The Den of Slack

Victorianna left tower finished

I’m waiting for supplies for the Blackbird Bar to come in the mail so I switched back to the Victorianna to get some work done on the towers. Here’s how they looked the last time I worked on them.

A couple things were bothering me. One, the base of the big tower roof, which is made from 1:12 crown molding, looks skimpy compared to the small one, which is made from the same crown molding plus cove molding. And two, the oval windows on the fronts of the towers look like they’re not lined up. They are, but because there’s more white space over the one on the left than on the right, it creates the illusion that the window on the left is lower.

To beef up the roof base, I added cove molding like I had on the smaller roof. This time the cove molding is above the crown, rather than below it, which left a gap between the round part of the crown molding and the sharp bottom of the cove molding. I filled in the gap with wood filler.

The big tower roof also needed its finial replaced after the original (small) finial I put on broke. (Then the plastic one I replaced it with also broke. Note to self: stop dropping the roof on its head!) I ended up using a 1 9/16″ Houseworks spindle.

Here’s how the roof looks with the new finial and beefed-up base.

Next I added crown molding to the inside of the tower.

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Printie wine fridges and Christmas light bottles

I’ve been looking at other people’s miniature bars to get ideas and I keep coming back to the Henchmen Pub. (I wish there were more pictures!) I especially like the lighted fridge under the counter, which was made by Elf Miniatures, but my bar has shelving underneath that prevents putting in one of those. Instead I decided to cover up the two fake cabinets under the front side of the bar with printies to make them look like built-in fridges.

I found a picture online of a double fridge that had roughly the same proportions as the cabinet doors, and then manipulated them in Photoshop to make them the correct width and height. I also duplicated the sides and top so they can wrap around the edge of the cabinet door.

After spraying the printie with matte sealer, I cut it out and scored the edges so they’d fold neatly over the edges of the cabinet door. Rather than cutting out the white space at the corners, I left them attached to the top edge to become tabs. The top edge gets glued down first with the white tabs draped over the sides, then the sides get glued down over the tabs, so no wood will be visible where the side and top edges meet.

Here’s how the first one looks. Next to it you can see the cabinet doors that are getting covered up.

Because these are under the front of the bar and not the back like in the Henchmen Pub, they’re almost impossible to see. Looking in through the top of the roombox, you can get a glimpse of them in the mirror, but once there’s stuff on the bar I’m not sure if that will still be the case. Maybe next time I’ll realize I’m doing something that can’t be seen *before* I put the work into it. (Not likely.)

Even though they’re nearly impossible to see, I wasn’t happy with them. It looked too much like a printed graphic glued on to cabinet fronts. (Gee, I wonder why?) I decided to add a small border around them to give them a more built-in look.

Here’s a view in the mirror again. That’s a lot of fake wine!

Next I worked on bottles. I already bought a bunch of bottles for the bar, but not nearly enough. They’re expensive — the best prices I’ve been able to find online are $3 for a finished bottle or about $2 for a blank bottle that I can add my own graphic to. I’m planning to put bottles on both of the long shelves along the back of the bar, and maybe also under the long shelves, on the bar itself. (The short shelves on the side of the bar will hold glasses.) At about 30 bottles per shelf, it adds up! In the interest of not going broke, I’m going to supplement the “real” bottles with some made out of Christmas lights.

Joann Swanson has a great tutorial for making bottles out of Christmas lights. The lights she used have long necks that really do look like bottles. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to find any like them. Even when the picture on the box looks the same as hers, I’ve opened the box to find they just look like regular Christmas lights, with a pointy end and a ball at the tip.

The closest I’ve ever found to Joann’s lights are these, which I picked up a few years ago at a thrift store.

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A fake bathroom for the Blackbird Bar

In my last post I was worrying that I might inadvertently trap the bar in the corner of the roombox once the picture rail and wainscot are in. Samantha of Blueprint Minis suggested adding wood to the wall, the same color as the bar, so the bar sits slightly out from the wall and won’t be trapped by the trim. Great idea!

The side of the bar doesn’t go down in a straight line, so I cut two pieces to be positioned like this.

I glued the pieces to the back wall. The picture rail will be flush with this frame rather than being flush with the edge of the bar, which would have made the bar hard to get in and out of the corner.

This edge is almost impossible to see due to the shape of the roombox, but at least the wood is there now in case you can see it from some odd angle. Even getting the camera right up next to it, I was barely able to get a photo that shows the frame.

With that done, I put the door in place and cut a piece of wainscot to fit between the door and the bar. This will not be glued in permanently. When I need to remove the bar, I’ll remove the piece of wainscot and then slide the bar toward the bathroom door, which provides just enough space to get my hands in to unplug it.

Next I painted the door trim, picture rail, and last piece of wainscot. While that was in progress I glued in the ceiling, which is a plastic patterned sheet that I painted antique copper. I used Tacky Glue to glue it in.

I put a piece of wax paper over the ceiling to protect the paint, then used my old friend the medical dictionary to weight it down.

When that was dry I added the picture rail. This is going in to hide the seam on the side walls where I glued in paper strips to cover up an electricity mishap. On the side walls, the bottom of the paper strip provided an edge for the trim to butt up against, so it was easy to glue in straight. On the back wall, the trim is wedged in between the roombox corner and the bar frame, and the wallpaper pattern helped me keep it straight.

Now on to today’s main attraction — the fake, gender neutral bathroom. It’s not necessary for the bathroom door to open, but because it does, I figured I should put something behind it. I looked online for pictures of (not gross) public restrooms with a size and shape that would be understandable through the door’s narrow 2″ x 7″ opening.

After printing out several possibilities in black and white to see how they fit, I chose the one below (source). Before printing it out in color I increased the dpi (dots per inch) as much as I could without making the image too short to fit in the doorway. (Higher dpi = better print quality.) It’s only about 85 dpi, which is pretty low for printed images, but you’re only going to get a glimpse of it.

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