Saving the instructions to your computer

You can easily save any of these instructions to your computer for viewing while off-line.

On a PC use the ctrl key + s then choose to save as type "web page html only" Or do a file "save as" from the drop down menu on your browser. Direct it to save the instructions in the folder of your choice.

On a Mac use the command key +s

Direct links to the instructions for the various kits are listed on the right hand side of the page.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tree Tutorial



This is the tutorial for decorating the miniature bottlebrush trees. I am demonstrating with a green tree as it shows the details better. The same techniques can be used on pastel trees.


I have been asked by a number of friends where I get the trees I put on my glitter houses.
They are  those inexpensive miniature bottle brush trees that are in the craft stores at Christmas time. With a bit of effort they can become much nicer looking. You have seen them before, they often have a heavy coating of snow on the branches and a gold base.



The "snow" that comes on these tree is water soluble so the first thing I do is give them a bath and a scrubbing with a nail brush to clean that stuff off. I also trim the excess wire at the bottom flush with the bristles.


Next you need to decide if you want a green tree or a pastel tree. If you want a pastel tree give it a dunking in a cup of chlorine bleach for a short time. Some trees will bleach very pale, others stay a pastel green. You get what you get so be content with it. Rinse well and pat dry.



At this point in time you can brush Elmers glue on the tree, roll it in glitter and call it good.

















Or you can put in a bit more time and make it something really special and a lot more realistic. The shorter tree has been rolled in glitter, its nice. The taller tree is more realistic and worth the extra steps needed.





To make a more realistic tree you start by rubbing paint into the tree. I make the tree slightly damp (essential step), then rub a small amount of acrylic paint into the tree all the way in toward the wire center. You do not want paint globs, just barely coat the branches so they stand alone rather than clumping together. Green paint  for green trees, white paint for pastel trees. Let the paint dry completely before the next step. Use a stiff wire brush to break up any clumped branches.



Press the branches in a downward sloping direction. With a needle tip glue applicator or toothpick put small amounts of glue up into the branches reaching in towards the center of the tree. Dots of it here and there, you don't need solid coverage on the tree. If your tree  has big spiral gaps from the twisted wire this will help smooth out their appearance.



Roll the tree in crystal glitter while the glue is still wet.


Now using an artist brush apply snow to the tips of the branches and the top of the tree. My snow is 3 parts titanium white paint mixed with 1 part Elmers glue. While the snow is still wet give the tree another roll in the crystal glitter.  Let dry and glue the tree to the base of the glitter house.

Chapel Assembly Instructions



This posting contains the instructions for assembling the two sizes of kits for " the Chapel". The pieces in your kit may vary in color from the photo above. The color choices are ivory with white trim and light peach with white trim.

It is important to read through all of the instructions before starting the assembly. Then go back and follow them step by step. I have provided lots of photos. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

This is a precision laser cut kit. There is no need for scoring the bend lines as they are perforated.  Only bend parts when instructed to do so. Never fold then unfold and fold again as bend lines are somewhat fragile. You will be reinforcing these bend lines with adhesive on the inside of the building as part of the assembly process which will make those corners very strong.

 There may be smoke on your parts from the laser cutting process. If you take the parts out of the kit and they seem smokey blot a slightly damp paper towel down onto the parts and it will remove most of the smoke residue. Turn the towel to a clean area frequently and only wipe out towards the edge. Use a second dry paper towel and blot it down on the parts to remove any excess moisture. If the parts warp a little this is not a problem, you can finger press them straight later on. 

A slightly damp paper towel will remove excess glue spots if you get to it right away. Only work on one part at a time, the glue dries too fast for working on multiple pieces.  Because the glue dries fast you need to move quickly when working on this project. Keep your fingers free of glue at all times, using tweezers helps.

Please refer to the posting on this blog http://glitterhouses.blogspot.com/2014/03/tips-for-folding-tiny-pieces.html for extra advice on making and handling the folds on some of the very small pieces. As all the fold lines have been perforated they are easy to bend but the micro size kits do best with a bit of assistance from tweezers and such.




Your kit should contain the parts as shown in this photo. Some kits will have other color choices but the shapes are the same. The smaller size chapel will not have the narrow strips that are used as  trim around lower edge of the building.


You will use the craft knife to remove the small "sprues"  that hold  the piece into the carrier sheets.  To get a good flush trim hold the beveled cutting edge of the knife so that it is parallel to the paper's edge. We usually hold knives with the main part of the blade parallel to the cut but it won't trim the edges flush if you hold your knife in that position


Before you get started double check the finished project photo and look ahead a few steps so you know exactly which side of the walls to glue the windows and door on.




The Chapel door has two parts that need to be glued together with the edges even. A small bead of glue close the the edges is sufficient.


The two layers create a planked door as seen in the photos just below this one. 










The lighter brown paper with slits will face the outside of the building creating the look of a planked door.





Now glue the windows and door in position using the photo as a reference for putting them on the correct side of the paper. The lower edge of the door should be flush with the lower edge of the building.

Most glues will not adhere to the acetate windows. Use Crafter's Pick "The Ultimate" or rubber fortified super glue that is made for plastic or use clear cellophane tape.

Trim the windows to the outside black line as seen in the photo above. The side of the window with raised printed lines should face to the outside of the chapel. You will be able to feel the raised lines with your finger tips.

Put the glue on the walls, not on the windows. Work on one window at a time as the glue dries very quickly. Always use tweezers to hold the windows. You must work quickly as you will only have a very short time in which you can adjust the position of the window. Check the window position by looking at the other side of the sheet and reposition if needed by using tweezers to push against the edge of the plastic.

Turn the wall over and glue on the window and door trims.  Working on one part at a time apply a small bead of glue to the windows and door frame using your micro tipped glue applicator or a toothpick. Use tweezers to hold the parts while you place them in position. Quickly remove any excess glue that may get on the walls with a slightly damp paper towel.




Bend the bell tower walls around. Put a small bead of glue on the tab as shown in this photo. Use tweezers to clamp the tab against the front wall of the tower. You can use the flat surface of a ruler or the flat side of knife to make sure the front edge and the side of tower are flush at the corner.




Before you begin this step look at this photo and also the one below it so you understand both parts of this process.


Bend the main walls of the structure around towards the back to complete the shape. Apply glue as shown in this photo. The walls will overlap each other as seen in the next photo.












Mate the surface you just glued to the bell tower wall. Align the lower edge and the inside edges of the walls as shown in the photo.

After the glue is completely dry on the join you just made you can gently flex the structure to square it up.









Fold the roof as shown in the photo. Be sure the fold
on the main roof allows you to put in on the structure so that it fits around the tower.


Run a very fine bead of glue along the bend lines to reinforce them so the perforation line does not break apart during the next step.  Let the parts dry for about two minutes before you start the next step.








The roofs on this project have a curve to them. It is easy to curve the roof by rolling them against a cylinder. A half inch to an inch and a half cylinder works. I am using a glue stick here, a small pill bottle works fine too. Look at the photo below to make sure you bend the main roof in the correct direction.






Place the main roof against the bell tower side. Lift up the other side of the roof and glue as shown in this photo.




Lower the other side of the roof and working from the inside glue at the join between the walls and the roof.


Turn the roof over and with your fingertips hold the roof against the walls with your fingertips for a few minutes.


Turn the chapel upside down again and run a bead of glue up the inside corners of the walls to reinforce the perforated bend lines.






Lay the building on its side. Place the roof against the belltower and center it side to side.


Place a bead of glue inside the roof against the wall edges and also along the adjacent wall edges where the other half of the roof will touch.


Fold the roof, set the building upright. Use finger pressure to hold the roof against the walls for several minutes until the glue grips.














 Note that the smaller sized chapel does not have trim strips along the lower edge so you will not need to do this step.

On the 1:144 larger chapel there are two narrow strips that make the lower wall trims. They will only install one way due to the slope of the chapel walls. Be careful that you fold them so they fit correctly. Be sure you have the building sitting on a flat surface when you glue these pieces in position so they are flush to that surface.


Apply a thin bead of glue to the trim and place in position pressing to secure the trims in position.


















If you look at the completed project photo at the start of the instructions you will notice that the house sits on the base at a slight angle.


If you wish to put your chapel on the base in the kit you may do so at this time. Run a bead of glue along the lower edge. I have put a hole in the base so you can place an LED or other cool light inside the house. Do not use standard incandescent bulbs in your project due to the fire hazard, cool light sources only!






If you choose to put glitter on your project wait until after you glitter to install the tree and the cross.


The cross is a snug fit. If the slot is too tight put your craft knife into the slot and rock it side to side to widen the slot. 

You will need to fluff out your tree. If needed you can dampen it to make it easier to fluff.
To add glitter and snow to your tree follow the instructions on this link http://glitterhouses.blogspot.com/search/label/Glittering%20the%20Trees

Glitter Instructions
The roof and the base can be glittered without putting on snow if you like glitter but are not trying to make a winter scene.  You might want to do this if you like using glitter projects year around or for wedding decorations. The chapel makes a nice Easter decoration.


For this project I will be using Martha Stewart Brand Fine Crystal glitter. This is a transparent glitter and allows the color of the wall to show through it. You can purchase this product online or at craft stores. If you can't find this glitter locally  but you have a stamping store in town then Ultra Fine Crystal glitter from Stampendous will be OK.


I put glitter on the walls before I work on the roof and base. I do not put glitter on the small trim pieces around doors and windows and the base as it obscures these fine details. Only work on one wall at a time and be sure to work fast as the glue dries quickly.


Experience has taught me that for glittering larger surfaces such as the walls of  the large chapel the PVA glues such as basic Elmer's dry too quickly. However that is not an issue on the 1:228 scale chapel or on the Tiny Village series. When working on  larger areas I use Elmers clear School glue as it has an extended drying time or I slightly dilute the other glues glue types with water so they dry more slowly.


I paint the glue on with an artist brush that is small enough to fit around details such as the window and door trims. I would describe the amount of glue I put on the walls as "moderate".  A very thin layer of glue won't be enough to stick the glitter to the surface but you don't want a super thick layer either as you don't want the glitter layer taller than the trims around the doors and windows. Plus you never want to make the paper soggy with glue.


I put my glitter in a small container that has holes in the top so it can be used as a salt shaker is used. Or I put a pile of it in a dish and scoop it over the building.




For snow I use 3 parts titanium white craft paint to 1 part white PVA glue. This is a medium thick mixture. You can add a little cornstarch to thicken it if you wish. But don't make the mix so dry that  the glitter won't stick to it.

Another nice product for snow is light weight white acrylic modeling paste. I apply it with a small artist trowel. You can sprinkle glitter on it while it is still wet and it will stick. Press it gently into the surface of the modeling paste.


For a heavy snowfall look build the snow materials up in thinner layers letting the snow material dry between layers. Glitter is only put over the final layer.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dovecote Assembly Instructions


This posting contains the instructions for assembling the kit "Dovecote". The pieces in your kit may vary in color from the photo above.

I recommend you look through all of the instructions before starting the assembly. Then go back and follow them step by step. I have provided lots of photos to help you understand the steps as most of us are visual learners. 

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

This is a precision cut kit. There is no need for scoring the bend lines as they are perforated.  Only bend parts when instructed to do so. Never play around with bending the parts on the kit to see how it is going to look as they are somewhat fragile. You will be reinforcing these bend lines as part of the assembly process.

Be stingy with the glue, excess glue on the project will make a mess of it. This kit is made with coated paper,  a slightly damp paper towel will remove excess glue spots if you get to it right away. Keep your fingers free of glue at all times, use tweezers.

Please refer to the posting on this blog http://glitterhouses.blogspot.com/2014/03/tips-for-folding-tiny-pieces.html for extra advice on making and handling the folds on some of the very small pieces. eyAs all the fold lines have been perforated tht are easy to bend but very small pieces do best with a bit of assistance from tweezers and such.

There may be smoke on your parts from the laser cutting process. While the parts are still in the carrier sheet blot a slightly damp paper towel down onto the parts and it will remove most of the smoke residue. Turn the towel to a clean area frequently. Use a second dry paper towel and blot it down on the parts to remove any excess moisture. If the parts warp a little this is not a problem, you can finger press them straight later on. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Your kit should contain the parts as shown in this photo. Some kits will have other color choices but the shapes are the same.

You will use the craft knife to remove the small "sprues"  that hold  the piece into the carrier sheets.  To get a good flush trim hold the beveled cutting edge of the knife so that it is parallel to the paper's edge. We usually hold knives with the main part of the blade parallel to the cut but it won't trim the edges flush if you hold your knife in that position.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Tools you will need are a micro tipped applicator for the glue. A sharp craft knife for cutting the parts out of the carrier sheet and a pair of tweezers and scissors. Also have on hand a slightly damp paper towel to remove any excess glue and for keeping your fingers clean of glue.

Most glues will not adhere to the acetate windows. Use Crafter's Pick "The Ultimate" or rubber fortified super glue that is made for plastic or cellophane tape.

Paper parts can be glued with "The Ultimate" or a PVA glue such as Elmers. These glues dry quickly which speeds up your assembly time. Clear glue products such as Elmers school glue may dry too slowly for assembly purposes. 



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Glue the acetate windows and the door in position.

The door is the smallest part on the sheet with the main roof and the dormer roof.

Most glues will not adhere to the acetate windows. Use Crafter's Pick "The Ultimate" or rubber fortified super glue that is made for plastic or cellophane tape.

Trim the windows to the outside black line. The side of the window with raised printed lines should face to the outside of the Dovecote.

Put the glue on the walls, not on the windows. Work on one window at a time as the glue dries very quickly. Always use tweezers to hold the windows. You must work quickly as you will only have a very short time in which you can adjust the position of the window. Check the window position by looking at the other side of the sheet and reposition if needed by using tweezers to push against the edge of the plastic.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Make a 90 degree bend in the "wall splice" and glue one side of the bend to the end of the first floor wall sections. The wall splice is located on the same side of the wall where you glued the windows and door.

Make sure the splice is flush to the edge of the wall. This is easy to do if you place the wall edge against the table top while installing the splice.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Bend the wall sections to form  hexagons. Glue the other end of the wall sections to the wall splice creating a flush butt join, not an overlap.











-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Slide the hexagons with slots over the tabs at the top of the walls.  Place adhesive under the tabs and bend them down to secure.










Turn the walls with the hexagon tops upside down and put a little finger pressure on them, hold for a minute or so.














-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Run a thin bead of glue around the inside of the join and up the inside of the corners of the walls. Do this to both the upper and lower stories. This step will make your structure very strong.










-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



t
Apply a very small bead of adhesive to one side of
the timber trim piece running the bead over all the sections of timber. Don't worry about a continuous line of glue small gaps are not a problem. Be skimpy with the glue you don't want excess glue coming out from under the timbers. Do not get glue on the overhanging areas as other pieces will be attaching to that edge in later steps. Look at the photo below to better see the overhanging area.

Use the tweezer to press the timbers against the walls to secure them in place.

Install the door first so you don't put it in the wrong place or put the windows over the door opening!














Also glue into place the timbers on the second story at this time.









------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This step will put the corner timber trims onto the upper and lower stories.

Look closely at this photo. Note that because the laser actually makes a tapered cut the perforations are larger on one side of a piece than the other.

The small perforations will face to the outside of the building, the large perforations will be on the inside. Don't panic if you get it backwards, it will still look good, don't try and fix it as you might break the perforations


Bend the corners of the trim along the perforation line. Placing the part under a straight edge located just to the side of the perforations and lift the exposed edge using a single edge razor or other thin object such as an old credit card. Fold up to approximately 90 degrees.


Run a bead of glue inside the corner trim. Spread the glue out  for good adhesion.

Use your tweezer to hold the parts and push the piece against the overhanging edge of the hexagon then lower into position. Use the tweezers to press these pieces against the walls to secure them.






-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This step will join the upper and lower stories together. The lower story fits inside the lower edge of the upper story

As shown in the photo run a bead of glue against the bottom of the wall of the upper story.








Lower the bottom story into the upper story resting it against that wall where you just put a bead of glue. You might need to gently flex the upper story walls until the first story drops into position. Turn the structure around looking at all sides to make sure it dropped into position correctly.

Let the parts sit for a few minutes until the glue dries.







Turn the parts over and run a small bead of glue inside the structure along the join you just made.












-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Run a thin bead of glue against lower edge of first story walls.



















Place the hexagon inside the edge of the wall trims resting it on the edge of the first story walls.












-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cut the strip of foundation "stones" apart at the perforated lines. Glue them into position.















------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fold the dormer walls and insert the tabs through the slots in the roof. The bottom tab goes in first then rotate up to insert the  two sidewall tabs.

Place glue under the two side wall tabs. Do not bend or glue the lower tab.






-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fold the dormer roof hold it up and note how it will fit into position the angled edge will go against the main roof.

Place glue on the upper edges of the dormer and put the dormer roof into position. Hold it in place with your fingers for a minute or so until the glue grabs.







-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now install the timber trims on the dormer. Glue goes on the back of these trim pieces.

Look carefully at the trim that goes against the dormer wall. The lower edge of the triangle has a straight edge, the two upper sides have a slight arc.

Glue and press against the dormer wall to secure.



The second timber trim is installed against the front edge of the dormer roof. The upper edges of the trim are flush with the upper surfaces of the roof.












----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Install the roof splice by folding it and gluing into place flush with the edge of one wall. (See the wall splice instructions above).  Position the splice towards the top of the roof so that it won't sit directly under the edge of the building's walls.

Fold the roof sections to form the roof. Glue the second half of the roof splice to secure the sides.

Run a thin bead of glue up all the joints on the inside of the roof to strengthen it.










Run a generous bead of glue along the outside edge of the upper hexagon.

Place the roof onto the structure and check to see that it is level and evenly seated around all the sides.









Run a thin bead of glue underneath the roof edges up against the top of the walls. It does not need to be continuous, just the center area of each side is good enough to secure the roof in place.









------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If you wish to install the Dovecote to the base run a bead of glue along the bottom edge and place on the base.

If you are going to glitter the structure do so before you glue the tree in position.

Glitter instructions are provided in a separate posting on this blog.











I hope you had a great time building your Dovecote kit.