The Den of Slack

Half scale suede sofa tutorial

My Victorianna has a deep living room in need of a couple of modern couches, but the pickings are slim in half scale… so I made my own! These are made with wood and suede scrapbook paper that looks just like the suede/microfiber that’s so popular on couches lately. They’re kind of time intensive, with a lot of steps, but the end result sure is pretty.

After making the larger one as a prototype, I perfected the process with the smaller one and took oodles of pictures so I could post a tutorial. These are 1:24 scale, but of course you can use the same method for a 1:12 couch if you double all the dimensions.

Here’s the smaller couch with a Lee’s Line sofa for a size comparison. Most half scale couches are loveseat sized; that’s why I wanted to make a bigger one as well. (I actually started out planning to make a sectional, but mis-cut something early on and abandoned the idea…)

This is how they’ll be positioned in the Victorianna. Since the back of the larger one is on display, I had to make sure it looked good from every angle.

Read on for the tutorial, then go make your own!

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Victorianna – little girl’s room #1 complete

The Victorianna’s been on hold until I could make a Dollhouses Trains and More run to get all the trim needed for the exterior bay windows. (I was spoiled when I lived five minutes away from that place!) I made that trip over the weekend, so progress will be coming soon. First, though, I finished up the trim in the front bedroom (a.k.a. “little girl’s room #1″).

The bay window trim, baseboards, and crown molding were finished a few months ago. The remaining tasks were the edges of the wallpaper border, and the window.

When I glued in the wallpaper against the toy shelf I didn’t get it totally flush, so there was a sliver of bare wall at the top that needed covering up.

I added a very, very skinny piece of trim here. It’s not as tight against the side of the shelf as I wanted, but it’s unobtrusive and covers up the problem spot.

Then I added 5/32″ double bead trim to the tops and bottoms of the stuffed animal border. (It’s angled slightly where it meets the shelf, to fit over the trim piece.) I did my best to make the double bead straight, using the checkered wallpaper as a guide.

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Bead bottles and Victorianna bathroom fix

Something tragic happened in the Victorianna. At some point after we moved to San Francisco last fall the bathroom floor I loved so much got totally bleached out. My new workshop didn’t exist yet and the sun must have been shining through the garage window onto the house. I didn’t notice until it was too late.

It’s hard to see how bad it got in photos, but here are the faded tiles with a leftover scrap to give you an idea. I’ve had similar problems with my own attempts at color printing fading, but I’m pretty disappointed that something I paid money for faded so soon.

I could have bought another sheet but didn’t want it to happen again, so I begrudgingly replaced the pretty floor tiles with a plastic sheet of hexagon tiles. At least the tiles in the shower didn’t fade — a very good thing, because I can’t reach those anymore!

I started by removing the baseboards and making a paper template of the floor, getting as close as I could to the areas that aren’t covered by baseboards. I was able to slide the paper under the linen closet and one side of the door trim, which helped.

It took a couple of tries, but here’s what I ended up with. It’ll do. Sigh.

On to the fun stuff. I’ve been hunting around for accessories for the bathroom and wanted to try my hand at making some shampoo and lotion bottles, but couldn’t find the right beads online or in person at Michaels or Beverley’s. (They need to be an appropriate color *and* stand up on their own.) Finally a trip to The Hobby Company which has a whole bead room, yielded these.

Once you find the beads, bottles are super easy to make. Just dab glue on the top…

… then put the glue side face down on a seed bead.

Ta da! Now all it needs is a label (which I haven’t bothered doing yet).

These squat beads made me think of cold cream jars. The top is a metal brad with the legs snipped off.

I also picked out some tiny beads that look like glycerine soap.

I glued some of the soaps onto the smallest of the metal filigrees I bought for the little girl’s mobile a few months back. Here’s one in the Victorianna. The mirror in here is also new – handmade from picture frame trim and a 1″ mosaic mirror.

And here are a couple of the bottles on a floating shelf I added above the toilet.

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