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Creating Vintage European Map Decor with Free Printables!

Happy Spring everyone! Okay, maybe we’re early… But we can’t wait for the sun to melt the heavy Minnesota snow and for the warm temperatures to bring some inspiration! Here is a small project that you can do in less than 10 minutes, for less than $5, using our free European map printable and an oak frame! Happy creating!

 

Materials

  • Vintage European map printable
  • Thin cardstock, in white or cream
  • Picture frame
  • Mod Podge optional
  • Gold picture frame

    $3.62
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  • Printable Vintage European Maps

    $0.00
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  • Wooden picture frame

    $1.87
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Steps

1. Print out the map printable. See our how-to doc for more information

2. Cut out the map you want. We chose the color map of Europe at the top left. We used a paper cutter to get exact cuts, but an Exacto knife or scissors will work just as well!

3. Cut out a blank piece of cardstock for matting. The dimensions should be about 2″ long by 2.75″ wide. When you put the matting in the frame, it should fit exactly.

4. Glue the map into the middle of the matting. We used an Elmer’s glue stick.

5. Optional. Cover the map with a thin layer of Mod Podge. We really mean thin! Too much can soak into the map and discolor it. Also be sure to prevent the map from warping. We used small weights at each corner to weigh it down while the Mod Podge coat dried.

You’re done! We used a sticky wax to adhere the map and mat to the back of the frame.

^ Shown above mocked up in our Traditional Roombox.

 

What do you think?

Do you like our quick and cheap map printable decor idea? What other types of printables would you like to see? Comment below!

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Introducing our new FREE printables library

Have you ever noticed how many things there are on the internet? Here at Minnesota Miniatures Market, we know that it can be overwhelming to find all the things you need, especially for free.

So we are putting together a library of free printable products, just for you!

What are Printables?

Printables are images that have been scaled down to miniature sizes, for use in your dollhouse scenes. They can range from food labels to hatboxes to furniture appliques.

  • Printable Assorted Food Labels

    $0.00
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  • Printable candy wrappers

    $0.00
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  • Printable Christmas Wrapping Paper

    $0.00
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  • Printable Gold Medal Flour

    $0.00
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  • Printable leather bound book covers

    $0.00
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  • Printable Vintage European Maps

    $0.00
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How does it work?

We find printables all over the internet. We grab the images and put them into our library, for free! You put them in your cart and checkout, no payment needed. You download them in your Account and print them as many times as you want!

We are starting out with just a few, but will be adding dozens more in the weeks to come!

How to print them?

  1. Download the image from our library.
  2. Load the paper into your printer. The paper depends on the type of thing you are printing. Food labels might be best to print on thin letter paper. A scene for a picture frame would be best on thicker cardstock.
  3. Print the image. We recommend using the highest quality print job you have available.
  4. Cut out the printables and have fun!

 

What do you think? Do you like using printables for your dollhouses and mini scenes? What kinds of printables would you like to see us add?

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3 Ways to Create Egg Carton Masonry for your Dollhouse

In between making Christmas candy and wrapping presents this weekend, I found some time to put my empty egg cartons to work – as masonry for the outside of a dollhouse! 

Today I’m going to show you three possible ways to create miniature masonry, with just an egg carton, some acrylic paint, glue, and creativity!

 

What You Will Need:

  • acrylic paints I used different colors for each style
  • an empty egg carton
  • brushes of various sizes. I like using foam spouncers
  • glue (white, tacky, or otherwise)
  • Mod Podge or another decoupaging medium

I decided to test my masonry on a thin length of plywood. I gave it a base coat of acrylic paint in Oatmeal. This color will come through as the mortar. You could easily use an antique white, or even a dark gray, for the mortar.

1. Rustic

I wanted to first try creating a style of masonry that belongs on an English cottage.

Instructions

I started by ripping up the egg carton. I aimed for semi-rectangular pieces or ‘stones’ that are vaguely similar in size. I used only my fingers to rip the paper but tried to avoid having jagged edges. I aimed for stones that were roughly hewn from a quarry.  When I had a large pile of these stones, I was ready to begin!

I placed stones by picking pieces of the egg carton, applying a thin layer of tacky glue, and then manually putting them on to the board. The positioning was very flexible. I sometimes ripped pieces further to get them to fit with the rest of the layout. I tried to maintain roughly the same distance between stones, to provide balance.

Once I had placed all the stones and the glue had dried, I was ready to paint! I decided to go with a brownish gray shade to the stones.

To start, I filled a little paint palette with drops of acrylic paint in these colors:

I grabbed a paper towel and a small foam brush and got to work!

I dipped my brush into the oatmeal color, then dabbed most of it off on the paper towel. The key to painting the stones is a light hand. Remember, you can always come back later and put more color in, but it’s much harder to take color out! I lightly brushed color onto the stones until I had a good base coat. If I found that too much pigment had been applied to one area, I used another, large foam brush to blend out the color.

When I had laid down a good coat of oatmeal paint, I used the same brush to pick up a dot of mushroom brown paint. Again, I brushed most of the color off onto the paper towel. I lightly dabbed brown onto the stones, applying color just to the edges and to the very tops of the stones. This color just added some dimension to the stones.

I then applied a layer of antique white paint in the same manner.

Lastly, I used the same small foam brush to pick up some moss green paint. I applied a thin layer of this paint to just the very bottom stones. This is the perfect look for the bottom of a house that is sitting in the grass.

After that, all my ‘masonry’ needed was a good clear coat. I gave it 3 thin coats of Mod Podge, waiting about 20 minutes between each coat.

2. Red Brick

I next wanted to try my hand at bricks. There are many different shades of brick, but I aimed for a classic weathered red.

Instructions

I created bricks by cutting up ripped pieces of the egg carton. There is a certain amount of precision required here because the bricks need to be similar in shape and size. I cut my bricks approximately 1/4″ wide, and 1/2″ – 3/4″ long.

Placing the bricks is much trickier than placing bigger stones because brick needs to follow a pattern. I applied a layer of glue to the plywood, then used tweezers to position my bricks. Sometimes I cut bricks to smaller sizes so that they would match up.  Keeping straight lines and uniform positioning is important.

When I had placed enough bricks, I pulled together my colors for painting. I used:

I started off by mixing red and brown paints on my paper towel. I laid in this color heavily with a small foam brush.

Using a regular paintbrush, I added in light accents of black, focusing on the edges of the brick. This makes the bricks pop and creates a ‘sooty’ look that would be perfect for a fireplace flue.

I applied accents of white in the same way. Lastly, I applied a thicker layer of oatmeal paint all over the top. This mellowed the bright colors and made the bricks look more uniform.

3. Gray Brick

I had some bricks leftover, so decided to test out another color scheme for my bricks.

I laid out another brick pattern, left them to dry, and then started on another paint palette.

I applied a layer of Amish gray using a small foam brush and then used a fresh paintbrush to apply accents of black and white.

Shop

  • Acrylic paint – amish gray – 20z

    $1.49
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  • Acrylic paint – black 2oz

    $1.49
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  • Acrylic paint – light antique white – 2oz

    $2.49
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  • Acrylic paint – oatmeal – 2oz

    $1.49
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  • Acrylic paint – tan – 2oz

    $1.49
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  • Acrylic paint – white – 2oz

    $2.49
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  • Foam Stencil brushes, medium, 3

    $3.29
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  • Foam Stencil brushes, small, 4

    $3.29
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What do you think?

Which style was your favorite?

Have you ever used egg cartons to create masonry for your dollhouse or miniatures display? Show us in the comments!

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Product Inspiration: Traditional Office

Today we thought we would give you some pointers on how to use your new Minnesota Miniatures Market products for an office scene! We staged some of our favorite office products in our Traditional Room Box. Take a look at some of the details!

Fireplace

Fireplace

Fireplace detail

We started off with our Unfinished Barewood Fireplace (3). The front decorative grate is optional, so we removed it to give us more room for some Logs in Holder (4). By the fire, we added our Brass Fireplace Tools (2). Look at that tiny brush! We added an Elegant Rug (6) in front of it, and it was the perfect place for one of our Grab-Bag Dog Figurines (5) to lie down. The scene was finished off with a majestic Spanish Galleon Painting (1) above the mantel.

 

Desk

Against the other wall, we added an Unfinished Kneehole Desk (8). It has removable drawers that you can fill with tiny office supplies! In front, we wheeled an Unfinished Desk Chair (7). Don’t you just really want to sit against that comfy leather back? On top of the desk, we added Books and Bookends (9) and some Packages and Mail (10).

 

Buy These Products!

  • Books with bookends

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  • Brass fireplace tools

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  • Elegance rug

    $5.99
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  • Parcels wrapped in string

    $2.33
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  • Spanish galleon picture

    $3.69
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  • Unfinished desk chair

    $19.06
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  • Unfinished fireplace

    $6.24
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  • Unfinished kneehole desk

    $16.42
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How would you create a tiny office? Do you want to see more product inspiration posts? Leave us a comment!

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Traditional Room Box

Here at Minnesota Miniatures Market, we want to help give you inspiration for your dollhouse and miniature display scenes! So we decided to start making room boxes, to use as photography backgrounds for some of our products. Check out our first one: a traditional room box.

 

Traditional Room Box products

Traditional Room Box - Floor

 

How We Did It

We used plywood to construct a small 3-sided box. The walls are covered in Acorns Wallpaper in green on cream (1). The molding is stained in an Maple Gel Stain (2), as well as the working window. Our Small Foam Brushes are a great way to get into the crevices of wood. The floor is covered in Parquet Flooring Paper (3).

 

Try It

  • Acorns print wallpaper, green on cream

    $1.92
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  • Foam Stencil brushes, small, 4

    $3.29
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  • Gel stain – maple

    $2.99
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  • Parquet flooring

    $3.20
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Do you like our first room box? What other styles of room would you like to see? Comment below!