Dolls House Miniature Glass Makes Great Gifts

We are often asked to recommend one or two pieces from our extensive dolls house miniature range for a special occasion.  First of all we have to establish whether or not it is for miniature collector or not.

I realise this must sound odd, but increasingly we are getting requests for cake toppers (a selection of our exquisite musical instruments made it on top of a wedding cake for a musically inclined couple!), table gifts for wedding guests (300 wardrobes!), photo shoots, film productions and some of our dolls house miniature packaging even made it in to a period drama.

Once, we have established they are a collector (all the specialist requests like those mentioned above always know roughly what they want) we have to try and narrow the range down from the selection of over 12,000 miniatures we stock to a couple of categories.

Normally at this point we ask what their budget is as this can rapidly help direct us to specific miniature ranges.

Over the past 3 years the actual items we ended up recommended could have been anything – people truely didn’t know what they wanted and were just looking for a bit a of guidance.

Then it all changed.  The last 6 or 7 months have seen the conversations going more along the lines of what pieces of miniature glass or what miniature pub signs can you recommend.  So why the change?  Quite simply we have introduced what are quite simply the best miniature glass and miniature packaging in the dolls house market and they are desirable and become cherished gifts.

Our miniature glass and miniature pub signs stand apart not just because it is very fairly priced but because of the outstanding quality and attention to detail.  These two ranges in particular stand out from the crowd.

We cover how we design our miniature packaging including our miniature ww1 posters, minature pub signs and our dolls house food packaging in a series of 4 articles on our blog linked below.

Blog article showing dolls house miniature can labels

Blog article showing the making of dolls house miniature packaging

Blog article showing how to make dolls house miniature pub signs

Blog showing restoring and making miniature ww1 posters

We will be including a similar blog article about how we design and make our miniature glass in the future.

One of the most important features of our glass is that it is specially designed to be usable. Lids are removable like on our brand new miniature glass teapots, our glass decanters are hollow and can be filled.  Our dolls house glass punch bowls have removable glass cups hanging from delicate glass hooks.  Our huge range of miniature glass apothecary bottles and jars all have removable stoppers, lids or corks.

Importantly, the glass is not thick and chunky – we have tried to keep the glass thickness to scale.  Noone wants a dolls house miniature glass which when scaled up would make the sides a foot thick!

On that note, I leave you with some pictures of a few of the new miniature glass pieces we have introduced this month.  (Click Images to enlarge)

Elegant Curved Dolls House Miniature Glass Vase

Curved Dolls House Miniature Glass Vase

Delicate Clear Dolls House Miniature Glass Teapot With Lid

Dolls House Miniature Glass Teapot

Dolls House Miniature Glass Globe Jar With Metal Lid

Dolls House Miniature Glass Globe Jar

Dolls House Miniature Elegant Glass Water Jug

Dolls House Miniature Elegant Glass Water Jug

We are currently preparing for the Dolls House show in Arnhem in October, so if any of our many customers wish us to bring their orders with us please email us and let us know.

Paul

 

 

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Dolls House Miniatures – A hobby Or A Full Time Job

Welcome fellow dolls house miniaturists, bloggers, hobbyists and model makers!

As you may be able to tell by the title, todays dolls house blog entry is not a “how to make”, tutorial or hints and tips article.  Its just a general catchup to let you know what we have been doing, what new dolls house miniature products we have released, what we are going to be doing and a general.

So, why the title?  Well, this has been the general them of conversations at our work shop for the best part of two weeks.  We cannot work out how anybody who makes or collects dolls house miniatures can call it a hobby!  It seems no matter what we do in relation to dolls house it never just takes a small amount of time and very rarely goes how we expect it to the first time!  The simplest of tasks turns in to a job hours long – one minute its 10am then next its 2pm…  There never seems to be enough hours in the day to do everything we need to do.

On one side of the “is it a job or a hobby” camp is the a hobby should be a part time activity to fill a few hours in doing something you are passionate about.  The other half are saying a hobby is just something you do that you enjoy and very rarely get paid to do!!

We do it primarily as a job as we obviously make and sell dolls house miniatures but after discussions decided clearly if our company disappeared overnight we would not know what to do with ourselves – dolls house has somehow snuck in to our lives and taken it over to the point that we would struggle to live without it!  So, does the fact we love what we do make it a hobby even though we get paid to do it and its full time?  Answers on a postcard!

For the many of you that follow our facebook or news page you will have been watching us introducing many new ranges and expanding existing ones.  We have a further 800 or so new items we are listing this month due to a serious backlog building up – normally we only have around 200 new items.

For those of you who have not been following the updates a very brief overview is included below.

Dolls House Miniature Ceramics Heart Range

Dolls House Miniature Ceramics New Heart Range

We have introduced 18 new dolls house miniature ceramics patterns to our extensive collection.  The ones shown above are from the hearts range.  Each set has 18 different pieces although not all are availble and include; teacup and saucer, 17mm plate, 22mm plate, 25mm plate, small and large bowl, 2 types of jug, soup terrain, flan dish and square plates.  Facebook new dolls house ceramic preview page is here and the mytinyworld ceramics shop page is here.

Dolls House Miniature Fruit and Vegetable Range

New Additions to our Dolls House Miniature Fruit and Vegetable Range

18 New fruit and vegetables were added to our range this month.  Facebook fruit and vegetable gallery page is here and the mytinyworld’s dolls house miniature fruit and veg shop page is here.

MyTinyWorld Gummy Bear Jewellery Range

MyTinyWorld Gummy Bear Jewellery Range

Our range of over 60 different gummy bear and cola bottle jewellery, mobile charms and jewellery componants were launched mid may.  Facebook gallery is here and the jewellery shop page is here.

MyTinyWorld Sugar Craft Cutters

Some Of The MyTinyWorld Sugar Craft Cutter Range

Over the last year we have introduced a large range of sugar craft cutters which have proved to be very popular.  In May we launched a further 60 with another 400 to release this month.  View the sugar craft cutter shop page here.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Jewellery

MyTinyWorlds Jewellery based on our Dolls House Miniature Products

Having supplied many big stores and popular websites with our jewellery for nearly 2 years we finally decided to release our range to the retail market direct.  We displayed part of our range at a beauty show in march which was a complete hit and are now starting to introduce the range of over 600 items on to our website.  Facebook preview page is here and our jewellery shop page is here.

Dolls House Miniature Glass Jugs, decanters and glasses

New Items In Our Dolls House Miniature Glass Range

We are introducing the new additions to our handmade glass range this month.  Our dolls house miniature glass is can be found here.

We have been busy attending a whole raft of beauty shows with our nail art canes and slices and our new glitter range.  We did Arnhem Dolls House Show back in March (Photos here) and have booked to do the show in October.  We have been given a prime position where we will have our own custom made stand covering 9 square meters.  We are introducing a number of new products at the show as well as running a class on the Friday.

We have also been attending other dolls house shows in Europe and in the UK – show schedule is here.

Our flower kits are due out in 3 months and already have 2 very large UK companies wanting to stock them across there stores – a pre-order page for retail customers will be added to our website in the next few weeks.

Next week we will be showing you how we make the chocolates used in our jewellery range that have proved to be very popular with celebrities and jewellery makers around the world.

As always, comments and thoughts are most welcome.

Paul

 

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Make Your Own Dolls House Miniature Flowers With Our Craft Kits

Welcome to all our new dolls house miniature blog followers.

Where has the time gone? Its been nearly 2 weeks since we posted on this blog yet it seems as if it was only yesterday! We have had 2 nail art and 1 dolls house miniature show in the interim and launched our new handmade jewellery range (coming in another blog article soon!) successfully to over 22,000 visitors to a show at the NEC in Birmingham.

We seem to be caught up in some kind of time warp where you blink and the day has gone! Well hopefully we can help part of your day fly by with this new blog article.

Today I am going to introduce you to our new dolls house miniature flower craft kits. We have been quietly developing these kits for nearly 3 years now and we are really excited as we are only a month or so away from final production!  These are a first of kind – nothing exists anything like this anywhere in the world.  We have developed them from scratch and are bursting to show them to everyone!

We received our first physical mock up last month which we have shown to various organisations and magazines to what can only be described as immense interest. We already have advanced orders for over 7,000 units of these miniature flower kits.

Large Dolls House Flower Kit Box Design

Large Dolls House Flower Kit Box Design

What are these flower kits and whats in them I hear you ask? Well the initial set of kits will consist of 26 different flowers (see list later in the article) spread across 5 skill levels; Beginner, Intermediate, Challenging, Advanced and Expert.

Each of the kits comes complete with everything you need to make 10 of our popular dolls house miniature flower beds. There are two kit sizes, large and small. The large kits are designed to be bigger beds with mature flowers and the small kits provide flowers suitable for lower ground cover and adding to bases of larger kits.

Importantly, these kits are not restricted to dolls house miniaturists – they can very easily be adapted by jewellery makers, general crafts people, accessory makers or used by people who just like a particular flower.   Our flowers kits can be used to make ear rings, rings, charms, bracelets,  hairgrips and can even be used as nail art.  The uses are endless and they are the absolute best present to give for birthdays, Mothers Day, Christmas or in fact any special event.

MyTinyWorlds Rose Making Instructions

MyTinyWorlds Rose Making Instructions

We have gone to great lengths to provide step by step photographic instructions on how to make each flower and base as can been seen in the photographs to the right.

MyTinyWorlds Rose Bed Base Making Instructions

MyTinyWorlds Rose Bed Base Making Instructions

Each instruction sheet also gives tips on mixing colours to create different shades, provides visual ideas on alternative uses for the finished item.  Please note the instruction sheets shown are not the finished article so they will differ slightly from the finished ones as we improve and polish them.

Each kit comes not only with the coloured powders and clays but with custom made flower and leaf cutters and tools.  With each additional craft kit you buy your collection of cutters increases which can be used virually infinitely and not just with our dolls house craft kits.

You will be able to buy additional clay and colour powders from us meaning that you only ever need to purchase one full kit of any particular flower no matter how many items you make.

Early Shot of Prototype Custom Cutters

Early Shot of Prototype Custom Cutters

For the readers that are interested, we will give a more indepth look at our dolls house miniature flower craft kits once they are ready for sale and we will also show you how we went about designing the kits including the logos, the custom cutters, the packaging and photoing the making of each of our carefully selected flowers.

The many decisions we had to make to ensure the kits were reusable, affordable and desirable.    We already sell our ready made DIY dolls house miniature flower beds worldwide and decided that we would also offer the new flowers from the new kits pre-made for customers who did not want to, or could not, use our craft kits.

Dolls House Miniature Flower Kit Box Designs

Dolls House Miniature Flower Kit Box Designs

In the first release we will launch 26 flowers; 20 large kits and 6 small kits.  Those flowers are as follows.

Large Kits : Calla Lilly, Snowdrop, Iris, Hyacinth, Anthurium, Hydrangea, Poppy, Ladies Slipper Orchid, Foxglove, Tulip, Lilly, Rhododendrum, Cattleya, Bluebell, Daffodil, Wisteria, Poinsettia, Rose and Lotus.

Small Kits : Crocus, Cyclamen, Daisy, Forget Me Not, Morning Glory and Pansies.

Below you will find some examples of the new Dolls House Miniature DIY Flower beds that can be made from our new kits.  We hope like them as much as we do and look forward to your comments and feedback.

On a seperate note we will be doing a follow up to both the dolls house miniature pub sign article and the dolls house miniature packaging article in the next two weeks.

 

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How To Make A Dolls House Miniature Koi Pond

Dolls House Miniature Koi PondHello to everyone, especially all the new people following our blog!  I hope all of our UK blog readers have all been soaking up the unusually sunny weather we have been having. Knowing our weather it will probably snow tomorrow!

Enough about our English weather! As you can see from the pictures above today we are going to give you a peek behind the scenes and show you how MyTinyWorld make their dolls house miniature Koi ponds.  These look really nice if you have space in your miniature garden to sink them into the ground so they are flush.  If you don’t have enough room in your garden look in our shop at the different shape and sizes we currently make – our most popular internal dolls house miniature fish tank is the cylindrical goldfish one.

A quick word of caution if you are going to try and make one yourselves – make sure you use a well ventilated area when you use the resin – we nearly ended up with all the ladies from our local Dolls House Miniaturist club out cold on the floor due to the fumes!

All of the following pictures are clickable to give you an enlarged version – so please don’t squint at the tiny pictures – click them and see if you can find the hidden frog in one of the pictures – there’s a free goodie bag for the first person to email us with the right answer.

Ok, if your ready shall we make a start…

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - Equipment

Picture of equipment to make dolls house miniature Koi pond

Step1 – This is the important bit – get everything ready and in reach before you start! We used the following;

1 plastic 15 section tray, 2 Koi from mytinyworlds miniature fish collection (for each pond you make), wooden sticks for stiring, wood skewer for poking and moving items in place, stones for bottom of pond, green moss for decoration, cheap jug to put resin in, Polymer Resin, Setting agent.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - Mixing Resin

Picture of resin in jug being stirred



Step 2 – Cover your worktop with brown paper, newspaper, an old magazine or anything you do not mind being totally covered in sticky resin.

Pour the resin (get a water clear one for best effect)  into your jug, measure the correct amount of setting agent needed. Stir the setting agent thoroughly into the resin using the wooden sticks (courtesy of our local fast food restaurant)

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - Laying the stones

Picture showing stones in base of Koi Pond pots

Step 3 – Get the stones you are going to use and spread them evenly in the base of each hole you wish to turn into a pond. (local DIY shops have a good range.)

Check your stones first – many of the packets seem to contain a huge amount of dust – rinse this off the stones if it is present otherwise it will cloud the resin giving your pond a certain “after the storm look“.

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - Checking the fish

Checking the fish for missing body parts

Step 4 – Check the fish, make sure they all have fins and tails as once they are in the pond and the resin is setting it’s nigh on impossible to replace.

Skip this step is you have instead opted to create a more interesting piranha pond – in this case  missing fins and tails  would actually add to the authenticity of the scene!

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - Pouring the resin

Pouring the first layer of resin

Step 5 – Stones washed, fish checked? Great.  Carefully pour a small amount of the resin into each hole you have layered with your stone.

If you have an extractor turn to full power, otherwise use the tried and tested way and open a couple of windows and maybe a door.  Please also keep pets and small children (actually all children) away at this stage as it could get messy!

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - Mixing the stones

Mixing the stones with the resin

Step 6 – Grab one of those free coffee, sorry resin stirrers and mix the stones with the resin  making sure they are completely covered and check you have removed any air bubbles you do not want.

Some air bubbles can be desirable if you want make your pond realistic.  Just make sure you place your fish by any bubbles to make it look like the fish created them.

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - placing the fish

Placing the fish in the resin

Step 7 – Place the fish into the resin as soon as you can.  They don’t have to be in exactly the right place yet as the resin takes a few minutes to become very thick.

You can of course also add other things like plants, insects, frogs or other fish in at this stage.

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - adding the moss

Adding the green moss

 

Step 8 – Put a small amount of green moss in the pond.  It doesn’t matter where it is totally based on personal preference.

Green flocking also looks very nice sprinkled on this stage as it looks like algae and gives a real depth and authentic feel if you have used goldfish.


MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - final resin

Adding the final resin layer


Step 9 – If your happy with your fish placement and have added everything else you wanted your ready to move on.

Pour in more resin and fill each hole, then using the skewer make sure everything is in place.

Things have a tendency to start floating upwards so keep your eye on things for a few minutes.

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Making a Koi Pond - finished Koi pond

The finished Dolls House Miniature Koi Pond!

Well, if you followed our instructions you should have ended up with a pond very similar to the ones in this picture.

If you missed the last stage out (keeping your eye on it for a few minutes) then you could very well have an upside down floating fish which is guaranteed to ALWAYS make people ask “Why have you got a dead fish in your pond!”

We hope you enjoyed this blog article. In the next 3 we will be covering making dolls house miniature bonsai trees, miniature food and delicious miniature chocolates for making earrings, rings and bracelets.

Feel free to leave us some comments an dont forget to visit our website – http://www.mytinyworld.co.uk.

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Dolls House Miniature Show In Scotland

Apologies for not posting on our blog over the weekend we were very busy exhibiting at both a dolls house miniature show with MyTinyWorld and at Scottish Beauty with MyTinyWorld Nails in Scotland.

It was a long weekend which started many weeks before as we have to prepare all the stand graphics and make many items for sale.

Our first team from MyTinyWorld set out for scotland on the friday night where they stayed in a b+b until saturday morning.  They then spent the day setting up the stand for our beauty show ready for the 2nd team to arrive with the graphics and to man it.

The second team left Northampton at 3am sunday morning and arrived in Scotland at 7.30 am!  They had all the stand graphics and banners which they set up to complete the beauty stand.

The first team meanwhile set up the dolls house miniature stand in a different hall!

It was our first dolls house miniature show in Scotland and our miniatures were very well recieved especially our dolls house miniature glass and our dolls house miniature ceramics.

We introduced our new range of over 120 miniature ceramics across 10 new collections and the within 24 hours we had recieved 7 emails thanking us for attending with 2 requesting we add some other items to the new range of dolls house ceramics!

All in all both shows went very well although there were a few strange rumours about MyTinyWorld which made us smile.

We have added a couple of photos for you to get a flavor of how our stands looked.  We packed up 5pm sunday afternoon and finally arrived back in Northampton at midnight – for the second team that was a 21 hour round trip with no sleep.  That’s dedication.

Dolls House Miniature Show Pictures

Dolls House Miniature Show Edinburgh - flower and glass display

Closeups of our dolls house miniature glass, flowers and cake displays

Dolls House Miniature Show Edinburgh - packaging and labels

Closeups of our dolls house miniature packaging and labels

Dolls House Miniature Show Edinburgh - flowers,glass, ceramics display

Overview of our dolls house miniature ceramics, glass and flowers section

Dolls House Miniature Show Edinburgh - Ceramics, cakes and stands display

Overview of our dolls house miniature ceramics, cakes and stands section

Nail Art and Beauty Show Pictures

MyTinyWorld Nails Stand Shot 1 Scottish Beauty Show

MyTinyWorld Nails Stand Shot showing all range of nail art

MyTinyWorld Nails Stand Shot 2 Scottish Beauty Show

MyTinyWorld Nails Stand from the side showing our nail art glitter and dolls house miniature jewellery

MyTinyWorld Nails Stand Shot 3 Scottish Beauty Show

MyTinyWorld Nails Stand showing overview of our nail art range

MyTinyWorld Nails Stand Shot 4 Scottish Beauty Show

MyTinyWorld Nails Stand Showing Nail Art Slices and canes

MyTinyWorld Nails Jade and Tammy Scottish Beauty Show

MyTinyWorld Nails Jade and Tammy Part of Team 2

 

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How To Have More Fun With Dolls House Miniature Packaging

In this brief tutorial we will show you how to take a scan of a simple food can label and very quickly modify it to create many different ones good enough to sell to any dolls house miniature food collector or to just create yourself an authentic range of dolls house miniature food labels!

Lets face it we could use a bit more fun in our lives and we always seem to run out of the one thing we cannot buy – TIME!

Given that at MyTinyWorld we are developing anywhere in the range of 200 to 500 new dolls house miniature digital products at any one time, if we did not work efficiently we would simply never have the time to develop the huge ranges of dolls house miniature packaging, miniature pub signs, dolls house posters or the exquisite dolls house miniature flower and vegetable seed packets.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Can Label Original

Scan of an original food can label from the 1890s

Above you can see in the image above, we have scanned an original food can label which dates to the 1890s.  We have already cropped the label to shape and straightened it ready for us to lift the design from the aged and discoloured background.

In Photoshop, we use a tool called the select tool. Next we click on the colour we wish to select, in this case we dont have a great deal of choice – its either the red of the design or the cream of the dirty background.  We click on the red design.  We then use the select similar option from the tool bar – this selects all the pixels that are the same or nearly the same colour.

We now press control – x, and the selected pixels, in this case the entire label design is cut from the image leaving the dirty background.  We delete the background and turn it white and then press control – v.  Voila!  The label design appears only this time on a pristine white background!

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Can Label Remastered

Our remastered dolls house miniature food label

There it is in the image above.  A beautifully clean and crisp can label from the 1890s that looks like it was just printed!  Now this is where you can really get creative and make lots and lots of labels very quickly based on this new image.

The image below shows you the same label but we have changed the colour to create 4 different version.  Total time to create those 4 dolls house miniature food labels – 20 seconds!

 

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Can Label Colour Variants
4 different colour variants of our dolls house miniature food label

We use the hue and saturation screen, select colourise then slide the colour slider around until the label is the colour we desire.  Its as simple as that.

With that tip alone you could create almost infinite colour variations and end up with hundreds of dolls house miniature can labels!

Still want more tips?  Really?  Finish playing with the hue and saturation tool then read on.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Can Label Description removed

Removing the product description from the food label

Removing the food label product description allows you to create a whole range of different labels based on the same themed label.  We like ranges and we KNOW our customers like ranges – i think its a miniaturists thing!

We used this technique to create many of the dolls house miniature Apothecary labels. Once we had 4 or 5 distinct designs we liked we could quickly create the labels for all the different contents.    When designing the ranges we were constrained by the fact we were designing them to fit our specially made dolls house miniature glass but that’s an article for another day!

Newt, we remove the text by using the clone tool to draw over the text copying a part of the label that has no text.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Can Label English Product Added

Adding Our Own English Product Description to the Can

Above you can see we have now added our english version of the product description – this has the potential to allow you to create ranges of dolls house miniature food labels in many different languages.  Once we have finished the text we use the blur tool to take the nice crisp edges from the new description so it does not look out of place.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Can Label removing extra boxes

Removing the unnecessary boxes from the can label

Can any one see what we have done to the version of the dolls house miniature food label above?  Well spotted.  We have removed the boxes on both the sides and the bottom which contain various manufacturing information.  Sometimes a miniature label can look better with less information on it.  Once again we turned to our old friend the clone tool to copy the pattern which we did – right over the top of the offending boxes.

Some times we find a label design that we just simply adore.  That is except for maybe the logo, or an image.  No problem.  Find a logo or image you want to use on your label.  We have selected the alibel label below.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Can Label Selecting the logo

Finding a new central image for our dolls house miniature can label

We then use the magnetic marquee tool to draw around the part we wanted then dropped it on to our prepared food label.  Using the hue and saturation tool we tweak the image to make its color match the label.  The image below shows the fruits of our efforts – a very fine looking new label of our own design.  Total time to create it?  10 minutes.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Can Label New Logo

Our can Label with its new central image and brand

Writing this tutorial actually took considerably longer than it did to modify the dolls house miniature food can label.  All of the labels were created in less that 20 minutes in total.

Follow our tips and you to can spend less time working and more time having fun and creating things for your dolls house miniature world.

Have fun, see you for the next article.

 

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Creating Custom Dolls House Miniature Pub Signs

Following our recent article on how we create our Dolls House Miniature Packaging we have had tremendous feedback from our readers.  It would seem that the level of detail we went into was what many dolls house miniaturists liked which led to a huge amount of requests for further indepth blog articles around our dolls house packaging, posters and general digital design.

So, todays blog article will be a very detailed look into how we go about designing custom dolls house miniature pub signs for individual customers.

Cherry Garden Pub Sign Original and Dolls House Miniature Version

Cherry Garden Pub Sign Original and Dolls House Miniature Version

Above you can see the original photo of the Cherry Gardens Pub Sign sent to us by a customer and on its right our custom created dolls house miniature version of it.  If you click here you can see a closeup version of the original, or here for a dolls house miniature version.

Virtually every image we get sent has the same initial problems to overcome.  The pub sign has been photographed from below and at an angle, the image has reflections, the sign is faded and very often the pub sign is covered in dirt and grime.  Now in this state this would not make a very good dolls house miniature pub or tavern sign

MyTinyWorld Cherry Garden Pub Sign Highlighted IssuesWe have taken the image of the Cherry Gardens Pub Sign and highlighted various areas where the issues are.

1)The Image is not straight on.  It will need to be  straightened and its  perspective corrected.

2)The reflection of the light is clearly visible and is effecting the image

3)There are lots of dirt spots and general fading caused by years of grime building up.

4)Daylight is reflecting from the image causing lots of the image detail to be obscured.

5)This is not an issue, but it is an area we intend to show how we recreate the font and style of text the sign name is in.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Pub Sign Process to straighten the image

Section 1 sees us dealing with getting the main image from the photo of the pub sign, straightening it then removing all the borders and text.  We select the entire image and use a transform and distort tool to drag the image until it looks face as on the second image above.   The third image shows the result after we have finished transforming the image and then cropped just the image from the sign.

This then leaves us a squared image, facing straight on with all of the unwanted sign removed.  The resulting image is not correctly proportioned as it should be more elongated.  So, thats our next job. Corrects its proportions and increase its colour depth and brightness.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Pub Sign Correct proportions

We take the last image from section one and use the transform scale to to turn the square image into the correctly proportioned rectangular shape show in the first image above.  Next we use the colour balance tool to increase the blues and greens in image 2 above – it was very washed out mainly due to the angle of the original photo and the reflections of the natural light.

Great, thats done.  Now we need to increase the depth of color and in turn the level of visible detail.  Picture 3 above now shows the image after we have use the brightness and contrast options to improve the overall look.  However, as a result of our enhancing it has now made the reflections stand out, the most obvious being the reflection to the right of the mans head.  Let’s address that now.

Our goal is to not totally remove the shadow totally. (unless you have hours of spare time!) What we are trying to do is replace the detail lost under the reflections and to minimise the visual impact of the shadow the best we can in the time we have.  Its also worth noting that having the odd blemish or imperfection can make the finished item that bit better – many of our dolls house miniature apothecary labels have imperfections designed into them to age them and do many of our dolls house miniature posters.

In the first picture above, you see the shadow and the reflection have made the tree virtually invisible.  We darken the very top part of the visible tree trunk then use the clone tool to redraw the trunk all the way down the image as shown in picture 2.  With the tree back in place we move on to cloning a few spare leaves over the bulk of the remaining shadow to the right of the mans shoulder in picture 3.

We then fade the edges of the shadow to blend with the background.  In picture 4 we darken the leaves above the mans head and again use the clone tool to add a few extra leaves in.

Finally in picture 5 we use the clone tool to draw leaves and background over the dark shadow strip leaving us with a reasonable image with a minimised shadow and increased detail.

MytinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Pub Sign Removing the dirt and grime

The pub sign has been subjected to many years of weather and pollution from car exhausts – this has resulted in the sign having a dullness and alot of unsightly dirt spots as seen in the first of the 4 images above.  We use the heal tool to gently remove the spots on the left hand side of image 2.  We also lighten the image as we repair it returning the image to its almost new look.  In image 3 we have removed the spots and brighten all the image except the arm which we do in image 4.

We are starting to get an nice looking, bright image now!  It is about this point when you start to see all of your hard work coming together and you get a real sense of satisfaction. It is also tempting to start to rush so you can see the finished article.  DON’T. Take your time and it will be worth the wait.

When we get to the point of wanting to rush either because its been a long job or a frustrating one like many of our dolls house miniature packaging projects we put it down and move on to another project.  I digress, back to the project in hand!

We need to repair the bottom right hand side of the image where the reflection has washed on the image.

MytinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Pub Sign Adding the tree and brightening the image

As you can see in image 1 above, the tree has vanished!  Time to use our friend the clone tool.  We redraw the tree back in as shown in image 2 using the clone tool and a good part of the tree.  We then brighten the image and sharpen the detail to give us a more polished look as seen in image 3.

Thats it!  Most of the image work has now been completed. Once we have repeated the processes mentioned above on all the required areas the main sign is complete.  We add it to a preprepared background image with a border to match the original photo which leaves us with our final task.  The sign name.

When we design our dolls house miniature pub signs the fonts, the sign name and name colour are down to the designer and although it would be easy to get carried away we found through experience keeping it simple ALWAYS makes the best end result.  For this particular job we need to replicate the one on the sign.

MyTinyWorld Pub Sign Name Creation

Being able to look at a font and recognise it takes a long time.  The best thing you can do is to go through your fonts one by one until you get as close a match as possible visually and in many cases this is good enough.

We start the sign by typing the required text – in this case “Cherry Gardens” and we always start off in our regular basic font – Arial. (Picture 1 above)  We then change it to the font we feel matches the sign the best – Myriad Pro – as shown in picture 2.

In Picture 3 we use the bevel and emboss tool to give it its chiseled metallic look.  We then apply the Satin font effect to take the sharp lines off the letters resulting in the more rounded yet still embossed metallic look in picture 5.  A quick change of colour and voila, a pretty close match to the original.

Wow, that was a big tutorial.  I hope you enjoyed this whirlwind tour of our custom dolls house miniature pub sign design service.  See you soon!

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Restoring An Original WW1 Poster For Use As A Dolls House Miniature Poster

We have had a lot of positive feedback over our article on how we make our dolls house miniature packaging and have agreed to do some future articles on the same subject.
As we seem to be gravitating towards the older style packing and products like our dolls house Victorian dress packets and our increasing range of dolls house miniature World War 1 posters we found we very quickly had to hone our skills with Photoshop in the area of restoration.

Many of the images and originals we have are either approaching a century old or are an image of an item approaching a century old!  Nothing survives that long without some kind of damage, staining, tears, fold marks etc.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Webbs Seed Sign Before and After Touchup

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Webbs Seed Sign Before and After Touchup

Above you can see the image of webbs seed sign before we have remastered it on the left, and after remastering on the right.  Amazing the difference it makes just removing a few rust spots and enhancing the colour.  Virtually all of the dolls house miniature signs on our website have required at least some remastering with a few requiring substantial surgery!

Whether its a sign, a poster or our dolls house miniature packaging we pretty much tackle the problems in the same way.  I am going to show you have we restore and repair one of our popular world war 1 posters.  The whole process took about two hours but the resulting miniature poster was well worth the effort!

WW1-original-posterWW1 Poster After Touchup

Poster on the left is the original file before touchup and the one on the right after – click images to see large file version.

Below you will see the sequence as we process the poster.  As we go through each stage you will be able to click the stage title to see that stages image.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Poster Progress

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Poster From Original to finished in 6 steps!

Stage 1 We survey the original image.  You can see the poster sitting in the middle with various reference rulers at the top left and bottom right.  The poster itself is in a pretty poor state with chunks of it missing or damaged.

Stage 2 We remove all the unnecessary parts of the image by cropping it.  We also straighten the image at this point.

Stage 3 We give the poster a nice clean border which enables us to cut away some of the damage at the lower right.  Just by adding the pale cream border to the poster makes it look 100% better!

Stage 4 We cut away more of the damage from the picture by replacing it with black that was originally there

Stage 5 We use the clone tool to replace the picture underneath the damaged section by using a section of the undamaged embankment.  Bottom right corner is then rounded off using a black brush.

Stage 6 All of the text is repaired – creases are removed and text lines are straightened. We then brighten the text back to nearer how it was originally.

Stage 7 All that’s left to do now is play around with the brightness and contract of the main picture and drop a little more colour in.

We now have one finished poster ready for us make into a dolls house miniature poster.  As we have now remastered the original we can make the new dolls house version into any scale – we currently offer 1:6th, 1:12th and 1:24th but we have plans to offer these in life size as well!

Some of you may have noticed there are images in the overview, but 7 stages in the walk through – As stages 6 and 7 are done at the same time I opted to skip that picture in the overview to same space!

Please take your time to view our huge range of ww1 posters – we can also produce these as full size posters if required.

Our next how-to article will show how we make our dolls house miniature pub signs including custom designs for customers. Until then please keep all your comments, likes, tweets and feedback coming in!

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Dolls House Miniature Packaging – The Details In The Fine Print!

What makes a piece of dolls house miniature packaging good? You need to like it visually, you need to be able to see what it actually is and as the article title suggests, it needs to be detailed and be as close to the original as possible.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Packaging

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Packaging - Queens Gravy Salt, Borax Blue, Sunlight Soap, Ipso and Robin Starch are shown here left to right

Sometimes when creating miniature packaging it is simply impossible to keep all of the detail as when you shrink it to 1:12th scale it becomes impossible to read, far too busy or both.   When we come across packaging like that we tend to remove some of the really small detail and over emphasis things like the logos or colourful images.

Where possible we obtain the original packaging, if not available we source the best images we can find.  It is at this stage that MyTinyWorld is different from the vast majority of other companies that try to create quality miniature packaging.  We do not drop the grainy images often found of original old packaging on the internet into a blank box template and then declare that we have created a new item of miniature packaging.  We do not just scan original boxes and drop the scans on to a blank box template either.  Why?  If we did this you would not be able to read the text or see very much of the image details.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Packaging Queens Creation MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Packaging Borax Creation MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Packaging Sunlight Creation MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Packaging Ipso Creation MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Packaging Snowene Creation

In most cases we rebuild box graphics from scratch, sometimes if we have the original in good enough shape we can retouch the graphics.  We always recreate the text by matching the font and retyping the text where possible all of the original text on the box.  Above you will see 5 images which if you click them will give you a full size view of some simple case studies.  We have tried to pick a selection of old packing to show how we do things differently depending on what we have available.  Examples show where we have the original boxes (borax and ipso),  poor quality images (snowene and queens) and reasonable images (sunlight).

Occasionally we get a piece of packaging that is a real technical challenge to recreate and our two miniature packaging designers (Paul and Russell) draw virtual straws to see which one gets to work on it!  One of those pieces of packaging was the old fashioned Robins Starch Box.  It was difficult because we only had two images to work from (shown below) and they were both at an angle so everything had to be recreated or rebuilt.

Original Robins Starch Box Reference Pic 1 Original Robins Starch Box Reference Pic 2

To add to the difficulties we had the sun-ray style blue stripes that promised to be a particular pain when lining up the panels!  This is an example of where we deviated from the original packaging design – to make the box look more appealing we decided to redo the stripes on the top so that effectively we had two sun-ray patterns that would line up with side panels.  Process is shown below in a series of 6 pictures.

 

MyTinyWorld Making the top of Robins Starch

MyTinyWorld designing the top of its Robins Starch Dolls House Packaging

 

In Image 1 we create a blank panel and add the blue border.  Image 2 shows us adding one of the side panels and erasing part of the robin as we need the stripe pattern to show.

Image 3 we add another side panel image to the top and flip it.  We then remove the bottom half resulting in two sun-ray patterns.

In Image 4 we add a large black circle, followed by a slightly smaller red circle (this gives the red circle the black border!) and the put the white strip across which is where the opening instructions go.

Now we add a small black circle followed by a small white circle in the top left to create the size bubble as shown in image 5.  We add in the size text and finally add the opening instructions to the white strip.

Image 6 sees us dropping in the the rest of the text which we apply an effect to, called stroke.  Stroke basically gives text its outline, just like on the real box.

We then go on to create the back panel which is full of text and two variants of the side panels.  Once we deviated from the original as one of the side panels in the original has 2 scrolls at the bottom “THE NEW” and “STARCH”.  We opted to stick with the bright single scroll “ROBIN” for both panels as it gives a better miniature.  All four finished panels are shown below.

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Robins Starch Finished Side 1 MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Robins Starch Finished Side 2 MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Robins Starch Finished Back MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Robins Starch Finished Top

We then place these on a custom made template for the Robins Starch dolls house miniature box and then its done!

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Robins Starch Finished

MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Robins Starch Finished (Click to enlarge)


Hopefully you enjoyed a brief look at how MyTinyWorld design their dolls house miniature packaging and every time you buy one you will look at it and realise just how much love and attention goes into each one!

Visit our website and look through thousands of dolls house miniatures including hundreds of miniature items of packaging.

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Slice Of Make-Your-Own Miniature Cake Anyone?

Dolls House Miniature food was the very first category that we added to MyTinyWorld back in 2007. The honor of being the very first item listed went to our Frankfurter meal which if you click the link you will see we still sell although admittedly now sporting an updated photo!

Oh, how excited were we? Next went up the miniature Chicken Drumstick Meal then the Salmon Dinner. Then we added one of our now famous dolls house miniature Ice Creams followed quickly by some bakery, miniature electric lights finishing up with three mini cakes. In total we added 51 items on our very first day. For any one interested, clicking this link will show you exactly what we added and in what order.

Now for those of you that have not fallen asleep yet, you should have noticed something. The vast majority of our items added where all Dolls House Miniature Food related. You see, we had done some research before starting our company and one thing that staggered us was the total lack of good quality miniature food that actually looked like miniature food! Not only that with only one or two big dolls house company’s around they could charge what they wanted and didn’t really have a decent range.

The two founding directors, Paul and Terrie, both had a food related background. Paul had been a chef in his previous life and Terrie had spend the last 14 years making cakes and covering them in hundreds of handmade sugar flowers! So, it was logical that we picked food to miniaturise.

Over the last few years one of the best selling lines has been our dolls house miniature cakes. From the first three we listed on the first day we have grown the range to over 600. We probably sell around 5000 annually and it has almost become our trademark miniature food item. At virtually every exhibition, dolls house show, miniaturist club demonstration or workshop we hold we get asked “How do you make your cakes?”, followed very quickly by “What are your miniature cakes made from?”.

The answers of course are by hand and from air dried Clay. Surprisingly (not!) these are not really the answers people were looking for – I think they expected us to divulge all of our secrets and put ourselves out of the miniature cake making business. Actually we do show people because were are actually nice people and we enjoy watching the faces when the realisation hits on just how easy they are to make! What we have not done before is put a general tutorial online for everyone to share – today we are.

Mytinyworld miniature cake making tutorial pic 1Mytinyworld miniature cake making tutorial pic 2Mytinyworld miniature cake making tutorial pic 3Mytinyworld miniature cake making tutorial pic 4

Above you can see the thumbnails for the tutorial on making our dolls house miniature cakes we have put together. If you click the images you will see a full screen version but it is probably better to download the pdf version from here.

We hope you have as much fun making the miniature cakes as we do and as always if you have any questions please ask away and feedback is most welcome.

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