Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clutching at Straws - Mini Chair

Chris from Canada has another brilliant idea, and writes:
This is an offshoot of the cold drink lid dishes idea of last week and makes use of the scoop-ended straws that come with things like "slush", freezies" etc.... to make tub chairs. The main use is for 144th scale BUT don't forget that 1" scale children have dolls and doll houses too! The second idea works for any scale.
  1. THE SCOOP END: Flattening the scoop with your fingers, cut off the end of the straw approximately 3/8" from the top.
  2. THE OTHER END: Cut off a 1/8" to 3/16" slice. If it is not even, repeat until you have the perfect slice.
  3. Glue a bit of fabric softener sheet, thin felt or whatever is on hand to the inside curve of the scoop end cut-off and let dry. Trim off the excess.
  4. While the back is drying, stuff a bit of padding into the littlesegment of tube, using enough so that there is a bulge at one end. This will form the rounded top of the seat.
  5. Using the back as a template, cut out a piece 1/8" larger all around than the back. from thin fabric that has been sealed on the back with a thin coat of glue. Apply a small amount of glue to the centre of the piece and place it centred over the back leaving the edges free.
  6. Press in place and let dry, then snip in all the way around the loose edges to create
    some ease for the curves and glue the resulting flaps down.
  7. While that's drying, cut 2 circles of fabric slightly larger than the end of the straw, glue to each end of the seat, snip the edges and glue the flaps down.
  8. When well stuck, cut a strip to go around the seat, glue in place and trim so the ends just meet. DO NOT overlap the ends (too much bulk) but if there is a small gap it will be hidden when the back piece is glued on.
  9. Using the back piece as a guide, cut a piece of fabric the same size or slightly bigger and
    trim it. Test fit this to the unfinished side of the chair back and make anyadjustments before gluing in place.
  10. When everything is completely dry, carefully bend the back piece so it fits snugly around the seat, with bottom edges of both pieces lined up. Apply glue and hold in place until the glue grabs before setting it down. (Small elastic bands, floral tape or mini-clamps come in handy here.) You're done!

    But what about the other 7 or so inches of plastic straw? Well, a piece 2" long can be packed with polymer clay which you then push out bit by bit with a skewer or small dowel and slice off to make perfectly round even slices for making QS cakes, 1" scale cookies or plates (use a flat-bottomed glass to flatten and enlarge the circle, then impress the centre with a dowel). Use the straw cut into rounds of varying height as bases for round containers/cans using printie labels plus paper punch or foil circles on the ends, or use a wide slice for a mug or juice jug with half of a narrow slice for a handle. Stove pipes on a
    roof? Sliced lengthwise for eavestroughs? Whole for down spouts? Pinprick holes made with a hot needle for a vintage lampshade on a mini-light? OK, that's a stretch, but I used to have a lamp with a red shade covered in small holes that turned using a convection current created by the heat of the light bulb, making moving stars all over the walls and ceiling.