Wednesday, 26 September 2012

My first room box

When I first started playing with dollhouses the idea of a room box felt alien. There was so much to do in the dollhouse, why would anyone want to make anything else? I was, however, inspired by Eva Malmsten's rooms that were all in different styles, so eventually I saw the point. Eva makes her rooms in wine boxes, and I had never seen them in Sweden - or perhaps never bothered to look. I don't remember now why my husband brought me the first wine box, but apparently we had been discussing the option. It was soon after we had moved to our house, and I had a party where people admired my dollhouse, and a colleague said: "Oh I wish I had a house like that!" So I told her I'd make one for her. Not a whole house, but a room box. I asked what style she wanted, and she said Victorian, since she is a Victorian scholar.

You need to think slightly differently when you plan a room box because it has its space limit, its given breadth and depth and height. And you need to decorate the walls, floor and ceiling before you can put anything in.

 I started by painting the ceiling with an ordinary indoors decoration paint, and I put in floors cut from a placemat. For wallpaper I used a paper napkin.

 I made the window from a plastic fruit container and used a souvenir doll apron for the curtain, glueing a landcape cut from a magazine behind the glass pane. Then I made the heavy fabric curtains on top of that. I experimented with some furniture that I had bought at a flea market. The table seemed to fit in fine.

 In my dollhouse I have a fireplace that I bought on ebay when I was a novice and didn't know I could make fireplaces. But for this room box I made a fireplace, and I learned from a book how to make a credible coal fire.

I made the mirror frame the same way I made picture frames with lolly sticks and grill sticks. I made a sofa just like the one I have in my house, but it had to be smaller to fit into the room box. So scale is deceptive. I made a side table from a chess piece, sconces from paper clips and pen caps, a fruit bowl from a plastic medicine card and fruit from clay. The champagne bottle is a candle, and the cake is made from a plastic bottle cap. I cut the rug from an old shirt. I also made a fan palm and a marble pedestal to put it on, behind the sofa. The stupid thing is that the final picture I took before I gave away the room was hopelessly blurred. 

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