A few years back we had the unfortunate pleasure of finding a mouse in our workshop.  After capturing said mouse and re-homing him in Sainsbury’s car park, we soon discovered that the little fella had become quite partial to our stock of sacks. At this time we filled our sacks with rice to give them a good weight. Unfortunately for us, the mouse (having thought Christmas had come early) decided to eat through every sack and ruined it all. Needless to say, we stopped using rice and swapped to a less edible substitute! On the upside, this did give us the idea to re-create the devastation but with a mouse more fitting to scale!

Things you will need:

  • Flour sack
  • Fine white sand (which is already inside the sack, but can be found at aquarium suppliers if making your own)
  • Brown pigment (optional)
  • Mouse/rat..which ever you prefer!
  • Scalpel with new blade
  • PVA glue
  • Non-stick surface (we used a silicone sheet, however, a non stick baking sheet is also a good option)
  • Heavy weight
  • Funnel
  • Mixing pot
  • Mixing stick
  • Cocktail sticks

 

1. Firstly find yourself a sack of flour. Our sacks contain the sand you will need for the following steps.
2. Start by cutting a jagged hole towards the bottom of the sack. It doesn’t need to be too neat as you are replicating what a mouse would do.
3. Pour the sand into your mixing pot.
4. Add a small amount of PVA, a bit at a time; you don’t want the mix to be too wet as the glue will soak through the sack.
5. Mix together until the sand starts to clump, adding more PVA if you feel the mix is too dry.
6. If you feel the sand is too white, try adding a very tiny amount of pigment dye (food colouring would work fine).
As you can see, you only need the merest amount, just to take the starkness off the white.
7. Once the sand and PVA are well mixed, pour most of the mixture back into the sack…you may need a funnel for this bit.
Save about 5% to go outside of the sack.
8. Put the filled sack onto your non-stick surface and lean it against a heavy weight. Squish the sack into the corner so it looks more natural.
9. Lay some of your mix next to the hole, which, at this point is probably already spilling out the mix. Use cocktail stick to lift the fabric so you can still see there is a hole.
10. Press down the mix with your finger to get the desired look. Compacting the mix will also help it bond together, making it stronger. If you have a mouse, you could stick that on now.
Finally, leave it to dry. We would recommend leaving it over night to dry fully. If you try to peel it off to soon it is likely to crumble.
11. Once dry you should be able to carefully peal the non-stick sheet away sack. If you find it sticking, try sliding a knife under the powder and easing it away from the sheet.
If you haven’t already, you can now stick on your mouse or rat.
12. Hopefully you should end up with something like this.
Have fun and remember to share your creations with us on our facebook page! We’d love to see how people get on.
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Many years ago we did a greenhouse project which involved using many of our garden packets and
basically filling a greenhouse. To make the scene more realistic, some of the packets needed to be
open and the growbags actually being used.
Since then, we’ve often been asked how we did it, so here’s how!

Things you will need:

  • Grow bag
  • Tea bag (or loose tea)
  • Lichen moss (green scenery material used for plants/bushes etc)
  • Black felt tip pen
  • Scalpel with new blade
  • PVA glue
  • Mixing pot
  • Mixing stick
  • Cocktail sticks
1. Firstly find yourself a growbag. Our growbags contain the grit you will need for the following steps.
2. With a sharp scalpel, start by cutting the three crosses on the bag where you would in real life.
3. Fold back the flaps being careful not to spill the contents of the bag.
4. Pour out the contents into your mixing pot and put to one side.
5. Next, take your black pen and colour the insides of the flaps to make it appear that the inside of the bag is black, as it would be in real life.
6. While the pen is drying, take your pot of grit and pour in a small amount of glue. You won’t need much glue, just enough that the mixture clumps together. Too much glue could result in a wet mix that soaks through the paper.
7. Once the grit and PVA are well mixed, carefully pack it back into the bag. It’s a bit of a fiddle!
Remove any bits that have fallen onto the outside of the bag with a cocktail stick.
8. While the grit dries, put your tea leaves into another pot.
9. Add a small amount of glue on top of the grit.
10. Next, pour the tea leaves onto the section you have just glued and leave.
11. Repeat this step for each of the 3 holes.
12. Leave the tea leaves to soak into the glue for a while then pour off the excess. Having the grit as a base for the tea, gives the tea a more realistic rough surface.
Don’t worry if some of the ‘soil’ goes over the edge…unless you are yourself, a very neat gardener!
13. Next, take a small sprig of your lichen and ‘plant’ it. Or, in other words, glue it in place.
14. And here is the finished article.
Obviously, if you are feeling more adventurous than us, a full tomato plant would look even better!
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When we aren’t making dolls house miniatures, we can usually be found pottering in the garden.
So, we thought it might be a fun idea to combine the two!
We rummaged through our stock to find some products that we can turn into actual living gardens.
Obviously this is just for fun and probably wouldn’t recommend putting real plants in your dolls house,
watering might get a tad messy! But, on an outside windowsill would make a nice miniature garden scene.

1. Firstly find yourself a suitable container. We used one of our troughs, however, a miniature flower pot would also be good.
To avoid having to drill the container for drainage, we put a good layer of gravel at the bottom of the trough.
2. Next you want to fill the container with some potting compost. We found it easier to work with if it was slightly damp.
3. As we were going to create an alpine garden in our trough, we added a few big rocks to nestle the plants in.
4. Next, add your plants!
5. Sempervivums (houseleeks) are brilliant little plants. Really easy to look after and the plants produce tiny little offshoots (called chicks, the main plant being the hen) that can be pulled off and replanted. Just make sure you pull it off with a bit of root.
6. Planting the houseleeks was a little fiddly so tweezers might be useful!
7. Next, add some tiny grit to cover the soil. We used tiny grit that is normally used for fish tanks.
8. Et voila! The finished item…looks kinda cute we think!
9. Had fun making the first so we thought we’d see what else we could find…
10. Including an old watering can with a broken handle.
(think we like this one the best)
11. Houseleeks don’t grow that quickly so we should have quite a few months to enjoy our creations. Will try and show its progress over the year.
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We all have accidents around the home, so why should your little dollshouse people be any different!

This is a simple way to create a mess, without making a mess (if that makes sense?)

Things you will need:

  • Soap powder box
  • Fine white sand (we found this at a local fish tank shop)
  • Scalpel with new blade
  • PVA glue
  • Non-stick surface (we used a silicone sheet, however, a non stick baking sheet is also a good option)
  • Mixing pot
  • Mixing stick
  • Cocktail sticks

 

1. Firstly find yourself a soap powder box. We used a box of Tide but any brand will do!
2. Start by cutting 3 edges of a square on the side of the box. You want to create a flap rather than cutting out a hole as that’s how it would be in full size.
Make sure you use a fresh blade so that you get a lovely clean cut.
3. Fold back the flap to reveal the hole.
4. Pop some sand into your mixing pot and add a small amount of PVA. Add small amounts of PVA at a time, you don’t want the mix to be too wet.
5. Mix together until the sand starts to clump, adding more PVA if you feel the mix is too dry.
6. Here you can see that the sand clumps and holds together without being too wet.
7. Once the sand and PVA are well mixed, pop a bit of the sand into the hole you have made in your soap powder box.
8. To make it a little easier to control, we put a blob of PVA onto our non-stick matt and popped the box next to it.
9. Lay some of your mix onto the blob of PVA and start to arrange it so it appears it has spilled out of the box.
10. Press down the mix with your finger to get the desired look. Compacting the mix will also help it bond together, making it stronger.
11. Finally, leave it to dry. We would recommend leaving it over night to dry fully. If you try to peel it off to soon it is likely to crumble.
Once dry you should be able to carefully peal the non-stick sheet away from the box. If you find it sticking, try sliding a knife under the powder and easing it away from the sheet.
12. Hopefully you should end up with something like this.

Have fun and remember to share your creations with us on our Facebook page! We’d love to see how people get on.

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To celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, Legoland set up a street party in front of their own Mall in front of their recreation of Buckingham Palace.

And what would a street party be without bunting!

We made around 50 feet of Union Jack bunting that was draped down ‘The Mall’ and around the ‘Victoria Fountain’ in front of ‘Buckingham Palace’.

 

 

 

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What do gnomes and fire buckets have in common? Whisky of course!
Ok, so for those that are still confused, this commission was part of a limited edition set of artworks created by Sir Peter Blake and Macallan Whisky to celebrate the godfather of pop art’s 80th birthday.

The artwork was a box that displayed miniature bottles of whisky with items and pictures, which take you through the past 8 decades of The Macallan.

Our part in the project was to make around 150 gnomes and fire buckets.
As amusing as 150 gnomes fishing on a tray looks, it was one of the least amusing commissions we’ve ever done. Each one of the 150 gnomes were cast and painted and adorned with a little wooden fishing rod along with the fishing line… I still have nightmares of gnome armies invading my home! The fire buckets had to be painted and filled with water (resin), an easier job but again, a tad repetitive!

After many hours work and a lot of cramp in painting hand, it was pretty satisfying to see the final results.

Never again.

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Over the years we’ve had quite a few requests for things we currently make, but in a different scale. This commission was for a digital marketing company who approached us to make a larger version of our 1/12th scale deckchairs. This was for their client who wanted them for beach themed hard drive display. I know what you are thinking and we didn’t understand either. Usually technology plus sand is a disaster waiting to happen! Despite our confusion, I think the result looked quite effective and they were certainly a nice job to work on.

 

 

 

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