Monday, April 18, 2016

The Tiny Settee Upholstery....

How Hard Can It Be....?

I Left you last week, Dear Readers, with the incomplete Settee for the Tiny Roombox, and me struggling with which fabric to use. I thought I had made a perfectly good carpet in the first attempt. At least it looked well with the colors of the room. But it was not a good match to the carpet in The Folly itself, and with the tiny roombox trying to be a copy of that room, I thought I might have to try again. And then the settee was not at all to my liking using the same fabric as the carpet, it just didn't look enough like the settee in The Folly, and the two together were all wrong! So I was back to square one seeking fabric in tiny patterns and colors similar to the one in The Folly! How hard could it be?  Well, I spent a considerable amount of time pawing through my fabric stash.... Looking for tiny prints in patterns and colors even close to the Chinese red and blue in The Folly! Over and over again I found pieces that were not small enough, not the right color, too thick.... this was much harder than I thought it would be! But I got lucky! I found a piece of fabric with a tiny bit of print that would probably work for the carpet..... but only if I got creative.....

Here you can see the new carpet completed... along with the old one....
So you can see the colors are a good, almost Perfect fit!
But I had to piece this rug together from tiny pieces of patterned print...

Can you see it on the little fan in the middle...? 
Fan shaped... not rectangular.......
I cut the fans out and glued them onto a piece of silk seam binding....

Here you can see some of the trimmed pieces.....

And the carpet glued together... 
made up of three sections of the pattern aligned carefully!

Yes, I do like that carpet! 
But the fabric on the settee is still all wrong!
I went back to searching my fabrics.
And while I was at it, I made a tiny hearth rug too.....
It is not exact...... but it resembles the one in The Folly.....

Which you can see in this picture... 
(I know there is a lot of mess on the floor!)
And you can also see a glimpse of the settee
 and the fabric I am hoping to copy.....
And while I was searching my fabrics again and again...
I also made a tiny framed picture for the wall behind the settee.

Sorry this picture is upside-down, 
because the image is so small that 
I had it turned the wrong way when I took the picture!
It is a Madonna and child .... 
taken from a printed mini book page of a Medieval Manuscript.
The colors and subject are right, even though 
it is not the same painting as the one on the wall in The Folly!
(Remember you can poke the pictures to enlarge them!)

I tried other prints from that same fabric......
But I really didn't like the way they looked at all!
This was much harder than I thought it would be!
But then, Dear Readers, 
I remembered that I had (half-jokingly) 
responded to a comment last week,
 that I would probably end up painting some cloth....!
Well....Just How hard would That be???

Well, it turns out Dear Readers,
 it was Not very hard at all!
I found two scraps of silk, 
a white with a texture and an off white raw silk...
pulled out my acrylic paints 
and painted a "similar" design to the fabric on the settee.

The design is so tiny, I have really only approximated it......
But it gives the stripe and medallion feel of the pattern, 
and the colors are right. I even used the gold paint!

I decided to use the white textured one... 
and I was so excited that I forgot to take any pictures of the process! 
So you will just have to imagine the next steps.
The fabric is glued to a piece of plain paper cut to the exact shape needed,
and the edges are then turned under and glued to the back of the paper....
and then it is glued to the settee.
Basically the same method used for larger pieces, just very small!

I did my best to match the stripes and pattern.....
I really think it looks remarkable....!
(sorry it is a little blurry... so hard to photograph this small!)

Can you see it now?

And in the roombox...?

Can you see the resemblance...?

Maybe if we move some of the mess....
Now it looks like I imagined it could!

Well, Dear Readers, That is the smallest 
upholstery I have ever attempted!
And it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!


  1. That is amazing. Thank you for sharing your secrets! I am so impressed when people can see the potential for miniatures in ordinary objects. Lovely little room box!

    1. Thank you, Farrah! This is being a challenge, but a very fun one! It is easier because I am copying a bigger scene so I know what I am looking for!

  2. I am in awe. Dazzled. Such patience and perfection are hard for me to imagine. It's a good thing you have small fingers!
    That little room box is a triumph.
    xox, Mom

  3. The little settee is perfect! (As I knew it would be by the time you were finished with it.) What a clever idea to paint the fabric yourself - you achieved an incredible likeness of design on that tiny scrap of fabric. I am SO impressed! Thanks for sharing the tiny room box project; it's a resounding success.

    1. Thank you Marjorie! (I had my doubts!) LOL! I really was joking about painting the fabric.... until I realized how hard it was to find the right patterns! Then it was a simple matter of painting, cloth is not very different from canvas, just untreated so it absorbs the liquid and can bleed if it is too wet. At this scale I could "approximate" the design!

  4. Painted fabric with your skills it is an awesome idea and effect! Pretty sette!

    1. Thank you Ewa!! I really didn't think I was serious about painting the cloth myself... but it turned out to be really simple and it looks just right!

  5. Oh Betsy
    You are so clever clever clever!
    I am in awe at your needlework and resoucefulness! Your little room box is Devine!

    1. Thank you Simon! I am enjoying this tiny project! It really is a challenge! But it is so satisfying to see it in the shelf of The Folly ... a little mini room inside the mini room!

  6. BRAVO, Betsy!!!! I applaud both of your final solutions with regard to the carpet and the sofa upholstery.
    When you showed the fan fabric I looked at IT and then back again at the finished rug and for the life of me I couldn't see the connection, UNTIL you pointed it out and then I couldn't believe how PERFECT it proved to be! By you using your Incredible ingenuity you made it work; the color and the scale of the pattern are Spot On! And as to painting the tiny sofa fabric to match the Big One- but of course... painting is what you already KNOW how to do professionally, so it makes perfect sense!
    But now having painted fabric for a tiny sofa, I think that you might consider trying it for other upholstery projects in the future? hmmmm ????
    The sky's the limit!!!!
    Meanwhile Betsy- take your bows! :D


    1. Thank you Elizabeth!!! You know those moments when you are looking at something you have made and you realize it is just not "right" enough.... and then you realize you are going to have to do it over again... and again... but you know "Right" when you see it! LOL! I am having fun with this challenge... but it is easier because I am copying the bigger room so I know what I am looking for! If I was just trying to design this from scratch, I think I would give up! Even I didn't think the painting on the cloth would be so easy.... but it turned out to be so quick and so right! As for the future of painted fabrics.... I think it is a Pandora's Box! LOL! (Yes, now that it is Open..... Anything is possible! LOL!)

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Fabi! I am glad you like it! It is really Tiny!

  8. Cette petite boite est incroyable, je n'ai jamais vu quelque chose de si petit et si joliment réalisé.
    Quelle bonne idée d'avoir peint le tissu du canapé, c'est une réussite.

    1. Thank You Jean-Claude! I am having fun with this project! It is easier because I am copying what I already have made in a bigger scale! It is really satisfying to see it come together!

  9. I'm with Elizabeth... now that you've crossed the border into painting fabrics to achieve the look you want only the sky's the limit... I'm curious what hand painted fabrics are about to follow now! ;O) Wonderful work and a perfect result - and to me somehow a logical conclusion because you're the Queen of Painting for sure! Your work on the carpet is incredible too - I totally admire your skills, courage and (sorry!) craziness to put together those fan pieces. If I would ever do something like this I might have downsized a picture of that carpet - but not you... it had to be fabric. Awesome in every way!


    1. It is even a little Alarming... those possibilities! LOL! There are too many of them!!! Thank you, Birgit, for your faith in my painting ability! :)
      I thought about downsizing a picture... but I wanted the texture too... yes, I know I AM a little "over the edge" into crazy! LOL!

  10. Wow that carpet is amazing. I kept looking at the carpet and fabric and how you did it and all I could think was Wow amazing. Fantastic job and the painted settee is gorgeous. Is their anything you cant do ? :) Wonderful roombox I love it.
    Hugs Maria
    Hugs Maria

    1. Thank you, Maria! I am having a lot of fun with this little roombox! It is stretching my abilities! But I have always wanted to try this scale... and just doing a copy of one of my mini rooms is a good way to start! That way I have already done the "design" and just need to figure out how to make it smaller! I am glad you like this!

  11. Perfect! I love the carpet and never would have thought to try painting the fabric, you know the one where you just keep banging your head against the wall lol. I am so impressed at how you can recreate a room in such tiny scale.

    Big Hugs,

    1. Thank you, Victoria! Yes, I know that one! LOL! I was in the middle of that when I realized I had "joked" about ending up painting some cloth! LOL! What took me so long??? Cloth is just fancy canvas, after all! I was so excited when I saw how right it looked! I am having fun with this!! :)

  12. I love this! You are so resourceful and creative! Painting the fabric is so clever! And the rug! Wow, that's quite the puzzle! I deeply bow to your genius ;-)

    1. Hi Veronique!!! I am so glad to see you in blogland! (I do hope Art and Angelique are faring well...?)
      I have been having fun with this teeny scale... I do find it a real challenge, but the satisfaction when you succeed is way out of proportion to the creation! LOL!

  13. Hello Betsy
    I am just speechless! I cannot believe how perfect that roombox is, and how TEENY TINY it is! Amazing! Brilliantly done.
    All the best

    1. Thank you Vivian! I sometimes can't believe how tiny it is either! LOL! When I am trying to make something small enough and I keep having to go Smaller..!!! But it is fun once you get into it... and now I am going to have to do a whole House?!! (I must be nuts! LOL!)

  14. Hello Betsy,
    I am glad you painted the fabric because now it looks perfect. I think finding a match would have been very difficult. This way the roombox is a real miniature version of the room. Well done my friend!
    Big hug

  15. I'm a bit late with this but wow - what can I say? To create something so small - it's wonderful and I love it!

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