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How to: doll size crate shelf/bookcase

Tags: crates glue stick

Wow, I can't believe I'm back with another craft tutorial. It's the 4th craft related post this year, which is quite rare, since I typically make one of those once in a blue moon. Not that I'm complaining, I'm quite happy with that. Originally I created this blog with the idea of making a doll house and furniture for my Monster High dolls, but that never happened. You know, life got in the way and I didn't manage to do it. Plus, I didn't have much space in the old house. So, now that I'm in a new space and have more time, I want to take advantage of it. 

When I started working on my backgrounds and taking pics, I realized the lack of doll furniture that I have. I had a few ideas in mind, like an Upcycling part 2 type of post, but I didn't manage to find the supplies that I needed. While I was working on my colorful Crates, I thought that maybe I could make a shelf out of crates, since they're quite easy to make. I recalled that My Froggy Stuff had done something similar not so long ago, so I checked out her video for inspiration. Here's the video. 

I did watch the video back when she uploaded it, and I recalled more or less what she did. I was quite concerned about getting the size right, so I checked again to make my crates the same size as hers. She made them 2 and 3/4 inches, which is 6,99cm. My crates were 8 cm, so there wasn't a big difference. To get an approximate idea of the size of the shelf, I piled up the crates that I had and took a pic with a doll for reference. 

This is the 3rd post I make on crates, so I don't think I should go into much depth. The way Froggy makes her crates is almost the same way I do them, but there are a few differences. I don't think either her technique or mine is better than the other, but I think it could be interesting for you to see the difference, and choose the technique that works better for you. 

I start by taping 5 sticks to my table and measuring 7 cm (2 and 3/4 inches). It's easier for me to work like this, so that way I can mark my sticks at the same time. Then, I measure the Stick that will go across. 

I measure again to make the sides of the crate. You will need  4 pieces for each side. Then, measure the 2 pieces that will go across. I cut enough pieces to make 2 crates before start gluing, because I always pour too much Glue and I didn't want to waste it. 

Now it's time to glue the pieces. I always use a white glue meant for wood working because it dries clear and the pieces end up being quite sturdy without having a strong chemical smell. I apply it with the oldest brush I have and press the pieces. I often put some weight on the pieces while they dry.

Now it's time to assemble the pieces. I noticed that, on the base of the crate, Froggy placed the pieces going across facing outside, while I've always placed them inside. I guess she does it because it looks cleaner, but I like the "imperfect" look of these crates. Plus, since I don't have much decor, I feel it's going to make the shelves look fuller. Here's a pic I took for comparison.

She also glues the side pieces on top of the base, while I always glue it to the side. I guess she does it that way so it doesn't add extra height to the shelf. However, I prefer to glue it to the side because, I feel like there's more surface to put the glue on and, therefore, it will stick better. 

Glue the pieces the way you want to and set them aside to dry. I like to press for a few seconds with my fingers and then let them dry using something to help the side piece stay in place. 

Then I cut and glue the side pieces starting with the bottom piece, then the top one and, finally, the middle one. I like to glue them before the glue from the side pieces dries completely, so I can straighten them if it's needed.

We finally have our crate. Now, let's do 5 more! I was curious to know how many popsicle sticks did I use for this craft, and thought it might be useful for you, so you don't run short on supplies. For the base, I used 6 sticks. For the sides, another 6 (3 each side). For the pieces on the longest side, I used a total of 6, 3 on each side, which makes a total of 18 sticks each crate. Since we made 6, that means that you need 108 popsicle sticks for this craft. 

You can either leave the crates like this and glue them together. Personally, I want to paint them white, since I don't like their natural color much. However, before deciding whether if I should paint it or not, I took a few photos with my dolls, to help me make up my mind. 

I didn't love the natural color, so I went ahead and painted it. I'm painting the crates before assembling the crates, because it will be much harder to do so once the shelf is assembled. However, if you like the natural color, you can skip this step. This wouldn't be a true Monster Crafts tutorial without one questionable photo, so please, enjoy the one and only painting photo I took that turned out to be super blurry.

Once everything is painted and dried, it's time to assemble it. I used the same white glue to assemble it. 

We're done! This is how the shelf looks like. I've added a few props to make it look fuller, but I don't have much decor items or doll size books, so it looks a bit sad. The two orbit balls I've made them out of a toilet paper roll following this tutorial. The baby pink rectangle was a little experiment I made trying to make a vase out of popsicle sticks. I've also added an artificial plant to bring some greenery to the scene. 

Now it's time to bring the dolls and see how it looks in a scene. For this pic, I came up with a mini story of Asha surprising Chloe with two tickets to see her favorite band in concert, because in my dolly world there's no pandemic going on.

Bear in mind that this craft is meant to be a background element in your photos or dioramas, not the main focus of attention. Don't worry if you made small mistakes, they won't be that noticeable on camera.

I recently made a baby blue background that I haven't even tried yet, so I think it's a great moment to see how it looks against my dolls. 

I think I really need a couch that isn't pink, because it takes the realism away from the scene. Maybe when the next semester is over, I could focus on making a couch in a neutral color, but so far this one will have to do.


Overall, I'm quite happy with this craft. I think it looks interesting as a background element and, because its height, it helps distract from the fact that my walls are quite bare. I think I made the right choice by painting it white, I don't think I would have liked it that much in its natural color. However, because it's white, now I have a little dilemma. I bought a tea box to make another shelf like the one on my Upcycling post. Originally, I wanted to make two: one in the color Sea Breeze and another one in white. Since I only found one box, I painted it white, but now I feel like I have too much white furniture and I'm undecided on which color should I paint it instead. These are my main choices. Which color do you like the most? You can also suggest colors that aren't here. 

Coral Blush, Sea Breeze, Turquoise and Dove Grey

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. This is probably the last craft tutorial I will be able to write for a while, since soon I'll be back in college and this type of posts take the longest time to make. As usual, I haven't managed to do all the crafts and projects I had planned for this summer, but overall I'm quite happy with what I've done. Definitely I have made enough things to step up my photo scenes. And, whatever I haven't managed to do, is a project I can leave for when I finish college in January. 

Before I sign off for today, a little PSA: apparently the new Blogger reader is a hot mess and I've been missing some posts. I try to check out the blogs I interact the most with manually every few days to see if they have a new post. I don't know if it's working for you, but I would suggest you check a few of your favorite blogs manually, just in case. I'm also considering using some type of blog reader while I wait for Blogger to fix this mess. Any suggestion will be welcome.

See you in my next post.

Monster Crafts

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This post first appeared on Monster Crafts, please read the originial post: here

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How to: doll size crate shelf/bookcase


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