The Den of Slack

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Half scale upholstered bench tutorial

As promised in a recent post, here’s a tutorial for an upholstered bench in 1:24 scale. The bench is made the same way as my half scale sofas. There are two versions – one with tall arms and one with short arms. (They’re shown side by side at the bottom of this post.)

Supplies needed:

Basswood in the following sizes:

  • 3/4″ x 3/16″ (arms)
  • 1/4″ dowel (armrests)
  • 3/4″ x 1/4″ (base and seat cushion)
  • 5/16″ dowel (bolster pillows – optional)

Suede scrapbook paper — one sheet is more than enough

DMC floss or another thick-ish thread in a color that complements the scrapbook paper

Tiny Turnings or beads to use as feet — approximately 1/4″ tall

You’ll also need glue (I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue), scissors, wood filler, sandpaper or emery boards, stain (for wooden feet), and a couple of toothpicks.

1) Assembling the frame

Cut the following pieces of strip wood:

  • Arms: 1″ for tall-armed bench or 3/4″ for short-armed bench — cut two
  • Armrests: 3/4″ — cut two
  • Base: 1-3/4″
  • Bolster pillows (optional): 3/4″ — cut two

The seat cushion will be slightly smaller than 1-3/4″. Its exact length will be determined by how much space you have after the arms and base are covered, so you might want to wait to cut that piece until later.

Glue the arms to the base. Glue the armrests to the tops of the arms, with the dowel pieces positioned on the edges of the arms as pictured. Use a lot of glue, then leave it alone to dry!

Once the armrests are totally dry, use wood filler to fill in the gaps and create a smooth transition from the arms to the armrests.

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Half scale nursery toys and crib mobile

It’s toy time! Painted ceramic beads make good toys in half scale. I already used a bunch of these in the downstairs little girl’s room. For the nursery I picked out safari-themed beads from Shipwreck Beads, to go with the wallpaper. I haven’t ordered from them, but The Crafty Bead also has a nice selection.

I spent a lot of time looking for tiny beads to use for a crib mobile. This was my first attempt. These star beads are about 5mm across and have a metallic blue/green sheen to them.

They’re a good size, but they kind of look like black blobs from a distance. Not the right look for a baby’s mobile.

Attempt #2: these flower beads come in a variety of muted pastels that go nicely with the wallpaper in the nursery.

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Victorianna master bedroom furniture

The master bath and nursery are on hold while I wait for some supplies, so I’ve been working on furniture for the master bedroom. This bed is 3D printed from Shapeways. I’m not sure how you’re supposed to put in a mattress with that open bottom. I’ve made beds before, both scratch built and from kits, and the bottom typically has slats to hold the mattress. I cut some 1/8″ x 1/8″ basswood to serve this purpose.

I painted them black before gluing them in. Tacky Glue wasn’t cutting it so I used Quick Grip, which bonds quickly but is also super messy. Luckily these joints will be covered up. I only ended up using three of the four pieces I prepared, and they’re not evenly spaced, but you’ll never see them so who cares? (Not me!)

I made a simple mattress by gluing a thin piece of foam to basswood, and then covered it with white cloth. I’d hoped to use a “Sally’s Ring” quilt I stitched a few years ago, but it’s literally one row of stitches too large to fit on the bed. Instead, I made bedding from two Restoration Hardware fabric swatches.

The comforter is Petite Foulard Bedding. I glued the hems on three sides, using the design to maintain straight edges. The stitching at the top was the bottom edge of the swatch — it came that way.

The blanket at the foot is made from Italian Vintage Baroque Bedding. I unraveled the edges a bit to look like fringe. I still need to sew some pillows for the bed, plus I have just enough of the Baroque fabric left over to make a few throw pillows.

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