The Den of Slack

Finishing the linen closet & making a basket

Continuing with the linen closet that only exists because I cut a piece of wallpaper badly: I painted the door and the closet Tuscan Beige, the trim color I’m using throughout the house. It looks white when there’s nothing white near it, but here you can see how different it is from the bright white that the door was originally painted.

To pin hinge the door, I laid it in the frame and used the micro drill to drill a hole through the bottom of the frame and up into the door.

This resulted in a hole pretty close to the side and front of the door. I’m glad I drilled them both at the same time, because my instinct would have been to make the hole closer to the center.

The top of the closet is much thicker than the bottom, so I couldn’t drill through the top piece the same way. Based on the location of the hole on the bottom, I drilled a hole at the top in about the same spot. Then I cut down a pin and stuck it into the hole with the pointy part sticking up.

I slipped the door back into the frame, stuck in a piece of wire from the bottom to act as the hinge (to ensure the door was positioned correctly), and pushed the door upward so the pointy pin made a hole in the top of the frame.

Next I added a knob made from a cut-down pin (the other side of the pin I’d cut down for the upper hinge) and a clear seed bead. The towels inside are cut from a chenille Dollar Store washcloth. I glued them in, since the closet will be very hard to access once it’s glued into the house.

The top shelf doesn’t quite meet the ceiling, so there’s a visible gap behind the shelf. Rather than try to make the closet a perfect fit, I can hide that gap with stuff on the shelf.

I still have toilet paper rolls left over from last year’s half scale swap, but I didn’t want them to be loose on the shelf, so I made a basket to hold them.

I started with a piece of scrap wood and a strip of fabric out of my cross stitch stash. I think the fabric is waste canvas — it’s stiffer than normal evenweave, more like needlepoint canvas, but with a high thread count that seems appropriate for a 1:24 basket. After I cut the strip, I ran a bead of anti-fraying glue along the top edge to secure it.

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Double vanity and yet another closet

The Victorianna’s master bathroom is 7.5″ deep, which gives me a nice long wall for the vanity. Even with the tub in place at the front corner I have 5″ to play with. I’m not used to such big bathrooms in dollhouses! (Or real life, for that matter.)

I had been planning to bash a Cassidy Creations store counter kit into a vanity but once I started looking at the pieces, I determined it was too tall and too deep. I found dimensions online for a large double vanity and converted them into half scale, rounding up or down as needed to make use of the wood I had on hand.

I started with a front and two sides like this. The sides are 1″ deep and the vanity is slightly less than 1.5″ tall.

This bottom piece is one of the base pieces I didn’t use on the sleigh bed. It’s 3″ wide, which makes this the equivalent of a 72″ vanity.

On the inside, I put scraps in the corners and across the back to help keep it square.

I also added a support piece at the top for the countertop to rest on.

The doors are made from two 1:24 shutters, cut in half and then sanded to be equal heights. The height of the shutters is what determined the height of the vanity overall — I prepared those first, and then cut the front piece to fit. I glued drawers between the cabinet doors. (Obviously none of these open!)

I glued on the shutter doors so they lined up with the top edge of the base’s curved corner, and then added cove molding to dress it up a little.

The counter is made from 1″ basswood. My options in the scrap drawer were either a very thin piece or a very thick piece, and I opted for the thin one for easier cutting of the sink holes. The piece was a little warped, so I added strip wood around the edges of the underside to help straighten it out and also make the counter look more substantial.

I’m using 3D printed sinks from MiniEtchers. To cut the holes, I figured out the rough size by measuring the edges of the basin, cut a rough hole, and then sanded it to make it bigger. The sinks have a lip so it’s okay that the holes are jagged.

An unintended benefit of the strip wood underneath the counter is that I cut the fronts and outside edges of the holes right up against the strip wood, so the two sinks are aligned and equally spaced from the edges without having to do a lot of measuring.

The counter is 1″ deep and the vanity is also 1″ deep, plus the depth of the doors and drawers. Basswood doesn’t come in 1-inch-plus-a-little-bit sizes, so using 1″ for both was really the only way to do this without cutting down a much bigger piece. I made the counter slightly wider than the sink so it can overhang on the sides. A 1/4″ deep backsplash sits behind the counter to make up the extra space at the back.

This way the counter hangs over slightly at the front.

Moving on to the closet. With the master bedroom closet on the other side of the wall, I wasn’t planning to put one in the bathroom too. But when I wallpapered this wall, I didn’t bring the paper back far enough on the tab to meet up with the ceiling. I couldn’t think of a neat way to fix that, so… let’s make another closet!

This dollhouse already has closets with louvered doors in the master bedroom and the downstairs bathroom, plus the vanity has louvered doors… there’s such a thing as too many louvers! I looked at photos of real bathrooms and saw several linen closet doors with a panel on the bottom and glass at the top. That reminded me of the broken Majestic Mansions door I’ve been holding on to.

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Victorianna master bath continued

The Victorianna’s master bathroom is a jack-and-jill bath with one door leading to the master bedroom and one door to the nursery. Because the real tile I’m using is thicker than usual dollhouse flooring, I had to modify the doors to enable them to swing over the tile.

The threshold of Houseworks doors is higher on one side than the other, to prevent the door from swinging in one direction. This way the door always opens in.

I cut down the bottom of the door so it’s short enough to swing over this lip. Then I re-hinged the door so the pins are closer to the middle of the door. Finally I added a piece of scrap wood to the lower side of the threshold, so now the whole threshold is the same height. As a result, the bathroom doors will swing both ways — into the bathroom or into the bedroom. It’s a little funky but it’s the best I could come up with.

(Why not just turn the doors around so the high part of the threshold is against the tile in the first place? To do that I would have needed to have the doors in place when I laid the floor — with the tile glued in, it was too tight a fit to wedge the doors into the door holes from the bathroom side. For the doors to be in place when the tile was glued in, the wallpaper would have needed to be up, and I didn’t want to wallpaper before I finished the tile, for fear of getting grout on the walls. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

Once I got the nursery door mocked up so it would swing properly, I added shims to the trim on the nursery side and set it in place to see how far the door sticks into the bathroom. I’ll also add shims to the trim on the bathroom side, so the trim will be about the same size on each side and won’t look funny when you view the door from the side. This is better explained in an earlier post about the downstairs bathroom door.

With the door shimmed, I’m able to see how much it sticks into the bathroom. This was necessary so I knew how much to cut the two tiles directly in front of the door.

These were very hard to cut, so it’s a good thing I only needed to do two of them! I used various sharp tools until I managed to cut all the way through, and then sanded for sort of straight lines. Turning the tiles with the cut ends facing other tiles rather than putting the cut ends against the door makes them look neater than they really are.

Finally, time to grout! I used up my sand grout a while ago and didn’t want to use the dark gray mortar I’ve been using for bricks, thinking that would call attention to the inconsistent grout lines and would just be too dark. So I bought a tub of white mosaic grout at the hobby store, intending to add a little bit of gray so it wouldn’t be stark white. I remembered that I’d planned to do that about thirty seconds after I started spreading grout on the tiles.

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