Saturday, June 26, 2010

Making a dresser

Welcome to my 2 new followers, Alafosca who has the most delightful little people she makes as well as a host of other gorgeous minis.  
I plan on following Alafosca as soon as I can work out which password I need to use!

The other I doubt needs introduction in the mini world, being Mags from Magsnificient Miniatures. I knew her name from magazines when dollshousing was just a dream I never expected to eventuate so this was a particular thrill!

It is such a small world, this small world and I have noticed a few familiar 'faces' with the same interests following the same blogs as I wander around blogs. Strangely many of those faces are cats, so I suspect miniaturists also have a fascination with the most inconvenient animal in existence for those wanting to work on something fiddly!
I will introduce some of my older followers as well in the next few posts, so don't feel forgotten.

As happens when you look at your long weeks of holiday ahead of you, free to do as you wish, nothing goes as planned. However I have had odd moments, while waiting for full size house paint to dry, to duck out to the back shed and play with my dollshouse. While I should be working on getting the stairs done so I can secure the middle floor and get onto the outside, this week furniture making had more appeal. I have made a few bits over the past year, but wanted to start on some kitchen furniture, so the obvious piece was a dresser. By rights it should have been a 1930/40s drop front style, but I was in a romantic mood and decided to go for the traditional type. I'm sure my family would have had pieces they had inherited so that is still in keeping.
I used a wide selection of materials, pine strip, lolly sticks, tongue depressors (or is that depressers?) pieces of an old wooden blind, obeche, commercial spindles and commercial knobs, all stirred together with tacky craft glue. As I didn't have plans, I worked out rough measurements, partly based on our real life built in 1930s dresser. Height had to be fiddled with - we have 10 foot ceilings here while the cottage has a bare 8 inches, possibly only 7 1/2. I wanted an open style to save having cupboard doors open for display. I think the style is known as a Welsh dresser?
I began by making up the drawers (pine strip front, obeche base and lolly stick sides) and lots of lego blocks then made a top with legs, adding a bottom under the drawers to fit (obeche, square stripwood and comercial spindles) Next I added the bottom shelf (obeche) and taped it in place to set, realising when it was dry that the sturdy rubber band I had used to hold the top together was trapped and had to be cut off. A couple of drawer dividers and commercial knobs and the base was done. The top (pine strips, old blind and tongue depressers) was a bit more challenging. I rebated the shelves using my small hand saw and a needle file and 'carved' the top and side pieces with sandpaper, emery boards and files. Once glued together I was pleased with the effect.

The back boards were glued together and sit nicely in place at the back of the dresser while I decide whether to paint or stain. I have left them long and they sit against the back of the bottom half where it has been rebated to fit, just like an antique.

One day I may have to make it more secure. Despite careful measuring, remeasuring and double checking measurements, it is taller than I had planned, but thankfully, as you can see, it just fits!


  1. Hello! This is really beautiful work -- it looks perfect! Glad to have found your blog :)


  2. You are making a beautiful cottage! I love that you are changing it to a front opening house. And that is a gorgeous dresser! I am trying to decide what type of cabinets my old dollhouse kitchen should have.....I would love an old dresser like that, but I don't think it will fit the era of my kitchen....sort of colonial updated in the victorian era and again in the fifties....
    Keep up the good work!

  3. I love your dresser. I think it is just perfect. I am about to start building one too. I can only hope mine turns out so well.

  4. Your dresser is fabulous. Alas I have discovered I am no good with a saw, I cannot saw in a straight line. Perhaps it is the saw?

  5. Margret, I think we shop at the same saw shop as mine doen't saw in a straight line either!

    Christine,your dresser is gorgeous! It looks right at home in your house.

  6. It must be the saws! I have to sand my lines straight. :D

    Thank you for the positive comments everyone. :)

  7. What a wonderful piece, really lovely! I wish I could make such a piece as I need one for one of my projects! I'm hopeless with a saw, but I am practising! :o)

    Michelle :o)