It really is a small world!

Tips & Ideas


Wooden tongue depressors and craft sticks are made from basswood.  They’re great for building accessories & furniture.  Buy them in a box and save $$.

Bird Feeder
Cut a piece of clear tubing or a straw to desired length.  Drill holes through the straw with a tiny drill bit.  If you don’t have a drill, heat a needle and use it to melt holes.  Push round toothpicks through the holes to create a “perch” (make two). Glue a sequin or small wooden disk to the bottom of the feeder.

Find an old magazine that is glued together. Cut a book the size you want being sure to use the real binding as the mini binding.  Cover the front with a mini magazine cover.

Braided rug
Make one very long crochet chain using variegated embroidery floss.  Cut a circle (or appropriate shape) from lightweight fusible interfacing.  Beginning in the center (with the glued side facing “up”) iron the long crocheted piece to the interfacing. Use dot of glue under it if necessary.  Continue wrapping, with edges of floss always touching so no white shows through, until the edge.  Make the last row just slightly overlap the edge of the interfacing to hide the white “lining” underneath.

Bubble Bath
Use iridescent seed beads mixed with clear Gallery Glass.  This mixture is permanent.

Butcher block
Cut 1/8″ strips from the end of plywood. Glue these side by side, sand and varnish.

Mini Candles
Melt paraffin wax (add crayons for color) in double boiler.  When melted, remove from the heat and set on a non-conducting surface. Dip 1/2 to 3/4 inch of both ends of embroidery thread into the melted wax and hang the thread over a pencil strung between two cans.  Take care that the waxy ends do not touch. Dip thread several times, allowing the wax to dry between dips, until the candles are as thick as desired.

Use remnant of velour or napped upholstery material.  These are perfect scale!

Carpet Rods
Use round toothpicks or small dowels.  Snip, paint gold and insert on each end a wooden bead (also painted gold).  Glue to carpet with a small amount of tacky glue.

China patterns
Scan one of your china plate patterns, reduce to scale and print on a transparency.  Glue to a plain plate to “re-create” your dishes!  The computer stores sell transparent film that will go through a laser or an inkjet printer.

Clothes hangers
Open a paper clip and shape it into a hanger. Wrap some colored embroidery floss around the bottom and sides and glue ends in place.

Cotton Candy
Cut off the ends of colored Q-Tips.  Use a colored marker to enhance color.  Use a pin to fluff it up a bit.

Use spray refrigerator enamel.  Spray many light coats on a wooden base.

Fish tank
Use empty “tic-tac” container cut to size and filled with resin.  Trim the top with silver foil or paint.

Glue one selvedge from grosgrain ribbon to the fabric.  Cut the other selvedge so that it fringes.

Glue Spreaders
Save those hotel “card” keys, used gift cards or expired credit cards and driver licenses.  They are a great help when spreading glue thinly on a surface.

Golf balls
Roll out tiny balls of white polymer clay.  Gently roll it around the picky side of a piece of Velcro and bake.

Cut out the colored ads on coupons in the Sunday paper.  Cereal boxes, aspirin bottles, laundry cleaner etc.  Glue to blocks of wood or dowels and paint the caps for little the mini store shelves.

Hat Stand
Turn a golf tee upside down; glue a small round wooden bead on the pointed end and paint.  Use a larger bead and paint a face on it.

Ice Cubes
Cut up inexpensive clear plastic canvas (used for plastic canvas needlepoint) with strong sheers.

Knitting Basket
Wind colored thread over small balls of clay or Styrofoam and secure with glue or unwind each “ply” of lightweight baby yarn or crewel yard and wrap the clay ball using only 1 ply. Place the yarn balls in a wood bowl or a basket. Add a couple of long pins which have been painted to resemble knitting needles. Add a reduced photocopy of your knitting pattern.

Laundry Baskets
Use dishwasher water softener baskets by cutting off the top part.  Fill the bottom with dirty clothes, dryer sheets and detergent.

Paint Palette
Use a ceramic tile.  It has a nice smooth surface and cleans up easily!

Picture Mats
Pick up free sample paint chips.  Cut to size and cut out proper opening.

Sanding Blocks & Sticks
Make your own.  For a hard maple sanding block, remove the rubber and label from an old rubber stamp.  The ones with the indented sides fit the contours of your hand much better.  Cut sandpaper to size and affix with sturdy rubber bands.  To make a file – cut strips of sandpaper (various grits) and glue to each side of a craft stick/tongue depressor.  Double stick tape works great!

Serving Trays
Try the metal center from a 3-1/2″ floppy disk (cover hole with aluminum foil or fill it in and paint another color).  The top piece can be flattened out and cut up for cookie sheets, etc.

Easy shutters can be made with sheets of “clapboard siding.  The 3/32″ or 1/8″ clapboard patterns would equal louvers of 1 1/2″ or 2”.  Make frames with basswood and insert the louvers.  You can also use the clapboard for attic vents or mini blinds on “non-windows” in room settings.

Wallpaper with mat board
Use heavy weight artist’s watercolor paper in place of wallpaper.  It’s dense enough to hide the tape wire, thin enough to easily access for installing lights and imparts the look of smoothly plastered interior walls.

Wallpaper Smoother
Fold 1 or 2 layers of duct tape over the flat edge of a putty knife.  You can smooth out wallpaper (remove those air bubbles) without fear of tearing the paper!

Window Valances
Use tops from small gift boxes (cut scalloped bottom for decorative valance.  Pad with very thin felt & glue fabric on top.

Do you have a doll stand in your stash?  Put it to good use by turning it into a glue stand.  Different sized stands for various sizes of glue bottles.  On mine, I glued a small plastic milk cap (with super strong adhesive) to the base of the stand to keep the tip from moving.