Sunday, May 29, 2016

Loft In A Box

Hello y'all.  Yes, I have been negligent in blogging.  Not that I am not making minis, I just haven't had the time to sit and write.  Or finish what I started writing.  The garden has consumed me! And replacing the basement sink (a fiasco) and now Miss Kitty's birthday prep.  All I have had in me is to make mini scenes and post them on Instagram.  If you need a regular fix, find me there!

Remember when I purchased the Real Good Toys room box from The Little Dollhouse Company a while back?  It's been finished for some time now.  Did I take proper pictures of it empty? Nope.  Typically me.  But I did do a loft scene inside of it.  Recall, this was the room box that was supposed to be "simple" and just for taking photos.

 Bahahaha. As if I could make anything simple.


This kit is made from precision milled MDF. It really fits together perfect. But the assembly instructions seemed.....sad.  White glue and nails? Oh come on, that would leave me with night,ares and a fear of touching it because it might break. Out comes the constructions adhesive and about 20 small screws. The thing looked like Frankenstein before I sanded and painted the glue away! But this bad boy is rock solid.

I made the choice not to glue the roof piece to the 3 sides (also part the reason I glued/screwed as much as I did). It's so hard to photograph in a roofed anything, and this box is for making scenes and taking pictures of them!  So, the roof comes off, but the front plexiglass still slides in just fine. It nicely keeps the dust out since it sits in my work space.

The Floor

To use wood strips, veneer, or popsicle sticks. The eternal question that faces many Miniaturists. Having had success with iron on veneer made into siding for the half scale house, I said, why not veneer again?

This was non adhesive veneer. Purchased at Home Depot in a large roll.  I used many knife blades, but made countless long strips. Then I cut them into 6 varying lengths, I.e. 1 inch, 2 inch, 4.5 inches, etc. and for further variation I stained half of each length group with 2 coats of stain and 4 coats of stain. This gave nice variation. After all, it is a converted loft!  Since I went with a dark floor and the strips are "rustic" I painted the mdf under it a dark brown.

I glued it all down using LePaige No More Nails.  3 rows at a time, stopping to press and dry with a heavy book. And don't forget to put parchment paper down between the floor and the book!

The floor was finished with a satin polyurethane.  Even the satin was a bit too new looking, so I took some extra fine steel wool and rubbed down the floor 2 times to take the shine down a few notches.  And its much easier to photograph when its less shiny.  

The Window

I said 2016 was the year for trying new things. So.....building custom anything made me a bit scared. Not that I couldn't do it, but I didn't know where to start or find the supplies.

Fast forward to finding The Credit Valley Railway Company Ltd. for my glue jig. There, they had lots of tiny styrene trims, like quarter round, U channel, etc. things I needed but didn't know where to buy!  I did a happy dance. If you`re interested, it was Evergreen brand.  The plastic sheet for the `glass` was from The Little Dollhouse Company.

I cut the plastic to fit the opening I had cut out in the wall.  I used a quarter round trim on both sides of the window to secure it to the frame.  All I had left was some fine U channel, so I used it to add smaller panes to the top of the window and give it a transom effect.

I was very nervous to make this window.  Zero clue what I was doing and I put it off.  Annnnnnnnnnd it was really simple to do in the end.  You just need to watch your gluing and not be sloppy as some glues can adhere to the plastic if you make an inadvertent drop and they won`t come off.

The Bricks

I made the bricks using white mat board. Much easier AFTER you recall you own a mat board cutter (from cutting many a photo mat). Might this tool have been useful in previous projects? Was this tool sitting in the furnace room beside my work bench? Had I kicked it a few times since starting minis? Yes to all.  But did its usefulness dawn on me. Nope.

I made many strips of slightly varying width and then cut varying brick length. If it was a loft, I figured the bricks were likely old, worn and patched so this approach would work.

I glued them down with tacky glue.  Then I sealed them with Americana Dura Clear Matte Varnish that I applied with a brush. I grouted using the goes-on-pink-dries-white spacking from Home Depot. Then I painted it all with 2 coats of eggshell finish interior paint in "Romance" by CIL (my real life trim colour). Then I sealed it again with 2 coats of the matte sealer.

The Baseboards

The baseboards are a Victorian baseboard from Houseworks. I enjoy that they are much taller then a regular board.  And I painted them "Romance" too!

And The Rest Of The Loft Series

Where To Buy - Where To Find


  1. This looks totally realistic! Super!

    1. Thank you Marion! The room box took a while, but trying to make all the accessories look real took FOREVER but I'm happy with the end result!

  2. Realistic and just gorgeous! When can I move in?

    1. Thanks Sheila. Unfortunately, there is no toilet, bathroom or kitchen. If you can look past peeing at the local coffee shop and not cooking.....then you can move right in!

  3. I love it! :D No, it's not "simple" in the treatments you gave it, but you certainly get some fine photos from it. Bravo!

    1. Thank you so much Brae. Projects take on a life of their own.....and then it's 2 months into a weekend project!

  4. This is a Marvelous way to be able to use the loft space as a "Urban Barn- type" photography studio! Your style and good taste makes this project as exciting to view as getting a New Ikea catalog which I LOVE, because of the Fabulous staging that they do, and your loft has that same kind of sensibility. Love those fashion tomes too! Very Well Done, Kat! :D

    1. Thank you Elizabeth. We are kindred spirits. When the IKEA catalogue arrives it's game over around here. My nose doesn't come up from it for days!

  5. A loft space to love...wonderfully decorated with delightful accessories that make it an inviting space. The petit point cushion on the sofa at the end of the bed is charming and the various books give a glimpse into the character of the to look at! Cheers, Alayne

    1. Thank you Alayne! I'm glad you enjoy the space. I had a lot of fun creating all the elements that went into it.