonderful bed with the rumbled bed linen, AND the shabby armchair, along with each and every other Delightful little detail incorporated this room of your Scandinavian country home' Looks Totally FANTASTIC!
    A Toast to your warm and toasty bedroom- SKAL! 🇸🇪


    1. Hi Elizabeth, You are so good at encouraging (Pushing) me to make the jump from considering into actuality.
      I am looking forward to getting together soon.
      Hugs Janine

  5. You did a fantastic job with the wardrobe and the half moon table. The stove is very impressive and the books are awesome. Wonderful bedroom!
    Hugs, Drora

    1. Thank you Drora, so nice of you to visit and leave a comment.
      Regards Janine

  6. I love your bedroom, Janine. It looks so calm and peaceful I just want to curl up in there.
    I actually read your post last night, but after reading I felt so eager to go pop a kit together, I didn't even take time to comment.. Talk about being inspired. The wardrobe bash came up a treat - Love the idea of using the earring backs for the handles and the little bits of trim. Amazing what a difference a bit of bash and add can make.
    Thanks for all the fabulous pictures of your beautiful room.
    Blowing warm winds your way from Down Under.
    Hugs, Anna X

  7. Hi Anna, There are so many little mini tricks one can learn by reading blogs. I am sorry that it seems less of our talented miniaturist are blogging recently.
    Thank you for the warm winds from SA. Weather should be back to plus 4C this weekend. It has really been pretty having the snow for the past week - such a nice change from rain, rain and more rain!
    I always enjoy visiting your blog Anna.
    Regards Janine

  8. Wow, - lots of beautiful eye-candy in this post. I love what you did with the cabinet and the table. I am glad you have a 'partner-in-crime' to share the hobby with! He did a great job on the stove. And lastly, the books turned out really nice- great photos too! Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Beautiful transformation. The bedroom is cozy and elegant.

  10. Hi Janine! You made some marvelous changes in those otherwise ordinary pieces of furniture! Like you, I am always very reluctant to alter pieces of furniture from their original condition! I keep telling myself I need to try... but I chicken out every time! LOL! Your example is making me re-think my timidity! The new wardrobe is lovely and has much better proportions. The white color suits the room and the rest of the furniture so much better than the darker "natural" wood color! The small embellishments you added make a huge difference in the elegance of the pieces! I think you are a "Natural" at this! LOL! And what a Treasure it is to have friends to get together and make mini books together... they look wonderful too! Keep up the Great work, it is very inspiring! :):)
    Oh, and I almost forgot to say what Treasure you have in Handy Husband who can fashion incredible tile stoves from cardboard tubes and scraps!!! It looks awesome and so real....! WOW!

  11. Your mods are beautiful and I love the books. Glad to know you only used the wrapper and didn't eat the chocolate ;-)

  12. Hello, Janine - I loved this post, since one of my favorite mini things is transforming one thing into something different. I don't actually make anything from scratch, or even a kit, so make-overs are a good way for me to feel creative. Your creative talent is obvious in the make-overs that you've done for this lovely bedroom. The attention to detail in the table and wardrobe transformations makes an amazing difference in the end result, and the original pieces are hardly recognizable. Bravo! Your husband's work on the clock and the wonderful stove are to be commended, and the books made by you and Elizabeth are superb - and what a fun time you both must have had in making them! I must add that the bed is gorgeous, yet it looks so naturally comfortable and cozy that I'd like to climb right in.