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Mini Etchers microwave and more cabinets

Continuing with the Victorianna’s kitchen cabinets: I wanted the upper cabinet on the right of the fridge to include a shelf for the microwave. This required buying or making a microwave before I could make the cabinets on that side, so I’d know how wide that cabinet needed to be.

Mini Etchers makes a microwave that’s 1.5″ wide. That would leave less than 1 inch to the left of the fridge, which I thought would bring the fridge too close to the stove and look cramped. Instead I could have put a 1.5″ cabinet with the microwave on the left of the fridge, pushing the fridge closer to the kitchen door, but then the microwave would be blocked by the fridge and hard to see.

I emailed Shellie at Mini Etchers about my dilemma and she offered to shrink down the width of the microwave for me. Here’s what she came up with — now it’s only 1″ wide.

Before assembling the kit, I “painted” the pieces with a silver Sharpie on the outside and a black Sharpie on the inside.

Because of how much Shellie shrunk down the microwave front, one edge is exactly the same width as the wood that forms that side of the box. I wanted to add a piece of plastic to the inside of the door but didn’t have any wood to glue it to on that edge.

So I cut a piece of plastic exactly the same size as the inside of the microwave and glued it to the other side, top, and bottom of the inside of the door. It is wedged in there pretty good, but since it’s not attached on one side, I have to be careful not to punch through it with my finger when I’m handling the microwave.

(This isn’t quite done — I want to print out a digital display to glue on, and might make the buttons black so they stand out more.)

Next I built the upper cabinet to hold the microwave. This is 2″ tall (the equivalent of a 48″ cabinet) and 1/2″ deep, with 1/4″ square pieces inside providing support. I made the shelf slightly larger than the microwave so it can be removed easily.

I added back pieces made from the same scribed wood I used for the lower cabinets. The lower cabinets don’t have backs, but the uppers need them so I can attach the cabinets to the wall.

I added a front piece and then glued the microwave cabinet to the fridge cabinet. This picture also shows the handles I added to the fridge — they’re made from 1/8″ square basswood with 45-degree cuts at the ends, also “painted” with silver Sharpie.

(When I first posted about the fridge I’d planned for it to have French doors, but I ended up ditching that in favor of one door. It just made more sense since the line between the fridge door and freezer door was already routed into it.)

Using the upper as a guide for the width, I made a lower cabinet to go underneath it.

When I put this in place, I noticed a problem — the door trim is crooked! It’s closer to the cabinets at the bottom than the top.

Knowing this would bother me forever if I left it, I removed the crooked piece, tearing the wallpaper in the process.

Luckily the torn piece will get covered up by the backsplash.

With the new cabinets sitting in place, I measured the space to the left of the fridge and then made the upper and lower cabinet to fit. Then, with all the cabinets in place, I re-glued the door trim. This way I was sure the cabinets fit perfectly next to the trim.

(I actually cut and painted a new piece of trim first; the angle at the top of the original piece was slightly off, contributing to the crookedness. I still need to touch up the seams, but for now I’m just glad it’s straight!)

Next I added the doors, drawers, and countertops. The upper on the left will have another cabinet perpendicular to it, so I need to wait to do the doors on that one.

I might need to raise the oven up a tiny bit… the stovetop was supposed to be level with the countertop but it’s slightly below. I’ll wait and see how it looks when the counters are painted, this might be fine.

Almost done! I’m going to put an Elf Miniatures extractor fan over the stove, with cabinets on each side.

Another view, through the window.

8 Comments

  1. That looks great! Definitely add black to the buttons, then they’ll really stand out. love how the whole kitchen is turning out.

    • As I work on the Cranberry Cove, I am making mistakes and feel so discouraged sometimes and then I see that you have made mistakes, too. Crooked cabinets along with having to remove and redo things, ripping wall paper along the way are the norm for me. Last night I cut a piece that was cut to fit in one place for another and had to re-cut yet another piece of trim. So I feel your angst. Still the kitchen is going to beautiful. I love Elf products, as you introduced us to them. I bought a toilet from them and the shower base. And to have another builder custom make a piece for you is really quite special. The kitchen will be amazing.

    • And I only post about a fraction of the mistakes I actually make!

      I’m not sure if you work in half scale, but Elf is discontinuing their 1:24 stuff and has all of it marked down right now. I’m sad about that because there’s really nothing else like it in half scale.

  2. Good solutions all the way around! The smaller size of the microwave visually fits the area next to the fridge and is in proportion with the rest of your lovely kitchen too!

  3. The kitchen is progressing along beautifully. I’m with you…if you spot a problem it is better to fix it than ignore it. If left it will be a bother for the future and become even more difficult to correct. Well done all around!

  4. I love everything about this teeny tiny little modern kitchen. Your solution of a custom made microwave is wonderful. I love the box you’ve built it. I think you should differentiate the buttons if not in black (maybe too much contrast) perhaps a darker shade of silver or grey? That Fridge is a spectacular success!.

  5. What a gorgeous tiny kitchen. I work in a much larger scale 1″=4″ but I love seeing the things you create and often wonder tuck your methods away for building my large dioramas.
    As for the loose edge in the microwave…would it be possible to run a thinbead of glue on the back of the plastic edge and the side wall… almost like caulking a bathtub?

    • Ooh, that’s a good idea, but I already glued the back on. If it gets punched in and I have to take the microwave apart to fix it, I’ll try that.

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