Monday, July 30, 2012

The Doors and More Doors

And More Hinges!

Sometimes, Dear Readers, if I am Not Sure of where I am going with a Design, I find it helps to start with the parts I AM sure about and see where it leads me. With each choice I make the field of options is narrowed and the vision becomes clearer. This is proving true with the next room in the Tree House. I have known the Purpose of this room since the Beginning.... but have been much less clear about the Specific aspects of the Design. And the more I mull it over in my mind.. the more I get LOST in the Possibilities! So I decided to jump right in and make the Outer Door for the Room. This would be relatively easy as I was following the basic design of the other two doors already made. It would be thick and sturdy and hinge on the Post already built. And it would have a Window in it.... as the other rooms have. This time I decided to give the window a pointed Gothic Arch. AAAH.... I Do LOVE the Gothic Windows! And of Course, it had to have shutters with more of those Tiny Hinges!

And then, Because this room is going to be a Library of sorts... 
I am thinking of it as the "Scholar's Room"... 
I needed to build shelves flanking the Window... and a seat in the embrasure. 
Here, I think you can see the seat a little better in this shot.....

I added my usual mesh window treatment.... diamond panes this time.
And I stained it all a Lovely Dark Walnut color!

But I was not content to leave it there, Dear Readers, 
I had to make it Much More Complicated!
You see, I wanted to make the shelves into Cabinets with Doors.....
Doors that Open and Close....
So I started by making the Doors according to the method  I use for the Windows.
The Frame is cardboard cut with an exacto knife. 
The top frame is glued to the plastic "window pane" with the mesh fitted into the opening.

"But what about Hinges?" you ask! For those I used an idea that is quite common in miniatures... 
the metal pin hinge.... but I had to be inventive for such a small scale!
I was afraid the pin would not stay in place just glued between the layers of cardboard. So I added a strip of cotton cloth, bias cut, along the outer edge of the door frame where the pin "hinge" was to be glued and wrapped it around the outside of the pin.... creating a stronger attachment to the frame.
Here below you can see the cotton with the pin in place prior to wrapping.....

And here you can see it with the pin wrapped and the inner layer of the door frame added.
I also added a layer of cardboard between the outer and inner layer to make up for the thickness of the pin... so the frame is three layers of cardboard and one layer of plastic.

And here you can see me testing the Doors in place....

OOOOH.... don't they just Give you the Shivers????
The part you Can't see is that I under-estimated the amount of "shrinkage" the motion of the doors would create.... so the doors themselves are too wide for the openings! And I tried to be clever and make the doors for the double section in one piece and cut them apart once they were done..... 
and it Sort of worked....
But the cardboard layers got messed up in the cutting...  
so one of the doors really was not useable as you can see below.

Which was okay since I really had to make a new narrower door anyway if I want the doors to be able to close all the way... which I do!!!
So here I am making the new narrower door...
 and as with many things it was easier the second time around when I knew what I was doing!

And here I am testing the new doors for fit.....

Oh, I Do LOVE how these are turning out!!!

See, they open.......!

All the way...!!!

And Such a Gothic Cabinet needs a bit of Mythical Adornment..... 
A little Dragon come to visit...!

Here you can see the door in place on the Tree House.....

But when you look inside....

You can see I have a LOOONG way to go with this room!
I probably will be making Doors and More Doors for a Quite a while!


  1. Asombroso!
    Esas pequeñas bisagras son un trabajo perfecto
    Un abrazo
    GRACIAS por no tener palabra de verificación

  2. Such little working are amazing!!! I'm not doing anything miniature at the moment, but your work is so inspirational! I wish I had the time to start making something miniature right now :-)

  3. Good morning betsy,
    How absolutely beautiful. I just love the way the library is taking shape. The windows looks gorgeous and I think you did a great job on the cabinet doors. Well done my friend.
    I'm glad you just let the room kind of buiild itself because it is turning out great!
    Big hug,

  4. Oh gosh, Betsy!!! You are always making me smile with your endless imagination! I LOVE this Gothic Cabinet!!Stunning! Now all you have to do is to fill these shelves....;)

  5. That room is soooo tiny; how is anything going to fit in it?
    I love the gothic doors, though - keep on keepin' on!
    Lots of love,

  6. Those doors and windows are SOOOO cool, Betsy! Impressively realistic.

  7. I love what you are doing, thank you for sharing.

  8. Pure Awesomeness! I love the little doors, I have to wonder if there are going to be tiny books on the shelves.


  9. I want to type the word "incredible" in 24 languages! My friend, another outstanding piece of creation! And that is just the door! Shelves of books at the door! Only you, my dear, only you :). You will be thinking of pull out rocking chair, foldable lamp and a Nature's Salad dispensing machine next! :):)

    You never fail to amaze me :)

  10. I love coming to this blog--there is so much enjoyment and so much to learn. I like that idea of using fabric (yes?) netting and painting it to make "leaded" glass.

    Your solution to the door problems was inspired!

    And all of this in "teeny-tiny" scale!

    Cheers my friend,

  11. I'm so impressed with your patience in dealing with such a tiny scale - it looks just marvellous and these doors finish it off so well.

  12. I just love how the door is not just a door but a way into the room design-wise, and metaphorically! And all you have to say is Library and I'm sold! But to put doors on the bookshelves, how much I have wanted that in real life. And a fireplace to read by. And maybe a dragon? I don't know, he might exhale my book to a cinder. If he were so inclined. Maybe a book loving dragon can control himself. And the doors on the shelves would protect the rare volumes from any mishap.

  13. Hi Betsy,

    Great work again! I LOVE the gothic window with shutters, and the glazed cupboard doors are AMAZING! I would have wanted them to open up too, but the tiny scale would have put me off, what you have achieved is wonderful. respect! ;)

    The dragon certainly gives the whole thing a wizard-like apperance, I can imagine dusty spell books and bottles of potions!

    Andy xxxx