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Dolls House sized Travel Home

Well, it seems quite a while since I made anything or wrote on this blog, but here’s a fantastic little free make in the hope that you’ll forgive my non-posting.

I’ve spent a long time making dolls and trying to ‘up my game’ I figured I’d like a nice way to package dolls I sold. I’ve been looking for boxes for quite a while, then I came up with this little idea.

A little traveling home for my mini crochet dolls. It fits dolls just under 6″, so that’s dolls house dolls and some of Beth Webbers smaller dolls, plus some of the ball-jointed dolls that I’ve been looking longingly at recently.

It’s a long set of instructions and all the items I used were bought at my local Hobbycraft (I think that might be Hobby Lobby in the USA)

Firstly, you will need:

1 x A6 craft essentials storage box

12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper (for wallpaper, so look for small patterns)

A4 sized foam board

Piece of 1/8″ diameter wooden dowel

Bead with a large eye

Thin piece of ribbon or embroidery thread

sewing needle with an eye large enough for the ribbon or thread and thin enough to fit through the bead. I used a cross stitch needle.

Pritstick, Tacky Glue, double sided tape




Cutting mat



Gorilla Glue

Small bit of water.

Step 1 – The Wallpaper

Cut a piece of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper to 16.5cm x 22cm

Along the 22cm edge measure in 5cm from each side and fold in, this should make a folded piece that fits perfectly into the A6 box.

Use Tacky glue, Prit-stick or Double sided tape to stick into place.

Make sure you add glue to the corners, no one likes the peeling wallpaper look!fullsizeoutput_198b.jpeg

Step 2 – The Bed

With Foam Board, cut the following pieces:

1 x 7cm x 16cm piece for the top

2 x 4cm x 7cm pieces for the bed ends

2 x 4cm x 15cm pieces for the sidesfullsizeoutput_198a.jpeg

Glue the short ends to the bed first, then the long sides. Glue the sides to the front of the bed, not the edges. Secure with sellotape.fullsizeoutput_1989.jpeg


When using scalpels and glues, remove kids and pets from the working area, keep scalpels closed and glue lids on. My cat recently sat on a mould filled with epoxy and ended up with a plastic butt!fullsizeoutput_1988.jpeg

The bed cover. Cut a piece of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper to 25cm x 16cmfullsizeoutput_1987.jpeg

Then cut a 4.5cm corner out of each corner of that piece. fullsizeoutput_1986.jpegFold the sides over and glue into place. Secure the edge with clear sellotape if you think you need to.fullsizeoutput_1985.jpegfullsizeoutput_1984.jpeg

Step 3 – The Centre Panel

Cut a piece of Foam Board 17cm x 5cm

Cut a piece of the scrapbook paper 17cm x 10.5cm.fullsizeoutput_1983.jpeg

Along the 10.5cm edge mark 5cm from both edges and fold in, this leaves 1/2 a centimetre space for the edge of the foam board.fullsizeoutput_1982.jpeg

Fold the paper over the foam board and glue in place.fullsizeoutput_1981.jpeg

Place the bed into the box then slide in the panel making sure the bed has a comfortable fit to pull in and out once the panel has been glued in place. fullsizeoutput_1980.jpegMark the panel position with a pencil then remove the bed and panel, fullsizeoutput_197f.jpegGlue between the panel markings and glue the panel in place. Check the bed still fits, but remove the bed until the glue has dried.

fullsizeoutput_1978.jpegLEAVE TO DRYfullsizeoutput_197a.jpeg

Step 4 – The Wardrobe

Using a 1/8″ diameter piece of wooden dowel you need to cut a piece that will fit across the wardrobe space. For me the size was 4.3cm, but you need to measure your own dowel, however, it should be around the same size.fullsizeoutput_197b.jpeg

I cut the dowel with a scalpel knife, then snapped the piece off with pliers.fullsizeoutput_1979.jpeg

Use a good glue to fix the dowel in place. I use Gorilla Glue and am beginning to swear by Gorilla Glue products. fullsizeoutput_197d.jpegThis glue activates with water. fullsizeoutput_197e.jpegSo I dipped the dowel in water, then added a tiny drop to each end of the dowel. The glue expands when dry, so you only need a tiny amount.fullsizeoutput_197c.jpeg

Push the dowel in place. If you’ve measured it long enough it should fit snuggly and not need holding in place.

Put the bed into its space to stop the dowel from pushing the panel out.fullsizeoutput_196d.jpeg


Step 5 – The Bed Pull (Optional Step)

I used a glass bead with a medium sized hole and a cross stitch needle.

Thread the ribbon (or embroidery thread) through the needle, then thread the needle through the bead eye. If it’s a tight fit you could use pliers to help pull the needle through, but don’t break the bead doing this.fullsizeoutput_196a.jpeg

Tie a knot on the ribbon to stop the bead falling off and cut the ribbon long enough to hang nicely from the underside of the bed (about 2inches).fullsizeoutput_196e.jpeg

Glue in place under the bed, add some clear sellotape to keep in place while it dries.fullsizeoutput_1969.jpeg

Step 6 – The Shelves

Cut two pieces of foam board 4cm x 4.5cm

Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper 4.5cm x 8.5cm

Measure along the 8.5cm edge and mark 4cm from each edge, leaving the 1/2cm gap.

fullsizeoutput_1968.jpegFold in and glue around the foam board shelves.

fullsizeoutput_196c.jpegAgain, you need a nice tight fit, so you will most likely need to trim a slither from the edge of the shelves to fit.

fullsizeoutput_196b.jpegOnce they fit nicely, glue in place.

fullsizeoutput_1966.jpegDecorate as required.

I made some coat hangers from Polymer Clay and jewellery wire to hang the dolls spare dresses on and she has a shelf for spare underwear and shoes.


I’m also making a quilt and pillow for the bed but as you can see, she’s going to have a great time in her little travel house.

Hope you enjoy this little tutorial.


As I said, I bought all of the supplies from Hobbycraft. I’ll be at my local store on the 13th September running a six week quilting and patchwork workshop. At the time of writing this there are a few spaces left, it’s a small group and if anyone has been to one of my workshops you know that I make sure everyone has a great time and makes something wonderful. No experience necessary but if you’ve got experience still consider coming and see what new things you can learn.

Other news, I went to London in July for the New Designers exhibition, that was really great. I also got accepted for the craft council website and of course, I graduated with a BA(hons) in textile art and crafts. By far though the best news was coming winning first prize for wool innovation from the Worshipful Company of Woolmen. Good things must be ahead!

Let me know in the comments how you are all doing, send some crafting and doll making love and let me know what you’ve been making.fullsizeoutput_1964.jpeg

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Five Crafty Tricks

I wanted to call this list Five Crafty Scams, but figured I could get into a bit of trouble.

Crafting is an expensive hobby. I expect to have a bit of money to spare because I don’t waste money on drinking or smoking, but if I sat down and thought about it, smoking might cost less. But we crafters like to buy the latest things and the right tools for the job, and all of that cost money.

Maybe too much money.

Here is a list of five crafting costs that have left me feeling like I’ve been scammed. (disclaimer… I feel like I’ve been scammed, I’m not suggesting companies do this to scam us trusting folk!)

In reverse order…

5. General equipment sold at a higher price to crafters. Total saving…£20-£30

Wax pot for Batik currently selling on Ebay for £86.99


I was talking to a friend recently who teaches batik.

Batik uses melted wax and coloured dyes to create wonderful fabrics and the pot my friend was using was similar to the pot I used at beauty college (for warming wax when removing hair).

My friend mentioned that she was using a borrowed wax pot because they cost between £60-£80 and she was saving up for one. On closer look noticed that not only was the wax pot similar to my beauty one, it was the same.

Same pot, new box aimed at Batik.

My wax pot was bought new in a sale at Sally’s (hair & beauty supplier) for £20. When not in the sale it costs around £40-£60.

I’ve seen this scam idea before.

Wax pot for beauty therapists currently selling on Ebay for £56.99
Wax pot for beauty therapists currently selling on Ebay for £56.99

When I was learning silver clay and using the Imagepac stamp maker on the course I was told the starter kit would set me back £100 but included a UV lamp worth £60. the UV lamp is the same UV lamp used by nail technicians, I have one exactly the same as the Imagepac one (except mine is white) that cost me £40. I didn’t buy the £100 kit, instead I used my nail UV lamp and bought the rest of the starter kit for around £20.

Products used by one industry, repackaged and sold at a higher price to another industry.

4. Magazines with hidden costs

At £5-£8 an issue, magazines are expensive. What’s worse is when they wrap them in cellophane so you are unable to look through and see if it’s worth the cost. I accept that they want the free gift to stay on the mag, but at least put something on the back showing what’s inside.

Mollie Makes Camper Van

I’m not a regular of any magazine and will only buy if there are several patterns or ideas in them that I want. It’s like buying craft books on Amazon, you want to preview all the patterns, not the introduction.

But since this blog is on financial peeves here’s where I get cross. You buy a magazine (sewing ones are the worst culprits) go to find the pattern and realise you have to get your computer, download a pattern and print it out. At £5 a go I expect the pattern to be included in the magazine, not at an additional cost to me.

On the other hand the current issue has this rather nice camper van cushion. If you’re savvy, why buy the mag when you can download the pattern and make it for free?

3. Name Brands. Total savings £4

Spectrum Noir Blending sticks

I like the Spectrum Noir markers and now they’ve brought out pencils, which I love because they’re easier to carry around than the markers.

The pencils come with some additional items that help with blending. It’s at the top end of pencils, but something where I think the cost is worth it. However…

The additional bits needed include things like a plastic pencil sharpener for £3 and blending sticks for £5. These are hobbycraft prices, but the prices are about average.

In Hobbycraft, a few aisles away are blending sticks for artists, value range, £1.

Yes, I know there are 7 in the name brand pack, but still that’s a saving.

Basically the blending stick is rolled blotting paper, that’s it. Sure, spend money on the bits that are worth money, like the pencils, but blotting paper is blotting paper whether it’s £1 or £5.

2. Specialist tools that you already own. Total Saving £7.99

I got scammed.

I’m normally a bit more savvy than this, but even I have been caught up in the crafty craft selling game.

I wanted to make a waldorf doll. It’s something I still can’t manage. I bought a pattern online and read the instructions, wrote a list of what I needed then went online to buy my bits.

Joy’s Stuffing Tool

The instructions said when stuffing arms and legs a chop stick is ok, but what I really needed was the proper tool, the “Joy’s Stuffing Tool” at £7.99.

It looks handmade, comes with instructions that look almost certificate like. Must be worth the money.

What arrived was… Yep… You guessed it… A chopstick with a handle.

I paid £7.99 for a chopstick. It even had the red Chinese writing down the side.


nip to the local Chinese and grab a free pair. If you really want a handle, go to the local hardware shop and buy one for £1.

Drumroll please!!!

The winner of the Crafty Craft sales techniques are….



1. Selling things you throw away. Total saving – Endless, since you throw these things away regularly.

Hobbycraft - Selling you things you've just thrown out
Hobbycraft – Selling you things you’ve just thrown out


I should be careful here, since I run a little knitting/crochet group at my local Hobbycraft, but seriously.

I hope the picture says it all.

I’ve just put an egg carton in my bin, if you want it let me know. Save your dough and recycle.

I don’t know what makes me more cross. the fact that they’re selling empty egg boxes and loo rolls or that they want £2-3 for them.

A box of 6 eggs don’t even cost £2

I long ago figured Hobbycraft had lost it’s way. They seem more of a toy shop than a craft shop.

My local store, next to Staples (stationary) and a few shops down for our cities largest toy shop, sells rows of lego and stationary and has endless sales selling off what it couldn’t sell. Yet I don’t think they quite get it.

I think, whoever buys stock for the stores should ask themselves two simple questions when buying new items.

1. Is it a craft?

2. Is it a Hobby?

If both answers are no, then stay away from it.

(for weeks now the crochet group has had half of it’s table covered in a giant EasyYo display. We all agree that a yogurt maker is neither a craft nor a hobby)

I could go on about Hobbycraft, and have wanted to walk around the store pointing gripes out to someone from on high, but selling empty egg boxes for more than the cost of eggs…

Either it’s some crazy marketing ploy or they are just crazy.

Let me know if you’ve found any more Crafty Craft Scams.


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Say What? Badges

I finally got my stuff together enough to start the blog… Hurrah!!!
So here’s the first of hopefully many free makes.

Say What badges.

Really the most important things you need are the polymer clay, brooch pins, pen and oven (and something to put them on in the oven)

What you need
What you need

Next you cut them into shape, I used a rose cutter that had a pointed bit because I didn’t have a circle shape the right size.

Say What? 2

Work the clay into  speech bubble, if you’re really good you might be able to make thought bubbles as well.

Say What? 3

You need a thin piece of clay to stick the pin onto the clay.

Say What? 4

Secure the clay square so it joins the two bits of clay together. In the oven they will set to each other so you don’t need to use glue.

Say What? 5

The clay I used was from Hobbycraft. It’s the cheapest clay (their own brand) and only £1 for a block but I got 13 out of that one block. It’s a bit sticky when worked for a long time, but for this project it works well.

Say What? 6

And here’s the final product. Put anything you want on the badge or sell them blank so people can write their own message.

Say What?

Hope you enjoyed that little crafty bit.

Find me on Etsy (Betty Virago) and see the wonderful things I have for sale, like my page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter or Pinterest or keep che

cking back to see what other makey makes I have.

English: Logo for the UK business Hobbycraft
English: Logo for the UK business Hobbycraft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)