The Den of Slack

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Tile backsplash made from scrapbook paper

After completing the kitchen cabinets, I turned my attention to the backsplash. It’s not easy to find realistic tile to scale in 1:24. I was really tempted to print something out, but after the problems I’ve had with printies fading, I didn’t want to tempt fate. So I started thinking about how I could use scrapbook paper to simulate tiles.

I wanted subway tile, but a post from 1 Inch Minis got me thinking about doing a mosaic tile instead. I bought a Fiskars border punch off eBay that punches out 1/8″ x 1/8″ squares.

I got a piece of Teal Agate scrapbook paper from Michaels. The colors seem very blue/green on the website, but in reality it’s more like an alternation between green and purple. I concentrated the punch on the green areas.

This is what gets punched out.

I pushed down on the squares to flatten them, and then scooped them into a container, discarding any that were too dark, gold, or white.

This is how many tiles I got from one sheet of paper (including some off colors mixed in that still need to be discarded).

I cut a piece of 1/16″ thick wood the size of a backsplash panel, and painted it with my Tuscan Beige trim color. This is the panel that goes under the microwave. I squirted tacky glue onto a piece of wax paper, and then used the tip of a toothpick to add a dab of glue to the backing. Then I flipped the toothpick over and used the clean end to nudge a tile into place. I just eyeballed the grout lines.

Here’s my first attempt. After seeing it in place, I picked off a few tiles that seemed weird and replaced them.

I think if I had painted these with matte varnish they would have looked like stone, but I wanted a shiny finish. I used a toothpick to put a dab of clear Gallery Glass on each tile, keeping it off the grout lines to maintain separation between the tiles.

The Gallery Glass dries clear and shiny.

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Upper cabinets, stove hood, and a new sink

Tragedy struck my $1 Horace Jones sink. I’d left it in the countertop (not glued in) and I picked up the cabinet and tipped it slightly to look at something and the sink fell out and hit the floor. Before this happened, I’d actually thought to myself that I shouldn’t leave the sink in the countertop, for this very reason. So I only have myself to blame!

I heard the faucet go flying and spent about fifteen minutes looking for it on the floor, but couldn’t find it. Then I went back to the sink and discovered one corner had broken off. I tried sanding it to a curve but it’s still noticeable.

Especially from the side/front. If it had been the other corner it wouldn’t have mattered as much, since you can’t see that corner with the cabinet in place. But this would be glaring.

While I was pouting about it, Geoff found the faucet on the floor, which made me feel a little better. At least I can use the faucet on another sink someday. And I did only spend a dollar on it. Easy come, easy go. :(

Conincidentally, the day before this happened I had placed an order with Elf Miniatures for an exhaust fan and various other 1:24 items that are being closed out, including a sink with a built-in drainboard.

This is 1.5″ wide, the same as the sink cabinet. The Horace Jones sink was slightly smaller, so I had to enlarge the hole. Added bonus: the right edge of the sink mostly covers up the seam where the two counter pieces meet up.

Even though the sink is centered in the cabinet, the faucet isn’t centered under the window. Normally that would bug me, but you can’t really see the sink head-on, so it’s not obvious.

Here’s the exhaust fan. It’s slightly wider than the oven, so I was waiting for this before I finished the upper cabinets, to get the width of those cabinets exactly right.

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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.

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