Monday, January 16, 2017


Windows, Doors and Pictures...

This Secret Christmas House kit has such wonderful windows, Dear Readers, I think they are the primary reason I bought this kit! To begin with, they have real tiny plexiglass panes! You can actually see through the windows and into the interior of the room.... if you can get your eyes close enough that is! And the frames themselves are composed of two layers of very thin laser cut wood so when they are glued together the frame has an ornate layered profile. This along with the lovely arched shapes.... such a European feature!.... makes the tiny house look so elegant and perfect..... even up close! But those window frames are a challenge to paint! The laser cutting leaves a residue of "burned" wood along all the cuts, and covering it requires several layers of paint! I only hope that I wasn't supposed to seal the wood with a varnish before painting it to prevent the burn from seeping through the paint over time. I started by applying a simple gesso primer to both sides of every window frame.

Of course, I forgot to take any pictures 
until I was well along in the painting. 
Above you can see the three frames on the upper left 
have only the gesso, 
while the others have been given a first coat of acrylic white paint.
You have to be very careful not to build up too much paint 
in the corners of each tiny pane, as the surface tension of the paint 
wants to accumulate in the corners!

Here you can see a little closer. 
The window frame on the bottom left shows the reverse
 or inside of the frame, which also needs to be painted 
because it shows when you look through the windows from the inside!

Here you can see the inside being painted on most of them.

And here is the view through the Library window from the inside. 
Yes, it definitely needed to be carefully painted too!
And while we are working on painting frames, 
I was also trying to add my own frames 
for the interior doors to these rooms!
If you recall, I had glued the library inside wallpaper in place 
before remembering that I wanted to make 
the door frames "three dimensional" 
rather than just the printed paper image.
So I started to paint tiny door frames too....

And forgot to take pictures until I was done.... 
but here you can see I have added a frame to the door in the Library!
It was so much trickier to add with the wallpaper already glued in!

And for the Parlor room above the Library, 
I wanted to add not only the door frame.... 
but I wanted the picture frames on the art to be "three dimensional" too!

Here you can see the completed frame 
glued onto the printed wallpaper 
prior to gluing it on the room walls!

And here it is glued in place, along with the interior window frame 
which is a piece that comes with the kit.

And then the Parlor door wall needed a frame around the door 
and a frame around the mirror!

Here you can see the paper is installed, along with the ones in the attic room.
And that room also had artwork which needed a frame!

I have to confess that it took me a while to realize
 it would be much easier to cut the frame in one piece 
rather than building it from four separate pieces as in RL!
The oval mirror frame for the Parlor taught me that!

So there is a reason the square frames appear lumpy and irregular!
(Sorry this shot is a little blurry... it is hard to get it in focus!)

But that is not all I managed to do this week, Dear Readers, 
I also made good progress on the larger rooms 
in the other wing of the house!
Starting with the other attic bedroom... 
a frame was needed for the artwork....

I know it seems silly, but I really wanted all the art to have "real" frames!
And the frames that had me most worried 
were the ornate ones for the Dining room walls.
There are two very elegant framed panels that look like Chinoiserie paintings... 
and the frames are delicate gold and not straight edged but gently curved.

I started by tracing the shapes and transferring them to the card stock.
Then I very carefully cut out the center portion first, 
testing it for fit on the artwork 
before cutting the outside edge of the frame.
I made two and painted them with several coats of the antique gold paint.
I paint on the plastic because they don't stick to it. 
The overflow of the paint can be cut away from 
the edge of the frame once it has dried. 

Here you can see I am testing one of the frames on the artwork.... 
the one on the left is just the printed frame.

Here you can see the wall paper with both the frames added. 
I am so pleased with the results of these frames! 
And so glad I practiced with all the other smaller ones first!
I think the frames make such a huge difference!

Of course it is difficult to get a good well-lit picture 
once they are glued into the rooms!
And there was still the door wall for this room...

With the door frame and the mirror frame....

And I also added the baseboards in this room and the Parlor.

And that is not all, Dear Readers! 
While I was working on all those window and door frames, 
I was also pondering the exterior front door.
It is such a beautiful and elegant front door!
But something about it was bothering me.

The door frame is gorgeous. 
But it is attached over the paper front of the house 
and the "windows" in the door look much too blank and lifeless to me.
Should I make the windows look more like windows?
Should I paint them in and make them part of the door as if it is solid?
Should I go all wild and crazy and add a sparkly glittery look?

Or use a slightly less sparkly paper that still has some glitter to it..... ?
Well this is the Secret Christmas House.... 
so I went with the slightly glittery paper...

Because when the light is right.... 
it almost looks like the house is lit up inside with Christmas lights!

I have been leaving the most challenging room for last,
hoping that by the time I get to it I will have figured out what I am doing!
The end walls with the kit supplied trim still need their wall papers. 
And the entire "Drawing Room" still needs it's artwork "framed" and the doors too.
And let us not mention that I am trying to figure out curtains....
Three dimensional ones rather than the flat paper ones that come with the kit!
So you can see Dear Readers, 
I have been making great progress on this Tiny house.
The windows, doors and pictures 
are Finally nearly all framed!


  1. It's so pretty. I love your colors. Everything goes together so well.

    I haven't worked up the nerve to open my 144 kit yet.

    1. Thank you Sheila! I started this scale by doing a "room box" to see if I could manage so small! It was so much fun... I have been trying my "kits" on the theory that everything you need is provided, so it will be easy! Of course, I can't leave the kits as they are.... but it is a lot of fun! I hope you try it soon.... just make sure you have a box to keep all the little parts in..... !

  2. Trop mignon :-)
    Joli travail méticuleux!

    1. Hi Jean-Claude! I am having fun with this scale! The kit makes it easy to do.... everything is provided! (Except the frames! LOL!)

  3. Oh my, Betsy, it's soooo you, for wanting 3D frames on the paintings and the door frames, but.....the results show how right you are ;)! Love the work you've achieved so far, this is such a tiny house and it must have taken you hours to do all of this work!
    The sparkles on the front door took indeed immediately my attention by seeing the pictures and you fooled me completely.....I really thought you put Christmas lights indoors, hehehe, that's sooo you ;D!!
    Wish you luck with the last room, dear friend, but I know it will be gorgeous after it will have a meeting with your talented hands!
    Warm hugs, Ilona

    1. Hi Ilona! I am so glad you thought the sparkles were Christmas lights! LOL! That is just what I hoped for! I am too much a beginner in this scale to think about adding lights.... but I know it gets done by some people. I wanted to add the frames from the first minute I saw the kit... so it is really fun to see it looking so good! Thank you for your wonderful comments!

  4. Wow, it looks great. I think the frames really add a lot. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Troy! I really do think it adds a layer of "real" to these rooms! They are so beautifully printed and now they have that 3D feel! It is being a challenge, but a lot of fun!

  5. The house looks amazing. I love all the frames you added it makes the rooms look so alive.
    Hugs Maria

    1. Thank you Maria! I agree, and it is exactly the result I was hoping for! It is so much fun when it works!

  6. Una minicasita maravillosa.
    Un abrazo

    1. Thank you Maite! I am having a lot of fun with this tiny kit! It is a Lovely house with so much detail! Thank you for commenting!

  7. I love the fretwork pattern of light coming into the library. The windows a pretty detailed considering how small they are. Lovely work Betsy :0)

    1. Thank you Pepper! That is one of the things I really like about this kit.... there are windows on two walls of the rooms, so you can see the "daylight" come through those windows! It is really well designed and a lot of fun to make!

  8. Your tiny house looks wonderful.

    1. Thank you Fabiola! This kit is a Wonderful tiny house! I am having a lot of fun with it! Thank you for commenting!

  9. Damn. I already did enter an entire comment, longer than most! I'm annoyed with Google. The short version:
    The frames do make a difference. And what about furniture? And can we imagine a kitchen in the basement (not part of the kit, of course.

    1. Hi Mom! I hate it when that happens... but I'm glad you could post a comment! The furniture is coming.... there are kits for every room.... just you wait!!! But alas, no is relegated to an outbuilding... or at the very least the very back of the house! Another project will have to have a kitchen! LOL!

  10. what beautiful tiny house, the Library is very cosy et the facade is splendid

    1. Hi Claude! I agree completely! The Library is one of the things I love most about this kit! It is all really well designed and is fun to build. Thank you for commenting!

  11. You are the QUEEN of TINY!!!
    Your window, door and picture frames, take this tiny house to the next level, Betsy- WOW!
    I am Always ASTOUNDED at the things that you can do, however I am not surprised, because whatever you start as one thing, ALWAYS becomes So Much MORE as soon as your instinctive creativity and eye for every extra layer of detail kicks in.
    The final results were certainly worth it because this Secret Christmas House is truly a Tiny Treasure!


    1. Dear Elizabeth... you have noticed.... that I can't simply follow the darn instructions to the end! LOL! At least I decided to Mostly follow the instructions! :) I am having a lot of fun... and I just couldn't ignore those lovely little paintings on the wall! Or the door-frames... or the ceilings .... okay, I am doing the best I can to stick to the plan! LOL!!! We will see what I end up with! :)

  12. I am totally impressed by the quality of this kit... but I'm even more impressed with the results of adding your own creativity and skills turning this into a true ooak. Picture frames... in four parts... that's sooooo you! And why am I not surprised that your thinking about real curtains... The only thing I'm still missing is HINGES!!! *shows-a-diabolic-grin* Wonderful work!!!


    1. Ha ha! Dear Birgit..... if you only knew how tempted I have been to make some real doors...! But that will have to be for another kit.... and I am not making any promises about hinges! LOL! But there is for sure a need for picture frames and door frames! The curtains and I are still doing battle... I have a problem with them in RL and they are aware of this! LOL! Maybe those beautiful windows should not be covered? We shall see.... :)

  13. Very neat to give the rooms more dimension with the frames. Your work seems to be getting smaller and smaller ... pretty amazing. Do you use a magnifier?

    1. Hi Janine! I love the dimension that the frames add... it really makes the pictures look real to me! And mostly I don't use a magnifier... except after the fact to see if what I have done is any good at all! LOL! The camera is the surest critic and shows all the flaws. I find that, as with my painting, the more I work on a tiny piece, the more I can "fall into" the tiny scale and focus on the minute pieces. It is a little like Zen.... slowing down and being very very mindful!

  14. Hi, Betsy - Now it's my turn to apologize for such a late comment on your blogpost! Where does the time go? What a lot of framing you've done - windows, doors, artwork, mirror - and it all looks wonderful. You definitely made a good choice to make the frames all three dimensional instead of the flat painted-on version. And the tiny windows! What work to get them all painted without "clogging" the panes with excess paint. I admire your patience and perseverance. A job well done; I can't wait to see more of this Secret Christmas House.

    1. Hi Marjorie! The windows did take a while, but at least the acrylic paint dries quickly! Making sure it did not clog the corners was harder than I thought it would be. At least most of them turned out okay, and the windows sure are fun to look through! I am glad I took the trouble to add the frames... especially the door frames because it really does add a lot to the whole effect. I realized that when the Library door didn't have the frame.... I really wanted it to have one so I added it after the paper was already glued on the wall... much trickier but worth the effort!

  15. Pretty projects and great idea,Thank you for the tutorial and for sharing !