You may remember some Tiny Houses I made a few months ago, Numbers 10, 11, and 12. I wrote a post describing in detail how I made them. They are smaller than my other Tiny Houses because I create them from the small cardboard boxes tea bags come in (such as Yogi tea or the like, with 20 tea bags).
I also cover the surfaces with papier mache, and then I decorate them, as opposed to how I have done the bigger ones, where I collage, draw, or paint right on the surface.
I’ve sort of got a little sub-genre going here of TH’s, it seems, and I’m working in a series right now, constructing each one similarly but giving it individuality through its decoration or variations in roof structure, window placement, etc.
It’s fun, and I guess I’ll keep going until I get tired of it.
So, take a look. Here we have Tiny Houses 13, 15, and 16. I made the latter two at the same time, with #13 being done on its own. That’s why they are photographed differently. This is their front interior view. I think you could store little objects inside if you wanted to.
Here is Tiny House 13.
And here are Tiny House 15 and 16.
All right. I’ll keep drinking tea and there will be some more TH’s like these coming along sometime, I think.
I’ve been friends for quite a few years now with a wonderful artist I’ve never met in person. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Here is the story: Nancy Bell Scott and I met through mail art, and we have exchanged artworks through the US Mail for some time. Next thing you know, we corresponded through email, and then…we are friends.
Before I go any further, take a look at her work. If you are like me, the glowing colors, the delicate papers, and the punctuation of the inked black lines will draw you in, again and again. I think you will also be interested in her use of asemic writing (it was through her work that I first heard of asemic writing, in fact). And I’d also like to say she gives her works the best titles ever – they are stories in themselves.
I made her a Tiny House not too long ago and sent it to her. Here are some photos. Here are views of the front, interior, and sides.
Here are some more shots of the interior:
And here are some angled shots of interior rooms. I know I am showing a lot, but I hope this way you can get a sense of how the decor appears in each room. With each wall that I construct, that is two surfaces to embellish (which suits me fine!)
A few more detail shots. I especially like the front door on this house. (You see it below as the orange rectangle. I used a hole puncher to make the array of holes (you might recognize the interior of the door in this way, in the earlier photos).
I think it would be fantastic to have a real door with small round windows scattered all over it like this.
I also like the roof – I used coffee holders for the roofing material.
How about a couple of views of the Tiny House 14 in an environment? Here it is on my desk:
And here it is out in the wilds of my back yard.
Well, that’s it for Tiny House 14, now settled in a new location. I hope it gives enjoyment for a long time.
Well, you know all about my Tiny Houses. I’ve made a lot of them and I hope to keep on going. I think my interest in creating these structures comes from several sources. I’ve loved houses, house plans, and architecture since I was young. It was a favorite pastime of my family in childhood to tour houses under construction in our neighborhood, which was being built up during the time I was growing up.
In adulthood my husband and I continued this pastime of viewing sample homes, open houses, and the occasional house-in-process.
Along these lines, I also had several dollhouses in my young days, as well as building small villages outside with my sister and friends with scrap wood, under a shade tree to beat the hot summer days. And there were the boats my dad made for us with scrap wood that we sailed in the creek at the end of our yard…and how about all the little cars and the roads we made for them…and the paper dolls and their homes…
I guess I could go on and on. You may be saying, what does any of this have to do with TODAY?
Well, in the Build a Tiny House session I took back in July, I built houses. And then I thought I’d try some furniture. Here are my first attempts from that time in July.
How did I do these? It’s surprisingly easy. I constructed a basic form using thin (think cereal box) cardboard. It was important to take the time to make sure the form was sturdy and could hold up. For the two chairs, I built the forms from individual scraps; for the bed, I cut down a box to make the basic shape and then added the head and footboards.
Then, using the papier mache skills I learned in the Tiny House class (look here for a description) I covered the framework and built up the forms.
Once they had dried (about 2-3 days) I painted them with acrylics, acrylic markers, and India ink.
Wow! What a lot of fun! I will be making more furniture.
Here is the armchair in the attic of Tiny House 9.
Here are more Tiny Houses made while I was taking another session of Build a Tiny House at the Smithsonian in July, 2022.
The three are the smallest houses I have yet made. And they are done a little differently. Let me tell you how.
All my previous houses have been based on a cardboard box form with surface decoration added. I kind of did my own thing, following what came easiest to me. During the class, however, our instructor Marcie Wolf-Hubbard used a method that involved covering the house with papier mâché. At the time of the first class I took, my eyesight was impaired and I didn’t have the patience to take in the information. And, it didn’t really matter, as the idea was to work with your own skills as you liked.
In this class, though, I wanted to try the method. So, I started small. I used cardboard boxes of the type teabags come in (think Yogi Ginger tea, for instance). I took off the lid and used it to create a floor, resulting in a simple two-story interior.
Here are the houses I made, and then I’ll tell you more about how I created them. Here is a view of their interiors.
And here are the houses from the back.
Here are views of Tiny House 10:
Here are views of Tiny House 11:
And here is Tiny House 12.
In constructing these houses, it’s first necessary to put together the structure. It needs to be sturdy enough to take the wet paper mâché, but it doesn’t have to look great. When I make houses in my other style, I have to make sure that tape and other construction items can be integrated into the decoration techniques. In these houses I am discussing here, all these things will be covered up.
Our instructor uses the traditional flour and water paste, but I had a quantity of this art paste already made up, and I thought I’d try it. I was pleased with the results and intend to continue using it in the future.
Well, all you do then is dip your paper into the paste and apply it to the house. You can lay it on flat or you can crumple and squish it to build up wrinkles or relief area. The house does become quite wet, and I needed to be careful to support it at time or let it dry a bit (that is where working on more than one house at a time helps out, I could skip around).
I covered every surface, finding that the wet gluey paper slid on very easily and could be maneuvered around corners and into crannies as needed. Once I was finished, I let the houses dry for about three days. They were significantly stronger than the cardboard boxes that they’d started out as and were ready for paint.
I painted directly on to the surface but many people gesso first, to even out the surface and reduce show-through of the papers.
I also could have applied decorative or painted papers to my house in the papier mâché process and skipped or reduced the painting part, if I had papers I felt would do the job.
OK! That’s where we are. I really enjoyed using this technique and I am full of ideas of ways to use it. Thank you to our teacher Marcie Wolf-Hubbard and to my classmates for a great experience.
Yes, another tiny house! I took another session of Build a Tiny House at the Smithsonian in July, 2022. Here is one of the houses I made.
It is larger than any other Tiny House I have made at about 15″. This is because I used a larger cardboard box as my base for the house. I can see that having more room to work with of course gives me more scope for architectural details and for decoration. And it makes me wonder about making even bigger, more elaborate ones…
I covered the box with black gesso and then used acrylic paints, markers, and collage for the surface decoration. Here are front and back views:
As you can see, it even has some stairs! (Not that they go anywhere, I just liked the idea of having stairs and I wanted to try out the techniques).
Here are more exterior views:
Here are some details from the exterior:
And details of the interior.
There you have it. Tiny House 9! Thank you to our instructor, Marcie Wolf-Hubbard, and classmates for a lot of fun.
You’ve seen the Tiny House I made for my friend Diane (Tiny House 6) and the one I made for her grandson (Tiny House 7). Now, here is Tiny House 8, made for Diane’s sister Lynne.
Lynne and I live many miles apart (think Pennsylvania and South Dakota) and we have never met in person. But…we both share an interest in dollhouses, something we found out when Diane invited her to the Zoom “reception” my Tiny House Class had online back in the winter. We began a correspondence based on our mutual interests and things went on from there.
So, I made her a house and sent it to her, as a surprise. Diane had showed her the one I made for her when Lynne made a visit east, and told me she liked it. It seemed natural to create one for her, so I did, and sent it as a surprise.
It arrived at Lynne’s house and coincidentally Lynne called Diane to tell her that the Tiny House had arrived as Diane and I were talking on a Zoom chat. We all marveled at how this circle had expanded to include us all.
All right. Let’s see the Tiny House 8. Here is the front.
Here is the interior/back.
Here’s a view of the back yard:
Here are some side and exterior views.
Here is another view of the interior:
Here are some other details:
So, that’s Tiny House 8. And a village made for friends has been created!
I have given these figures to people, with a cohort going to some nearby friends. For Christmas, I made a Tiny House for these little figures and gave it as a gift to these friends. Now I will show it to you.
It’s made of two boxes, one stacked on the other. It’s much smaller than the earlier Tiny Houses, only about 6″ tall, so that it could better fit the scale of the little people. Take a look.
Front and back:
I extended and reinforced the lid of the box so that it would be stiff and provide a nice wide base to make the house more stable. I put a garden scene on it because the recipients are avid gardeners.
There are three rooms in the house:
Now I’ll show you random details of the house. As you can see, I really enjoy embellishing all surfaces.
I’m going to say it again. Making a Tiny House is a lot of fun.