Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back To Building

Floors Continued

Before I got SO Distracted by Halloween, Dear Readers, you might remember that I was working on the Cupboard House hallway, painting the wall murals. Well, I realized that in order to complete the wall murals and attach them in place, I really needed to have the floors completed first! And having had Such success with the egg carton bricks and REAL mortar in the Kitchen..... I thought I should continue with this method in the front hall.... only THIS time I wanted to make "marble" floor tiles from cardboard! I have read many other blogs where people use this method quite successfully, so I thought it was time to try it myself!
So I pulled out some sheets of cardboard.... the kind that is the backing for pads of paper..... and painted the "marble" patterns in the colors I wanted to use. In this case the floor would be black and white squares with accents in red and green. I really was very quick with the painting because once it is all cut into small squares the pattern looks quite realistic with a minimum of detail to the "graining" of the marble.
Here you can see my painted cardboards.

Next I cut out a plain piece of cardboard in the shape of the Hall floor and drew the pattern on it to guide the placement of the tiles.
And here I have begun to attach the cut squares to the piece of cardboard.
I left a small gap around all the pieces for the mortar to fill.

And I worked around the circle where there will be a "Compass Rose" as another reminder of the years Clarence spent at Sea......

Here you can see the beginnings of the Compass Rose......

And the Compass Rose Completed....

And here is a closeup of the Completed Compass Rose, Mortar included......

And the whole floor completed....
but not yet in place in the house.....

Here it is glued in place in the Cupboard House.....
forgive the dark NIGHT Photo......

Oh Dear.... an even Darker and Gloomier view.....
(It is so DARK here now.....!)
I will have to get some better shots for you soon......
But I am VERY pleased with the way it turned out!

And I have also started to work on the Floor of the Dining Room of the Cupboard House! This floor is to be a dark stained hardwood floor of the type so common to Victorian Houses here in the States. They were rarely made in any fancy patterns because they usually were covered in beautiful plush carpets! So I started to attach the "woodsies" which make lovely hardwood boards. I started by gluing several perimeter rows around the room. I figured that once the small corners by the chimney were filled in I would just complete the design in simple rows. But then for some reason I decided to get a little fancy in those corners....... and now I am not sure whether I should continue with the plan to have a plain floor.... or make a more elaborate pattern to continue what I have started!

Here is a closeup of what I did.... just put a couple of "vertical" rows with the "horizontal" ones...

And here is the other side..... where I realized that because the woodsies are NOT all the same width..... the pattern on one side was larger than the one on the other and I had to carefully adjust it so both sides would look the same.......

Here is what it looks like right now.... with a stand-in for the fireplace........ and me not able to make up my mind! Should I torment myself to build a complicated patterned floor that eventually will just be covered in carpet? And if I go with the plain model.... will I always regret NOT taking the opportunity to explore the fancier floor? Will I build other houses where I can make elaborate floors, or is THIS my opportunity? Am I the only one out there who torments themselves like this?
Decisions.... decisions.....!

And meanwhile.... lest you think I have FORGOTTEN it...
I AM still working on the Great Hall floor tiles for my Castle!

I am getting closer and closer to having enough tiles painted and sealed to begin the process of attaching them! But here again.... I have to decide whether I am going to use real Grout or not....

The tiles are really irregular in size and thickness.... and they are much thicker than the cardboard tiles that worked so well with the grout. I think I am going to have to make a small test sample to figure out what works best.....

But meanwhile, as you can see... I still have a ways to go......!
Back to Building!


  1. This is incredible! You have so much talent, I wish I could achieve the same in my house.

  2. The marble tiles are perfect!!! I love the compass.
    I can't wait to se more Betsy Magic.


  3. You did a great job with the marble tiles! And the other tiles you've been making for your Great Hall look wonderful. What a job painting those individually! I think I would grout them, just small aereas at a time, so you can easily work with the different hights between the tiles.

  4. Incredibly good! you are so clever and I love everything. How could you paint EACH of tose tiles, it's mindblowing.I look forward to the next step, Rosanna

  5. You are the expert to make incredible floors! Congratulations, all are wonderful!

  6. I will be pleased as punch too if I were you. That marble flooring is just gorgeous! Super realistic.
    Your grouting is quite wonderful so I will use it for the clay tiles in the kitchen as well.

    I say go with the patterned floor and forget the carpet. :). You can just use a rug for that space? Your work is so wonderful , it will be such a waste to cover it up.

  7. Hello Daydreamer,
    Absolutelyu fantastic work. You did a phenomenal job on the marble floor. It is just wonderful.
    As for the Dining room, would it be possible to create a pattern in the floor around the carpet and use simple flooring underneath the carpet itself.
    And finally, the only word that comes to mind when I look at the Great Hall floor of the castle is "Inspired".
    I can't wait to see more.

  8. The marble floor is fantastic. Your work with the floors is admirable! I love it.

  9. An awfull lot of floormaking you have done and still have to do... The marble tiling is fantastic. I might want to try your tecnic in one of my rooms :0)

  10. I am in love with your talents, Betsy! The Compass Rose is outstanding!!!I love it! The floors - all of them - are just FANTASTIC!!!!!! Can't imagine how patient Lady you must be to make all these tiles to both houses!

  11. Go with the simple floor. You ARE going to cover it with gorgeous carpets.
    I think that cupboard house is a MASTERPIECE!

  12. The floor looks really the compass rose!!!
    I would go for the patterned will know it's there!!
    All those little!!! it will be stunning when the floor is done!! It actually already is :-)

  13. Oh-I'm going back in time to dollhouse flooring-if there was ever a job I put off as long as I could, this was it! I still feel the blisters from cutting the wood planks from craft sticks. But it's ultimately worth it isn't it? It certainly is in your case. The marble tile is truly masterful. I tried a similar method for my exterior bricks, with textured matboard, painted in washes and spritzed with white and black paint-the improvised marble and brick looks more convincing than the actual material we're mimicking, I think. Now, onto the castle floor-wow. Did i read that you made the tiles? My head is spinning from the very idea! My hat's off to you, amazing Betsey.

  14. Stunning, I would want to live in that dolls house! I love the tiles. I hope you are well, Catherine x

  15. Marvelous floors! :D So much work but your results are stunning!

  16. I'm very impressed with your painted floor (enough to consider having a go myself!). I'm enjoying following the progress on your cupboard house.

  17. Thank you Dale!
    I am SURE you can do these kinds of floors in your house! I know I couldn't have made them without reading all the techniques on other blogs.... it gave me the courage.... and the ideas to try! Now that you have THREE houses to work on... you will just have to give it a try and if you mess one up... you have the others to make right.... hee hee (I am learning to do samples on card board before attaching them to the house.... If I don't like it I just start over!)

  18. Thanks, Victoria! I will keep trying!

  19. Thank you, Josje! I think I will take your advice and do the real grout.... the key words being a little at a time! I will do some practice pieces too.... I want to make sure the spacings are the right size... not too big... not too small! I really appreciate your comment!

  20. Thank you Rosanna! I know it looks insane to paint each tile.... but once I started..... I HAD to keep going! And you must remember that I Started over a year and a half ago! It is just a Wonder that I didn't give up by now! But I know how you are with the tiny stitches..... so you MUST understand.... it just takes time!

  21. Thank you, Eliana! I Feel like a Novice... but I will know a lot more by the time I am done with them! Expert is a long way away!

  22. Thank you, Sans! I am probably going to use the grout.... How could I NOT after it works so well on the other tiles??? I just need to do some test samples...... and finish all the tiles!
    As for the Dining Room floor.... you can be sure that I have not been able to resist getting fancy on the whole floor! Who was I trying to fool...? I ALWAYS go for the more complicated ones....!

  23. Thanks, Giac! I really appreciate your comments!
    You will find that I have followed you suggestion to make a fancy border..... but have ended up making the WHOLE floor fancy! (I just couldn't stop... and it makes it easier to adjust for the irregularities in the shape of the floor!)
    As for the inspired Castle floor.... you speak TRUE words.... I WAS INSPIRED to build my Castle after seeing the tile floor made by Nina of "The Medieval Tudor Dollhouse" Blog.... she showed some samples of the floor at Winchester Cathedral in England.... that is the source for my floor!

  24. Thanks, Annie! I look forward to seeing your rooms.... your house is coming along Beautifully!

  25. Thank you, Ewa! I have to confess that another word for "Patient" is "Slow"! I can't believe I am still working on the tiles after more than one and a half years!!! It is Time to get them DONE! But First I have to finish all the other .......:)

  26. Thanks, Mom!
    But really, you should know by now that I am SO Unlikely to just leave it SIMPLE......
    Carpet or not, the floor is ornate!

  27. Thanks, Margriet! You are a woman after my own heart..... ornate it is.... BECAUSE I will know it is there! And because I just Could NOT resist trying it out..... :)
    Thanks, I'm glad you like it!

  28. Thanks, Amy! I'm glad you think it is worth it! But I will confess that I was dreading all the cutting.... and then It occurred to me that I had some lovely Rose Pruning Shears that MIGHT work beautifully as Cutters...... And they DO! The cuts are not as square as might be with a perfect miter saw.... but I don't have one of those...! The shears Snip right through the woodsies... so no blisters!
    As for the Castle tiles... they are made from Sculpey.... baked, painted, glazed, washed with ocher, glazed again...... it take a LOT of time!

  29. Thank you, Catherine! (It is the Castle of my Dreams..... since I can't live in a Real one...!)
    I'm glad you like the floor!

  30. Thank you, Brae! I follow your work closely.... so I appreciate your compliments! I am loving EVERYTHING about your Haunted Heritage....!

  31. Thanks, Irene! I always used to think that I needed to use materials that were as close to the "Real" as possible...... but these paper marble floor tiles really work well! I will look forward to seeing what you do with them!

  32. You are so sweet! While the latest house has actually inspired me to do something... I dunno, it might be by the third house that I have that much ambition to do tile work, but, we shall see.

    Your work is quite inspiring, I have to say, I am a great fan of marble tiles, so... :)

  33. WOW! There is so much new work going on --how do you manage it all? It's all very inspiring. They would have left a space empty for carpet in the center of the room --so you are spot on! (No need to do a 'complete' wood floor, just add carpet to the bare, blank space). This will also make the top of the carpet pile 'flush' with the wood.

    Great job!