Saturday, 18 February 2017

Borrowers room box, part 3

In my previous post about The Borrowers room box I described how I made the fireplace. It so happened that very soon after that I received a box of rubbish from a friend who was moving house. Being a borrower I had asked her to collect everything she didn't want, even the most outlandish things. The first thing I saw on top of all rubbish was what I really needed for a proper borrowers fireplace. Let's read it again:

"It was a charming fireplace, made by Arrietty's grandfather, with a cogwheel from the stables, part of an old cider-press. The spokes of the cogwheel stood out in starry rays, and the fire itself nested in the centre".

As I explained in the previous post, I didn't have a cogwheel and I had very poor prospects of finding one, but whatever piece of plumbing my friend had put into her gift box, it was just right.

 

This is still not a cogwheel, but a huge improvement. And I wasn't displeased in the first place. Now I just need to bring the funnel lower down. 

Meanwhile, the description also mentions "that useful stand-by - a chest of drawers made of match boxes". 

Didn't I make all kind of furniture of match boxes: chests, writing desks, nightstands. Both when I was a child and when my daughter was small. But it was all once upon a time when match boxes were made of wood and when you actually used them. Where do you get real, authentic Victorian match boxes these days? I tried ebay, but while they had zillions of match-box labels from all eras and countries, apparently you couldn't just get a set of old-fashioned match boxes. I knew I had to do with modern paper ones, but at least I could be a borrower and a recycler so I posted an appeal in a local Facebook group asking for used matchboxes. Somebody thoughtful, who wished to remain anonymous, put a set in my pigeonhole.


I have seen these in craft shops, and I have no idea what crafty people make with them. What I needed to make was - yes, you get it: match boxes. With labels and abrasive sides. And preferably looking old and worn out.

The old and worn out look is usually achieved with tea, but I had to use diluted paint that I also had to wipe off quickly so that the paper didn't get soaked. I honestly don't know what match-box sides are made of, but I used sandpaper that I painted brown.


I don't think you can strike a match on it, and I am not going to try.

I found printable match-box labels on Pinterest.


Only the label on the top drawer will be visible, but for my own sake I made them properly. And just as borrowers would do, I used beads for knobs.



Isn't this a chest of drawers that Pod Clock would be proud of? (Pod Clock is the name of the father. Their last name was Clock because they lived under a big grandfather clock). Now I need to find many tiny objects that the family would have in the drawers.








5 comments:

  1. Your matchbox drawers turned out so charming! The whole project looks so fun, and I love how creative you are with "borrowed" things. This was one of my daughter's favorite books growing up. I thought you might like to see this matchbox tutorial. It may spur on more ideas for finishes!

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    1. http://artfullymusing.blogspot.com/2012/07/video-tutorial-making-chest-out-of.html

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  2. Strips of fine grit sandpaper would probably work for the strike things on the side.

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  3. As you can see, that's exactly what I did.

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